An amazing destination in Southern Utah. Here's what you need to know:
- Why Springdale?
- Time needed to have a great experience
- Zion National Park (in a nutshell)
- Driving times to get there
- Best time to visit
- Weather: what to expect any time of year
- Best places for breakfast and dinner
- Lodging picks
Scroll down to find all the answers to an awesome getaway, any time of year!
At the entrance to Zion National Park in Southern Utah, Springdale is chock full of outstanding galleries, shops, eateries, and very nice places to stay. This beautiful town of 600 residents is almost entirely surrounded by the park with free trolleys from one end of town to the other (the wait averages about 10 minutes), and well into the park.
The shuttles in Springdale run every 10 minutes or so and are free. There are also free shuttles in Zion National Park to some of the most popular hikes and scenic viewpoints.
The town itself has become an outstanding destination in itself and is worth spending a full day exploring - almost all of it on foot or on a bike, the latter of which you can rent at several places in town and at the park.
So park your car, relax, and you will absolutely LOVE what Springdale has to offer!
Time needed to have a great experience:
Three days is perfect: a half-day to simply drive through the park, both directions, followed by some time at the visitor center and getting a feel of the town and park. Make sure you use the shuttles in Springdale and into the park (shuttles are all free, but do not go through the entire park).
The second day is a perfect day for a hike or bike ride. The hikes go from the most extreme (Angel's Landing) to paved, easy trails along the Virgin River (Riverside Walk).
And then spend a day walking and shopping Springdale. There's a beautiful riverside park, incredible shops and galleries, amazing eateries, outfitters, and guides.
Zion National Park:
From Springdale (the west entrance to the park is actually IN Springdale) the drive from the west to east entrance is approximately 12 miles long (km) and takes approximately 40 minutes. It's considered one of the most spectacular drives in the world, and when you come back through the park, the views are surprisingly different, so make sure you make the trip BOTH directions.
There is a long tunnel in the park, which often backs up (a pretty spectacular place to be stuck in traffic) as RV's and other large vehicles come through turning it into a one-way road.
Elevation: 3,900 feet (1,200 m)
- From St. George: 55 minutes
- From Las Vegas, Nevada: 2.5 hours
- From Salt Lake City, Utah: 4.5 hours
- Nearest major interstate freeway: I-15
The Riverside Trail in Zion National Park is about a mile long, easy to navigate (mostly paved), beautiful, and very busy!
Best time to visit:
- Zion National Park hosts more than four million visitors a year, primarily during the summer months. I think the best time to visit Springdale and the park is in April, May, September and October. Start early each day to avoid the crowds, and weekdays are far less busy than the weekends.
- Avoid visiting during holiday weekends, if you can, due to large crowds.
Weather and temperature averages:
- Jan|Feb|March: Average high: 58º (14ºc) Average low: Right around freezing (0ºc)
- Apr|May|Jun: Average high: 85º (29ºc) Average low: 52º (11ºc)
- Jul|Aug|Sep: Average high: 92º (33ºc) Average low: 65º (18ºc)
- Oct|Nov|Dec: Average high: 68º (20ºc) Average low: 40º (4ºc)
Springdale enjoys a dry climate with an average of only 15"(38cm) of rain a year (just over an inch per month | 2.5cm) and an average of four inches of snow each year (10cm), which rarely lasts more than a day or two.
- There is no "bad" dining in Springdale, but our favorite was dining on the back patio of Kings Landing Bistro. Spectacular views, great food, excellent service.
Like the restaurants, there really is no poor quality lodging in Springdale. Families with kids would probably love the Desert Pearl Inn. For great quality, beautiful grounds and for couples or those wanting a little luxury, my pick: The Cliffrose Lodge. Cable Mountain Lodge would be a close second.