Zion National Park is filled with breathtaking natural wonders.
Just over two hours from Las Vegas, the beautiful natural wonders of Zion National Park are perfect for a short day of sightseeing. I enjoyed it for the breathtaking geological formations, the unique plant and animal life, the many lovely photo opportunities, and the interesting and informative presentations by the park rangers. If your tastes run towards more adventuresome activities, Zion National Park has legendary hiking and climbing challenges.
The best way to explore Zion's deserts? By water, of course!
While you can explore the area by car, shuttle, hiking, recreational vehicles, bikes, even mules and donkey, I highly recommend exploring by inner tube! Just outside the gates of Zion National Park is a host of outdoor activities from various outfitters but my absolute favourite is inner tube rides down the Virgin River by the Zion Adventure Company. For $15-$17 you can rent a comfortable, high quality inner tube and spend several hours happily bobbing down the river. The scenery is spectacular and the tubing is great fun - plenty of calm patches with the occasional fast move section and rocky rapids. And the best part is that they pick you up down river and bring you back home on the shuttle. Tubing down the Virgin River counts as one of my all time most fun travel experiences.
Zion National Park transportation and accomodations
Zion National Park is mainly automobile free and has a complimentary and convenient shuttle bus. The shuttle system also extends throughout the tiny village of Springdale, which sits right outside the park gate. If you choose to stay outside of central Springdale, there are plenty of places within the village center to park your car and join the shuttle system.
We stayed at the clean, charming, and comfortable Dream Catcher Inn, one mile from Springdale. The innkeepers were friendly and helpful and the homemade breakfast was delicious. By choosing their "Fall" room (without the ensuite bathroom), we paid only $65 a night. Had we instead selected a B&B in the heart of Springdale, with an ensuite bathroom, we likely would have paid $140 or more. Sometimes, it's worth a few tiny compromises to achieve big savings!
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. Have you traveled throughout the American Southwest before? What was your favourite spot?
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