Are you looking to see the best of the southwest’s most iconic national parks? Look no further than this Grand Canyon and Zion National Park road trip!
From the miraculously carved depths of the Grand Canyon to the towering cliffs and serene valleys of Zion, this itinerary covers the best of both national parks and all the beautiful places in between.
In this guide, I’m sharing the best Grand Canyon to Zion National Park road trip itinerary, plus details on the best time to visit and how to modify this itinerary for your needs.
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Route Summary: Grand Canyon to Zion Road Trip
The route you take from the Grand Canyon to Zion will depend on which rim of the Grand Canyon you’ll be visiting.
- Grand Canyon South Rim to Zion: 4.5 hours, via Page & Kanab
- Grand Canyon North Rim to Zion: 2 hours, via Jacob Lake & Kanab
- Grand Canyon West Rim to Zion: 4.5 hours, via Las Vegas & St. George
Most visitors to the Grand Canyon choose to visit the South Rim. The South Rim is the national park’s most established and popular area.
However, for this road trip itinerary, I recommend visiting all three rims of the Grand Canyon if you have the time!
I recommend visiting the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park on a road trip loop starting and ending in Las Vegas. While you can complete the loop in either direction, I’ve written this post beginning with the Grand Canyon and ending in Zion.
Here’s a quick overview of the route and essential trip highlights:
- Route: Las Vegas – Grand Canyon South Rim – Grand Canyon North Rim – Page, AZ – Zion National Park – Las Vegas
- Total Miles Driven: Roughly 950 miles
- Total Driving Time: Roughly 17 hours
- Ideal Trip Length: 9 to 12 days for the entire route
I’ve created this interactive map that allows you to scroll, zoom, and click through the destinations covered on this Grand Canyon and Zion road trip.
This map is a great way to see the itinerary in action! See the road trip map here or click the image below.
Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim
- Estimated Time: 1-2 days
- Highlights: Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon Skywalk, Route 66
While the main reason for starting and ending your road trip in Las Vegas is its proximity to both parks, it’s also an incredible tourist attraction! Las Vegas is the world’s entertainment capital, with no shortage of nightlife, shows, and restaurants.
While I don’t recommend spending much time in Las Vegas on this road trip, it’s a great spot to spend a night at either the end of your trip for a relaxing spa day or at the casinos before or after your national park adventures.
There are also incredible outdoor destinations and attractions near Las Vegas and on the drive to the Grand Canyon.
Instead of making a beeline for the Grand Canyon, explore some of these scenic, non-national park attractions along the way!
Things to Do Between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon South Rim
- The Las Vegas Strip: A hub for entertainment and nightlife, The Strip is the crown jewel of Las Vegas, lined with dazzling casinos, world-class restaurants, and spectacular live shows. Whether you’re trying your luck at a casino, catching a star-studded performance, or simply soaking in the neon-lit spectacle, the Strip is well worth a stop at the start or end of your road trip.
- Red Rock Canyon: Just a short drive from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon is a stark contrast to the neon lights of the big city. This National Conservation Area is famous for its towering red sandstone peaks and panoramic desert vistas. It is perfect for hiking, rock climbing, or a scenic drive.
- Hoover Dam: This engineering marvel is located 25 miles southeast of Las Vegas on the border between Arizona and Nevada. The massive concrete dam is a testament to human ingenuity, offering guided tours that delve into its history and function. Take the chance to walk along the dam and enjoy the stunning views of the Colorado River. Since the dam is located directly off the highway, it’s a quick detour on your way to the Grand Canyon.
- Grand Canyon West Skywalk: Before reaching the South Rim, consider a detour to the Grand Canyon West Skywalk. This part of the Grand Canyon is protected by the Hualapai tribe, not the National Park Service. This glass bridge extends 4,000 feet over the canyon, offering heart-stopping views of the chasm below.
- Route 66: If you’re looking for nostalgia, don’t miss driving along a segment of the legendary Route 66. This historic highway, known as the “Main Street of America,” has quirky roadside attractions, vintage diners, and unique shops. Detour onto Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman. If you have the time, stop in Kingman to explore the historic downtown area and the Kingman Railroad Museum before heading out on your scenic drive on Route 66.
- Williams: Just an hour from the South Rim, Williams is the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Its quaint main street, lined with historic buildings, evokes the spirit of the Old West. Enjoy the local eateries, browse the souvenir shops, and immerse yourself in the town’s rich railroad heritage. Williams is also the departure point for the Grand Canyon Railway!
If you’re short on time and want to make it from Las Vegas to the South Rim in one day, skip the Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Canyon, and the West Rim Skywalk. If you’re flying into Las Vegas on this day, book a flight that arrives in the morning to give yourself plenty of time for the 5-hour drive to the South Rim.
Where to Stay Between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon
If you’re looking to break up this part of the drive into two days, I recommend picking one of these hotels along the route:
- Grand Canyon Western Ranch Resort near the West Rim Skywalk (2 hours from Las Vegas, 4 hours to the South Rim)
- Hualapai Lodge, located along Historic Route 66 in Peach Springs (2.5 hours from Las Vegas, 2.5 hours to the South Rim)
- Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams (3.5 hours from Las Vegas, 1 hour to the South Rim)
- La Quinta by Wyndham Williams-Grand Canyon Area in Williams (3.5 hours from Las Vegas, 1 hour to the South Rim)
See the Grand Canyon South Rim
- Estimated Time: 2-3 Days
- Highlights: Grand Canyon Village, Hermit Road, South Rim Trail, Desert View Drive, Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail
The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular natural landmarks in the United States. Plus, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Natural Wonders of the World.
The Grand Canyon South Rim will be your first destination on this road trip!
The South Rim is the most visited part of the Grand Canyon, home to stunning hiking trails, iconic national park lodges, a free shuttle service, and plenty of amenities. There’s an endless list of things to do and stunning viewpoints at the South Rim, enough to fill several days.
I recommend spending two to three days at the Grand Canyon South Rim, depending on how active you are.
Two days are sufficient if you want to see the highlights and don’t mind busy days. If you’re going on longer hikes or exploring more leisurely, plan to spend three days at the South Rim.
Things to Do at Grand Canyon South Rim
- Grand Canyon Village & the South Rim Trail: The village is the hub of the South Rim, offering various lodges, restaurants, historical buildings, and easy access to the Rim Trail. The South Rim Trail stretches miles along the canyon’s edge, providing a flat and easy walk with numerous overlooks and photo opportunities. Don’t miss Mather Point (great for sunrise!), Yavapai Point, the Yavapai Geology Museum, the Trail of Time, Hopi House, El Tovar Hotel, Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio, and the Bright Angel Lodge.
- Bright Angel Trail: This trail is one of the best trails in the park, providing hikers with up-close views of the canyon’s geology. For those with just two days at the South Rim, I recommend hiking to either the Second Tunnel (1.8 miles / 590 feet elevation) or the 1.5-mile Resthouse (3 miles / 1,120 feet elevation). If you’re up for a longer, more challenging hike, you can hike further down the trail, even to the canyon floor at Phantom Ranch (20 miles / 4,000+ feet elevation!).
- South Kaibab Trail: This trail is steeper and more exposed than Bright Angel but offers some of the best panoramic canyon views from Ooh Aah Point and Cedar Ridge. If you only spend two days at the South Rim, hike to Ooh Aah Point and back (1.8 miles / 600 feet elevation). With more time and fitness, you could continue to the canyon floor or any of the viewpoints in between!
- Hermit Road Viewpoints: A scenic route accessible by shuttle bus, Hermit Road has several less-crowded viewpoints, each providing a different perspective of the canyon’s vastness and beauty. Don’t miss Powell Point, Hopi Point (great for sunset!), Mohave Point, and Hermit’s Rest.
- Desert View Drive Viewpoints: This drive offers a series of viewpoints along the eastern canyon rim. Since these viewpoints aren’t accessible on the free park shuttle, crowds are much more manageable than in the bustling Grand Canyon Village. Don’t miss Desert View Watchtower, Navajo Point, Lipan Point, Tusayan Ruin, Moran Point, and Grandview Point.
Are you looking for more things to do at the Grand Canyon? Check out these blog posts too!
– One Day Grand Canyon South Rim Itinerary
– Best Things to Do at the Grand Canyon South Rim
– Best Views at the Grand Canyon (South + North Rim!)
Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon South Rim
Staying inside the park requires booking well in advance and can be pricey, but the walkability is unparalleled! For a deep dive, check out this post on the best places to stay near the Grand Canyon. But here are a few highlights, too.
Here are a few of my favorite lodges inside the park:
- Bright Angel Lodge (on the Rim)
- El Tovar Hotel (on the Rim)
- Maswik Lodge (off the Rim)
- Yavapai Lodge (off the Rim)
If you prefer more budget-friendly accommodations outside the park, consider booking a hotel in Tusayan instead.
- The Grand Hotel
- Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon
This interactive map can help you search all the available hotels and rental properties near Grand Canyon National Park! Simply scroll and click the map below to see what is available!
Explore the Grand Canyon North Rim
- Estimated Time: One Day
- Highlights: Cameron Trading Post, Bright Angel Point, Cape Royal Scenic Drive, Point Imperial
After a few days of exploring the more popular South Rim, it’s time to explore off-the-beaten-path at the North Rim. The Grand Canyon’s North Rim is only 10 miles away as the bird flies from the South Rim. However, reaching the North Rim requires hiking through the canyon or driving around the long way.
As you make your way to Zion National Park, I highly recommend exploring the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
You could make this into a multi-day trip. However, for the sake of time, I recommend waking up early and spending the morning driving to the North Rim, making a few scenic stops along the way.
You’ll explore the North Rim in the afternoon before spending the night near Page. For recommendations on places to stay near Page, see the next section.
If you skip visiting Page, I recommend spending the night in Jacob Lake, Fredonia, or Kanab before heading to Zion the following day.
The Grand Canyon North Rim is only open from June to September. If you are planning your road trip outside of those months, plan to skip the North Rim and drive directly to Page instead.
Things to Do Between the Grand Canyon South Rim and North Rim
- Cameron Trading Post: Situated on the edge of the Navajo land near the East entrance of Grand Canyon National Park, Cameron Trading Post is an excellent place to explore Navajo and Hopi arts and crafts. The historic trading post includes turquoise jewelry, pottery, and textiles, allowing visitors to learn about Navajo culture and history. There is a restaurant on-site, too, making for the perfect pit stop.
- Tuba City: Located within the Navajo Nation, Tuba City is home to the fascinating Navajo Moenave Dinosaur Tracks. This site offers a unique glimpse into the past, with well-preserved dinosaur tracks that are thousands of years old. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the tracks and the area’s geological history.
- Marble Canyon & the Historic Navajo Bridge: Marble Canyon marks the start of the Grand Canyon and is renowned for its impressive depth and striking rock formations. The Historic Navajo Bridge, spanning the canyon, offers a unique vantage point for viewing the Colorado River and the surrounding landscape.
Things to Do at the Grand Canyon North Rim
- Cape Royal Road: This 23-mile scenic drive is a must-do at the North Rim, featuring several spectacular viewpoints on the Walhalla Plateau. Don’t miss Angel’s Window and Cape Royal Point, which are popular sunset spots. (1.5 hours RT)
- Point Imperial: A detour off Cape Royal Road leads you to Point Imperial, the highest viewpoint in the Grand Canyon at 8,803 feet. It’s the northernmost point in the park, offering views south into the canyon and east to the Painted Desert. (40 min RT)
- Bright Angel Point: This famous North Rim viewpoint is one of the most popular spots to glimpse the canyon without much hiking. A short 0.5-mile hike from Grand Canyon Lodge and North Rim Visitor Center leads you to this overlook with breathtaking canyon views.
- North Kaibab Trail: If you have more time to spend in the Grand Canyon and are ultra-fit, consider hiking the North Kaibab Trail. This hike is best done as a Rim-to-Rim hike, connecting with the South Kaibab Trail at the South Rim. However, if you want to make it a day hike instead, you can hike part of the way to the Supai Tunnel and return.
After your day at the North Rim, make the 2.5-hour drive to the Page, Arizona, area to spend the night. If you skip Page and head straight to Zion, plan to spend the night in Kanab, Utah, instead.
Explore Between the Grand Canyon North Rim and Zion National Park
- Estimated Time: 2 to 3 Days
- Highlights: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Kanab
Before heading to Zion National Park, I highly recommend spending time in the Page area. This scenic part of northern Arizona has popular attractions like Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
Plus, if you’re looking for a place to unwind between your national park adventures, spending a few days exploring Lake Powell is the perfect way.
After exploring all that Page and the surrounding area offers, you’ll drive along Highway 89 to Zion, passing through Kanab and eventually along the Zion Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway.
Base yourself out of Page to explore Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, and Antelope Canyon for a night or two before completing the drive from Page to Zion, passing through Kanab in one day.
Things to Do in Page, Arizona
- Antelope Canyon: A breathtaking slot canyon known for its wave-like structure and the light beams that shine down into the openings of the canyon, Antelope Canyon is both surreal and photogenic. This ultra-popular tourist destination requires a guided tour with a Navajo Nation guide to visit and needs to be booked well in advance.
- Horseshoe Bend: This iconic and scenic horseshoe-shaped bend in the Colorado River is easily accessible via a short walk from the parking lot. The overlook provides one of the most iconic panoramic views in the southwest. Horseshoe Bend is particularly popular for sunset, so arrive early!
- Lake Powell: This lake is a massive, man-made reservoir created by the Glen Canyon Dam, offering a variety of water-based activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The lake’s unique landscape is known for its crystal-clear blue waters contrasted against striking red rock formations.
Things to Do Between Page and Zion National Park
- Kanab, Utah: Often referred to as “Little Hollywood,” Kanab is a charming town with a rich history in Western film production. There’s even the Little Hollywood Museum, which is a perfect stop for big fans of westerns. It also serves as a gateway to several natural attractions in the area. If you skip visiting Page, Kanab is an excellent place to stay overnight after visiting the Grand Canyon North Rim.
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park: Located about 30 minutes outside Kanab, Coral Pink Sand Dunes is known for its unique pink-hued dunes. This 1,200-acre state park offers hiking and off-road vehicle riding.
- Thunderbird Restaurant: Known for its slogan “Home of the Ho-Made Pies,” the Thunderbird Restaurant in Mt. Carmel Junction is a popular eatery on the way to Zion National Park. Originally started as a gas station in the 1930s, the restaurant now offers a variety of traditional American dishes, emphasizing its homemade pies.
Where to Stay Between Grand Canyon North Rim and Zion National Park
Where you stay after visiting the North Rim will depend on whether you plan to visit Page.
If you plan to visit Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, or Horseshoe Bend, spend the night in Page after leaving the North Rim. Here are a few of my favorite hotels and cabins in the Page / Lake Powell area:
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
- Hampton Inn & Suites
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites
- The Bear’s Den B&B
If you plan to skip Page and head straight to Zion, I recommend spending the night along Highway 89A between Jacob Lake and Kanab. Staying in this area will cut down on your driving time and allow you to make an easy drive to Zion the following day.
Here are my favorite hotels and places to stay between the North Rim and Kanab:
See the Highlights of Zion National Park
- Estimated Time: 2 to 3 Days
- Highlights: Angels Landing, The Narrows, Observation Point, Canyon Overlook, Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, Emerald Pools Trail
Zion National Park is one of America’s most visited national parks, drawing more than 5 million visitors annually. The park, first established in 1919, is home to a stunning canyon carved out by the Virgin River.
Compared to the Grand Canyon, Zion is much more lush, with unique greenery contrasting the deep red rock layers. Zion features stunning hikes, peaceful walking trails, and plenty of activities to fill a multi-day itinerary.
If you don’t plan to do much hiking, I recommend spending two days in Zion National Park. If you want to take on several of the park’s iconic hiking trails, plan to spend at least three days.
During peak season, most of Zion National Park is only accessible via the free park shuttle. Lines can reach several hours long to board the shuttle that takes you along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, so plan to start your days in Zion early to avoid crowds.
Things to Do in Zion National Park
- Angels Landing: A strenuous 5-mile round trip hike known for steep switchbacks, narrow paths, and chain-assisted sections, Angels Landing is the most iconic hike in Zion National Park. After crossing the narrow ridgeline using the chains bolted into the rock face, you’re rewarded with a famous view overlooking the canyon and Virgin River. Zion National Park requires all hikers to enter a lottery to get a reservation to reduce crowds on this dangerous trail.
- The Narrows: This unique hike, up to 16 miles round trip, has you wading knee-deep through the Virgin River’s waters within a narrow slot canyon. The trail starts at the Temple of Sinawava along Riverside Walk. Most visitors only wade in the water for a short distance before returning. You can make the hike as short or long as you like! Weather conditions, including flash floods, can make this hike impossible, so check with park rangers at the visitor center before entering The Narrows. Proper footwear and hiking poles are a must. Due to heavy winter runoff, The Narrows doesn’t typically open until early summer.
- Observation Point: This hiking trail is a popular alternative to Angels Landing, providing spectacular views overlooking the entire Zion Canyon. The most popular route starts at Weeping Rock, taking you through Echo Canyon and up plentiful switchbacks to reach the overlook. However, this route is currently closed due to a rockfall. Currently, the best route to reach Observation Point is the back way via the East Mesa Trail. This less strenuous route requires driving to the trailhead instead of taking the shuttle.
- Emerald Pools Trail: A network of trails (Lower, Middle, Upper) ranging from easy to moderate, the Emerald Pools Trail leads to lush greenery, streams, and several small pools and waterfalls. The easy, lower trail is family-friendly and provides quick access to the waterfalls. For a more strenuous hike, continue to the middle and upper pools.
- Canyon Overlook Trail: This 1-mile trail leads to a breathtaking overlook, providing an expansive view of Zion Canyon, Pine Creek Canyon, and the lower Zion Canyon. It’s a short but moderate hike with an uphill climb to the viewpoint. This trailhead is one of the few that doesn’t require using the park shuttle. However, parking is limited at the trailhead, so I recommend visiting in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
- Zion-Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway: You likely drove along this scenic highway on your way into Zion National Park. The historic road and the 1-mile Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and feature steep, winding switchbacks. This scenic route features several attractions and viewpoints, including the Canyon Overlook Trail, Checkerboard Mesa, and the East Entrance of Zion National Park.
- Pa’rus Trail: A 3.5-mile round-trip paved trail, the Pa’rus Trail is perfect for biking and walking. It offers excellent accessibility, pet-friendly paths, and picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and river. As one of the few paved paths in the park, this is an excellent option for wheelchairs or strollers.
- Riverside Walk: A 2.2-mile round trip, this easy, paved trail is wheelchair accessible and offers a serene walk along the Virgin River, leading to the entrance of The Narrows. The Riverside Walk is an excellent option for those looking for a low-impact alternative to Zion’s hiking trails.
Where to Stay in Zion National Park
Staying inside the park requires booking well in advance and can be pricey. Inside of Zion National Park, there is only one lodge: Zion Lodge. This scenic lodge gives you unparalleled access to the park and the ability to board the shuttle throughout the park, only a short walk from your room!
If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, book a hotel in Springdale instead. The town of Springdale sits just outside the park border, and many hotels are within walking distance of the park shuttle.
Here are my favorite hotels in the Springdale area:
- Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection by Hilton
- Driftwood Lodge
- Holiday Inn Express Springdale
- Zion Park Motel
- Hampton Inn & Suites
This interactive map can help you search all the available hotels and rental properties near Zion National Park! Simply scroll and click the map below to see what is available!
Drive from Zion National Park to Las Vegas
- Estimated Time: One Day
- Highlights: Kolob Canyons region of Zion, Valley of Fire State Park
After several days exploring Zion National Park, it’s time to head back to this road trip’s starting point: Las Vegas. Only a short drive from Zion, this drive is quickly done in one day, even with a few scenic stops.
As you head back to Las Vegas, stop at Kolob Canyons, a less-visited area of Zion National Park. This detour adds an extra hour of driving, but it is well worth it to explore off-the-beaten-path in Zion.
Then, closer to Las Vegas, be sure to stop at the mesmerizing and photogenic Valley of Fire State Park, just 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas.
Things to Do Between Zion National Park and Las Vegas
- Kolob Canyons: A less-visited section of Zion National Park, Kolob Canyons offers stunning views of crimson canyons and secluded trails. Don’t miss the Kolob Canyon Road scenic drive and the Timber Creek Overlook Trail.
- Valley of Fire State Park: Located in Nevada, this state park is known for its vibrant red sandstone formations, ancient petroglyphs, and unique geological features. Hiking trails like the 1.5-mile Fire Wave Trail and the scenic drive through the park make it the perfect pit stop before arriving back in Las Vegas.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
After a week or more driving through Arizona and Utah, there’s nothing better than relaxing in luxurious Las Vegas before heading home.
If you are interested in spas, casinos, or nightlife, I recommend spending a night on the Las Vegas Strip:
If you’re just looking for a place to rest your head before heading to the airport or on to your next destination, I recommend these hotels instead:
How to Modify This Itinerary
If you have more or less time to spend in these national parks, consider these alternatives.
If you have more time:
- Make a one or two-day detour to Bryce Canyon National Park. Located a few hours northeast of Zion, Bryce Canyon is genuinely bucket-list-worthy. Within one or two days, you can see the highlights, including the Bryce Canyon scenic drive, the Queen’s Garden-Navajo Loop trail, and the Rim Trail between Sunrise and Sunset Point (which is excellent at sunrise).
- Rent a houseboat and relax on Lake Powell. Traveling by houseboat is one of the best ways to see Lake Powell and provides the perfect break halfway between your road trip. Explore houseboat rentals on Lake Powell.
- Add on the full Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip. If you have at least two weeks to travel, you can combine a trip to the Grand Canyon with a visit to all 5 Utah National Parks. Check out my Utah road trip guide for tips on adding Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to your itinerary!
Read More: 8-Day Utah National Parks Road Trip
If you have less time:
- If you only have 6 to 8 days, skip Page and the Grand Canyon North Rim. Focus your time instead at the South Rim and Zion, which can reduce your road trip to about 6 to 8 days.
- If you only have 3 to 5 days, pick one park instead of trying to visit both. Given that each park is several hours from a major airport, it is hard to visit both Grand Canyon and Zion if you’re short on time. I’d recommend visiting the Grand Canyon OR Zion and Bryce Canyon, each of which can be done as a 3-4 day road trip from Las Vegas.
- If you have two days or less, consider making a day trip to the Grand Canyon West Rim Skywalk. This part of the Grand Canyon is about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas and offers the perfect option to see the Grand Canyon if you’re short on time.
Best Airport for Visiting Both Grand Canyon and Zion
Grand Canyon National Park is tucked away in northwestern Arizona, and Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah, only a few hours from each other.
The best way to get to these national parks is by flying unless you live within driving distance.
The best airport to fly into for visiting both Grand Canyon and Zion is the Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport. As a major international airport, Las Vegas offers many flights and is more budget-friendly than smaller regional airports.
The Las Vegas airport is located:
- 2.5 hours from the Grand Canyon West Rim
- 4.5 hours from the Grand Canyon South Rim
- 3 hours from Zion National Park
I use Expedia to find the best flight prices and compare routes. Once you find your flight, you can book directly through Expedia to save money, but still enter your frequent flyer numbers to get points!
If you need a rental car, I also recommend using Expedia to find the best deals across brands like Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and more.
Best Time to Visit Both the Grand Canyon and Zion
Grand Canyon and Zion feature hot summer temperatures and colder, snowy winters. Both parks also have the most visitors during the summer months, from June to August.
For the best weather and avoiding crowds, the best time to visit the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park is spring (April to May) or fall (September to October).
Visiting during these shoulder months ensures all park roads are open and the weather is enjoyable enough to hike and see all the highlights. That said, pack layers, as both destinations have chilly mornings and evenings but will heat up during the day.
Read More: Best Month to Visit Zion National Park
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Zion and the Grand Canyon
Can you do Zion and Grand Canyon in one trip?
If you have at least a week, you can visit Zion and the Grand Canyon in one trip. I recommend visiting both parks on a 7-10 day road trip, spending 2 to 3 days at each park and allowing plenty of time to drive between the parks.
How far apart are Zion and the Grand Canyon? What part of the Grand Canyon is closest to Zion National Park?
There are three different rims of the Grand Canyon, each a varying distance from Zion National Park:
- Zion to Grand Canyon North Rim: 118 miles, 3 hour 45 minute drive
- Zion to Grand Canyon South Rim: 253 miles, 4 hour 50 minute drive
- Zion to Grand Canyon West Rim: 292 miles, 4 hour 45 minute drive
Should I spend more time in Zion or the Grand Canyon?
I’d recommend spending more time at the Grand Canyon instead of Zion, particularly if you’re not interested in strenuous hikes. Compared to Zion, the Grand Canyon has a wider variety of activities, like scenic drives, viewpoints, paved walking trails, and hikes.
What is the difference between the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park? Is Zion National Park better than the Grand Canyon?
Zion National Park is more lush and is one of the few canyon parks where you view the canyon from the floor instead of the rim. Zion is best for adventure seekers. Grand Canyon is best seen from the rim, looked down upon the canyon, and is best suited for families, seniors, and anyone less interested in strenuous hikes.
Can you do Zion and Grand Canyon in one day?
While you can visit both Zion and Grand Canyon on the same trip, you cannot visit both parks in one day. The parks are located 4-5 hours apart, which would not give you time to see each park and complete the drive. I recommend at least six days to see both parks.
If you’re looking for inspiration for one day at Grand Canyon, check out this blog post!
Final Thoughts on a Road Trip to Grand Canyon and Zion
This incredible road trip is the perfect way to explore two of America’s most visited national parks: Zion and Grand Canyon. I highly recommend this route and itinerary for those with a week or more to see both parks:
- Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas, Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim
- Days 2-3: See the highlights of the Grand Canyon South Rim
- Day 4: Drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and see the highlights
- Days 5-6: Base yourself out of Page to see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
- Day 7: Drive from Page to Zion National Park
- Days 8-9: See the highlights of Zion National Park
- Day 10: Return to Las Vegas, stopping in Valley of Fire State Park on the way
Are you looking for more information for your trip to the Grand Canyon and Zion? Check out these posts!
- Zion: 3 Days in Zion and Bryce Canyon
- Zion: Best Time to Visit Zion
- Zion: Hiking Observation Point in 2024
- Grand Canyon: One Day South Rim Grand Canyon Itinerary
- Grand Canyon: Best Things to Do at the Grand Canyon
- Grand Canyon: Best Viewpoints in the Grand Canyon
- Grand Canyon: Best Hotels & Lodges Near the Grand Canyon
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