Zion National Park - Weekend Itinerary
Updated: Sep 30, 2022
Zion National Park is one of the most popular national parks to visit, and for good reason. It's very accessible, has a ton of great hikes, and has infrastructure via the shuttle system to allow a lot of visitors to see inside the park.
This summer I returned to Zion after a few years away because I wanted to complete a bucket list hike: The Narrows. After spending an amazing weekend in Zion, I wanted to be able to share my itinerary with you for planning your next trip there.
As an initial matter, you'll want to check the weather before you go, especially if you're planning to do hikes like the Narrows or the Subway as there is a high risk of flash flooding. Monsoon season in Utah is in the summer, so you'll want to keep an eye on the weather.
For the trip, we actually stayed west of the park in Hurricane. Since we were traveling with the dogs, we wanted to make sure to find a Airbnb that allowed pets. We chose not to camp, because it was pretty hot outside and because the weather had been iffy and we didn't want to risk any sort of flooding at the campground. I actually really liked staying in Hurricane, it had a very relaxed vibe and some great food places. I think I'll probably stay there for any of my future trips to Zion, because it's really easy to get to the park, but I really like the quiet pace in Hurricane.
For our first day in the park, we woke up super early to hike the Narrows. We got the first shuttle in and were one of the first people on the trail! Since it had rained that week, the water was murky, but I don't think it detracted from the experience at all. In fact, I actually liked that the water was deeper because it made the experience pretty cool.
One thing that's really cool about the Narrows is you can hike as far as you'd like. You can choose to hike a mile in and enjoy the views, or you can go decently far back into the canyon. We went all the way back to Big Springs, which is the farthest you can go without a permit as a day hike. The total hike was 9 miles. A lot of people go to what is called Wall Street, which is where the canyon really narrows and has these huge towering walls. That's a good spot to stop and turn around as well.
Attire wise, I wore my DarnTough socks and my Solomon water shoes. I wore some shorts and a t-shirt from REI and brought my Black Diamond trekking poles with me. To be honest, I was totally fine with my socks and my water shoes, and I think if you already own good socks and water shoes there's no need to spend the money to rent shoes. The water was not cold in the summer and it was actually pretty refreshing so I think neoprene or waterproof on your feet may be overkill.
After completing the hike, we went into Springdale to grab some much deserved food. We ate at the Bit and Spur Restaurant and Saloon, and let me tell you we were not disappointed. I highly recommend if you're super hungry after a hike to stop there and grab some grub.
After dinner we headed back to Hurricane to get some rest for a day two.
We woke up early and headed back to the park for a sunrise hike at the Canyon Overlook Trail. This hike is super popular, and there's not a lot of parking so I really recommend getting there early. Also, you have to deal with the one lane tunnels on the road to get here, so you'll want to account for that as well.
After hiking Canyon Overlook, we spent a little bit of time just enjoying the park and the scenic drive through the park. While we would've loved to spend the whole day exploring, we knew we needed to make it back to the western side of the park for our next adventure. We had booked Canyoneering near the Kolob Canyon area of the park.
The Kolob Canyons truly are a unique area of Zion National Park. With soaring peaks of Navajo sandstone, canyon streams and cascading falls, and over 20 miles of hiking trails, they're a lot less visited than the main area of the park but so worth it!
We met up with Zion Amazing Adventures for a guided canyoneering trip. Now, the forecast did have rain, so I really want to emphasize that our guide had made sure to bring us to an area that was at zero risk for flash floods. Most canyons around and in Zion, and near Southern Utah in general, are a huge flash flood risk. So, if you're not experienced with the area I highly recommend going with a guide.
Our trip was at the Lambs Knoll climbing site. It was an awesome place to learn canyoneering, and I would not hesitate to recommend this activity. It did rain on us during the trip, which actually made it a lot more fun and cooled us off since it was super hot.
After our canyoneering adventure, we went and enjoyed the sunset and drove back to Hurricane. We did stop for some awesome Sno Cones at Fizzy Bees Cafe in La Verkin on the way back. Super refreshing!
All in all it was an amazing trip to Zion, and I think that this itinerary is perfect for a weekend getaway. I know this summer heat and monsoons do scare a lot of people, but because we were willing to brave the heat and deal with some murky water, it definitely wasn't as crowded as I've seen the park on previous trips.
Below I will link the gear that I took and used on the trip and, as always if you have questions just drop them below in a comment or shoot me an email or a message on Instagram. Happy trails and I hope you enjoy all of your hiking adventures.
Socks used for the Narrows: Darn Tough Women's Merino Wool Sock
Water Shoes used for Narrows: Salomon Crossamphibian Water Shoe
Narrows Backpack: Women's Osprey Sirrus
T-shirt worn for Narrows Hike: REI Sahara T-shirt
Shorts worn for Narrows: Vuori Clementine Shorts
Sandals pictured in Overlook Hike Photo: Merrell Women's Breakwater Strap in Black
Let me know if there's any other gear you'd like linked! Take care!