Saint George – Springdale
My hotel in Saint George was located 50 minutes away from Zion National Park. I reached the Park via Springdale and used my Annual Park Pass to enter. Springdale is a very nice and cozy village with local shops, gas stations and restaurants and is definitely worth a visit. After wandering through Springdale I explored the park by car. At least the areas that were reachable by car.
After exploring the area I parked my car near the visitor’s center and took the shuttle bus as the Scenic Drive is not reachable by car. The Scenic Route has 9 stops. The bus features an audio system that gives you more information about the different stops and hikes. This was very useful as I didn’t plan anything in advance. I just listened to the guide to decide where I’d hop off. I chose the last stop ‘Temple of Sinawava’ which turned out to be a great choice. The Riverside walk is an easy 2.2 mile hike next to the water with wonderful views. I even saw squirrels and reindeer along the way.
After a while you arrive at the end of the Riverside walk, which is also the beginning of the Narrows Trail. I saw a few people walking through the river and I decided to do the same. The river led me to the Narrows, one of the most beautiful natural phenomena I’ve ever seen. So if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty feet go for it. This place is just wonderful. You can go as far as you want. I turned around after half an hour as people along the way told me the end was approximtely 8 more miles away. After coming back I took the bus back to the visitor’s center where I’d parked my car.
Tip: wear old shoes and keep them on when you walk in the river, there are some sharp rocks in there.
How long to stay?
I regret not staying longer in the park because I wanted to do some more hikes. Unfortunately I’d already booked a hotel near Bryce Canyon for that night.
Zion National Park is my favorite of all the national parks I’ve visited in America. I’m not a die-hard hiker but one day was too short, even for me. So for people who love hiking I recommend staying 2 or 3 days.