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How to Spend 3 Days in Zion National Park

How to Spend 3 Days in Zion National Park

Having three days to spend in Zion National Park is ideal. You’ll have plenty of time to see all the main sights and also venture into the less-visited Kolob Canyons and take a day trip to Bryce Canyon National Park. Here are just a few ways to make the most of your three days in Zion National Park. 

Day 1: Zion Canyon Highlights

Spend your first day in Zion ticking off the main park highlights. Get acquainted with the park’s layout and see exhibits about the park’s unique geology at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, then hop on the shuttle bus, which hits all the main roadside viewpoints. If you’re setting out on your own, make sure to stop at the Court of the Patriarchs, take the short hike to the Emerald Pools, and stop at Weeping Rock. You can also opt for a guided park tour to ensure you see all the main attractions.

If you’ve come to Zion for adventure, skip the day hikes and head straight to the trailhead for Angels Landing. Not for the faint-hearted, the hike to Angels Landing involves traversing a knife-edge ridge with chains to hold onto for safety. The ascent is harrowing, but the views from the landing are worth the climb. Make sure to do this hike first thing in the morning during the summer months; it gets hot quickly on the exposed ridge. 

Day 2: Zion’s Kolob Canyons

Use your second day in Zion to experience some of the areas of the park that are missed by visitors coming on just a day trip from Las Vegas. Kolob Canyon is a 45-minute drive from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, in the northwestern corner of the park, and offers a quieter, more subdued experience than the park’s visitor-filled main canyon. 

The highlight of a visit to Kolob Canyon is the hike to Kolob Arch, a 14-mile (22.5-mile) round-trip trek that takes you to one of the world’s largest and most impressive natural arches. If you’re looking for a shorter hike, you can enjoy the Timber Creek Overlook Trail, which leads to panoramic vistas of Kolob Canyon, or the Taylor Creek Trail, which takes hikers through a narrow box canyon to the Double Arch Alcove.

Day 3: Day Trip to Bryce Canyon

On your last day, head out of Zion National Park and make a visit to neighboring Bryce Canyon National Park, which is only an hour and a half away. Bryce Canyon’s colorful hoodoos and otherworldly rock formations give it the feel of a magical land. The views from Inspiration Point alone would make a trip worthwhile. Spend the day hiking among the hoodoo formations on the Queen’s Garden Trail, or enjoy a leisurely walk along the Rim Trail. 

To see Bryce Canyon and Zion together, you can also opt for a full-day tour from Las Vegas or book a multi-day tour that also includes the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and other sights, all on one trip.

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