Top Tips for Seniors Visiting Zion National Park

Feb 28, 2024 | Article, Blog | 0 comments


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One of the things that makes Zion National Park so popular is that it truly has something for everyone to enjoy. The park’s more than five million annual visitors each visit in search of something a little different. Some come in search of challenging hiking trails, like Angels Landing or The Narrows. Others plan a visit to spend quality time with family or friends. Many visitors staying in the best villas Utah has to offer with a keen interest in history come to see the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, visit the Zion Human History Museum and maybe chat with a ranger.

Watchman Villas also welcomes travelers of all ages and backgrounds. As the best villas Utah has to offer, our units range from multi-room options that can sleep extended families to smaller units perfect for a couple or smaller family unit.

If you’re an older adult or have seniors in your family and think that Zion is out of reach, think again. Just as the park has plenty to offer everyone from families with small children to adventure-seekers, senior travelers will find no shortage of ways to spend their time. Keep reading to learn our top tips for seniors visiting Zion National Park.

Rethink When You Visit

Many of the tips on this list will involve finding hiking trails and other activities that are in your comfort zone. But this first tip is one that seniors with flexible schedules can take advantage of to make the most of their visit.

If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying retirement or have accumulated plenty of off-time over the years, try to plan your national park adventure during the shoulder season. This is a great way to take advantage of a park with fewer guests, lines, and traffic. Visiting during the early spring or late fall is a great way to beat the rush and enjoy a more open park.  

If you don’t mind colder weather, winter—also known as Zion’s Secret Season—might just be the best time to visit Zion.

Don’t Assume You Can’t Enjoy a Beautiful Hike

If mobility is an issue, you might assume that hiking is out of the question. But the truth is that most national parks offer plenty of easy trails, many of which are flat, paved, wheelchair accessible, and perfect for hikers of all ages and ability levels.

Zion National Park has a variety of hiking trails that are accessible to travelers of all ages and abilities. The Riverside Walk is located at the last stop on the Zion Shuttle line. This short paved trail is relatively flat. It takes hikers into the increasingly narrowing canyon and features towering cliff walls on either side. At the end of the trail, where you’ll turn around to head back to the shuttle stop, there are a few steps leading down to the banks of the Virgin River, and the start of The Narrows. You can even hike upstream in The Narrows for a ways to get a taste of this unique trail without committing to a longer, more difficult hike.

The Pa’rus Trail is a flat, paved trail that winds through the main section of the Lower Canyon. It offers great views of Zion’s peaks. It’s also the only trail in the park where you can ride bikes, making it a great option for seniors who are looking for an alternative to hiking.

There are Plenty of Alternatives to Hiking

We already mentioned biking on Pa’rus Trail as an alternative to hiking. If you’re a senior traveler looking for something even more accessible, consider renting an ebike in Springdale to cruise through the park and along the Pa’rus Trail.

If biking isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to see the park. On a less busy day, simply riding the Zion Shuttle through the park is a great way to see the sights. You can easily get to various overlooks that make it easy to take in the park’s most recognizable features. If you visit during the winter, you can drive your personal car through the Lower Canyon. Any time of year, visitors can drive to the Upper Canyon, passing through the famous Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel.

Other alternatives to hiking include booking off-road tours in the area, visiting the Zion Human History Museum and Visitor Center, attending ranger-led programs, and enjoying a picnic on the lawn of the Zion Lodge.

Take Advantage of the Senior Pass

One big perk of visiting national parks as a senior? Some serious cost-savings.

If you are lucky enough to be 62 or older, you are eligible for a Senior Pass to the national parks. The pass is available to all senior citizens of the U.S. for just $80. This is the same cost as the America the Beautiful Pass, but with a big twist; rather than only being good for a year, it’s good for life.

With your pass, you can enter any national park, free of charge, as often as you’d like. You also gain free access to over 2,000 federal lands and recreation areas managed by five other agencies, including:

  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

If you’re planning to visit multiple parks during your stay in the best villas Utah has to offer, the Senior Pass could save you more than $100.

In addition to free entrance for the pass holder, the Senior Pass will allow you to bring three other adults into the park with you. The Senior Pass also provides discounts on some amenity fees, like camping, swimming, or boat launch fees. In some cases, these may even be free with a Senior Pass.

Planning Your Visit to the Best Villas Utah Has to Offer

Bonus tip: Stay at Watchman Villas during your visit with Zion to enjoy easy access to the national park and the Springdale Shuttle. Utilizing this shuttle will allow you to skip finding parking each morning when the shuttles are in operation. It also makes it easy to get back to your Zion National Park vacation rentals in the middle of the day if someone in your group needs a break.

If you’re a senior or looking to plan a stay for your extended family at the best villas Utah has to offer, these tips can help ensure that every member of your group has a great time, regardless of their age.

Ready to start planning your next visit to Zion? Book your stay at Watchman Villas today!

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