Inside: Las Vegas to Zion national park day trip: ideas and tips from our adventure.
When planning a trip to Zion, there are so many little things that you need to know. We recently went on a Las Vegas to Zion national park trip and let me tell you, it was lovely.
I learned so many things that I want to share with you.
I cover everything from the best way to get there from where to stay if you end up having more than just one day and what to do when you are in the park.
This is such a great trip for families to take as the accessibility of Zion is great at any age, so I know this is going to be a hit.
Let’s start with how to get there.
Las Vegas to Zion National Park Trip: Getting There
Most people fly through Vegas, which is what we did. Once you are there you have the option to get going right away, or you can stay the night. If you’re gonna plan to stay the night, don’t let it be an afterthought. Instead, let it actually be part of your trip and make it really awesome!
If you are just going to get on the road, it’s good to get lunch beforehand. It’s only about a 2.5-hour drive, which is filled with beautiful views. We stopped in St. George to get supplies, road trip snacks, and breakfast and lunches to take hiking with us.
You can stay in St. George but the best place to stay if you are limited on time is Springdale, which is the small town just outside Zion National Park. We stayed at the Cable Mountain Lodge, which I would 1,000,000% recommend. Springdale is a hard town to find lodging in because most hotels aren’t the best, and it’s just very, very expensive. But the Mountain Lodge is beautiful and worth every penny.
It’s right at the entrance of the park, which is awesome for time control. You can literally walk right into the park! Which means zero time wasted in the massive car line that occurs most days.
There’s even a market and a brewery at the hotel. We had a great dinner there, with a cute beer garden area.
The lodge has gorgeous views from the pools and even better views from the rooms. All in all, we had a beautiful first day in Zion and that had a lot to do with the place we stayed.
I want to mention that there were some thunderstorms while we were there which caused flash flood warnings.
So one important note I want to make:
You need to go into this trip with a flexible mindset, especially if you only have one day.
You cannot control the weather, and some hikes and activities may be closed. Don’t count on a certain thing when you come on this trip!
Las Vegas to Zion National Park Trip
Once you are in Zion, the real fun begins. We had so much fun during our trip here, but I wanted to show you the top 5 tips and ideas that you can use to make your trip one to remember.
You can squeeze these all into one quick day or two and get excited about your up & coming journey!
I am putting this first because it is my biggest tip for you. I was recommended getting these E-Bikes by a friend, and it was the best decision that my family and I could have made. It was surreal to be able to ride as a family through Zion. Not to mention, we were able to see so much more of the park than we ever would have if we were stuck walking or taking the shuttle.
There are many different E-Bike companies that you can work with, and they are super simple to get.
We spent an entire day on those bikes, it was truly magical. So if there was one thing that I want you to leave this article with, it’s that you will get an E-Bike when you go to Zion.
Along our ride, we saw so much beautiful scenery and even happened across a deer who wasn’t even too spooked about us watching her. It will go down as one of my favorite travel memories with my teens.
Eat at the Zion Brewery
If you are spending the whole day exploring the state park, you are going to need some fuel when you are done to prepare you for the next day of adventures. That fuel needs to be from the Zion Brewery!
The Zion Brewery was Utahs first ever brewery, and it’s a must if you are looking for good foods in Zion. I got a delicious shrimp salad, we sat with a wonderful view of Zion. They even had a beer garden to sit in and enjoy the enormous mountain beside you.
I highly recommend this place.
Emerald Falls was such an easy & fun hike to experience to see with my family. Luckily this was open even with the flood warning. So if it is still open when you go, it’s a must see. There are many other smaller ones in Zion as well but the Emerald Falls is one of those nature experiences that you just can’t miss.
If you are looking for something simpler and not very strenuous, going on the river walk (hike) is one thing that I recommend. The views were beautiful and it felt so nice to take it slow and spend some quality time with my family. If you love rivers then you need to check this one out and if you get lucky with great weather, take the trek onwards to the Narrows.
Hunt for Waterfalls
For this you would really benefit from getting the E-Bikes. There are many mini waterfalls throughout the park along with the larger ones. But the trick is that they are wonderfully far from any of the shuttle stops. So if you are only getting around via shuttle, you are going to be missing out on all of the cool waterfalls that are waiting to be seen!
You can even make it a game if you are going with your kids or teens to find as many waterfalls as you can. This is one of those simple experiences that make you appreciate the natural world around us.
Zion in general does that, but waterfalls are the cherry on top. 🙂
Can You Do It In A Day?
Yes, for sure… but would i? Nope! Even just staying over one night will make the trip that much better.
Reminiscing on this trip just made me want to go back. Zion is such a wonderful state park, filled with breathtaking views, adorable wildlife, beautiful rivers, and fun waiting around every corner.
To summarize, when you are planning your trip make sure to take your time getting from Vegas to Zion. Maybe even plan some extra time so you can stay the night.
Once you are in Zion you must stay at the Cable Mountain Lodge. It has the best views and is literally steps away from the park entrance.
Lastly, while you are in the state park, make sure that you rent E-Bikes as they will be a game changer, allowing you to see more of the parks while also having fun. There are many places around the area that allow rentals. Eating at the Zion Brewery is always a good time, they have the best Shrimp salad and pretty views from the beer garden.
Along with that, you should keep in mind that the weather is always changing, so if you come into this trip with a go with the flow attitude, you are sure to leave happy.