Zion National Park: Where to Hike and Camp

It was christened "Angels Landing," as the story goes, when a group passing through Zion Canyon in 1916 spied the 1,500-foot sandstone promontory jutting into the middle of the canyon and declared that only angels could land on its summit.

Ten years later, the angels were forced to share the lofty perch when a trail was extended to the summit. And while the white-knuckle climb to the top is not recommended for those with a fear of heights, the sweeping 360-degree panoramic view from the middle of the canyon is one that will stay with you for a lifetime.

More: Arches National Park: Your Winter Vacation Spot

Angels Landing is just one of many adventures that make Zion National Park in southern Utah one of the country's most visited national parks each year, however, most come to see the attractions in Zion Canyon, the park's headquarters.

View from the top of Angels Landing

Centuries of wind and water erosion, primarily caused by the North Fork of the Virgin River, carved the 15-mile-long canyon, which is 2,000 feet deep. Over the years, tributaries have continued the erosion process, carving out numerous slot canyons that feed into Zion Canyon and the Virgin River and create a seemingly infinite number of potential areas to explore. Learn more about Zion National Park before you pack up and head out.

More: 9 Reasons Pinnacles National Park Has the "It" Factor

Where to Camp

The national park has three campgrounds. The two largest, Watchman and South, are located near the main visitor center just inside the south entrance to the park. They serve as ideal staging areas for whatever excursions you have planned.

This location is a short walk to the shuttle that carries visitors throughout the park from April to November, when private cars are restricted from the canyon. From here you can also stroll to a small collection of shops, a grocery store and even a movie theater.

More: Camping Activities for Your Next Trip

About the Author

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM