Zion National Park: Awe at Every Turn

A national park can be measured by its ability to take away your breath … and Zion National Park is apt to give that breathless feeling more often than just about any other park. From the towering views of Angels Landing to the granddaddy of slot canyons, the Narrows, Zion delivers one awe-inspiring vista after another whether you’re on your first visit or your hundredth.

Brilliant colors. Diverse settings.

Situated in southern Utah, Zion National Park offers 229 square miles of vibrant color, unbeatable adventure and pure escape. Zion is located right in the middle of a geographical region called the grand staircase. It’s a region that descends from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon. Uplift, tilting and erosion have shaped the distinctive cliffs and canyon walls of Zion.

The gleaming red rocks of Zion canyon are the product of more than 200 million years of force upon layers of sandstone by winds, ice and Utah’s Virgin River. The resulting red cliffs, polished canyon walls and stone-capped peaks make Zion the most popular of the five incredible national parks within the state of Utah.

Zion’s Must-See Points

The Narrows

It’s time to pull on your river shoes and head out for one of the most acclaimed hikes offered by any park. With walls towering a thousand feet over a river bed that gets as narrow as 20 feet, the Narrows is one of the world’s greatest slot canyons. And about those river shoes we mentioned …this is the trail they were made for. That’s because the Narrows Trail is the bed of the Virgin River itself. You can choose to explore the narrows via an up-and-back hike from the Temple of Sinawava—a massive amphitheater at the mouth of the canyon—or via a permit-only 16-mile trek to or from Chamberlains Ranch. The Under Canvas team is glad to help you get on the right path, whichever you choose.

Angels Landing

When some determined person has put in the effort to forge a trail over and through 2.5 miles of stone, you assume there’s something special waiting at the end of that trail. And the five-mile, up-and-back of Angels Landing definitely does not disappoint. Angels Landing offers the ultimate Zion Canyon vista. Follow the Civilian Conservation Corps-engineered path to the top of the peak, 1,400 feet above the canyon floor. While you’ll be below the height of the surrounding mountaintops, this fin-shaped precipice is positioned to offer an ideal view of the gleaming Zion Canyon below.

The Great White Throne

Towering more than 2,300 feet over the canyon floor, the Great White Throne stands out clearly from the surrounding mountains and skyline. It’s an entire peak of white Navajo Sandstone unlike virtually any other you’ll see … especially in afternoon sunlight. This peak is a temptation for climbers and has been summited since 1967. However, if there’s been a recent rain it’s best to pick another peak to climb because the sandstone of the Great White Throne becomes as unstable as—what else?—a crumbling kingdom.

Emerald Pools Trail

While less than 3 miles long, this hike quickly transports visitors from the busy park center to a remote desert oasis. The trail connects three primary sets of pools. Surrounded by lush vegetation, the lower pools are fed by waterfalls from the cliffs above. The middle pools, atop the cliffs, feed the lower waterfalls. The upper pool, farther along a sandy trail, nestles below waterfalls streaming down 300-foot cliffs. The hike is family-friendly, but please be careful to watch out for your children near the cliff edges.

Kolob Canyons

For those seeking a more remote wilderness experience, the Kolob Canyons area in the northwest corner of the park may be ideal. With cliff walls 2,000 feet high, the Canyons here feel blocked off from the entire world. And hiking trail limitations on groups of more than 12 help keep it that way.

Insider Tips

The main trails at Zion are incredible, but this park offers numerous hidden gems off the beaten path. Small slot canyons, like Keyhole Canyon, barely show up on a map but offer incredible subterranean adventures for those who are technically adept. Spots like Mystery Canyon are accessible only by rappelling in and permits are allowed for only 12 visitors at any given time. Talk to the team at Under Canvas ahead of your visit, and we’ll help customize the perfect trip for your skills and desires.

Under Canvas Zion experiences

As a leader in glamping across the U.S., Under Canvas brings rich experience to your Zion National Park vacation. Your upscale tent accommodations are set in the gorgeous southwestern landscape blending unsurpassed comfort with pure natural beauty. Our staff sees to your every need and provides expert guidance to help you get the most of your time at Zion. Whether traveling with kids or a team of hard-core climbers, Under Canvas provides all you could ask of Zion National Park … and most of it before you even think to ask.

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