At nearly 230 square miles, you could explore Zion National Park for weeks, months, or even years without seeing everything. This is even more true when you consider how much the park changes from one season to the next.
Most visitors don’t have months or even weeks to explore the park. But too many first-time visitors make the mistake of planning to spend just a day or two in the park during their stay in Zion National Park resorts. While there are plenty of other things to do in Southern Utah, like some incredible state parks and even other national parks, you’ll definitely want to commit more than a couple of days to visiting Zion if you want to truly experience this special park.
Ready to start planning your next stay in a luxury wagon or bungalow cabins at Zion Wildflower? Keep reading to learn how to plan the ultimate 7-day itinerary.
Creating the Perfect Zion National Park Itinerary
Before we dive into planning the perfect 7-day itinerary in Zion National Park, you should know a few things.
First, it’s important to keep your plans flexible during your visit. One great way to do this is to make plans for seven days, but stay flexible about the order you enjoy these days during your visit. That way, if the weather forecast is predicting high temperatures one day, you can save your most challenging hike for another.
If you’re hoping to hike Angels Landing during your visit, you’ll need to apply for a permit. Unless you get a permit in the Seasonal Lottery, you might not know that you’re going to be able to hike this iconic trail until the results of the Day-Before Lottery are announced. So you’ll need to keep your day that centers on hiking Angels Landing flexible during your trip.
Let’s dive into the ultimate week-long itinerary for your stay at Zion National Park resorts.
The first thing you’ll want to do to start your vacation at Zion National Park resorts is to stop by the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. After finding parking, you can either walk to the entrance to the park or hop on the Springdale Shuttle loop to ride to the South Entrance. From there, take a short walk to the visitor center.
Here, you can chat with park rangers to get some trail recommendations, learn about the history of the park, check on any trail closures, and grab a park map. After the Visitor Center, head to the Zion Human History Museum next. This is a great spot to learn more about Zion National Park and the many different groups who have made their homes here throughout history.
You’re no doubt excited to start exploring more of the park. From the museum, you can head straight out to hike Pa’rus Trail. This paved trail is 1.7 miles one-way. It follows along the meandering Virgin River and offers incredible views of some of Zion’s most famous peaks.
From here, you can hop on the shuttle and explore more of the Lower Canyon. Stop by the Zion Lodge, where you’ll find a restaurant and a gift shop great for grabbing some souvenirs. You can also hike some of the other shorter trails in this part of the park, like Riverside Walk.
If possible, make this day the one that you use to take on the most challenging trail on your bucket list. Angels Landing or The Narrows are both great options. Hiking your most challenging trail early in your trip means that you won’t be tired from a week of exploring.
Start your hike early in the day. After your hike, head back to your Zion National Park resorts for some rest and relaxation. Consider taking a nap before enjoying amenities like our pool and hot tub, fire pit, movie nights, and more.
After taking on a challenging hike, plan to enjoy some relaxation today. Let yourself sleep in, or enjoy a delicious breakfast from a local restaurant. Then, head back to the resort for some pool time or a leisurely bike ride.
This is also a great time to enjoy a scenic drive through Zion’s Upper Canyon. This part of the park isn’t covered by the shuttle system, so you can take your personal vehicle. There are a few places where you can pull off and enjoy a short hike or stop to get pictures of natural features like Checkerboard Mesa.
Head straight back to the Upper Canyon today to explore more of this section of the park. Today, you’ll be hiking some of this section’s best trails.
Start with Canyon Overlook. This short, easy hike offers one of the best views of Zion’s Lower Canyon. If you didn’t get a chance to hike Angels Landing, this is a great alternative if you want to enjoy some stunning views.
The Upper Canyon has a range of other trails to choose from. Clear Creek is a slot canyon you can explore on an easy-to-moderate hike. Upper Pine Creek or the East Mesa Trail are more challenging alternatives.
Today you’re heading back to Zion’s Lower Canyon. Hop on the shuttle bus, and head into the park for some more hiking and exploring. Emerald Pools Trails are one great option. If you didn’t hike The Narrows earlier in your trip, you can experience this iconic trail by hiking upriver for a way before heading back, too.
One great way to make this day even more special is to pick up a sandwich or picnic lunch before heading to the park for the day. Pick a spot with some incredible views to enjoy your lunch.
You’ve hit some of the most popular trails in Zion. Now, it’s time to explore the park’s lesser-known section. Kolob Canyons is actually located about an hour away from the main section of the park. But it’s still a part of Zion. It has its own visitor center, as well as a variety of trails, ranging from easy hikes to challenging treks.
Many first-time visitors to Zion National Park resorts don’t even know that this section of the park exists. This makes it a great spot to escape the crowds on busy days. Kolob Canyons is home to narrow slot canyons, towering red rock peaks, natural arches, and more.
It’s the last day of your trip! But instead of being sad about your stay at Zion National Park resorts coming to an end, make the most of your day! We suggest keeping the last day of the itinerary open. That way, you can use it to do anything you might have missed during the rest of your trip.
Maybe there was a hike you skipped because it rained, or you were hoping to do more at Zion Wildflower before you leave. Fill this day with anything you missed!
Planning Your Stay in Zion National Park Resorts
This itinerary is a great way to make the most of your week-long stay at Zion National Park resorts. But it’s only a starting point for your planning. Depending on your and your family’s interests, you might adjust this itinerary to do more sightseeing and less hiking. Or, maybe you want to spend a little more time enjoying all of the amenities we have to offer at Zion Wildflower Resort!
Most of the days of this itinerary can be easily adjusted to allow you to hike in the morning before returning to our bungalow cabins or luxury wagon in the afternoon for a nap or a dip in the pool.
Ready to start planning your own ultimate itinerary in Zion National Park? Start by booking your stay at Zion Wildflower Resort today!