Zion National park map, Utah
Zion National Park is famous for its colorful and dramatic landscapes eroded by winds, rains and rivers through millions of years. This exceptional territory is the playground of all lovers of hiking, climbing, backpacking, canyoneering… No wonder it attracts more than 4 million visitors per year (third-most-visited national park). And in the park, it shows… Constant trafic jams at the South entrance, long queues at the park entrance, parking congestion, lengthy wait at the Zion Canyon shuttle and many tourists on the trails.
Is it possible to visit this magnificent environment without feeling oppressed by the crowds? Yes, Zion National Park Maps will help prepare and plan your visit, define an itinerary that meets your wishes and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the crowds.
1. Zion Regional map: Where is Zion National Park?
Zion National Park is located in Southern Utah and is accessible only by car. It lies East of Interstate 15.
The park has 3 entrances:
– Northwest Entrance to Zion National Park lies East of Interstate 15.
– East Entrance is accessible from Zion- Mount Carmel Highway (SR-9) (closed in winter).
– South Entrance is also located on Utah State Route 9, just at the exit of the little town of Springsdale (Utah).
The South Entrance to Zion Canyon is the most visited entrance to the park.
2. Best time to visit Zion National Park
The park is open year-round.
Zion National Park Weather
Because of its geology, Zion National Park is known for having very contrasting temperatures depending on the season and the altitude. The graph below shows the Zion’s weather per month.
Winter is cold, even icy and wet, with January being the coldest month. During this period, driving is difficult and most activities in the park are suspended (such as the Narrows and Angels Landing).
In Spring, the weather is sunny and rainfall is less frequent. However, snow can still be found, for example on the northern part of the Kolob Terrace Road.
Summer is hot and heavy. Late day thunderstorms are to be expected between July and September. They can cause flooding and waterfalls. The temperature in Zion National Park often exceeds 100°F in July and August.
Fall still has beautiful, sunny, warm days and the colors of the park are magnificent.
Zion National Park best time for visitation
70% of the visitors come to the park between May and October.
In addition, some weekends are particularly busy and should be avoided, such as:
1. Memorial Day
2. Easter week
3. Labor Day
4. Utah Education Association break
3. Official Zion National Park Map
The official Zion National Park map is given at the entrance of the park and in the Visitor Centers. It shows the different services provided, the hiking trails, the campsites, etc. It is the basic tool to get around in the park.
Click on the map to enlarge:
4. The Zion Wilderness Map
If you are really allergic to crowds or if you are in search of stunning countryside and lonelyness, then explore another area of the park, in the Zion Wilderness.
The trails in the wilderness areas are less hiked than those in Zion Canyon.
Download the Zion Wilderness Map
This map is essential for all visitors willing to hike or camp in the wilderness. It indicates the routes of hiking trails and the campsites location.
Likewise, consult the Zion Wilderness Guide 2021 before embarking into any activity. This document provides information about :
– the wilderness permits
– canyoneering and Climbing
– Wilderness backpacking areas
– a zoom on the Narrows
and finally, the safety informations and tips.
5. Maps to get around Zion Canyon
Zion canyon with its glowing 2000 feet high walls overlooking the valley is the main tourist attraction. Here is some information on how to get around the canyon and tips to reduce the inconvenience of crowds.
Where to park?
The first nagging issue to resolve when arriving at the park is to find a place to park.
There is a parking lot at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, but it is limited and is already full by 9:00 a.m.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to park in one of the Springsdale’s parking lots.
Once in Springsdale, take the shuttle to Zion National Park’s entrance.
Consult the itinerary from Springsdale to the South Entrance.
Zion Canyon Shuttle map or the best time to circulate in the Canyon
Click on the map to enlarge:
A few years ago, Zion National Park has implemented a shuttle system to regulate the flow of tourists on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, the main artery of the canyon.
The shuttles operates from mid-March to late Fall. During this period, private vehicules don’t have access to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, unless you have a reservation at Zion Lodge. Outside this period, private vehicules are allowed on the road.
The shuttle system consists of 2 loops, the Sprinsdale loop and the Zion loop with 8 stops in the park.
6. Zion Canyon Hiking Map
Hiking in Zion Canyon is a magical experience. The canyon offers a variety of hikes, short and easy ones or longer and more strenuous hikes.
Click on the image to enlarge:
Among the many hikes in the Canyon, some are iconic:
Lower Emerald Pool Trail: 1 hour – 1,2 miles – Easy – Trailhead near the Zion Lodge.(stop #5)
This very popular paved trail leads to Emerald Pool and to a waterfall.
Upper Emerald Pool Trail: 1 hour – 1 mile – Moderate – Trailhead near the Zion Lodge (stop #5)
This trail leads you to the upper levels of the Emerald Pool.
And now for the experinced hikers :
Angels Landing: 4 hours – 5,4 miles – Strenuous – Elevation 1500 feet – via West Rim Trail (stop #°6)
This difficult trail offers breathtaking views of the canyon.
The Narrows: 8 hours – 9,4 miles – Strenuous – Elevation 330 feet – Trailhead: Temple of Sinawava.
7. Map of Kolob Canyons
The northwestern part of Zion National Park Park covers a beautiful wilderness area called Kolob Canyons. The Kolob high plateau is formed by massive orange navarro sanstone rocks split by deep ravines. Overlooking the valley, this desert area offers breathtaking scenery.
This unique landscape is a paradise for hikers ans nature lovers.
Eventhough the Kolob Canyons are little known to visitors, it is no less spectacular.
Click on the image to enlarge:
The Kolob Canyons are accessible from Interstate Road 15, exit 40. The scenic Kolob Canyon Road, with its red surface, winds through the canyons for 5.3 miles. Then, the road reaches the Kolob Canyons Viewpoint.
The road features a number of pull-offs to park safely and to admire the stunning views of the ragged cliffs.
On this road, there is no shuttle service. Driving the Kolob Terrace Road is a unique experience…and here, there is less chance to be overwhelmed by the crowds.
Hiking in the Kolob Canyons
The Kolob Scenic Drive is the starting point of 3 hiking trails. They provide breathtaking views on the Kolob Canyons and the Kolob terrace.
Timber Creek Overlook Trail: 0,5 hour – 1 mile – Moderate – Trailhead: Kolob Canyons Viewpoint parking lot at the end of the Kolob Canyons Road
This short trail gives an outstanding view of the Kolob Canyons, the Kolob Terrace, and the Pine Valley Mountains.
Taylor Creek Trail: 4 hours (round-trip) – 5 miles – Moderate – Trailhead: on Kolob Canyons Road
And for much more experienced hikers: 😉
Kolob Arch via La Verkin Creek Trail : 8 hours (round-trip) – 14 miles – Strenuous – Trailhead: Lee Pass Trailhead on the Kolob Canyons Road – Elevation Change: 1,037 ft.
This one-day trail leads to Kolob Arch, one of the world’s longest natural arch.
8. Map of Kolob Terrace Road
The Kolob Terrace Road links the small town of Virgin (Utah), located southwest of Zion National Park, to Kobob reservoir, 24 miles further north, on the Upper Kolob Plateau.
Approaching the Upper Kolob Plateau, the road runs through meadows along the ragged cliffs of Tabernacle Dome. It climbs gradually to Kolob Terrace up to 8000 feet and reveals the Zion Canyon walls along the way.
Just before Blue Spring reservoir, a gravel road leads on the right to Lava Point, which is the highest points in Zion (7890 feet). Three miles further, the road reaches Kolob reservoir, a popular camping and fishing area.
Although not as spectacular as the famous Zion Canyons and Kolob Canyons landscapes, this route is a lovely drive. And it is probably the least crowded road in Zion national Park.
Hiking in Kolob Terrace
The Kolob Terrace Road is the starting point for 5 hikes, mostly backcountry hikes. Two hikes are shorter:
Connector Trail: Distance (one way): 2 hours (one way) – 5.1 miles from Hop Valley Trailhead to Wildcat Canyon Trailhead – Elevation Change: 500 feet
This trail follows the road and connects the Hop Valley Trail to Wildcat and Northgate Peaks Trails. The hike offers stunning views of Pine Valley Peak and the West Temple
Northgate Peaks Trail: 2 hours (roundtrip) – Distance: 4.2 miles (round-trip) from the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead – Easy – Elevation: 100 feet – Trailhead Location: Wildcat Canyon Trailhead on the Kolob Terrace Road
It crosses meadows and ponderosa pine forests before climbing towards the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead. In Summer, the cool air contrasts with the stiffling heat felt in Zion Canyon.
9. Map of East Rim & Mount Carmel Highway
Another road less traveled in the park is the Zion Mount Carmel Highway, (State Road 9) which provides access to the park from the East Entrance. It then joins the winding, Zion Canyon Scenic Drive down to Sprinsdale. You drive your own car on this road and you can enjoy a stunning view on the Bridge Mountain!
It is also possible to observe a number of geological curiosities such as the famous Checkerboard Mesa, whose name comes from its eroded shape.
Hiking the East Rim
Zion- Mount Carmel Highway is the starting point of a major trail, the “East Rim Trail”located in the wilderness area. Then this hiking route leads to several trails that spread on the plateau. The trails are not loop trails but you can return the same way whenever you want.
Two different trails in distance and difficulty starts from the Zion- Mount Carmel Highway:
Canyon Overlook Trail : 1 mile (round-trip) – 1 hour – Elevation Change: 163 ft – Moderate- Trailhead near the East Entrance of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel.
Short but steep path along the canyon walls. The rocky, rugged trail leads to an superb overlook on the lower Zion Canyon.
Parking is very limited for this short trail that is very popular (space for about 10 cars only).
East Rim Trail
Trailhead Location: East Rim Trailhead on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, near the East Entrance.
The trail to Stave Spring : 5.9 miles (one-way) – 6 hours roundtrip – Elevation Change: 1,000 ft –
The trail to Observation Point : 11 miles (one-way) – 8-14 hours roundtrip to Observation Point.
This challenging hike climbs the East Rim plateau, descends into Echo Canyon. Then it climbs again on the plateau to Observation Point. This hike reveals stunning views of Zion Canyon.
The parking lot is quite limited (space for about ~12 cars).
Note that East Rim Trail is getting crowded, but not as much as the trails in Zion Canyon.
10. Map of Zion National Park camping
Zion National Park has 2 campgrounds and a number of primitive campgrounds (see Wilderness map):
– South Campground is conveniently located near the south entrance, just outside of Springdale.
– Watchman Campground is situated near Springsdale and is open year-round.
For reservations, Call 877-444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov.
– Lava Point Campground is a primitive campground. There is not reservation but a first-come, first-served rule. It is located off the Kolob Terrace Road.
11. Zion National Park Hotels
The Zion Lodge is the only hotel in the park but it is conveniently located and is open year-round.
Reservations should be made far in advance (or call 888-297-275).
Lodging outside the park
There are a number of accommodations in Springdale, Mt. Carmel Junction, Kanab, Cedar City and surrounding communities.
Chosing an accomodation in Springsdale is a good option since it is very close to the park. You can get there when the temperatures are still cool and before the heat.
Furthermore, as we mentionned before, a bus is available in Sprinsgdale to reach the Zion National Park South Entrance.
12. Last tips and remarksAlways drop by the Visitor Center to get up-to-date information about the park. Check on weather, roads-status, trail status. More difficult, strenuous trails are always less crowded than easy hikes, but check your physical ability with a ranger before embarking on such hiking routes.
And finally, have a look at the Zion National Park Official Brochure.
We hope that all these maps and tips will help you enjoy the extraordinary Zion landscapes !
Maps attribution: U.S. National Park Service, restoration/cleanup by Matt Holly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The owner of the Heulys website can’t be held responsible for any information error, incident or accident in connection with the hikes described on this page.