KJ and I had our cruise trip cancelled- and alternate plans took us to Utah.
We stayed in St George at The Inn at Entrada. Fun fact- it's where High School Musical 2 was filmed- also fun fact- that's exactly why I chose it! HA The whole city was great, and had a very home- town feel. Lots of great restaurants to eat at (our faves were The Crepery & Cliffside) and TONS of hiking spots. Zion was about an hour drive so we only went there once- but the local parks were absolutely beautiful and made for an easy hike to watch the sunrise.
My favorite part of our trip was hiking through The Narrows in Zion. It's about a 10 mile hike (we did 5 miles so we had enough time to try the other trails) and it's all through water! It normally stayed around ankle/ shin deep, but there were a few spots that got pretty deep! It was super unique and absolutely beautiful. Zion has been on my top list of places to visit for years- and I was not gonna miss out being so close. Even with the pandemic restrictions, we had the best time.. There are just a few things we learned to make the most out of our time.
1- Purchase a shuttle ticket ASAP.
To allow for social distancing- the parks are limited to how many people they allow in- and shuttles are at half capacity. You can only purchase a shuttle ticket online, and they sell-out fast!
It is possible to go to the park without a ticket, but if you are hiking- then it's quite a trek to reach several of the main trailheads. Using the shuttle allows you to spend more of your day hiking the trails, instead of hiking TO the trails. For 1$ per ticket- it's money WELL spent to save the time.
You can purchase your shuttle tickets here-
2- Arrive EARLY
The park only allows a certain number of people in, and once it's full- it's full... If you will be in the area, and have more days to play with- then you can take the gamble- but that was not an option for us. We arrived at the park around 6 am, got on the 7am shuttle and had all day to enjoy in the park.
The park also got a lot busier after around 9am- so if you're trying to keep your distance. Early morning is the best time.
3- End your day with a drive towards Bryce Canyon.
The "Scenic Drive" is closed at this time, and that was a MAJOR bummer for me. We were able to enjoy it from the shuttle, but not at the pace we would have on our own. Since it was closed to the public- we took the road towards Bryce Canyon and WOW. It was honestly the best outcome because has the Zion drive not been closed- we would have never tried this.
Tons of little spots to stop and take a quick picture, long tunnels through the mountains that opened up to BREATHTAKING views. We had rented a convertible- and both of us agree that the drive was one of our favorite parts of the whole trip!
This sweet couple let me stop them mid-hike for a picture.
The view was TOO GOOD so I told my husband that the next couple that walks by, I was gonna ask them to let me snap one real quick- it was out of my comfort zone, and if my husband didn't bet I wouldn't, I may have not followed through. Luckily I'm stubborn and accepted the challenge. Gena and I are IG friends now- so it worked out great!