Trail Snacks and Picnic Lunches: Eating Healthy in Zion National Park

Apr 9, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments


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Recently we highlighted some of our top tips for eating healthy in Zion National Park, as well as some of our favorite places to dine in nearby Springdale, Utah. Fresh, delicious restaurants like Anthera and Cafe Soleil are just a short Zion shuttle ride or walk from the park or from the best villas Utah has to offer.

But while there are plenty of dining options close to Watchman Villas, one big tip that we shared was booking a vacation rental instead of a hotel during your visit. When you book one of our spacious villas, you’ll enjoy access to a fully equipped kitchen, allowing you to cook healthy and delicious meals during your vacation.

In addition to cooking healthy dinners, having a kitchen also allows you to prepare healthy snacks and picnic lunches to take with you on your daily adventures. This is a great way to avoid grabbing junk food or going without essential fuel during a hike.

If you’re looking for ideas for eating healthy in Zion National Park, keep reading to learn some of our favorite trail snacks and picnic lunch ideas.

Healthy Trail Snacks

Regardless of whether you’re planning to hike the challenging Angels Landing or an easier trail like Riverside Walk or the Pa’rus Trail, having trail snacks along can help your family stay energized and happy throughout the day. Before you reach for chips or candy though, check out these easy DIY trail snacks that are great for eating healthy in Zion National Park.

Trail Mix

Trail mix is one of the most versatile and easy trail snacks to make, especially if you’re eating healthy in Zion National Park. Simply choose your favorite nuts, dried fruits, crackers, and other small snacks, and mix them together in a large Ziploc. You can even mix in a sweet treat, like M&Ms and chocolate chips. Keep in mind these may get soft if you’re hiking on a hot day.

Consider transferring the trail mix into smaller bags to make it easier for your group to nosh on the trail. If you’ll be stuffing your snacks into a hiking backpack, consider using a plastic container to keep it from getting crushed.

Energy Balls

Along the same lines as trail mix, energy balls are an easy hiking snack that you can whip up in your kitchen in the best villas Utah has to offer. Start with rolled oats, then add peanut butter and honey to hold them together and make them more filling and energizing.

You can also add your choice of tasty ingredients, like shredded coconut, chocolate chips, or yogurt chips. Roll them into balls and refrigerate them until they’re firm.

Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a tasty, filling snack that’s packed with fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Drain and rinse canned chickpeas, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Toss them with olive oil and seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, or paprika. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until crispy. Let them cool before packing them for a crunchy and protein-packed snack on the trail.

Easy Picnic Lunches and Dinners

Whether you’re planning to spend the day taking on a tough trail or just want to extend your time in the park, packing a picnic lunch or dinner is a great way to enjoy eating healthy in Zion National Park without having to go hungry.

Get Creative With Sandwiches

Sandwiches are often a go-to when you think of packing picnic lunches to take with you on a hike. But if you’re planning on eating healthy in Zion National Park, and want something more creative than peanut butter and jelly, it’s time to mix things up. 

Turkey and avocado on whole grain bread, wraps with hummus and vegetables, or pita pockets filled with crisp cucumbers, tzatziki, and pepperonis are delicious and filling lunch options that you can easily whip up in your villa’s kitchen.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a filling and healthy type of whole grain that’s tasty even when eaten chilled. This makes it a great choice for making pasta-salad-style meals that you can bring with you into the park.

One of our favorite quinoa recipes combines a variety of healthy fats and fiber-packed ingredients. Combine cooked quinoa with diced vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli, along with chickpeas or black beans, feta cheese, and a lemon-tahini dressing. Store it in a portable container and serve chilled.

Charcuterie Board To-Go

Charcuterie boards aren’t just a fun snack for happy hour. Many of the ingredients you’ll find on fancy charcuterie boards also make great trail foods. Arrange a selection of cheeses, cured meats, crackers, nuts, and fruits in a divided container. This customizable option requires minimal preparation and offers a variety of flavors. Make a large tray, and snack on it throughout the day to stay full and energized.

Eating Healthy in Zion National Park

Eating healthy in Zion National Park is easier than you might think. While dining options in the park are limited, there are plenty of restaurants located just a short drive, walk, or Zion shuttle ride away in Springdale, Utah. And when you book one of the best villas Utah has to offer, located right here at Watchman Villas, you’ll also enjoy access to a fully equipped kitchen where you can whip up healthy meals, picnic lunches, and trail snacks during your stay.

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

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