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Zion National Park

Zion National Park - BEST Places to Picnic

Springdale, Utah 84767

Park Headquarters
(435) 772-3256
Backcountry Information
(435) 772-0170

Explore Utah's First National Park!

Massive canyon walls ascend toward a brilliant blue sky. To experience Zion, you need to walk among the towering cliffs, or challenge your courage in a small narrow canyon. These unique sandstone cliffs range in color from cream, to pink, to red. They could be described as sand castles crowning desert canyons.

Zion National Park - A Century of Sanctuary

By 1909, Zion Canyon was practically inaccessible to outside visitors; and while only a few had laid eyes on the towering cliffs, the country still understood its significance and established Mukuntuweap National Monument. In 2009, National Park Service will celebrate the Nation's commitment to preservation and protection of the natural and cultural resources and providing visitor enjoyment in Zion National Park over the past 100 years.

Nature & Science

Zion's unique geographic location and variety of life zones combine to create a variety of habitats for a surprising array of plant and animal species. Located on the Colorado Plateau, but bordering the Great Basin and Mojave Desert Provinces, Zion is home to plants from each region.

History & Culture

Evidence of Ancestrial Puebloans, known as the Anasazi, date from 2,000 years ago; Paiutes from about 800 years ago to present. Mormon settlers arrived in the 1860s. Park visitation in 1920 was 3,692; in 1996 it reached 2.5 million.

Things to Do

  • Hiking
    Zion offers many trails ranging from short "leg-stretcher" walks to strenuous adventures. more...
  • Wildflowers & Fall Colors
    A variety of life zones and habitats makes Zion an excellent location for wildflower walks in spring and brilliant leaf color in autumn.
  • Photography
    Zion offers the photographer many opportunities to explore color, texture, and light.
  • Backcountry Hiking and Camping
    The immense backcountry of Zion offers unmatched opportunities for prepared hikers.
  • Birdwatching
    Zion is home to 271 species of birds. Bird checklists are available at the visitor centers.
  • Bicycling
    The Pa'rus Trail offers a paved, car-free alternative for bicyclists to connect with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Shuttle buses are equipped with bike racks.
  • Horseback Riding
    Canyon Trail Rides offers one hour and half day horseback rides in Zion Canyon. Most people who ride the trails in Zion have never been on horseback before! For more information visit
  • Ranger-led activities
    Join a Park Ranger to learn more about Zion National Park. Topics include animals, geology, plants, human history and more. Programs include Ride with a Ranger shuttle tours, guided hikes, daytime talks and evening programs at Watchman Campground and Zion Lodge. All programs are free. Check the weekly schedules posted at visitor centers and bulletin boards throughout the park for times, places, and subjects.

Places to Picnic

  • Kolob Canyon Viewpoint
  • Lava Point Overlook
  • The Grotto

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