Zion National Park Pro Tips by Kenny & Kristen

Posted on 2019-05-09

- All campgrounds in Zion National Park are reservation only. Plan ahead if you're aiming to stay in Watchman Campground or South Campground. There are a limited supply of backcountry permits to camp in other areas on a walk up basis. - The backcountry permit office gets busy early. In May of 2019 when we were there, the office opened daily at 7 am. Plan to get there early to reserve the spot you want. - While the campsites in the park are reservation only, there is free camping about 15 miles outside of the park in BLM land. Ask any of the rangers about it and they can give you more details. - In addition to the typical gear you bring on a backcountry backpacking trip, it's nice (at least as a female) to have spray in dry shampoo and baby wipes to freshen up. - Bring some comfortable sandals or other recovery shoes and keep them in the car for after your hike - There are no showers in the park (not at any of the campgrounds or at the main visitor center). But there are showers just outside of the park at the Outdoor center in Springdale. When we were there the showers closed at 8 pm. - Be prepared to cross the streams if you're there in the Spring. And expect the water to be very cold. You may want to bring toe shoes or other gear depending on your sensitivity to rock and cold temperatures - Bring bug spray. The main canyon was fine, but the backcountry was humming with biting flies. - Bring and use lots of sun screen. The desert sun is hot. - Take the time to plan your backcountry trip according to your own limits and pace. Depending on how many miles you want to hike per day, you may not want to take the first shuttle out to the trail (we did this and we ended up with 5 hours to kill that afternoon - we could have used the extra sleep). If you want to follow a similar trans Zion trail to what we did, here are some suggestions depending on your desired intensity: Shorter hikes: (avg 8-10 miles/day) - Day 1: Lee Pass to Kolob Arch (campground 6 or 7) - Day 2: Hop Valley to Campsite B - Day 3: Wildcat Canyon (first available section) - Day 4: West Rim Trail (campground 3 or 4) - Day 5: Angels Landing and Grotto Trail (finish) Medium length hikes (10-15 miles): - Day 1: Lee Pass to Hop Valley campsite B - Day 2: WildCat Canyon (first available section) - Day 3: West Rim Trail (campground 3 or 4) - Day 4: Angels Landing and Grotto Trail (finish) Longer hikes (~20 miles): - Day 1: Lee Pass to Hop Valley campsite B - Day 2: West Rim campsite 9 - Day 3: Angels Landing and Grotto Trail (finish)

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