How Many Days Are Needed At Zion National Park?

A question we often receive at Zion White Bison Resort is how many days do I need to fully experience Zion National Park? In this article, we will cover several of the primary factors to consider when planning your adventure.

Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah, is a mesmerizing destination that showcases the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest. With its stunning red sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, and diverse wildlife, Zion offers a unique outdoor experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. However, when planning your visit to this majestic park, you may find yourself wondering, “How many days do you need in Zion National Park?” In this article, we’ll explore the factors to consider and provide recommendations to help you make the most of your time in this remarkable wilderness.

Understand Zion’s Size and Highlights:

Zion National Park spans over 229 square miles, encompassing a variety of natural wonders that can be explored through numerous trails, viewpoints, and activities. To grasp the park’s vastness and appreciate its highlights, it’s essential to allocate a sufficient number of days. Some of the must-see attractions in Zion include:

  • Zion Canyon: The heart of the park, Zion Canyon, stretches for 15 miles and features iconic landmarks like Angel’s Landing and The Narrows.
  • Kolob Canyons: Situated in the northwestern section of Zion, Kolob Canyons is a less crowded area offering scenic drives and hikes.
  • Emerald Pools: These serene, lush oases present an opportunity for tranquil walks and refreshing dips beneath enchanting waterfalls.

Factors To Consider:

1. Interests and Activity Level: Consider the activities you wish to engage in during your visit to Zion National Park. Are you an avid hiker, rock climber, or simply someone who enjoys breathtaking views? The duration of your stay should align with the intensity and frequency of your desired activities.

2. Fitness Level: Zion offers a wide range of hiking trails suitable for all fitness levels. However, some strenuous hikes like Angel’s Landing and The Narrows may require more time and effort. Assess your physical abilities and plan accordingly.

3. Time of Year: The time of year you visit can significantly impact the number of days you need. Zion is a popular destination, and during peak seasons (spring and fall), the park experiences higher visitation levels, leading to longer wait times and crowded trails. Consider visiting during less crowded months or weekdays for a more relaxed experience.

4. Availability of Permits: Certain trails in Zion National Park, such as The Subway and The Narrows (top-down hike), require permits. Check availability and secure permits well in advance to ensure you can explore these unique areas.

Recommended Durations for Different Types of Visitors:

1. Day Trippers: If you’re limited on time and can only spare a day, you can still experience the beauty of Zion. Opt for the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, take the shuttle to the Riverside Walk, and enjoy the Lower Emerald Pools Trail for a glimpse of the park’s natural wonders.

2. Weekend Warriors: A weekend trip (2-3 days) allows you to immerse yourself in Zion’s beauty. Explore the main canyon by hiking the iconic Angels Landing trail, experiencing the Riverside Walk, and venturing into the lesser-known Kolob Canyons.

3. Nature Lovers: For those seeking a more comprehensive experience, a four to five-day visit is ideal. Spend ample time exploring Zion Canyon’s trails, such as Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, and the famous Narrows. Additionally, venture into the backcountry and camp overnight in designated areas to fully immerse yourself in the park’s serenity.

4. Adventure Seekers: If you’re an experienced hiker and crave adrenaline-pumping adventures, allocate a week or more to conquer the challenging hikes in Zion National Park. Complete the famous Angels Landing, tackle The Narrows (top-down), and explore other remote areas like the East Rim Trail and West Rim Trail.

Additional Tips and Suggestions

1. Plan Ahead: Regardless of the duration of your visit, plan your itinerary in advance, especially for popular hikes. Be aware of trail conditions, weather forecasts, and any closures or restrictions.

2. Take Breaks: Zion National Park offers various viewpoints, picnic areas, and relaxing spots. Take breaks to soak in the scenery, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the tranquility of nature.

3. Stay Hydrated and Pack Essentials: Ensure you carry an adequate water supply and snacks during your hikes. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for different trail conditions.

4. Respect Wildlife and Nature: Zion is home to diverse wildlife and delicate ecosystems. Maintain a safe distance from animals, follow Leave No Trace principles, and help preserve the park’s natural beauty.

5. Hiking: For some of Zion’s more popular hikes such as Angels Landing or The Subway we recommend adding a day to your stay. These hikes often take guests a full day to fully hike and experience.


In summary, the number of days you need in Zion National Park depends on your interests, fitness level, and the activities you wish to undertake. While a day trip can provide a taste of the park’s beauty, dedicating more time allows for a more immersive experience. Consider the factors discussed in this article, plan your visit accordingly, and get ready to create unforgettable memories amidst the awe-inspiring landscapes of Zion National Park.