Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

As scoutmaster of a local troop I helped the boys plan several preparatory hikes in anticipation of our summer 50-miler to the Boulders in Southern Utah. Living near Zion National Park, we hiked the East and West Rim trails, Observation Point, and Hidden Canyon. I prepared this video for a “year in review” parent planning meeting. It features additional trips we made: the annual Klondike on Cedar Mountain, Red Cliffs Recreation Area. Great young men and great memories.
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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

Epic 22+ mile hike in the hear of Zion National Park. This hike is one of the best to see the interior parts of the park most tourists don’t see.
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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

5 days of Hiking, Camping & Backpacking in Southern Utah’s Zion National Park.

For this adventure, I’ll be spending 5 days exploring Zion National Park with my friends Derrick, Dave, and Tayson from Outdoor Vitals and Randy from Outdoor.Detour

We’ll be doing 3 different trips:
A West Rim Backpacking Trip
Exploring & hiking the Frontcountry Zion National Park area while car camping in Springdale, Utah.
Backcountry camping on a top-down Narrows hike, ending at the Zion visitor center back in Springdale.

Note: All backcountry camping in Zion requires a permit. For details, visit the Zion NPS website:

For an easier read, check out my full blog post here:

Objective #1: Backcountry camp on Zion Canyon’s West Rim
Trailhead Used: West Rim Trailhead, Near Lava Point Overlook.
N37° 22.899′ W113° 01.370′

West Rim Itinerary, Day 1:

Park at the West Rim Trailhead near Lava Point.
This is a gravel lot with parking for a half dozen cars or so. It’s about a 40 minute drive from Springdale, Utah. The latter part of the drive is a dirt road, cars should be fine with a bit of care.
Head south on the West Rim Trail
Camp at West Rim campsite #4 N37° 17.144′ W112° 59.030′

West Rim Hike-In Mileage: 8 miles
West Rim Hike-In Gross Elevation Gain: 1,073

West Rim Itinerary, Day 2:

Backtrack north on the West Rim Trail
Return to the trailhead lot near Lava Point.
Ghost town pit-stop in Grafton, Utah
Continue on to Springdale, Utah.
Check into the Quality Inn campground in Springdale, within walking distance of the Zion visitor center and park entrance.
Have some tacos at the Whiptail Grill, right next door to the campground.

Objective #2: Explore Zion National Park’s Frontcountry & Springdale, Utah.

Zion Frontcountry / Springdale Itinerary. Day 1:

Take the free Zion bus, or a short walk north to the Zion National Park entrance.
Take the bus from the visitor center to Big Bend.
From the Big Bend bus stop, take the trail south along the Virgin River to Weeping Rock.
Road hike a bit along the Mount Carmel Highway.
Hop a bus back to the Zion Visitor Center.
Explore Springdale, eat some ice cream at the Zion Candy Company.

Objective #3: Hike and Backcountry Camp the Narrows, from the Top Down.

Trailhead: Chamberlain’s Ranch Trailhead (aka Zion Narrows Upper Trailhead)
N37° 23.121′ W112° 50.339′

Note: This was an end-to-end hike that required us to park a second vehicle at the Zion visitor center in Springdale to use as a shuttle back to the starting point.

Zion NP – The Narrows, Top-down Hike Itinerary, Day 1:

Park at the Narrows Upper Trailhead.
Head southwest on the trail, which is actually dirt road, for the first 3 miles.
Continue to follow the trail along the Virgin River, through the Narrows.
This trail is very easy to follow, as it is literally the river. A majority of the time is spent walking in the river bed in ankle deep to knee deep water depending on conditions, depending on current water-flow conditions.
Note for reference: The ccf reading during our trip was roughly 40 CCF. Anything under 50 ccf is considered ideal. Above 100 cfs, conditions can be difficult and hazardous. At 130 ccf, top-down narrows hikes will be closed. At 150 ccf, bottom up Narrows hikes will be closed. During a flash flood, flows can exceed 1000 cfs.
Setup camp at the Narrows campsite #12. N37° 19.982′ W112° 57.373′

Narrows Day 1 Hiking Time: 7 Hours

Zion NP – The Narrows, Top-down Hike Itinerary, Day 2:

Break camp & continue south along the Virgin River.
Exit the trail & catch a bus at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop.
Return to the Zion Visitor Center
Drive to retrieve starting vehicle

Narrows Day 2 Hiking Time: 4 Hours

Notable Gear Seen:

Outdoor Vitals Rhyolite Backpack, 60L
Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Hammock w/ Whoopie Sling Suspension
Outdoor Vitals 30° Underquilt
Outdoor Vitals 30° Topquilt
Outdoor Vitals Pillow
Outdoor Vitals Tarp
Outdoor Vitals Hammock Bugnet
Outdoor Vitals Dominion 2.5p Tent
Outdoor Vitals 1p Tent
Outdoor Vitals Sleeping pad, un-insulated
Outdoor Vitals Sleeping pad, insulated
Outdoor Vitals Aerie Underquilt / Sleeping Bag
Garmin In Reach
Spot Messenger

Disclosure: This post & video contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through my links. Cross reference, do your own research and make your own decisions, duh 😉
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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

Heaps Canyon is one of the premiere slots canyons in Zion National Park. It requires advanced technical skills and generally takes anywhere from 12-20 hours to complete. However, the scenery is absolutely stunning and it’s an epic adventure. We did Heaps Canyon in May 2016 right after it had been raining a lot. It was full of water so we didn’t have to do any pothole escapes. In fact, it was a lot of fun jumping into the pools of water. The final 3-stage rappel into the Emerald Pools was exciting, especially since we had to fit all 5 of us on a small, exposed ledge.
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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

Views of Zion National Park from the scenic drive and 4 of the best hikes in the park: Observation Point, West Rim, Angels Landing, Virgin Narrows.

Recorded September 2016 and June 2015 in 4K Ultra HD with Sony AX100.

Mystic Crock – Nomad – 09 – Maribo
Licensed via

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