Spend a day in Zion National Park with kids

 In USA

Drives

You cannot actually drive into Zion Canyon. You have to take one of the many shuttles that run a loop throughout the park, walk or ride your bike. This has helped alleviate congestion and also make the canyon one of the more peaceful national parks in America, or at least I think so. The shuttle is free and makes it very easy to see multiple spots in the park in just one day.

Zion-Mount Carmel Highway: There is one drive you can do that takes you east out of the park if you drive far enough—the Zion- Mount Carmel Highway (Rt. 9). This drive is definitely worth it, as you will drive through rock arches, a very impressive tunnel that was dug out by hand, and pass stunning multicolored sandstone that was around well before man probably.

Zion-National-Park

One-Day in Zion National Park with kids itinerary 

  • Enter the park as soon as it opens (8a.m.)
  • Talk to the park rangers about hiking conditions
  • Take the shuttle to the end of the line
  • Walk along the Riverside Walk (about 2 hours)
  • Take the shuttle to Weeping Rock trail
  • Hike Weeping Rock trail (about 30 minutes)
  • Take the shuttle to Zion Lodge
  • Cross the street and climb the Emerald Pools Trail
  • Lunch at Zion Lodge
  • Take the shuttle to Zion Human History Museum
  • Explore the museum before hiking the Pa’rus Trail
  • Take the shuttle back to the Visitor’s Center, buy a few trinkets
  • Hop in the car and drive the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway

NOTE: if you are heading to Bryce National Park the next day skip the Zion-Mount Carmel drive. You can do that on the way.

Go-to-Yosemite---NEW-002

Go-BACK---NEW

Zion-National-Park

Recommended Posts
Showing 11 comments
  • Terra Trekkers
    Reply

    We went to Zion/Bryce/Grand Canyon in October ’14 too! What an amazing place. I thought late Fall was a good time to go: nice weather and fewer people. We were lucky and had two days at zion: The Emerald Pools and the Riverside walk were lovely. One the second day we went the adventurous route and hiked the Narrows. It was definitely a highlight for us. Our kids are a bit younger (1 and 4) than yours though so we were able to put them in packs and hike through the gorge. The water level was pretty low for us and we saw a few kids in the 7/8/9-year-old range. We rented booties/socks/sticks and bundled the kids up in layers. It was epic. Perhaps in a few years when the children are a bit older?

    Willis Slot Canyon outside of Bryce would be my pick for a family that isn’t quite ready for the river but still wants to do a slot canyon. We also did Antelope Canyon (Page, AZ) but my son found both the canyon and the guided tour to be a bit confining. Adults will love it, though. (Provided its not flash flood season….!)

    -Sonja

  • Janet
    Reply

    Really useful post, thanks!

  • michael
    Reply

    Thank you so much for all that information , i don’t know where start but now i have and idea. I have 2 kid one is 7 and the another is 2 . Thank you.

    • Keryn Means
      Reply

      I’m so glad you found the information helpful Michael. You will have an amazing trip!

  • Sarah
    Reply

    This is a great, comprehensive guide! We took our then 3 month old to Zion last spring and I had such a tough time finding info on bringing kids (and babies!) to Zion. We especially struggled with the parking situation and didn’t realize until too late that parking in the park is extremely limited! Once that was resolved, we had a great time and our son loved looking around at everything from inside his carrier. I can’t wait to take him back when he’s older like your kiddos!

  • Sarah
    Reply

    This is a great, comprehensive guide! We took our then 3 month old to Zion last spring and I had such a tough time finding info on bringing kids (and babies!) to Zion. One article even suggested hiking Angel’s Landing! We especially struggled with the parking situation and didn’t realize until too late that parking in the park is extremely limited! Once that was resolved, we had a great time and our son loved looking around at everything from inside his carrier. I can’t wait to take him back when he’s older like your kiddos!

  • Tiffany
    Reply

    Thanks so much for this guide. I totally used it this week with our family.

    • Keryn Means
      Reply

      I’m so glad it was helpful Tiffany! We can’t wait to go back and explore more. Did you have a favorite hike?

  • Allison
    Reply

    Great overview of Zion National Park! I’ve visited this park many times and you’ve covered Zion Canyon well. There are other sections of Zion National Park, but Zion Canyon is the most visited. I just checked the entrance fee this week, and it has gone up to $30.

  • Craig
    Reply

    Followed in your footsteps today , itinerary perfect , 3 kids 6,9,11 all made it through , even added the upper pools . Thanks

    • Keryn Means
      Reply

      Ah! I’m so excited for you! I bet the pools were magical and a lot more full than when we saw them during the dry season. Glad you had fun!

Leave a Comment

5K Shares
Pin1K
Share124
Tweet
+12
Stumble3K
Flip
Petrified-Forest