is a spectacular park with excellent routes for a wide range of ability levels. It is most noted for its long wall routes on amazing sandstone. There are many good entry-level grade IV's and V's like Prodigal Sun
, Touchstone Wall
, and Moonlight Buttress
. There are also many challenging lines that will test the seasoned wall rat. There are plenty of short, one or two pitch routes for those who don't want to venture too high off the deck.
As a National Park, Zion charges $25 for a seven-day pass
or $80 for an annual pass
(good at all National Parks and covers entry fees at most other federally-managed lands). A $15 fee is charged for a bivy permit for each wall you do. Overnight bivy permits are obtained from the rangers at the visitors center. Or you can book online using the Zion online permits
. You still have to pick them up but at least it is booked.
Beginning sometime in March all cars have to be parked at the Visitors Center. Shuttle buses
have to be ridden to access anything in the canyon during the high season. They are fairly efficient and operate from 5:45am until 11:00pm.
There is camping at the Watchman Campground
inside the park, as well as lodging at the Zion Lodge
(not for the standard, dirt-bag wall rat). Free camping is available in many areas just outside of the park in the Springdale
area. Some of these sites have been really trashed. Feel free to clean them up so that free camping continues.
Springdale is loaded with all of the necessary amenities for a long stay. There are restaurants, grocery stores, showers, hotels, bars, and even a gear shop.
The weather is stinking hot by May. There are sometimes nice cool spells, but the most comfortable weather usually occurs in the spring and fall. There is about a 3,000 to 4,000 foot vertical rise between valley floor and canyon rim. For this reason, weather can be different depending on your current elevation.
Zion is located in the southwestern corner of Utah between St. George and Cedar City.
Zion has 4 access points for climbing, Kolob Canyons, Kolob Terrace, a south entrance and an east entrance.
Coming from the North, take exit 27 off of Interstate 15 going to Toquerville on Highway 17. 17 joins Highway 9.
Continue West on Highway 9 following the obvious Zion National Park signs to Springdale and the main park entrance.
Coming from the south, take exit 16 off of Interstate 15 onto Highway 9 headed towards Hurricane. Continue west on Highway 9 to the park entrance.