Three Days in Zion National Park

A couple months ago I went to Zion National Park, a long awaited dream of mine. This park is situated in a valley, and the walls are something out of a native American dream. An array of colors spill from the walls, pouring over like a ginormous canvas. Reds, orange deep dark browns and reds plaster the canyon. We kept saying that we felt like we were on another planet like Mars.  Even though there were cars in front of us and behind us, it still felt like we were discovering whole new land that no one had set foot on. 

I traveled there with two of my dear friends as a way to scout out the best locations, hikes, all the juicy details for a Rooted Retreat in summer of 2018. Needless to say, I know it's going to be en epic experience next summer. 

I hope this article gives you some useful tips and inspiration for this magical place! 

OUR ITINERARY

DAY 1: Drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park, check in camp ground( 2.5 hours from airport) do short hike to the Emerald Pool. 

You an also drive from Salt Lake City but it's a much farther drive from there. Coming from Las Vegas you will go through Springdale and then head through the main entrance of the park. Right after the main entrance you will find the first and biggest developed campground. We decided to drive through the park and camp at Ponderosa Ranch campground because it has secret access to one of the most incredible views of the park. It's located on the Northeastern side of the park. If you are planning on doing Kolob Canyon, this would be an excellent park to stay in! 

From your drive from the main entrance in Springdale to this campground you will be greeted with the most incredible landscape. Truly, I kept saying to the other women with me, I feel like I'm on Mars! A lot of people camping in the main area of the park may not be able to see these sites if they don't purposefully go in their own car. The shuttle system does not go here! 

                                                    View of landscape from Main entrance to Ponderosa Campground 

                                                   View of landscape from Main entrance to Ponderosa Campground 

IMG_6753-12.jpg
 View from Emerald Pool . This hike has several routes, with no more than 3 miles round trip for any chosen path. There is only a little elevation gain so this one is good for the whole family. 

View from Emerald Pool . This hike has several routes, with no more than 3 miles round trip for any chosen path. There is only a little elevation gain so this one is good for the whole family. 

Day 2: The Narrows!

Plan for a minimum of a half day here. This experience can easily be turned into a full day adventure and if you are really feeling adventurous, you can do an overnight trip here. It's really important that you stay up to date on the levels of water throughout the Narrows. Since there are different parts of hiking the narrows, the park system errs on the side of caution, as they should, when reporting the water levels. Even when we were there in the summer when generally the levels are lowest, there was still a high water advisory. That being said, we had zero problem hiking a good portion of the water. Just be very cognizant as you go deeper in where the crowds start to dissapear. 

narrows .png
                                        I always tell her she's giving me a heart attack when she does handstands everywhere. 

                                       I always tell her she's giving me a heart attack when she does handstands everywhere. 

Day 3: Angels Landing and Observation Point ( About 7 hours in total hiking, it was a long day but very well worth it!) 

Angels landing is one of the harder hikes in the park with steep hiking and very little shade. Plan for about 3-4 hours round trip depending on how long you stop at the top to take in the incredible views. 

Observation Landing can be accessed very easily from Ponderosa Ranch. That's one of the perks of staying there! And honestly, I can't even begin to tell you how incredible the views are. Out of this world. You will actually be above Angels Landing from this viewpoint. 

 

                                                                                               Angel's Landing 

                                                                                              Angel's Landing 

                                                                                              Observation Point 

                                                                                             Observation Point 

RECAP AND OTHER USEFUL TIPS:

  • In three days we did a total of five hikes within Zion National Park 
  • Highly reccommend using the shuttle system and driving through the park
  • If your going in the summer, make sure to do the hardest hikes in the morning
  • Try to get to the narrows right when it opens in the morning so you can miss the crowds
  • Be sure to hike to observation point 

Thanks for following along and be sure to subscribe! You can also check out our hiking calendar to see all of our upcoming retreats! If you have more questions about Zion, hiking or backpacking, please comment below or shoot me an email! 

Stay wild, 

Cristina