1. GET AN EARLY START. Yes, we know you’re on vacation, but starting early helps beat the crowds and the heat.
2. GO TO THE ZION CANYON VISITOR CENTER AREA. Take a peek inside to gather current park info and trail conditions.
3. BOARD THE FREE SHUTTLE TRAM UP THE CANYON. If you are hiking, then take the designated stop for whatever hike you’ve selected. If you are just sight-seeing, then get acquainted with the canyon beforehand by reading our guide to Zion Canyon on pages 67-68. There is also a free audio narration on the shuttle.
4. GO HIKE — after all, that’s is what Zion is most famous for! There are numerous hikes to choose from in Zion Canyon. Please see our hiking guide on page 49.
If you want an easy hike, then do the paved 1-mile Riverside Walk — it starts at stop #9 (The Temple of Sinawava). If you are hiking the Narrows, this is also your stop.
If you want to hike something more challenging, then get off at the Grotto (stop #6) and hike either Angel’s Landing or the West Rim trail (bottom up route). If you want a moderate hike, do the Upper Emerald Pool trail hike via Kayenta Trail (also stop #6 The Grotto).
5. AFTER YOUR HIKE, consider visiting the shops and galleries in Springdale (see page 93).
6. YOU’VE WORKED UP AN APPETITE — go grab some food in town. See our restaurant guide (pg. 94) for our recommendations.