How to Spend One Day in Zion National Park

Zion National Park is located in the southwest U.S. state of Utah. Zion’s beauty and bounty have beckoned to humans over a great span of time and if you visit Zion National Park in one day then you’ll see what I mean. Full of geologic contrasts and diverse nature, it’s no wonder this park is one of the busiest in the country. Zion National Park offers something for everyone to enjoy. From hiking mountains to biking around town, there is no shortage of things to do in one day.

In February 2023 Logan and I went on a national park road trip through Utah. We spent one day in Zion National Park exploring all that we could, going hiking, and exploring scenic roads. Here is how to visit Zion National Park in one day!

How to stay one day in Zion National Park

Zion National Park Sign

How to get to zion national park

The closest airport to Zion National Park is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, which is 170 miles from the park. Salt Lake City International Airport is the next closest, and it’s 311 miles from the park. I recommend flying into Las Vegas and renting a car to reach the park.

Where to Stay in Zion National Park

Zion is located just outside the city of Springdale, Utah where there are plenty of places to stay. On our visit, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and really enjoyed it. If you’re looking for unique places to stay near Zion National Park, here are some really cool accommodations near Zion that you must see.

Things to do in one day at Zion National Park

Hiking Trails in Zion National Park

Go Hiking in zion national park

Zion has some of the most popular hiking trails in the country. The towering mountains provide visitors with 360-degree views of beautiful scenery no matter where you are in the park. But to truly experience the wonder that is Zion – you’ll want to hit the trails. At least two of the hikes below can be completed in one day, or if you have the stamina, you could cut the narrows short and complete all four in one day.

Bests Hiking Trails in Zion

  • Angels Landing – Strenuous up to 5 hours – 4.4 miles (7.08 km)
  • The Narrows – Strenuous up to 8 hours – 9.4 miles (15.1 km)
  • Lower Emerald Pool – Easy 1 hour, 1.2 miles (1.9 km)
  • Canyon Overlook – Easy 1 hour, 1 mile (1.6 km)
Canyoneering in Zion National Park
Image By: Tripadvisor

Half-Day Canyoneer in Lambs Knoll

Canyoneering is a must-do while in the Zion area, so make the most of your time with this private half-day adventure in Lambs Knoll. Your guide will get you outfitted and share their expertise to ensure that you feel confident exploring the canyons by scrambling over obstacles, through slots, and down various rappels. – Tripadvisor

Zion National Park is located in the southwest U.S. state of Utah. Zion's beauty and bounty have beckoned to humans over a great span of time.

Full-Day Tour to Zion National Park from Las Vegas

Visit Zion National Park on a full-day tour from Las Vegas that’s a convenient, cost-effective way to ensure you get there and back in a single day. With someone else doing the driving, you can relax and take in views of the Arizona Strip, Dixie National Forest, and soaring mesas, then arrive in Zion to see some of the highest sandstone cliffs on earth. – Tripadvisor

Take a jeep tour through Zion National Park

Zion Jeep Tour

Go way beyond sightseeing, on this explorational and interactive off-road Jeep tour experience! Enjoy the park by stopping at the spots that interest you, plus you’ll take a bite out of a prickly pear cactus, and meet the local lizards, and snakes. Ride 30 miles of trails reaching 5,300 ft. elevation, as you learn about the history, geology, and pristine high desert.

Take a full-day tour to Visit Zion/Kanab/Kolob

Immerse yourself in the natural wonder of Zion National Park and the surrounding area on this private full-day guided tour. Your guide will take you off-roading through the sand to explore the Peek-A-Boo slot canyon, show you petroglyphs off the beaten path, and bring you up to Lava point for incredible vistas of Zion. – Tripadvisor

Meet the author

Chelsea is a travel blogger from Detroit, Michigan. She writes about national parks, weekend getaways, mental health, and cannabis tourism.

How to Spend One Day in Zion National ParkHow to Spend One Day in Zion National ParkHow to Spend One Day in Zion National Park
Affiliate Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links. If you click on them to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission for referring you. This comes at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I have personally used + loved.

17 comments

  1. This is such a great guide! It would be really easy for me to drive up to Zion for the weekend from Phoenix, so I will save this guide for when I finally make that trip!

  2. My husband wanted to take my girls hiking to Angel’s Landing when they were younger. Having hiked it in my 20s, I said, “No way.” It is an awesome achievement and hike though.

    1. I hiked it in my 20’s too, back when I had no fear lol This last trip I was like, oh man. That’s kinda scary! We skipped it becauese I remember it being a tough hike and I’m just not in the same shape I was in before haha

  3. Zion National Park has been on my list for several years now. I also want to go on a photo shoot at one of the slot canyons like Antelope ( I know it’s close to Zion but not there).

    1. A few years back we did a trip from Zion – Bryce – Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Horseshoe Bend – Antelope Canyon. I got some GREAT shots in Antelope Canyon but I would recommend doing the photography tour with how crowded it is nowadays.

  4. Love Zion! You’ve laid out a great plan for someone spending just one day in the park 🙂

  5. I loved my time visiting Zion but didn’t even consider doing canyoneering with a guide. I thought it was something you had to just “know” how to do haha. Definitely going back to try this with an expert! Thank you for sharing!

    1. You should try canyoneering next tiime it’s available! It’s so much fun. A lot of the parks/destinations offer it as a tour, sometimes it’s referred to as “rappelling” too. They have some really cool ones in the tropics that you can do on a waterfall.

  6. Your post brings me back memories of visiting Zion National Park some time ago. I was not able to spend as much time as I wanted in Zion, so it is something not fully done there for me. Thanks for helpful advice and useful tips!

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