Road Trip From Zion to Grand Canyon

Look no further than the picturesque drive from Zion National Park to Grand Canyon for one of the country’s most epic road trips. These two must-visit bucket list destinations are located across state lines and provide everything you need for a fantastic western adventure. From soaring mountain peaks and rushing rivers to Hollywood history and geological gems, this drive from southern Utah to northern Arizona allows you to enjoy a full day (or two!) of stunning vistas, sunsets and miles of breathtaking open road.

Begin your picturesque adventure from Zion National Park to the Grand Canyon when you rent the perfect vehicle from one of our neighborhood locations around Zion. Flying in is just as easy — pick up your rental from the airport and start your journey in no time!

Drive Time from Zion to Grand Canyon: approximately 2 hours and 22 minutes

Distance from Zion to Grand Canyon: approximately 109.5 miles

Best Car for this Road Trip: SUV

Start Your Trip

  • 1. Emerald Pools Trail

    Less intimidating than other must-visit places within Zion National Park, such as The Narrows or Angels Landing, the Emerald Pools feature three tiers that are perfect for all thrill and experience levels — hikes range from quick and easy to long and strenuous. Open year-round, each of these majestic hikes leads to glistening pools and cascading waterfalls. The Lower Emerald Pool Trail — only 1.2 miles from the trailhead — welcomes visitors with a refreshing pool at the base of a cliff and a waterfall they can walk behind. Just above that, hikers will find the Middle Emerald Pools Trail (2.2 miles), which features a much steeper climb with an impressive view as it proceeds up the canyon. For the whole experience, make your way to the Upper Emerald Pool Trail. Adding an additional mile to your hike, the Upper Pools are typically less crowded and offer a fully immersive encounter, complete with a dramatic waterfall that surges from the cliff above.

    • Tip: The hike to the lower pools is great for all ages, however level of difficulty increases toward the middle and upper falls and may be challenging for children or inexperienced hikers
    • Cost: You’ll need to enter Zion National Park, which costs $35/vehicle, $30/motorcycle, $20/person on foot or bike, free/ages 15 and under (pass is valid for seven days)
    • Dog Friendly: No
  • 2. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

    For a truly unique experience, sink your toes into the sand at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. An easy drive from Zion, you can escape the crowds while encountering coral-hued dunes that are just begging to be climbed. Surrounded by sandstone cliffs and epic forest trees, you’re sure to feel like you left Earth and landed on a distant planet filled with ripples of sand. At an elevation of 6,000 feet, this state park features 3,730 acres of majestic landscape. Get the full effect by renting a sled from the Visitor Center and slide your way down the dune with a big smile on your face.

    • Tip: Put your cell phone in a plastic bag to protect it from the sand
    • Cost: $10/vehicle; $5/Utah seniors 65 and older
    • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • 3. Moqui Cave

    Hidden inside a natural cave, visitors will discover a fantastic museum home to ancient artifacts, dinosaur tracks, rocks, minerals and more. The site of Southern Utah’s first dance bar, this natural white sandstone cave never gets hotter than 65 degrees Fahrenheit — the perfect respite from the sweltering heat. Cool off in Moqui Cave while learning about the life of centuries past, browsing a collection of arrowheads and checking out the glowing mineral displays within the museum, supplied by classified artifacts from Jim Jenson, a world-famous Paleontologist. After exploring the caverns, stop in the gift and rock shop for tiny trinkets and souvenirs.

    • Tip: Experience “golden hour” as epic beams of light shine into the caves an hour or two before sunset
    • Cost: $5/adult
    • Dog Friendly: No
  • 4. Kaibab Plateau HP

    Reaching an elevation of 9,200 feet, the Kaibab Plateau HP offers some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrise locations in the area. Along the drive, visitors will journey through the Kaibab National Forest, which welcomes them with meadows and dense forests for mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine trees. The astounding forests provide cooler temperatures for the deer, cougar and bobcats that strut their way through the pinyon-juniper woodlands. With dramatic perpendicular walls, the plateau offers epic scenery all year round.

    • Tip: If visiting from November through May, the highway may be closed due to heavy winter conditions
    • Cost: Free
    • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • 5. Yaki Point

    A great place to begin your Zion National Park to the Grand Canyon adventure is Yaki Point, which is located along the easternmost part of the Kaibab Trail and just 2.5 miles from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. The only no-vehicle zone along Desert View Drive, this overlook greets visitors with striking views of the canyon, including mesas, buttes and landmarks such as Cremation Creek, Bright Angel Trail and Tonto Trail. For a picture-perfect display of vivid color and dramatic shadowplay, witnessing a Yaki Point sunrise or sunset provides a panoramic experience that’s as transcendent as it is memorable.

    • Tip: Arrive at least a half hour before sunrise or sunset for the best seat in the canyon
    • Cost: You’ll need to pay the Grand Canyon entrance fee ($35/vehicle, $30/motorcycle, $20/individual on foot, bike or bus)
    • Dog Friendly: Leashed pets are allowed on trails above the rim

    Ready for your road trip to the Grand Canyon? Start your reservation today!

FAQs for Your Road Trip From Zion National Park to Grand Canyon

 

Can you do Grand Canyon and Zion trip in one trip?

Although the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park are great for visiting in one fell swoop, both parks feature multiple days’ worth of things to do. Recognized as two of the most iconic national parks in the country, we suggest taking your time on your Zion to Grand Canyon road trip. While it’s possible to squeeze both parks into one long weekend, you’ll want ample time to explore to your heart’s content.

 

How far is Zion National Park from Grand Canyon?

From Zion National Park, the closest entrances to the Grand Canyon would be the East Rim (109 miles) and North Rim (120 miles away). Visiting the North Rim instead of the South Rim is highly recommended as it’s typically less busy and saves at least a couple of hours of driving.

 

Which is better, Grand Canyon or Zion National Park?

While both the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park are worth visiting, the better one depends on the type of experience you want. Zion would be our suggestion if you want a more intimate adventure with hikes, one-on-one time within nature and various geological views. For views of iconic formations, the Grand Canyon would be our recommendation as it features infamous walks and impressive views known worldwide.