Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, & The Grand Canyon
activities at the National
Parks and Springdale too!
All the National Parks and Springdale have ample activities,
from hiking and sightseeing, or just taking in the relaxed
country pace, to mountain biking trails and horse back
tours. Open year round, the lodge plays host to travelers
from around the world. One of the best discoveries in
Zion is our off-season. As leaves begin to fall, the
canyon opens up, exposing a point of view that summer
never reveals. In winter, the sun is warm, the air is
clear and crisp, and the crimson peaks are lightly frosted
in snow. That is one of the best times for photographing
Zion. Our long spring is warm and colorful, with the
leaves returning early, and cactus and wildflowers blooming
During your stay at the Driftwood, day trips into the
scenic Grand Circle of southwestern Utah are simply breathtaking.
The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell, and Coral
Pink Sand Dunes are an easy drive.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is one of the great scenic wonders
of the west and contains a myriad of deep sandstone canyons
that extend over 30 miles and covers an area of 229 square
miles. This national park was created in 1909 and originally
named Mukuntuweap National Monument. The name was later
changed in 1919 to Zion National Park. The park is composed
mostly of sedimentary layers of sandstone that have been
stained by the oxidizing of iron in the rock. The sandstone
which makes up most of the rock in Zion National Park
was formed by the compression of ancient sand dunes over
eons of time. Eventually streams running across the
Colorado Plateau caused what is now known as the the
Virgin River to overflow with flood waters. The river
eroded the rock away taking boulders, sand, and pebbles
with it. Over time it carved the canyons you'll see today
in Zion National Park. One of the best times to be in
the park is during a rain storm. Water collects quickly
into pools on the upper plateaus of the park and gravity
then forces great amounts of water into carved crevices
that send cascading waterfalls to the valley floor.
During a good rain you'll see waterfalls coming from
every cliff face or major crevice. For more info on our
park go to www.nps.gov/zion
The Zion Shuttle
Avoid parking issues, as
general parking is limited inside Zion and only available
during the winter season inside the park itself. There
is a shuttle stop right at the Driftwood Lodge so you
can simply leave your car here and ride the town shuttle
to the park. Buses run frequently throughout the day,
as often as every six minutes.
Bryce Canyon National Park is easily accessible from Springdale for hikes and day trips. Bryce Canyon offers wonderful views from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau where you are able to see the red rock spires, hoodoos, and amphitheaters. Bryce Canyon also offers one of the best night skies in the country. The sky is so dark Venus can cast a shadow! The park offers several night sky programs. For those looking for an easy way to view Bryce, drive along Highway 63 and stop at each of the viewpoints: Bryce Point, Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, and Inspiration Point. Another excellent way to view the park is by horseback. Canyon Trail Rides offers 2 and 4 hour rides on either a horse or mule along the Peek-a-boo Loop Trail. Mountain biking is also popular around the Bryce Canyon area. During the winter months, snowshoers and cross-country skiers are prevalent. For more information about Bryce Canyon National Park you may visit their website: www.nps.gov/brca.
Bryce Canyon Shuttle
Bryce Canyon offers a shuttle to transport you around the canyon. You may park outside of the park at the bus stop near Ruby's Inn; or inside the park at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, North Campgrounds, or Sunset Campgrounds.
The Grand Canyon
Although it lies only ten air miles across
the canyon, the North Rim is more than
200 miles (320 km) from the South Rim by
vehicle or a strenuous 21-mile (34 km), two- to
three-day cross-canyon hike. The North Rim sits considerably higher than
the South Rim—8200 feet (2500 m) at the edge
of the canyon, almost 9000 feet (2700 m) at the
entrance station. The road into the North Rim
opens in mid-May and remains open until the
first heavy snowfall in November. Most facilities
are open mid-May to mid-October.
Summer temperatures are pleasant along the
rim, but increase rapidly as you descend into
the canyon. Low humidity causes significant
temperature differences between day and night.
The low humidity and high elevation also means
that it is important to drink water frequently.
Afternoon thundershowers are common in July,
August, and early September. Windy conditions
prevail in April and May. Snow may fall as early
as November. Winter snowstorms continue
into March. Roads are plowed frequently, so
closures seldom last long.
For more information about the Grand Canyon's South Rim visit www.nps.gov/grca/
The Grand Canyon Shuttle
Four shuttle bus routes serve many areas of the
South Rim—two operate year-round and two