Impressive, imposing, intimidating, incredible are the words that swirled through my mind as I drove along the Scenic Highway through Zion National Park. The winding, narrow road weaves its way past checkered mesas, rocky gorges, and jagged mountaintops.The bright orange rock formations look as if they’re made from flowing lava that suddenly stopped running and solidified instantly capturing a moment in time rather than showing millions of years of slow geologic activity.
Evergreen trees and shrubbery dot the rocky landscape. Deer and mountain goats spring across the road with the same spontaneity that I’m even driving this road after putting together this last minute road trip en route from the car.
I haven’t planned for Zion’s majesty. Even after just visiting Arches, Canyonlands, and Bryce National Parks, I was unprepared for how Zion’s grand introduction would at once sweep me off my feet and show me what it means to have reverence for nature.
Continuing on (mouth agape), I plunged into deep darkness as the road snaked through the 1.1 mile Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel carved through a seemingly impassable block of rock in what has to be a truly notable engineering feat. Not realizing how long the tunnel was at first, I was sure we’d been swallowed by the towers of rock and were destined to meld with the layers of rock surrounding us.
Experiencing Zion National Park ranks high on many a bucket list. Here’s what you need to know for a successful Zion National Park Visit!
How do I get to Zion National Park?
The closest major airport is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas to Zion National Park is a 2 1/2-3 hour drive. You can rent a car from all major companies at the airport, just be sure you know my money-saving secret weapon for car rentals!
If you’re already in the area visiting other Utah National Parks, Bryce National Park is about an 1 1/2 drive. Capitol Reef National Park is just under 4 hours by car. Driving from Arches or Canyonlands National Parks would take about 5 hours.
If you’re coming from Monument Valley or the Grand Canyon, plan on 4 hours of road time before arriving at Zion National Park.
Are there hotels near Zion National Park?
The gateway town of Springdale is just outside Zion’s entrance and visitor Center. The town has several hotels, B&Bs, and inns just minutes from the National Park entrance.
I had an excellent stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Springdale. The free Zion Shuttle stopped right out front! You can also search and book Zion National Park hotels at the best rate using the search box below.
Original article and pictures take http://www.theglobetrottingteacher.com/need-know-successful-zion-national-park-visit/ site