You could spend just one day in Zion National Park, but why hurry a good thing? A three-day itinerary gives you a chance to go on several hikes, enjoy some nice meals and relax with the family. Best of all, you won't go home feeling like you need a vacation.
Our favorite family-friendly restaurants in Springdale include:
If you need a few groceries, Sol Foods Supermarket on Zion Park Boulevard will have something for everyone's palate. Make sure to check out the deli in the back and pick up something for your picnic by the river later tonight.
Favorite Zion lodgings:
View other lodging and campgrounds here.
Hang out until the stars come out. Just make sure you know when the shuttle stops running if you're there April – October. Most trailhead parking lots in Zion Canyon have foot trails that lead you right up to the river banks.
The Lower Pools are wheelchair accessible and the trail is paved to this desert waterfall oasis. Water falling over these red rock cliffs is nothing short of a cosmic mind shift. Totally worth the stroll.
The Middle Pools give you a great view of Zion Canyon, and the reflections of towering sandstone cliffs in the pools will demand you pull your camera out. Go ahead, try to resist! And what kid/parent/grandparent wouldn't get a kick out of climbing some sandstone stairs to get there? This hike wins. Every time.
The Upper Pools aren't much more difficult. There are a few more rocks on the trail, so grandma and grandpa might want to bring along a walking stick to help them with the uneven steps.
This wide trail is good for a mosey further up the canyon and a walk in the river, in case summer temperatures are oppressing you and making the entire group grumpy beyond reasonable conversations. Summer temps can make any sane person a wee bit crazy. But that's what cool canyon hikes are for, right?
Our favorite fancy(ish) restaurants in Springdale include:
You've been in the depths of Zion, now it's time to get an overview of the 250 million years of geological wonders you just walked through. Hike a wee bit, take some photos and hold onto this moment because, you know, it's never coming back in exactly the same way. Ya. Zion has been unforgettable.
Rent bikes near the Visitor Center and get right onto the Pa'rus Trail. It's paved and wide and meanders with the Virgin River. If some in your group aren't interested in riding bikes, they can stroll along the path, and the kiddos can zoom as they please. You'll get a great view of The Watchman, and plant identification and birdwatching are pleasant activities on this trail.
Pack up. Go home. Sing some songs on the way home. Try not to think about the office.
Springdale has some of the best rock shops in the entire southwest. There's half a dozen or so rock shops along Main Street. Stop in one or two and pick up a geode from Dugway, Utah, or some local trilobite fossils. If you're into rose quartz, citrine, kyanite and amethyst, you'll find plenty of that, too. And gigantic pieces of blue/turquoise glass. It's pretty. And shiny. And you'll want some. So will grandma.