Zion National Park is one of the most popular national parks in our country, and now we can see why. The beauty surrounding us cleared our minds and filled our souls. Coming back from a long weekend here, we wanted to share our recommended itinerary is when planning a visit to southwest Utah.
We highly recommend staying at the Inn at Entrada while visiting Southwest Utah. There are two main cities people stay in when visiting the park, St. George or Springdale. Springdale is closer to the park, but very touristy and crowds are likely. St. George is less than an hour’s drive and is filled with restaurants, shops and stunning views, which is where we stayed.
Tucked in the outskirts of St. George is The Inn at Entrada. This luxury resort in the desert is simply a dream. (And if you are a golfer– Entrada is listed on CNN’s 19 epic golf courses to play before you die!).
Once you settle in, drive up to Zion National Park for your first hike! We hiked an easy mile up to a viewpoint of the Kolob Canyons and enjoyed some time together while watching the most beautiful sunset. We only saw two other people the whole time we were here! Highly recommended.
We were thankful for the full kitchen at The Inn at Entrada to have coffee in the mornings, a whirlpool tub to ease our sore muscles and a single car garage to make it easy packing up the car for a day of hiking.
We suggest wake up early if you are interested in hiking one of the most popular, challenging hikes Zion has to offer, Angels Landing. We left The Inn at Entrada around 5:30 a.m. and headed back out to the park.
Angels Landing is about two and a half miles to the viewpoint, and is as steep as steep gets. Our legs were burning but the views were phenomenal the whole way up. The last half mile of this hike is a steep, narrow stretch of mountain that drops down 800-1,000 feet on either side of you. Chains are available to assist hikers, but the issue lies in the crowds. We had to stop hiking right before the final ascend to the peak because the crowds on the last section caused dangerous conditions on the mountain and almost impossible to get through. Thankfully the views were still worth it but be prepared for the crowds.
After Angels Landing, if you are still up for another hike, take the shuttle up to the River Walk Hike at the far end of Zion Canyon. This is a two mile round trip hike that leads right into the start of The Narrows (another popular, challenging hike). To hike The Narrows you will need walking sticks and waterproof shoes and backpack. We did not have walking sticks on us so we headed back down The River Walk after taking in the views of The Narrows. Be prepared for more crazy crowds in The Narrows as well.
Hiking in Zion is rewarding but exhausting. It’s important to us to have somewhere comfortable to come home to each day to really feel like we are on vacation and can fully rest for the next day of hiking. Each afternoon we showered, napped, poured ourselves a drink, soaked in the pool or hot tub and ate delicious food at The Grille at Entrada.
Waking up from a well rested sleep at The Inn at Entrada, you’ll be ready for another long morning hike. We recommend going back up to the Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park to hike the Timber Creek Trail. This is a five mile hike in a more remote section of the park. Many stream crossings are involved and the hike ends with the stunning double arch section. We only saw a handful of other people the whole time we were here!
Once you finish your hike, head back through the Zion Canyon entrance and take the scenic drive down Route 9. This is one of the (if not THE) most beautiful drive we’ve ever taken. Drive all the way down to the end of the park while you rest from your morning hike, then hike the Canyon Overlook Trail on your way back towards the visitor center. This hike is nice and short and has the best view of Zion Canyon. There are no words to describe this view, you’ll just have to see it in person!
Once finished with your hikes for the day, treat yourself with some pool time. Staying at The Inn at Entrada you will receive access to a beautiful outdoor pool, an indoor lap pool, a spa, fitness center (with an insane view), tennis courts and more. We certainly took the time to spoil ourselves during our stay.
We truly cannot recommend staying at the Inn at Entrada while visiting Zion enough. Treat yourself… you deserve it!
Please let us know if you have any questions about visiting Southwest Utah or want to share your favorite things to do near Zion.
Thanks for reading,
Emilie & Chris
***This post is sponsored by The Inn at Entrada but all opinions are our own***