When heading to Zion National Park we didn’t have camping reservations but we were lucky enough to have friends also going. They left Vegas before us and waited in line forever to get a campsite which we were lucky to join. The National Park campgrounds fill up fast!

We left Vegas a bit later in the day and got to Zion in time to visit the Visitor’s Center, set up camp, and do one of the shorter trails.

We took the shuttle down to the fourth stop where the trail to Emerald Pools began, you can also get off at the 3rd stop but that trail to lower Emerald Pools was closed due to rock fall. This version of the trail is about 3 miles if you do lower, middle, and upper Emerald Pools.

On our way up the trail we had beautiful views of the Virgin River and the canyon. The Virgin river is very small but it has carved it’s way through the entire canyon and still removes tons of debris each year. We ran into our friends Rachel and Chad who we were camping with on their way down from the trail and said hello but continued on.

A bit further along we ran into a woman who quickly shushed us and directed us to look up off the trail a bit. There we could see a mule deer. Mule deer are very common at Zion and not too afraid of humans. On the bus we had seen them next to the edge of the road as well. Continuing on the trail we visited lowers pools, then middle, then upper and hiked back down the same trail.

Zion has a highway running through it and it’s gates are open all night because of this. After our hike we decided to check out the small town we had passed on the way in. Outside the park you will find a bunch of cute stores for souvenirs, a grocery store for food to cook over the fire, restaurants, and hotels. It’s a really cute area and made it even more fun to stay here since there was a variety of things to do at night.