More than 50 percent of all Americans don’t use the vacation time allotted to them by their employer. Maybe you are the type of employee who uses up every last drop of time off. Or you prefer to treasure just a few short days. Either way its important to make the most of your vacation.
A trip to Zion National Park is a wonderful way to relax, unwind, and enjoy a refreshing break from the office. But just like any vacation, you’ll want to do a little planning to make the most of however much time you have. Keep reading to learn 4 ways to help you do just that.
1. Know Your Season
As soon as you decide when you’ll be taking your trip to Zion, you have a bit of research to do. That’s because every season in the park is different, with different crowd levels, temperatures, and ways to experience the park.
Want to make the most of your trip? It’s important to research what you can expect from your chosen season.
2. Don’t Overplan
Zion National Park is packed with stunning hiking trails, overlooks, tours, history, and more. Whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth, it can be tempting to try to pack in as much as you possibly can. But while setting your sights high isn’t a bad thing, overplanning is.
Unless you have weeks to explore the park and the surrounding region, you aren’t going to get to see everything. If you plan too much, you’ll only wind up disappointed when you run out of time.
Zion National Park is best explored with a loose plan. Choose a few hikes or highlights you want to hit during your trip. Then, allow yourself to make plenty of side trips.
3. Pack the Right Gear
Nothing brings a fun trip to an end faster than not having the right clothes to keep you warm, extra socks for when yours get wet, or a first aid kit for when blisters and other injuries occur.
Packing the right gear can keep you on track and ensure that you are prepared for the worst. Whether you’re spending the day enjoy leisure trails or a trek to Angels Landing, your pack should include:
- Plenty of water: Even during the cooler months, you’ll need to consume at least 1 liter of water for every 2 hours of moderate hiking.
- Protective clothing: Avoid cotton, which traps moisture against your skin, and instead opt for synthetics and wools.
- Hiking boots: You need a pair that offers support and a gripping sole that’s been broken in ahead of your trip.
- A first aid kit: You’ll want at least a basic first aid kit, as well as a blister kit, just in case.
- Flashlight: You don’t want to get caught on the trails after dark, but just in case, you should always have a flashlight in your pack.
- Extra socks: Wet feet are uncomfortable, regardless of the season, so always have an extra pair of socks in your bag.
- Snacks: Whether you get stuck standing in a long line before you can start hiking or you stay on the trail longer than expected, a few high protein trail snacks will help you keep your energy up.
4. Never Skip the Visitors Center
You might be tempted to speed right past the Visitors Center. Or ride, if you’re hopping on the Zion Canyon Shuttle. This is a must even if it’s busy and you know what trails you want to hike. Or if you’ve been to the park a few times in the past. A stop should always be first on your list.
For new visitors to the park, the Visitors Center is a wonderful chance to learn about the park and its history, check out trail maps, and otherwise plan your trip. But it’s also a must-see for every visitor, new and experienced, because it allows you to check on trail closures, hazards, and other warnings about the park.
Flash flood risks can turn some of Zion’s most popular trails into dangerous areas. Burn bans can affect the park’s campgrounds. Trail closures can shut down trails for months. The Visitors Center and its staff of experienced rangers and park officials can help you better plan your day and help you stay safe.
Planning Your Perfect Zion National Park Adventure
Planning a perfect visit to Zion National Park doesn’t have to be a challenge. Whether you’re braving the summer crowds or planning an off-season trip to the fourth most popular national park in the nation, there’s never a bad time to visit Zion. And with these simple tips in mind, you can make the most of your visit.
Looking for other tips to help make planning a little easier. Check out these tips to help you plan a family-friendly trip to Zion National Park.