Zion National Park

Zion National Park has beautiful mountain and canyon scenery and a couple of unique hikes. The little town of Springdale outside the park entrance makes a pleasant base to explore.

Day 0: Home to Romulus

We drove down to Romulus for the night since we have an early flight. Doing the park-sleep-fly thing. We had a pie-style pizza at Leonardo’s across the road, plus some craft beer with and after dinner.

Day 1 Las Vegas to Zion National Park (Springdale)

We were up at 5:00 to get the car parked, get breakfast, and get the shuttle to the airport. We got through security quickly. One thing we did forget is that one of the wheels on our big suitcase is bad, making it roll awkwardly. We brought it because we’re “motel camping” on this trip. We plan to source breakfast and lunch from grocery stores and eat dinner out, so we brought a cooler, which actually fits in our suitcase, along with hiking poles and our Nalgene water bottles, because we have a lot of hiking planned. The Virgin Gorge in the corner of Arizona is really cool.

We picked up our rental car in Las Vegas and headed out of town. We’ll be spending a couple of days here in Vegas at the end of the trip and will see it then. They have In-n-Out burgers here so we stopped there for lunch. Then we stopped again for liquor at Lee’s Discount Liquor, which is huge. Then we hit Albertson’s for groceries. We want to stock up because our first two stops are kind of in the middle of nowhere, except for the national parks, and we aren’t sure about liquor purchases in Utah.

We arrived at our B&B about 6:00. We dropped off our stuff and at our host’s suggestion drove up to Zion National Park, parked, and took the shuttle in and out. We saw lots of wildlife, especially deer. The shuttles work well and reduce the need for parking which is really limited inside the park. We had fun finding the car in the dark!

Virgin River
You can access the Virgin River from many places in the park.

We had dinner at Oscar’s then came back and had Green Flash West Coast IPA while following Michigan State football on the radio and online.

We did 2.97 miles today.

Day 2: Angel's Landing Hike

We slept until 7:30 then had a great breakfast. Breakfast here is served at a common table. It was fun interacting with the other guests. Especially when you’re sitting with an Oregon fan and you just beat them yesterday in football! We had mango oatmeal bake to start, then eggs cooked in rosemary bread with red and green salsa. Toad in the hole on steroids. With orange juice and coffee. Then we took the town shuttle and the park shuttle into Zion to Angel’s Landing.

dining table
The breakfast table, home to convivial conversation and great food!

We had a rest and a snack and then did Lower Emerald Pools rather than the Narrows as planned. It started raining so we backtracked. Which was a good choice because the other trail was closed.

We had beer and dinner at Zion Canyon Brew Pub. The original plan was to just have a beer and eat later elsewhere, but (at least at the time) you had to order food with your alcohol so we decided to just go ahead and eat there. Then we came home for a shower and a Big Sky IPA (meh) and Anderson Valley Oameal Stout. 

We did 7.94 miles today.

road in Zion
The roads in Zion are red.

Day 3: The Narrows and Canyon Overlook Hikes

Breakfast today was pecan waffles, bacon, watermelon, and grapes. Our host was telling us their chickens need aprons to protect them from the rooster. One of the other guests said she needed one. Her husband got a toast from the guys. We were visited by the potbelly pig and dogs.

We started with the Riverside Walk and the Narrows. It rained off and on all day. We stopped at the Court of the Patriarchs then did the Pa’rus trail. We’d planned on taking it all the way to the visitor’s center but it started raining so we stopped at the museum. We saw a long-legged bird and a beetle and got great views of the Watchman.

We had a sandwich and cookie back home, then did the Canyon Overlook trail. A storm came up while we were up there. We’d just jumped in the car when it started hailing.

Crazy foreign drivers were backing around in the parking lot and turning motorhomes around on narrow mountain roads. The storm runoff left large rocks and sediment on the roads, plus temporary waterfalls.

Back at the B&B, we had a couple of beers then dinner at the Spotted Dog Cafe. We started out outdoors but the rain chased us inside to finish our excellent meal. Then home for another beer. 

We did 6.4 miles on our last day at Zion.

view from window
The view from our window, on the second morning.


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We had the Emerald Pools room, located on the main floor. It isn’t in the menu on the website, but is listed as an option when you check availability. It doesn’t have the private outdoor seating area that the other rooms have, and includes space in the shared refrigerator rather than a personal refrigerator, but it also costs less. The room was very comfortable and included a walk-in closet, handy for storing luggage. Breakfast every morning was different and delicious, and enough to keep us going through lunch! Liz and Larry are great hosts, with tips and recommendations on the area. The bed and breakfast is easy walking distance to the town shuttle and to at least two restaurants. We highly recommend it!


Springdale had enough options that we didn’t get bored.

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We ate dinner here our first night in Springdale, after a long day of travel to get there. We sat on the patio, which was very pleasant. Both of us had Polygamy Porter and a chili verde entree: enchilada for me, burrito for him. Both were really good, and there was a lot of it. Couldn't finish mine, which is unusual. Service was prompt and friendly.
Zion Canyon Brew Pub
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It's conveniently located just as you exit the park. After a long day of hiking, having skipped lunch because the breakfast at our BnB was so plentiful, we decided on an early dinner and beer here. We had the drunken brat and the meatloaf burger. Both were tasty, as was the beer. It seemed whatever staff was walking by would take an order, clear plates, etc. While confusing, it was efficient.
Spotted Dog Cafe
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Our host recommended this restaurant as a bit more upscale - "better wine list." Certainly not fussy though. We had the smoked trout appetizer, pear and ricotta pasta and gourmet game meatloaf. We finished up with cheesecake and chocolate cake. Food and service were excellent. They also had a nice beer selection.


We had a rental car and used the convenient shuttles in the park and in town to get around.