Southwest National Park Loop- Zion National Park

Back in June, we found out we had a short time for a last minute vacation. We headed on a Southwest National Park trip with our first stop Zion National Park.

One thing I have learned is always have a trip in your back pocket- researched and ready to plan. I quickly booked last minute flights to Las Vegas. The plan was to get out of Las Vegas and get to the National Parks as we don’t really like Vegas. Shocking!

If you have ever been to the area you know there are several National parks within a small distance or each other on the border or Utah and Arizona. While driving to our home airport I still had not booked all the hotels. I did say this was a last minute trip and I really meant it. All our hotels were either booked with points or we stayed at National Parks. Since we arrived late we stayed at the Hyatt Place in Las Vegas (on points) the first night. The best thing about this hotel are there are no resort or parking fees which is key to a great hotel in Vegas.

Quality Inn in Springdale outside of Zion NPS

The next morning we woke up early and headed to Zion National Park. Zion is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Vegas. We arrived into Springdale around noon and tried to check into the hotel but it was not ready. I had booked the Quality Inn Springdale at Zion Park on 25,000 Choice hotel points. Now I am not a big collector of Choice Hotel points but i find they come in handy when staying near National Parks and I always wish I had more. The hotel was a combination hotel, campground and RV park. It was a perfect location right outside Zion National Park for everyone that doesn’t plan months in advance. (Maybe days, or hours in advance) Either way we had a place to stay that didn’t cost anything other than points.

Zion National Park- Springdale has a great bus that takes you right into Zion National Park. We didn’t realize that we were so close to the park entry otherwise we could have walk but being over 100 degrees we took the bus. ¬†We arrived and purchased our $80 annual National park pass that allows entry in all National Parks which was key to this trip. Then we filled our water bottles and jumped on another Zion bus to take us up to the start of the Narrows. The bus was hot, really hot and no air conditioning and lots of people.

The hot crowded bus at Zion NPS

We hiked up to the start of the Narrows and splashed in the water. Next time when we return we will rent the water hiking shoes so go further up into the Narrows. As I hear the hike is amazing.

On the hike up to the Narrows families took time to cool down in the water
Zion Lodge

Then we returned to the Zion National Park Lodge for lunch and asked about hiking Angels Landing. They advised us not to hike it do to the 100+ degree heat. So we hiked up to the emerald pools which was an easy hike and mostly in the shade. Next time we attempt Angels Landing in cooler temps.

Mr. Travelista at the Upper Emerald Pools in Zion NPS
Zion NPS
Map to Angels Landing

We then returned to our hotel for an early dinner and a beverage on our patio. The next morning we were up early to drive to the Grand Canyon. Stay tune for the next trip report.

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