United States Nevada Las Vegas Las Vegas Guide Things To Do Essentials Restaurants Nightlife Where to Stay Itineraries Events Getaways All Las Vegas Take a Day Trip to Zion National Park From Las Vegas Written by Zeke Quezada Instagram Facebook Pinterest Twitter Linkedin Zeke Quezada is a travel writer specializing in Las Vegas and the author of "Restaurants in Las Vegas: The Best for Less." Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Zeke Quezada Updated 06/26/19 Share Pin Email TripSavvy / Lauren Breedlove In less than three hours and 165 miles, you can exchange the concrete and neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip for the serene and colorful landscapes at Zion National Park, established in 1919 as Utah's first of five national parks. Along the way from Las Vegas to Springdale, Utah, you will drive through a few canyons carved out by the Virgin River. Once you get to Zion National Park, park your vehicle and ride on the free shuttles provided by the National Park Service. Essentially, you get a free guided tour through the park to top points of interest and popular hiking trails and vistas. The scenery at Zion National Park is so beyond belief that you will find yourself wanting to take photos of almost everything. The pink, cream, and red sandstone cliffs are impressive but the sedimentary structures of Zion become more evident while driving north along Highway 9 beyond the tunnel. Brace yourself because your eyes will be amazed at the natural beauty. With so much to see, it is a good idea to plan to spend more than just an afternoon at this national park. Small hotels and campgrounds are in abundance just outside the park entrance. Check out the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort for a real cowboy adventure or try river rafting while in the area. There's also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and, of course, photography in this picturesque part of the Southwest. Note: All park visitors are required to purchase a recreational use pass to enter Zion National Park. The pass is good for seven consecutive days. The park is open 24 hours a day year-round. 01 of 02 It Beats the Grand Canyon Matteo Colombo / Getty Images The views, trails, and endless possibilities for outdoor fun at Zion National Park are a few reasons to choose this national park over the Grand Canyon. If you are visiting Las Vegas, Zion is not only closer but also offers much more food, lodging, and activity options. From bike riding and river rafting to rock climbing and hiking, Zion National Park is where to escape from the city. Families will enjoy the shorter hikes to dazzling pools and small waterfalls as well as the wide-open space of the valley floor. Head to the higher elevations for endless vistas and magnificent scenery. The Grand Canyon gets a lot of well-deserved attention, but Southern Utah is far more picturesque than Arizona. Continue to 2 of 2 below. 02 of 02 The Shuttle Bus Makes Exploring Easy ElsvanderGun / Getty Images The free shuttle bus in Zion National Park is a convenient way to get around the Zion Valley, and you won't need to worry about parking. Plus private vehicles aren't allowed in certain areas of the park. The shuttle is free and runs throughout the valley at regular intervals. Upon entering the park, head to the visitors center where you can pick up a shuttle. You can also gather information here about hiking and sightseeing in the park. If you have a vehicle, drive into the higher elevations for more hiking options as well as access to Bryce Canyon and Escalante Canyon. Note that during peak tourist season, many are restricted to certain parts of the park so your best bet for transportation is either by bicycle or on the free shuttles. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit The Best National Parks Near Las Vegas 50 States, 50 Staycations: The Best Staycation in Every State Top 10 Things to Do on Your Southwest Utah Family Vacation The 9 Best Hotels Near Zion National Park in 2021 What I Spent: Three-Day Road Trip Through the Southwestern US Grand Canyon National Park: A Complete Guide The Complete Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park How to Travel From Las Vegas to Zion National Park Valley of Fire State Park: The Complete Guide The Best Outdoor Activity in Every State Big Bend National Park: The Complete Guide Getting From Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon Toiyabe National Forest: The Complete Guide The Best State Park in Every State The Top 10 Hikes in Mount Charleston, Nevada Why Are So Many Hotels Opening Near National Parks?