Updated: Mar 3
Picture it: you're gasping for air, your best friend is looking at you with sheer pain and terror in her face as you begin to scale a sliver-like stretch of mountain side, while grabbing a thick chain hand over hand, wondering if the metal washers holding the chain steady are ready to burst at any moment.
**Mental note: Please consult a therapist about why this experience actually did not frighten me at all...
When I first laid eyes on a photo atop Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, I have craved venturing to this place to hike, standing on that mountain overlooking Utah's most pristine wilderness. Zion National Park is located in Springdale, Utah, a four-hour drive from Salt Lake City Airport and an hour drive from St. George Regional airport. My best friend Maryann and I took the scenic route to drive to beautiful Utah coupled with my move to Austin, Texas.
Although we only spent 24-hours here, I will never say "Have A Good Summer" to Zion. It truly was an unforgettable experience, and I have about 12 other spots I am dying to see within the park. Here is my brief yet prosperous advice on the Angle's Landing hiking experience (humble brag but not really because dehydration is real, kids).
Where Do I Stay?
When a National Park is located as far out as this one, it can be challenging to find a place to lay your head. I booked our hotel stay 4 months in advance, which is really not like me at all. However, I can foresee rates spiking at peak summer months.
We absolutely loved our stay at the Majestic View Lodge in Springdale. For as moderate as the pricing was, I was highly impressed by this hotel for the value.
The Majestic View Lodge had some amazing things to offer, including large mountain-clad rooms, a swimming pool, a restaurant, free coffee & water, as well as an entire convenient store that had all the necessary things for hiking. After checking in and purchasing sunscreen for the next day's hike, we headed to our room to sleep after a 9-hour drive.
The best feature of this hotel? The shuttle system is located across the street. Unless you are camping in the park (which also looks amazing), you will most likely be needing to shuttle into the park from your respective hotel. The Majestic View Lodge is stop #9 along the path to Zion and drops you off at the park's front entrance. More on shuttles further down the page, but this gives you quick access into the park!
If you are looking to stay closer or have money to burn (jealous), The Bumbleberry Inn gives off gorgeous boutique vibes, The Driftwood Lodge is breathtaking, & the Springhill Suites by Marriott looks like a magazine. Our stop on the shuttle was the furthest from these three hotels; however, we always had a seat on the bus #smallwin.
Image by NPS
When planning our trip to Zion, my first goal was to stay close to the park as we had to get on the road quickly to make it to Austin by Saturday (I highly advise against a 19-hour road trip, by the way, but that's another story). All of the hotels listed above are less than 20 minutes from the park and are easily accessible to a shuttle that will pick you up directly from your respective hotel.
When conducting my research, I also came across the National Park Service's web page, which actually had a fabulous representation of the shuttle route and the shuttle schedule. I recommend boarding the first shuttle to the park at 6:00 am if you can manage the wake-up call. We ended up waiting in line for quite some time to get into the park, visiting during the peak summer season. In a previous travel planning post, I talked about that traveling during off-seasons, if you can, is ideal!