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24 Hours In Zion National Park

Zion National Park has enough to see and do to keep travelers busy for days, even weeks but not everyone has that much time to spend so I invited a recent new friend Jen to share her 24 hour itinerary in Zion. If you are planning a quick trip to Zion with your family, this itinerary is sure to help you pack in the perfect amount of adventure, fun, and to a crackling fire. Read below for Jen's tips and itinerary for spending 24 hours in Zion.

Zion is breathtaking! Living on the east coast, the landscape in Zion is unique and unfamiliar. It was an incredible opportunity for our family to explore and connect with nature. We loved climbing, playing in the Virgin River, and hiking to the Emerald Pools. For the kids, Zion was almost unexpected! From the moment we arrived the kids were in awe of the red rocks towering above them! They loved the opportunity to scale rocks, spotting squirrels and bighorn sheep in the park, going to the ranger talks, and earning park badges as part of the junior ranger program.


March 29-30th we stayed at the Springhill Suites in Springdale for our 2-day visit in Zion National Park. The hotel is new and beautifully decorated in earth tones. It is also conveniently located 5 minutes from the entrance to Zion. It was the perfect spot for our family of six. The room we stayed in had 2 queen size beds and a pullout sofa and spectacular mountain views. The hotel has a pool, hot tub and fire pit for guests to enjoy. The stay also includes breakfast with lots of choices. The staff at the hotel were both friendly and helpful. We loved this hotel and would not hesitate to stay here again. The only negative (if any) is that it is not in the national park which would offer a unique and different experience.


When we arrived in Zion, the first thing we did was visit the visitors center. The kids wanted to get their National Park Passport books stamped and purchase a park sticker for their books. We then spoke to a park ranger about possible hikes for our visit. We were using the travel book, Adventuring with Kids: Utah's Big Five National Parks. This book was an awesome resource. Our plan was to hike the Watchman, Emerald Pools, Riverside Walk, and Canyon Overlook during our 2-day visit.

After talking with the ranger, we set out on the Watchman. Unfortunately, we had not allocated enough time and were unable to complete the entire hike as we were meeting Arika with Zion Adventure Photog that night at 6:00 for pictures. However, it was a great hike to begin our visit to Zion. We started the hike around 4:30 which was a great time of day because much of the hike was unshaded. The kids loved seeing a lizard, lots of wildflowers, a rock in the shape of a recliner, mule deer, and beautiful vistas with every turn.

RELATED - Hiking Watchman Trail - Zion National Park

After this hike, we met Arika and hopped on the park shuttle to the Court of the Patriarchs shuttle stop. This was a gorgeous setting for pictures just before sunset. Arika was amazing to work with and allowed all of us to be ourselves. She captured so many great pictures of all of us. It was a fun addition to our trip and definitely one of the best decisions we made. After pictures, we headed to the little town of Springdale for dinner. We decided on