Come with me on this travel adventure through two stunning natural gems: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in the state of Utah.
I flew from Orlando to Salt Lake City to visit friends and discover more beautiful places in this state. This time, we decided to explore the south to see these national parks that definitely have to be on your bucket list.
Some links take you to the map and others to recommended pages.
This trip was at the beginning of Spring, we still saw some snow in the mountains and enjoy the pleasant weather, some nights were a bit cold for me but it was great for this trip after all.
As I mention in the video (at the end of this post), before traveling we bought an annual pass which helped us save money. Since it can have up to 2 owners, and it lasts for 1 year for $80 (we visited in 2022 and the same price remains in 2023), my friend and I bought the ticket together (so $40 each for a $80 value). Is it worth it? If you plan to visit 3 parks or more in a year, it is worth it. The pass covers the car and the people inside the car (no more than 4 adults). We were 4 adults in the car plus a 4 year-old kid.
However, you cannot download and print the pass, nor use it digitally, it has to be a physical ticket that is mail to you or you can also obtain it at the entrance to one of the national parks. For example, here in Florida one place where you can buy the physical pass could be at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, en St. Augustine.
Here’s a link to get your annual pass for these national parks and more in the United States, in addition to any other questions you may have. There are also other options for passes here such as US Military and more. Yes, the pass can be sent to another country and here’s a link with more information in other languages.
From Salt Lake City we drove to Zion National Park where we first stopped at Kolob Canyons. At the visitor center you can learn a little more through maps of the area and find out about hiking trails if that is something that interests you. You can also buy your annual pass or day ticket there.
On this official web site you can get information about alerts in the area such as a closed road or a closed observation point, for example, at the time of writing this article there is a part of the road in Kolob Canyons that is partially closed.
For lunch time we arrived at Springdale where we found a good Tex-Mex restaurant: Oscar’s Cafe. Nearby you’ll see several businesses such as stores, cafes and even a supermarket. Very easy to stroll around the area or use the shuttle that I comment about in the video.
We obviously stopped at Zion Canyon Visitor Center. There you can not only learn more about the park, you can also buy some souvenirs, there’s also a restaurant and bar, and from there you can start a hike, take one of the tours they offer or take the shuttle that takes you to different points of the National Park without walking much.
I think you need several days to get to know Zion National Park as much as possible, I know that I will return soon so I will be able to get to know some other points little by little. For a ‘quick’ trip I suggest maybe 2 nights at least, and thus take 1 full day to explore various points either by walking, by bike or taking the shuttle.
We continue on the route towards Kanab where we would spend the night at Red Canyon Cabins, I would say it needs a good update in the rooms, but overall clean and comfortable especially if you are staying for just one night, and for the price it was good, although I might have preferred to stay in Springdale… well, actually, I would have preferred to go camping.
In Kanab we had a very delicious breakfast at Kanab Creek Bakery, although I don’t know if it was because of the day/time or if it is normal for the area, the wait was long and slow, but the breakfast was delicious.
Before returning to Salt Lake City, since that same night we were returning to Orlando, from Kanab we continued the trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.
We first stopped at Red Canyon Arch. A good spot to take a break, especially to stretch your legs after a while in the car, and enjoy the scenery.
After passing the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, we stopped at the Visitor Center. I admit that I love stopping at those centers, no matter where I am they always have interesting things. This one is very good, big, with restrooms, exhibitions and even a little store with souvenirs.
We continued to admire the beauty of the natural surroundings as we drove towards Inspiration Point. This spot is magnificent! I would say that, for me, this site was the highlight of the trip in general, a landscape where nature paints its masterpiece with impressive colors and shapes.
Join us on the following virtual journey as you immerse yourself in the stunning nature and rich history of Zion and Bryce Canyon, two destinations that will take your breath away every step of the way. An experience that you should not miss! (click CC for English subtitles)