Plan Your Trip
Click on each category below, and you will find helpful information for planning your trip to Zion vacation. These tidbits might help you save some money and added stress that comes along with planning a trip. Feel free to contact us for any questions you have about your upcoming trip with us.
You will meet your guide at 9 MT, unless otherwise specified during the booking process.
If you are looking to Climb, Canyoneer, Mountain Bike, Hike, and/or Ice Climb in and around Zion National Park, and are wondering about cliff closures, road access and more please go to Zion NP Current Conditions.
- Las Vegas to Zion: 2.5 hours
- Salt Lake to Zion: 4 hours
- Bryce to Zion: 2.5 hours
- Grand Canyon to Zion: 5 hours
- St. George to Zion: 45 minutes
WHAT TO BRING
ZMS will provide all technical equipment. Clients will be responsible for:
- Food: Lunch & Snacks
- Water: 2-3 Liters
- Synthetic Clothing: Suitable for the season
- Personal Equipment: Any personal technical equipment, which will be inspected by your instructor
- Pen & Paper
Half Day Trips
- Food: Snacks for all
- Water: 1 Liter per person
- Synthetic Clothing: suitable for the particular season
Full Day Trips
- Food- Lunch & Snacks
- Water: 2-3 Liters per person
- Synthetic Clothing: suitable for the particular season
WHERE TO MEET
ZION NATIONAL PARK INFO
Zion is a great place to visit year round, and has many recreation options while you are here. Here are some things we recommend.
The Zion Narrows is one of the most spectacular hikes in America. The Narrows is a river hike through the largest slot canyon in the world. The Narrows can be hiked year-round, but is most enjoyable May thru November. There are two ways to enjoy this hike and both options are suited for hikers of all abilities. The most popular way is to hike in from the bottom, from the Temple of Sinewava trailhead. This is a great option because it does not require a permit, keeps you cool during the summer, and does not require a special shuttle to the trailhead. The other option is to begin at the top and hike 16 miles downstream to the Temple of Sinewava. This is often done as an overnight trip or a very long day-hike, and a permit is necessary for both. The Zion National Park website has great information for planning this hike.
For general Zion Backcountry information including hiking, canyoneering, and rock climbing visit the Zion Backcountry page.
We recommend Red Rock Shuttles for all your Zion trailhead shuttle needs.
For a local weather forecast we recomend using the National Weather Service website.
To view current river levels in the Virgin River visit the USGS website.
Visit this National Weather Service page for current Utah flash flood forecasting.
A great resource and guide for canyoneering in Utah is the Canyoneering USA website created by Tom Jones.
For high quality canyoneering equipment we use and recommend Imlay Canyon Gear.
Another great canyoneering resource, zioncanyoneering.com has lots of good information.
For Zion National Park backcountry permit reservations, including canyoneering and narrows hiking. visit the permit reservation page.
For a comprehensive list and description of hikes in Zion and the area visit the Joe’s Guide to Zion website.
For those interested in rockclimbing in the park we highly recomend Brian Bird’s book Zion Climbing: Free and Clean, published by Supertopo.
For bike rentals and Zion biking information visit our friends at Zion Cycles.
For hiking shoes clothing, and equipment visit Zion Outdoor.
For backcountry skiing and Yurt rentals we have gladly partnered with Tushar Mountain Tours.
LODGING & FOOD
The town of Sprindgale, Utah is the gateway to Zion National Park and has the best lodging and dining options for those visiting the area. The lodging options include hotels, bed and breakfast’s, RV parks, and camping. For a directory of local lodging options please visit the Zion Canyon Visitor’s Bureau For those seeking more lodging options in the regions the St George Chamber of Commercehas many great resources.
Several options exists for visitors wanting to camp during their visit. Zion National Park has several wonderful campgrounds, for more information visit the Zion National Park Website In additon to the campgrounds in the park the Quality Inn R.V. Parkhas RV and tent sites available. For those seeking more primitive camping options the BLM land surrounding Zion has many areas where one can camp for free.
The town of Springdale has many great dining options. For a complete listing of local restuarants, please visit the Zion Canyon Visitors Bureau. Some of our favorite local spots are The Bit and Spur, Ocsars Cafe, Cafe Soleil, Whiptail Grill, The Mean Bean Coffee House, The Spotted Dog Cafe, and Zion Pizza and Noodle. If your are loooking for something cold on a hot day check out Orange Star for frozen yogurt and smoothies. Sol Foods Market is our local grocery store, centrally located in Springdale.
Those wishing to purchase Beer, Wine, or Liquor can do so at The Switchback Liquor Store. Utah grocery stores do sell 3.2% beer, but all liquor, wine, and “real” beer purchases must be done at the Switchback Liquor Store.
There are several easy and efficient options for getting to and from the Zion area. One option even allows you to save money and forgo on renting a car, a feature that is truly unique to Zion.
The McCarran International Airport, located in Las Vegas which is 2.5 hours away, is our regional transportation hub and the closest international airport. The city of St George, located 1 hour away, has a smaller regional airport.
For those visiting the multiple parks in the Zion area; Bryce Canyon, Escalante, Lake Powell, or the Grand Canyon, a rental car will be a necessity. Las Vegas usually has the most availability and best deals on rental vehicles.
For those solely visiting Zion, a rental car is not necessary. The St. George Shuttle Express offers a natural gas shuttle services from the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas to the town of Springdale, the gateway to Zion National Park. These eco-friendly natural gas shuttles are a cheap, clean, and efficient way to get to Zion.
Once in Springdale, with a rental car or not, visitors are encouraged to use both the FREE town and park shuttle system. These shuttles run March thru October and were started to alleviate the traffic and congestion problems in the park. They pickup at convenient town locations, close to all hotels and restuarants, and drop visitors off at the park entrance. Once in the park, visitors use the free park shuttle which runs up and down the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. March through October, all visitors must use this shuttle bus if they want to visit the main canyon. For more information on the town and park shuttle system please visit Zion National Park.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Unless arrangements are made, payments are due in full at the time you book your trip. Zion Mountain School does everything in their power to ensure trips run as planned. If for any reason Zion Mountain School cannot run a trip as scheduled, we will offer a full refund or reschedule your planned event.
If you need to cancel your trip more than 30 days out, Zion Mountain School offers a full refund minus a 10% administrative fee. Once within the 30 day window, but more than 48 hours before the trip, Zion Mountain School will refund 75% of the trip cost. The remaining 25% can be used as credit for future trips with ZMS. This credit is valid for two years. Non-emergency cancellations less than 48 hours of your trip, are non-refundable.
Zion Mountain School strongly recommends Trip Cancellation Insurance to protect your vacation investment. This insurance not only protects your ZMS trip, but also other aspects of you vacation like airfare, hotels, tours, and rentals. We recommend Travel Guard for inexpensive yet comprehensive trip insurance plans.
Here are 10 Reasons to purchase Trip Insurance.