Planning a Safe Outdoor Adventure at our Zion National Park Lodge

One of the things that makes a stay in our Zion National Park lodge so special is the chance to stay just a short distance away from the entrance to the park. This makes it easy to maximize your time in Zion, whether you’re hiking, sightseeing on the Zion Canyon Shuttle, or taking a scenic ride on an e-bike.

The Zion Canyon Shuttle, in addition to plenty of family-friendly hiking trails and the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, make it easy for anyone to enjoy a visit to the park, regardless of age or abilities. But Zion is also home to some challenging trails and remote areas that can quickly become dangerous without the right training and proper gear.

If you’re planning to visit some of Zion’s more rugged areas during your stay at Flanigan’s Resort, keep reading. We’re breaking down what you need to know to stay safe.

Stay on the Trail

Zion National Park covers 250 square miles. The park’s trail system can help you cover a number of those miles. But like most national parks, Zion also has its share of unspoiled wilderness. 

As tempting as it may be to wander off the trail, this is perhaps the biggest mistake any visitor could make. With no trails to follow, you’ll be crossing treacherous terrain. Cell phone service is limited enough in the developed areas of the park; in the backcountry, you’re unlikely to ever see a bar. This means if you do get into trouble or even just get turned around, you won’t be able to call for help or use your GPS.

Each year, more than 250 emergency incidents are reported in Zion National Park. Rescue operations are often dangerous for the crews involved. They pull resources, which can be dangerous if multiple incidents occur at once. They’re also costly for the park service.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll or a challenging multi-day trek, stick to established trails. Not only will you be keeping yourself safe, but you’ll also be doing your part to protect Zion’s natural resources.

Check a Trail’s Difficulty Rating 

Each of Zion’s hiking trails features a difficulty rating, ranging from easy to very strenuous. These ratings are designed to help hikers determine which trails are right for their skill level. 

If you’re new to hiking, have trouble walking long distances or traversing uneven ground, or are hiking with older adults or children, sticking to easy trails is best. Only experienced hikers with the right gear, plenty of stamina, and experience hiking in the park should take on its most difficult trails.

Angels Landing, for instance, is rated strenuous. This trail is best reserved for experienced hikers who have hiked similar trails and have the right gear.

Always check a trail’s difficulty level, as well as the distance, before you start a hike. You can find this information at the trailhead, or by stopping by the park’s visitor center.

Start Your Hike Early 

Besides letting you know whether a trail might have obstacles that you aren’t quite ready for, checking the trail rating and length can also help you better judge how long you’ll need to hike it. Catching a sunset from a trail overlook is a great addition to any itinerary. 

But even if you’re an experienced hiker and have a flashlight with you, staying on a trail past dark can be dangerous. With so many steep cliff faces and uneven, rocky trails, you could suffer anything from a rolled ankle to a serious fall. If you plan to start a hike late in the day, make sure that it’s one you’re confident you can get off of before dark. If the hike takes longer than you expected, turn back at dusk or pick up the pace.

Choosing Zion National Park hotels close to the entrance to the park is a great way to make the most of your time in the park each day. Staying in our Zion National Park lodge makes it easy to hop on and off the Zion Canyon Shuttle and Springdale Shuttle to get to and from the park. You can leave our Southern Utah resort early to get to your chosen trailhead early, and be off the trail before the hottest part of the day or give yourself plenty of time before sundown.

Carry Plenty of Water

Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of emergency responses in Zion. The park is, after all, a desert. Summer in the canyon brings sweltering heat. But steep, difficult trails can leave you dehydrated on a freezing winter day as well.

An active, healthy hiker on a moderate trail needs to drink an average of one liter of water every two hours. If you are hiking a more difficult trail, temperatures are high, or you drink more than average, you may go through much more. Always pack more water than you plan to use. Refill your bottles before you start a new trail. And remember to keep drinking as you walk, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Planning a Safe Visit to Our Zion National Park Lodge

If you’re planning to spend a lot of time on the trails during your stay at our Zion National Park lodge, these tips are a great way to enjoy a safe, fun trip. Choosing Zion park hotels close to the entrance to the park can also help you make the most of your time in the park, and allow you to get on the trails early each day.

Ready to start planning your next visit to Flanigan’s Resort? Book your stay at the best Southern Utah resort today!

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