Situated in one of Utah’s most breathtaking areas, Zion National Park is on a must-see list for national park aficionados.
Its soaring sandstone walls, incredible rock formations and many miles of hiking trails constantly reveal new perspectives of this red rock wonderland.
The best place to enjoy a stay in the park is Zion Lodge. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Zion Lodge offers 76 hotel rooms, six suites, 40 cabins, restaurant, and gift shop. Zion Lodge was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in the 1920s. After a fire in 1966, the lodge was rebuilt in 100 days with the top priority being to restore guest services. The lodge’s original rustic design was sacrificed at the time but was restored to its original classic appearance in 1990.
In 2010 lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts completed a major renovation on the Western Cabins with the refinishing the original fir flooring, addition of custom-designed replica furniture by Old Hickory Furniture Company, the placement of cabin draperies, custom-made blankets to replicate the original Indian designs and lighting fabricated to either match original fixtures or complement them.
The Red Rock Grill in the main lodge building is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The décor is a combination of wood and stone, much like Zion Canyon itself. With its large windows overlooking the floor of the canyon and the soaring stone walls, the views compete with the entrees such as steaks, Alaskan Salmon and vegetarian dishes.
The Castle Dome Cafe, a snack bar adjacent to the lodge, offers patio seating for up to 100 people. The café serves a variety of snack bar-type items such as coffee, espresso, and cinnamon buns in the morning and burgers, hot dogs and french fries throughout the day. Local microbrews are served on the Beer Garden Cart on the patio as well.
The best way to see the park is on foot. A scenic six-mile drive, however, can provide just-arrived visitors with a quick orientation to the park. One of the most popular hiking trails is the multi-day, 13-mile West Rim Trail. Another favorite activity for those seeking something less strenuous is to hike the “Narrows.” A shuttle can be arranged to drop off hikers at Chamberlain Ranch where they can hike through the some of the narrowest parts of the canyon. This hike is only advisable in the summer and in dry weather. At some points along the way, hikers can stand only three or four abreast in the canyon.
Stargazing is another popular activity, and guests gather on the huge front lawn of the Zion Lodge – accented by a 100-foot-high cottonwood – and simply enjoy the stars and tranquility.
Reservations can be made at www.zionlodge.com or by calling 1-303-297-2757 or toll-free at 1-888-297-2757.