The entrance fee for a private vehicle is $30 valid for 7 days. It will grant you access to Zion Park, Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyon. If you will be visiting more than one park, think about getting the National Park Pass to save on entry fees.
How to Take in the Breathtaking Scenery
Hiking trails! If your children are young toddlers or sturdy teenagers, there is a trail for your family. You can get a hiking guide from the information center. The trails are well described and identified, from easy to strenuous. All of them will allow your family to discover the beauty of this majestic park. Our favorite one was Weeping Rock Trail. We encountered many trees and plants we had never seen before, and the Weeping Rock is as impressive as it is beautiful.
Driving around. The stretch of road from the Tunnel towards the east entrance of the Park was my personal favorite. I love rocks and this road offered a magnificent display of reddish and tan-colored sandstone. Sprinkled across with dark green pine trees, the flat or swirly colored layers glowed in the afternoon sun.
Shuttle vs Taking Your Car
When the shuttle is in operation, the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to public cars. Parking fills up quickly so arrive early. The same is true when cars are allowed on the Scenic Drive: parking fills up real quick along the Drive! So choose how and when you want to visit accordingly, and respect nature wherever you park. The shuttle schedule is available online or at the information center.
Free Ranger-led Program
At the information center, a young and enthusiastic young ranger gave the kids their Junior Ranger booklets. It encourages children to walk and explore the Park and record their findings. As always, the Rangers are eager to get the children involved in learning about geology, plants, animals, human history and more. We drove our car but it was difficult, even impossible to stop at some of the Trails and we missed out on a few of them.
From the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, you can head east on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. Going through a tunnel is always fun for children, and the tunnel on this Highway is particularly long. It has “windows” pierced through the rock to let light in. The drive itself is spectacular. And don’t miss the Canyon Overlook Trail, immediately at the exit of the tunnel (when headed east). It’s easy to miss it, so mesmerized we were from the tunnel!
- It is in a desert, so make sure you have plenty of water with you. There are several bottle refilling stations.
- Stay on the trails. The sandstone is easily eroded. And again, it is a desert, and plants don’t recuperate well from being trodden over.
- Do not feed wildlife. Appreciate their beauty but keep them and your family safe by staying away.
- Pay attention to the weather. It can change quickly. From July to September, flash floods are a possible risk. If the weather looks stormy, do not enter narrow canyons.
- Always watch your children closely, particularly near water, overlooks and drop-offs.