Zion National Park is named by early pioneers and means a place of refuge and peace. It is a place to take a break from ordinary life for a few days and find sanctuary in its massive sandstone canyons and cliffs that is full of beauty, truly a hikers paradise. One thing you should consider if visiting Zion is to visit 5 of Utah’s other nearby National Park: Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyo0na and Arches.
Which airport is closest to Zion National Park?
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These are called The Mighty 5. While 5 National Parks in days might seem ambitious it is remarkably doable. Southwest Airlines flies to Zion’s nearest airport, Harry Reid in Las Vegas formally known as McCarran, although it is still a 2 and half-hour drive away. When you use your Southwest points and Southwest Companion Pass to fly there, you will surely beat the odds, you should save a boatload on your trip. When you drive into Zion National Park, you will be struck by its majesty.
Mesas with unique patterns, soaring rocks and varying shades of red make you feel as though you have arrived on another planet. Driving into Zion National Park you will be battling with sheep on the road. One of the best parts of driving into Zion National park is the tunnels. If you are planning on driving an RV, which is 11’4” tall and 7’10” wide, including awnings and jacks, mirror, you will need a tunnel permit to drive through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. You must check this before as there are restricted hours for this as well.
Parking is limited at Zion and usually fills before 9 am every day. In case you do not get a spot to park per arrive well after this time then you should head to nearby Springdale, where you can catch a Zion Shuttle Bus. The entrance fee of Zion National Park is $35 per car and $30 per motorcycle for a 7-day pass. You can also buy an annual pass for Rs $80 that allows you to visit as many National Parks and federal lands as you want for one full year.
If you are a senior citizen then you can buy a lifetime senior pass that covers all national parks for $80 or instead chooses a $20 annual pass. Zion National Park is far enough south that the months from June to August have no snow, but in return, the temperatures range from a low of 60 to a high of 100. For milder temperatures, try the shoulder seasons, which start from April and last till October. Zion National Park is wettest in March, which means snowmelt through May can make the rivers dangerous, meaning The Narrows may be off limits. You will find a number of wildflowers in bloom from April to June.
Because of the broad range of temperatures, this park has a longer season than most which hopefully means that it is a lot less crowded. The best and only way to get around Zion National Park is by shuttle bus especially when the shuttle is running and no private vehicles are allowed on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Free shuttles leave frequently from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Shuttle buses run from early spring till late fall and allow you to hop on and hop off at any of these hops which is helpful if you are hiking. Relying on the time of the year, the wait time can be short as 7 minutes and as long as 15 minutes. The shuttle also has rooms for two bicycles.
Which airport is near Zion National Park?
Are you in search of the closest airports to Zion National Park? Then I am going to walk you through each of the best airport options near Zion for international and domestic travelers booking flights to visit this spectacular national park in Southwest Utah. Choosing the best airport will depend on various factors such as your origin airport and your overall travel itinerary. I am going to explain why the following airports are the best choice.
- St. George Regional Airport
- Las Vegas International Airport
- Salt City Lake International Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
St. George Regional Airport
The closest regional airport to Zion National Park is St. George, as this airport is just 55 minutes southwest of Springdale and Zion. This airport is coded as SGU. There are various domestic as well as international airlines that operate from St. Gorge Regional Airport.
Out of them, the airline brands that operate more frequently are Delta and United. Additionally, the most famous sectors from SGU are Saint George to Salt Lake City and Saint Gorge to Denver with weekly flights.
Las Vegas International Airport
The closest major international airport is Las Vegas McCarran around 2 hours and 45 minutes southwest of Zion. Las Vegas Airport serves Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas International Airport is named after US Senator Pat McCarran. A Jet Blue aircraft taking off at McCarran International Airport. Las Vegas Airport officially known as formerly known as McCarran International Airport is the main commercial airport serving Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Las Vegas Airport is located in Paradise, 5 miles or 8 km south of downtown Las Vegas, in Clark County, McCarran Airport is a focus city for Allegiant Air, JSX Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
This airport serves as both a military and civilian airport and has a long and successful history of excellent customer service and innovation dating back almost a century ago. McCarran has 2 terminals 92 gates and sends flights around the world. With the largest and highest rates of the airport in the Las Vegas Valey, this airport is a great choice for all of your travels.
Las Vegas Airport is the 9th busiest airport in the U.S with nearly 52 million passengers. Parents can take a break and let their kids play in the McCarran Airport kid’s play area for aviation-themed fun. This airport offers a space for pets to relieve themselves at Gate C, Gate D, Gate E, T1 Baggage and T1 Ticketing. Las Vegas Airport allows customers to rapidly charge their devices for a small fee. This airport offers a workspace for electronics to be recharged free of cost and also offers smoke friendly zone at Gate C, Gate D and Gate E. McCarran Airport offers a bar at Gate D and offers a gym at T1 Esplanade.
Salt City Lake International Airport
Salt Lak City International Airport is located on the opposite side of the national park’s borders to Saint Goerge Regional Airport. While it can easily access the park and it also gives you an excellent way to fly almost anywhere in your local areas and you have Salt Lake City itself to enjoy.
While this airport is not ideal for driving to the park directly but it is still a good jumping-off point. If you want to drive there then it offers a great scenic route and plenty of amazing sights on the way to Zion National Park.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
There are 272.85 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Zion National Park in a northwest direction. This airport is coded as PHX. PHX Airport and Zion National Park are 7 hours far apart if you drive in stop. This airport is located 3 miles east of downtown Phoenix. Sky Harbor Airport counts 3 runways and two terminals.
PHX is Arizona’s largest and busiest airport among the largest commercial airports in the U.S. This airport is a hub for American Airlines ad also operates as a focus city for JSX and Southwest Airlines. Terminal 3 operates with Delta, Frontier, Hawaiin, and JetBlue Airlines among others. Terminal 4 is the largest at PHX Airport and handles all international flights.
Sky Harbor Airport has facilities such as restaurants and cafes, shops, duty-free, smiling areas, chapel, pet relief areas, ATMs, currency exchange, nursing space, information counters, mailboxes and passenger paging.
Things to do in Zion National Park
Drive the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway
The Zio0n Mount Carmel Highway, which runs through the national park from the south Entrance to the East, is arguable as scenic as the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive but offers starkly different ideas as its winds high above the valley for drastic views from one side of the valley to the other. You will see that the roads will hug the cliff wall as it climbs up the mountainside.
After the steady climb, the road passes through a narrow 1.1-mile tunnel. The tunnel is not wide enough for the RVs to pass, so traffic s held back in one direction when RCs are entering the tunnel. RV drivers must pay a fee when they enter the national park to pass through the tunnel and a pass is needed in advance before your RV will be allowed to proceed.
After exiting the tunnel on the east side is the parking area for the Canyon Overlook Trail, a 1-mile round trip hike to a viewpoint over the valley. This side of the park is higher, often cooler and home to a scattering of large pine trees.
Hit the Trails on a Day Hike
Zion Nati0nal Park has breathtaking hikes that range in length from less than a smile to multi-day treks. There are two most famous hikes that are Angels Landing and The Narrows. Angels Landing, stop number 6 on the shuttle, is a hike that climbs to a beautiful viewpoint looking over Zion Canyon.
The trail follows a narrow bridge with long drop-offs and is not for everyone and certainly not for anyone with a fear of heights. The Narrows follows a river through a huge slot canyon. This is a seasonal hike that takes some panning if your want to tackle it wisely and the Narrow is shuttle stop number 9.
Riverside Walk is a scenic 2.2-mile round trip path but you do not need to complete the whole trail to enjoy this area of the park. This paved trail runs along the Virgin River and is the last stop on the Zio0n shuttle bus, Temple of Sinawava stop number 9. You will be hugging a rock wall in some places, the trail passes hanging gardens and spurs lead down to the water’s edge.