Are you looking for a great family road trip? We’ve got the perfect itinerary that is full of natural beauty! Let’s travel from Las Vegas to Zion National Park, and explore the amazing destinations along the way.
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Las Vegas to Zion National Park – Southwest Road Trip
It is possible to take a day trip from Las Vegas to Zion. The drive is 2.5-hours each way, but why rush? You don’t want to breeze past the natural wonders and incredible memories that await you in the American Southwest. And you’ll want at least a couple of days exploring Zion. So we created an 8-day itinerary that showcases some of America’s most unique beauty, even if it means taking a few detours.
So pack your bags and come along as we create the ultimate Las Vegas to Zion National Park itinerary.
When is the best time for a Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip?
Fall is an amazing time for a southwest road trip. The weather is cooler and the crowds are thinner. Winter and even spring might include a rare snowfall, and summer can reach extremely high temperatures, especially in the desert. If you have the time, we choose fall, but spring is a good alternative.
Day 1: Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
Begin your journey at the Las Vegas airport (LAS), where you will hire a rental car and head to stop #1 – Grand Canyon National Park. It’s about a four-hour drive to the main park, so we recommend skipping any Vegas sightseeing for now.
The sooner you arrive at the Grand Canyon, the better. You’ll likely want to allow enough time to check out the visitors center at the park entrance and use the free shuttles to access different viewpoints. Plus, you can stretch your legs along part of the Canyon Rim Trail, which has fantastic views of the canyon and the Colorado River.
For the best sunset views, head to Hopi Point. After that, you’ll likely be ready to rest up for another exciting day tomorrow.
Where to Stay
El Tovar Hotel is a historic hotel right on the rim of the Grand Canyon. There’s an onsite restaurant, a nice little gift shop, and free parking.
Under Canvas Grand Canyon offers a unique glamping experience less than 30 minutes from the National Park. Luxe tents feature private bathrooms and comfortable beds. Plus, there’s a restaurant and fire pits onsite.
Clear Sky Resorts is about 25 minutes from Grand Canyon Village. Here, you can stay in unique glamping domes with fantastic star-gazing opportunities.
Day 2: Grand Canyon to Page
On the second day of your adventures, you’ll take your time heading to Page, Arizona. There’s no huge rush to begin this two-hour drive, so finish up any Grand Canyon sightseeing in the morning to make it to Page by early afternoon.
Just south of Page, you’ll want to stop at Horseshoe Bend, which features a ¾-mile hike out to the scenic overlook. This is a great place to see the Colorado River in action, and stretch your legs for a bit.
The next stop is Glen Canyon Dam, a massive dam set among the beautiful sandstone cliffs of Arizona. This is an easy and quick stop with lots of nice scenery.
Glen Canyon Dam created Lake Powell, the final stop on today’s journey. It’s stunning to see, as the lake reflects the desert scenery. It’s a popular destination for all kinds of watersports.
Where to Stay in Page
Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell has a great location near Page’s best destinations, so you won’t have to drive far after seeing Glen Canyon Dam and Horseshoe Bend. There’s also onsite breakfast, a pool, and nice views.
Shash Dine’ EcoRetreat is a unique opportunity for glamping in the Navajo Nation. The property features bell tents, covered wagons and a cabin, so families are sure to find an accommodation to suit their needs. Star gazing here is second to none and guests can enjoy cookouts and stories around the fire pit.
Day 3: Page, Upper Antelope Canyon, & Lake Powell
Get an early start on Day 3, as you’ve got a lot to see in and around Page, Arizona. One of the most memorable attractions nearby is Upper Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon located on Navajo land. You must book a tour to see the canyon – visit the official Antelope Canyon site here to see approved tour companies. Tours typically last about an hour and a half.
Another great thing to do in the area is join a boat tour on Lake Powell. These guided journeys are the best ways to see the lake’s scenery without worrying about navigating the tricky waterscape.
There are many great options, so consider choosing something that aligns with your tour of Upper Antelope Canyon. A Lake Powell day tour could include hiking stops, or you can opt for a simple (and scenic!) dinner cruise.
Where to Stay
You’ll stay put in Page tonight, so there’s no need to change hotels yet.
Day 4: Page to Zion National Park
It will take a little under two hours to reach Zion National Park. We recommend leaving early, as there’s so much to do once you arrive. Begin your adventure at the Visitors Center, as it will help you get your bearings and allow you to learn about this unique place.
After you get your bearings, hop back in the car and head to the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. This is a can’t-miss, and you may want to explore some of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive as well.
Today is a great day for a couple of short hikes: Pa’rus Trail is 3.5 miles roundtrip and close to the Visitors Center. Or, for something even easier, consider the 1-mile Grotto Trail, which has excellent wildlife viewing.
Plan to spend a little time exploring the nearby town of Springdale, Utah. It has a charming small downtown area and is close to Grafton Ghost Town, which kids of all ages will love to see.
Where to Stay near Zion National Park
Zion Wildflower Resort has covered wagons that sleep up to six people – they’re a unique stay and are super Instagram-worthy. Or, opt for one of their private bungalows or glamping tents.
Cliffrose Springdale is a riverfront hotel within walking distance of the Zion Visitor Center. There’s onsite breakfast, a seasonal pool, and a waterfall hot tub.
Best Western Plus Zion Canyon Inn & Suites is in a quiet, scenic setting just outside the park. Enjoy free breakfast, a seasonal pool, and private balconies.
Day 5: Zion National Park
Today is your full day in Zion National Park! You’ll get to see some of the best sights around the park and simply enjoy the breathtaking surroundings.
The most popular hike in Zion is the Narrows, so if the weather is right, you should plan on including this. You’ll walk through the narrowest parts of the gorge, surrounded by thousand-foot walls.
It can be tricky since you have to wade through the river, but it’s a really fun adventure for kids who are old enough to enjoy it. Be sure to check in with a local outfitter to ensure you have the right gear.
If you’re lucky enough to get a permit to hike Angels Landing, it’s an incredible adventure. However, it is steep and strenuous, so make sure the entire family is up for it (or willing to sit it out while the rest of the group embarks).
Have you ever heard of Zion’s Emerald Pools? Hiking the lower Emerald Pool will take you to a stunning waterfall. Upper and Middle Emerald Pool trails will take you to even more sweeping views.
Beyond hiking, you can also swim in the Virgin River or bike along the Pa’rus Trail. Be sure to explore the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive if you didn’t get it in yesterday!
Where to Stay
This will be your second night staying in Zion, so there’s no need to change hotels tonight.
Day 6: Zion to Las Vegas
It’s time to return to Vegas, but our adventure isn’t over yet! We’ll get to see Snow Canyon State Park, a true gem that’s just an hour west of Springdale.
Here, you’ll be surrounded by sandstone cliffs, volcanic cinder cones, and petrified cliffs. There are 38 miles of hiking trails throughout the state park. We recommend Johnson’s Canyon and Lava Flow trails for their varied landscapes.
To really get into the Western spirit, consider joining a horseback riding tour through Snow Canyon State Park – it’s a great way to enjoy the incredible scenery.
If you have extra time, check out nearby St. George, Utah. Kids will love the Dinosaur Discovery Site, and its downtown area has cute shops and restaurants.
St. George is less than two hours away from Las Vegas. You’ll spend the next day out on the town, so you can take your time getting there.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
Day 7: Las Vegas
You’ve seen some of the best scenery in the American Southwest. Now it’s time to enjoy a short visit to Sin City.
For family-friendly fun near the Las Vegas Strip, we recommend checking out Stratosphere Adventures, TopGolf, the Pinball Hall of Fame, and the Bellagio Fountains Nighttime Show. If you need more ideas, you’ll want this list of the best family-friendly activities in Las Vegas or the best things to do in Las Vegas with teens.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, consider checking out Red Rock Canyon or taking an off-roading tour of the desert.
Where to Stay
This will be your second night in your Las Vegas hotel.
Day 8 – Las Vegas to Home
Your Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip has come to an end. Now it’s time to return to the airport and fly back home. Some families plan for a later flight to pack in a little more Vegas excitement. Or, you might be ready to catch an early flight and rest up at home.
What was your favorite day of your road trip? From the noisy streets of Las Vegas to the echoing walls of Zion, you’ve seen some of the best scenery in the United States. Now it’s time to plan for your next family road trip!