The Best Day Trip From Las Vegas To Zion National Park

Are you looking for an exciting day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas to Zion National Park Strip? 

A trip to the majestic Zion National Park may be the perfect escape. With its awe-inspiring scenery, breathtaking hikes, and diverse wildlife.

it’s no wonder that Zion National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. 

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a relaxing day away from the city, a day trip to Zion National Park from Las Vegas is sure to be an unforgettable experience. 

Road Trip Overview

Is it possible to visit Zion National Park from Las Vegas in a day? Yes, of course!

However, the real answer to this question is a bit more nuanced than that. This essay explores why someone might want to do this, if it is even possible, and what type of things could possibly be done on a trip of this short duration.

Time Spent Driving

The first thing we should talk about is the driving time from Las Vegas to Zion. The distance between the Las Vegas Airport and Springdale, UT’s Zion entrance is 169 miles, or 272 kilometers, according to Google Maps.

According to Google, driving takes two hours and 43 minutes. Due to the fact that we are only going to Zion for a day, two times that amount is necessary.

Driving to Zion in a day would take you 5 hours and 26 minutes.

Do You Think It’s Peak Season Or Not?

Zion National Park

The peak season at Zion National Park is another factor to consider when determining whether this is possible.

During the summer months, Zion National Park gets really busy because it’s the third most visited national park in the country.

In July, the park sees the highest number of tourists, with the busiest months being May through October.

This is important because of the lines. While this isn’t Disney and there aren’t lines for rides, there is a shuttle system that transports people to the park.

It has been almost impossible to drive into Zion since 2000. They only offer a shuttle service that is operational over 90% of the year. 

The shuttle runs generally from March through November, on weekends in February and March, and on the last week of December. 

Shuttle services are usually required to enter the park. As a result, during the summer months, shuttle lines can become very long.

This was the peak tourist season and pre-pandemic when we visited the park in July 2019. Getting the next bus was not an easy task if we had not gotten into the shuttle line 30 minutes before 6 am.

How Long Is A Day Trip To Zion National Park?

There is no reason why you should visit Zion National Park for just one day. The two and a half days we spent here weren’t enough to accomplish everything (hello Angel’s Landing).

There may, however, be a reason that you’re considering a day trip, and it’s probably due to the fact that you simply do not have the time to do so.

The lights and sounds of Vegas may be distracting you, or you may be in Vegas for some other reason. Whatever your reason, a little visit to Zion is better than none at all.

This Is A One-Day Itinerary For Vegas To Zion National Park And Back

We will try to make the one-day road trip as realistic as possible. The majority of people in Sin City are heading back to their hotels, so let’s assume you have the full day to go on this mini-road trip.

Leave Las Vegas At 5:15 AM

You would arrive at Zion’s entrance at about 8 am if you left Las Vegas at 5:15 am, or about 2 hours after the park’s first visitors arrived.

We suggest, however, that you grab a bite to eat before parking somewhere in Springdale. Give or take 30 minutes, this should take no more than that. 

Before going into the park, you’ll need to fuel up since this is going to be a long day.

Zion National Park – Arrival at 8:30 AM

When you arrive, look for a parking spot. You’ve arrived well after all the early birds, so it may be difficult for you to get a seat.

For parking and waiting in line at the Shuttle, you can expect to spend 30-60 minutes. You’ll want to ride the shuttle until stop #9, Temple of Sinawava, once you’re safely on board

Arrive At Zion National Park’s End At 10:00 AM

My favorite easy trail is the Riverside Walk, which is right at the entrance of the Temple of Sinawava stop.

My suggestion would be to walk the paved trail to the end and back, which should take about an hour. 

There’s an iconic walk up the middle of the Virgin River and through the slot canyon at the end of this trail called The Narrows.

It could easily take you all day to trek through The Narrows, so you probably won’t be able to do it now.

For walking up the river, you’ll need water hiking shoes, which you would have rented back in Springdale

Hike To Weeping Rock And The Grotto At 11:30 AM

Once you’ve hopped back on the shuttle, head back toward the entrance. Getting out and exploring the next few stops is a must. 

There are many sights in Weeping Rock to see, including the Hidden Canyon Trail.

It is not necessary to visit Angel’s Landing and hike its trail. There are many Zion hikes, but this is probably the most popular for experienced hikers and those who aren’t afraid of heights. 

You will probably spend the remainder of the day doing this if you decide to do it. Guests can hike down to Zion Lodge from the Grotto stop, which features an easy trail.

Lunch At Zion Lodge At 1:30 PM

Zion Lodge offers delicious food. In order to get you back into the wilderness as quickly as possible, they have some quick foods you can fill up on.

The Emerald Pools Can Be Hiked At 2:15 PM

Upper- and Lower Emerald Pool Trailheads are located across the Virgin River and access road from Zion Lodge.

There are some fantastic views of the canyon and its waterfalls from these medium-effort trails.

4:00 PM – Are You Exhausted Yet?

You have probably hiked a lot so far. You are probably exhausted from hiking on uneven terrain for this amount of time. Furthermore, the desert sun is now sweltering, and you are now outside.

We should probably return to Springdale by shuttle for dinner and some air conditioning. Take a break at Zion Brewery for some great food and some craft beer.

Take the steep but short trail up to see these three magnificent peaks after you get off the shuttle at the Court of the Patriarchs.

Back To Las Vegas By 5:30-6:00 PM

Considering that it is a 2.75-hour ride, I can only imagine how deserted this trip might be. The Lake Mead Recreational Area is very beautiful, but it is very barren. There may be only a couple of cars on the road for an hour.

Arrive In Vegas Between 8:00 And 8:30 PM

The trip was amazing, and you’re back! It will take you about five to ten miles to walk ten miles and drive more than 350 miles. The next time you sleep in Las Vegas, you may be the earliest person ever to do so.

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