Zion National Park encompasses some 150,000 acres of wild canyon country east of St. George, Utah, including the narrow, multicolored Kolob Canyons to the north and many miles of largely impenetrable mountain wilderness. However, the vast majority of visitors come only to see Zion Canyon, probably the most immediately spectacular of the many geological wonders in Utah, where sheer red and white sandstone cliffs tower up to 2,500 feet above the North Fork of the Virgin River, and gradually become closer together upstream until only 30 feet apart in places.
Here are found most of the visitor facilities, the grandest viewpoints and many hiking paths, ranging from extended backcountry trails to easy 10 minute strolls to places of interest. Zion offers probably the best, most varied hiking of all national parks, including the famous Narrows Trail along the upper stretches of the Virgin River. There are many other scenic side canyons that invite exploration.
Zion National Park has two large campgrounds, one of which remains open throughout the winter. Watchman and South Campgrounds are located just within the south entrance to the park. Overnight camping fees are collected at the self-registration station at each campground.
I-15 passes west of the Park and connects with UT-9 and 17 to the Park. US-89 passes east and connects with UT-9 to the Park. The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is a short distance from the Park's South Entrance adjacent to Springdale. The Visitor Center at the Kolob Canyons entrance is accessible from I-15, exit 40.
From Salt Lake City: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. Exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel 89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to the east park entrance.
From Las Vegas: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane. Make a right on U-9 at the second traffic light in LaVerkin. Continue on U-9 to the south entrance of the park. U-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.
RV/Coaches/Trailers/All Large Vehicles:
Drivers of large vehicles approaching Zion National Park from the east on UT-9 need to be aware of the large vehicle size restrictions.
Vehicles sized 7'10'' in width or 11'4'' in height, or larger, are required to have an ''escort'' (traffic control) through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Vehicles this size are too large to stay in their lane while traveling through the tunnel. Nearly all RV's, buses, trailers, 5th wheels, and some camper shells will require an escort.
(Note: It is possible to visit Zion with a large vehicle without going through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. To do this enter and exit through the south entrance of the park, near Springdale).