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    Zion National Park

    Road Trip Destination: Zion National Park

    Zion National Park Entrance Sign

    “The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world.”

    The Treasure Of The West

    Zion National Park is without a doubt one of the most recognizable parks in the United States. Its astounding geological formations, unique array of plants and animals, and rich history provide joy and excitement for over four million visitors a year. When one hears the words “national park,” Zion is often the first picture that comes to mind.

    Located approximately 14 hours (~870 miles) southeast of Bend, Zion National Park is the ideal road trip destination for any Oregonian wishing to experience the rich splendor of the West. We at Happy Campers RV rentals are deeply passionate about the open road, and our dream is to inspire people to get out and experience what no other form of travel can offer. Dive further into the hidden treasures of our beautiful country and send yourself on a journey you will never forget!

    Five Fun Facts About Zion National Park

    Table of Contents

    Zion National Park Covid-19 Regulations

    Outdoor activities and tourism are at an all-time high, an understandable response that many feel after over a year of uncertainty and cabin fever. There is no truer alleviation from worries than escaping into nature.

    To help make your Zion National Park road trip a wonderous success, we want to offer our Covid-19 travel research so you and your companions can have a safe and fulfilling trip to this spectacular national park!

    Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah and expands across Washington, Iron, and Kane counties. Washington and Kane counties are currently listed as Low Risk areas, while Iron county is currently listed as Moderate Risk. 


    According to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, as of May 4th, Utah has reportedly reached the Covid-19 reduction goals set by House Bill 294. This essentially means that all remaining Covid-19 health orders have been canceled, and there are no longer mandates regarding masks or gathering limits outside of federally operated areas.

    Zion National Park Covid-19 Regulations
    What To Expect When Visiting The Park

    • CDC compliant masks are required in all National Park Service buildings and facilities
      • Including but not limited to park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops, and restaurants. 
    • Masks are required in outdoor spaces when 6-feet of social distancing cannot be safely maintained (i.e. on crowded or narrow trails).
    • To safely navigate the crowds, travelers should note that Zion Canyon Shuttle Tickets must be purchased in advance of your visit. All shuttle services adhere to CDC regulations.
    • Watchman Campground (reservations only) and South Campground (reservations only) are both open. Lava point campground is closed until further notice.

    It is more important than ever to be a well-informed traveler and to be fully aware of any regulations regarding your destination. That being said, we can’t think of a better place to spend your vacation!

    Helpful Travel Links:

    5 RV Campgrounds Near Zion

    The magnetic tug that Zion exerts on the heartstrings of every adventurer should always be heeded, for its unique experiences will enrich your life beyond comprehension. We at Happy Campers want to help national park road-trippers experience this magnificent location to its fullest potential. We’ve compiled a list of the highest-rated RV parks both inside of and adjacent to Zion!

    *This information was pulled from Google Reviews in May 2021.

    566 Google Reviews
    4.7/5
    • Phone: (877) 444-6777
    • Location: UT-9, Springdale, UT 84767 
    • Price: 
      • $30/ night – standard electric site 
    • Amenities:
      • No hookups full hookup sites  
      • 30/50 amp power
      • Public restrooms and drinking water stations
      • Dump station available
      • Direct access to three hiking trails 
      • Adjacent to Zion Visitor Center
      • Pets allowed 
      • Generators not allowed
    434 Google Reviews
    4.7/5
    • Phone: (435) 772-3256
    • Location: Dalton Wash Rd, Virgin, UT 84779
    • Price: 
      • $20/ night dry camping
    • Amenities:
      • No hookup sites 
      • Onsite dump station available
      • Generators allowed 8am to 10am or 6pm to 8pm 
      • Laundry facilities
      • Picnic tables and fire pits
      • Direct access to three hiking trails
      • Adjacent to the town of Springdale
    53 Google Reviews
    4.7/5
    • Phone: (435) 359-2299
    • Location: 8 Crimson RDG, Hurricane, UT 84737
    • Price:
      • $38/ night – Back in
      • $45/ night – Back in long 
      • $48/ night – Back in long rim lot 
      • $59/ night – Premium pull thru 
    • Amenities:
      • Full hookup sites
      • 30/50 amp power
      • Restroom and showers
      • Wireless internet 
      • Onsite laundry facilities
      • Hiking and ATV trail access 
      • Lake adjacent 
      • Kayak, paddle board, and bike rentals 
    1,309 Google Reviews
    4.5/5
    • Phone: (800) 293-5444
    • Location: Twin Knolls Rd, Orderville, UT 84758
    • Price:
      • $140 per night
    • Amenities:
      • Back-in full hookup sites
      • 30/50 amp power 
      • Wireless internet
      • Laundry facilities
      • Grill and picnic tables
      • Access to open use activities 
      • Pets allowed 
    104 Google Reviews
    4.5/5
    • Phone: (435) 586-9150
    • Location: 15 N Main St, Kanarraville, UT 84742  
    • Price:
      • $30/ night – 30 amp full hookups
      • $34/ night – 50 amp full hookups  
    • Amenities:
      • Big-rig friendly 
      • 30/ 50/ 100 amp power
      • Full hookups
      • Dump station available
      • Bathroom and shower facilities
      • Military and senior discounts
      • Wireless internet 
      • Pet friendly 
    Amazing view of Zion national park, Utah

    5 Things You Can't Miss In Zion National Park

    Beholding the grandeur of Zion National Park is like being on the set of a movie where the disillusionment of “behind the scenes” is nowhere to be found. From the otherworldly red waves of Navajo sandstone to the dramatic canyon carvings of the Virgin River, Zion is almost ethereal in its appearance and mighty scope. Look too long, and you may start to believe you’ve reached a different planet.

    Though quantifying the “best” highlights of this impactful place would be impossible, read on for our top 5 activities you won’t want to miss in Zion National Park! From family tours to endless hiking trails, Zion promises experiences you won’t soon forget. 

     

    Before You Visit:
    Zion National Park, like so many others, does require fees for those wishing to stay in the park. Park permits allow access to Zion for up to seven consecutive days and can be obtained when entering the park:

    • Private vehicle: $35 
    • Motorcycle: $30
    • On foot or bicycle: $20 (under 15 years of age is free of charge) 

    Additional Permits: 

    Additional permits are required for the following activities, and can be obtained here:

    • Narrows (top-down)
    • Subway (top-down and bottom-up)
    • Overnight backpacking 
    • Canyoneering 
    • Climbing 

    1. Take A Hike

    To say that Zion National Park is a hiker’s paradise is a resounding understatement. From the soaring peaks of Angels Landing to the shimmering depths of The Narrows, Zion is home to some of the most iconic and coveted hiking trails in the world. Because selecting a single hike to highlight would have been too painful to process, here are two of our favorites! For a complete list of Zion National Park hikes, click here.

    The Narrows is another one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park and requires a special permit to access. The permit system constructed around this hike takes significant planning in advance, so be sure to apply for your calendar reservation sooner rather than later. This unparalleled hike follows for 16 miles along (and through, bring your water shoes!) the Virgin River and features the unique natural beauty of the canyon floor. YOU WILL GET WET! It is recommended to acquire the proper footwear, hiking poles, and a dry bag for your valuables at the minimum. For a complete list of appropriate gear to traverse The Narrows, click here.

    Angels Landing is perhaps the most famous hike in all of Zion National Park. It attracts thousands of hikers worldwide on an annual basis and is the dream trail for the exceedingly adventurous spirit. EXCEEDINGLY in all caps. This trail features dizzying heights, sheer edged cliffs, and a chain-assisted trail section traversing a narrow ridge over 5,500 feet in elevation. This 4.4 mile out and back trail is considered highly strenuous. Still, the panoramic views of the canyon upon reaching the top make it beyond worth the effort.

    Let’s crank the ol’ Adventure Knob up to 11. The canyon trail rides provided by Jacobs Ranch will indeed send you back to a time where the only way to access the splendor of Zion was on horseback. Choose your steed and ride through scenery that will truly take your breath away, touring rivers, streams, and mountain trails. Jacobs Ranch is as concerned with your comfort, safety, and fun as they are for each of their horses. Before setting off on your trail ride, you will learn the personality of your chosen mount as well as appropriate methods of communication. Having the proper provided training will fill your ride with compassion and ease so you can fully enjoy the experience!

    After hiking The Narrows or Angels Landing, it’s understandable that one would be exhausted. But why waste any of your precious time in Zion when there is so much to see and do? That’s where East Zion Adventures comes in! Enjoy all of the sights and experiences of an off-road adventure in the comfort of customized 4×4 jeeps. Local tour guides safely deliver you through Zion’s backcountry, providing fascinating information about Zion’s geology and history of Native American tribes. These tours are family-friendly and an incredible way to access unparalleled beauty without having to be in top physical condition to do so. With five separate jeep tours to choose from, East Zion Adventures offers something astounding for everyone!

    4. Grab A Bite

    You’ve spent all day (or week) adventuring to the fullest, and it is now time to “fill up” your undoubtedly starving bellies. Zion National Park offers a slew of eateries with options suitable for any occasion. Are you just looking for a quick bite? A fancy sit-down feast? Something the kids will enjoy? Zion grants it all! We have selected a few of our favorite spots that offer something slightly different depending on what type of dining experience you’re looking for.

    If you decide you’ve looking for a meal that gives new meaning to the phrase “treat yourself,” look no further than Switchback Grille. This exquisite restaurant offers a high-end atmosphere, with a cherrywood dining room, panoramic canyon views, and a wide array of beautifully prepared dishes. Renowned for premium cuts of beef and fresh fish, Switchback Grille is the canyon’s original steakhouse. 

    Oscar’s Cafe offers a vibrant dining environment along with an extensive menu, bedecked with mouthwatering dishes that will entice even the pickiest of eaters. Choose from delectable Mexican dishes or select your favorite dish from their burgers, sandwiches, and salad options. Oscar’s is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers gluten free and vegan/ vegetarian options for those with dietary needs.

    This delightfully bright coffee shop/ cafe is the perfect place to rest your feet and grab a quick and healthy bite before setting back off on your adventures. Here a weary traveler can rejuvenate with tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, as well as vegan and vegetarian items for those with dietary restrictions. Cafe Soleil celebrates the community of Zion Canyon with local artist displays as well as live music on occasion!

    5. Camp In The Park

    What is better than being able to wake up and immediately roll out of bed into your favorite outdoor activities? That was a rhetorical question, nothing is better than that. Luckily for you, Zion plays host to several campgrounds that eliminate the need of going to and from the park every day! Spending a night under the stars and in the moon shadows of steep canyon walls is an experience everyone should pursue. The two currently open campgrounds are Watchman Campground and South Campground, both offering beautiful views and well spaced sites. Each of these campgrounds are currently ‘reservation only,’ so be sure to secure your spot as soon as you can!

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