Things to Do Near Zion National Park

Zion National Park offers fun activities to do both in and outside of it.

Zion National Park is a nature preserve in southwest Utah characterized by steep red cliffs. It is Utah’s first national park. One of the biggest attractions there is a really large canyon. There you can enjoy hiking, camping, and swimming along with so much more. The canyon averages over 2,000 feet deep and offers a great sight seeing opportunity. There are also many more cool areas to visit, like The Narrows, a 30 foot wide area great for hiking, The Subway, more challenging hikable terrain, and the Virgin River, where swimming is allowed. This national park is also surrounded by lots of nearby accommodations and many things to do both in and outside of it. Keep reading to find out some fun things to do when you’re near Zion National Park. 

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1. Grafton Ghost Town

Abandoned town perfect for exploring. 

Grafton Historic Townsite | Grafton |

Is checking out a ghost town something that sounds exciting to you? Well, if you’re at Zion National Park, a ghost town is not far off. The Grafton Ghost Town gives visitors a cool dose of history in an interesting environment. If you go you will see several homes, a schoolhouse, and a cemetery. The town has also been restored and preserved over the years, so it looks a lot better than the average ghost town. 

This town was inhabited by Mormon pioneers in the mid 1800s who abandoned it in 1945. There is always a lot of mystery that surrounds abandoned towns and when you visit Grafton you get to learn about one first hand. It’s an awesomely immersive experience to learn about an abandoned town as you walk through it, and you get some visual insight on how the residents used to live. So if you’re a fan of history, dive straight into it at Grafton Ghost Town!

“Cool little ghost town near Zion National Park. The ghost town is located off the main road but is easy to find, just follow the signs. It had an old cemetery and buildings which the kids loved exploring. If you are quiet you can definitely hear voices in the wind! We enjoyed this little ghost town and would recommend this to anyone looking for a small off-road adventure.”–Yelp Review

2. Fort Zion

Shop, restaurant, and petting zoo in one. 

100 W Hwy 9 | Virgin |

Fort Zion is a place that offers a mix of things for visitors to do. There is a gift shop, a restaurant, and even a petting zoo all in one. This is an excellent place for families to visit as it will be a great destination for people of all ages. You can enter the souvenir store for some awesome and unique items to take home with you, and you can stop by the petting zoo to interact with cute animals. The old west petting zoo has long been a great attraction for people around the world. 

And after all that fun, when you want some food, they have a restaurant right there! Their restaurant makes everything from scratch and uses premium food items. Their premium meats include Angus beef, buffalo, elk, venison, jackalope, and chicken among others. You won’t find a wide selection of meat like this in most places, so if you’ve ever wanted to try some exotic meats, this is the place to do it. They even offer vegetarian options, salads, and ice cream. The ice cream comes in several different flavors. 

“Cool stop on the way to Zion, this place kept the kids interested and they had fun. The grounds have animals to feed carrots to and pet. Also the Wild West theme is cool and the teepees are neat. Scenic and picturesque, this stop has souvenirs and knives and snacks for everyone.”–Yelp Review

3. Little Hollywood Museum

A museum that takes you right into Hollywood’s wild west. 

297 W Center St | Kanab |

If you want to experience the old west, visit the Little Hollywood Museum. This museum is one of the last pieces of the American West. It is a 1.15 acre site containing a homestead along with pieces from different Hollywood Western sets. It has the homestead from Kenny Loggins Live at the Grand Canyon and the entrance booth from the remake of Desperate Hours along with much more. These items are priceless and preserve movie history, and the museum wants to make sure the public can enjoy it. 

If you’re into Hollywood movies, especially westerns, this is a place you will have a really good time in. You will get to see some of the things you’ve seen on the screen in person, and get up close and personal rather than seeing them from a distance as usual. There is also a museum gift shop on site along with a restaurant. The restaurant offers a lunch and dinner buffet with options like roast beef, sourdough milk biscuit, and peach cobbler. It makes for a delicious end to a fun trip! 

“This is a local attraction that I highly recommend. It is a free museum that is attached to a gift shop. Staff was friendly. They have a variety of gift ideas. The museum is a fun place that is good for family and children. A lot of opportunities to take pictures. I would come back if I am in the area.”–Yelp Review

4. Kanab Creek Bakery

Fresh baked old world European goods in a comfortable atmosphere. 

238 W Center St | Kanab |

As you enjoy your fill of the outdoors at Zion National Park, you will get hungry once in a while, and when that happens, you should check out Kanab Creek Bakery. Kanab Creek Bakery offers an opportunity to savor classic European style baked goods with wood-fired oven flavors. The aroma of freshly baked breads and pastries will overtake you as soon as you enter and make your whole stay a more enjoyable experience. 

You will have a choice between many different foods at Kanab Creek Bakery. You can go in and grab a warm croissant or baguette or stay for a longer brunch. They aim to make guests feel at home and bury the flavors of their baked goods into your memory. Their ingredients are regionally sourced from nearby companies in Utah, Arizona, and Idaho, which is one reason everything is so fresh and delicious. Their mix of old world food and the finest ingredients the region has to offer will have you wanting to come back for more!

“Really enjoyed the sandwiches from here! The portion was generous and it was flavorful with the condiments they added. The salad was fresh and light. It has a cute patio outside that gets busy around lunchtime. I'm looking forward to eating here again when we are in Kanab in July.”–Yelp Review

5. Utah E-Bike Adventures

A tour around the park on a high tech bike. 

707 Zion Park Blvd | Springdale |

Located just ¾ of a mile from the entrance of Zion National Park, you can rent an e-bike at Utah E-Bike Adventures. That way, you can explore the park and the surrounding area on a fun and comfortable e-bike. You get to be active and also get chances to rest and let the bike do some of the work for you. You can spend all day or part of the day riding through the forest, and even join in with one of several tours that are given regularly where you will see some amazing sights that you may not have found on your own. 

There are different bikes you’ll get to choose between. One option is the RadRunner bike. It has rear baskets, a pole holder, and a child seat add-on. The second option is the RadRover with seven speed gears and front suspension. And then there is the RedWagon with a front basket and the capability to carry a child. These e-bikes can travel up to 45 miles. Since you likely won’t need them to go that far, they have more than enough power to get you through the forest for however long you need them!

“Wow! Just WOW! I've been to Zion National Park 3 times now. Let me just say riding through Zion on an e-bike is now one of my all time favorite adventures! You miss so much taking the shuttles, I'll never take the shuttle again. The roads are basically empty for shuttles and bikers plus all the trails are accessible by bikes. Thank you Hunter for opening my eyes to the best way to get around Zion! Can't recommend this enough!”–Yelp Review

6. Zion Human History Museum

The watery history of Zion National Park as told by rangers. 

301 Wakara Way | Salt Lake City |

The Zion Human History Museum showcases the rich history of Zion National Park. It is located just half a mile from the park’s south entrance. You can go straight from enjoying your time in the park to learning about the history and science behind it. This museum shows off several exhibits, some that illustrate the effects that water has had on the place and the people over the years. Water has played a large part in forming the terrain that has made the canyon into what it is today. 

The exhibits displayed by this museum include topics like plants, animals, survival, and geology. You can always ask a ranger any questions you need answered about the park, and they can give you some further information about anything you want to know. The building is filled with various archaeological artifacts, plant specimens, and insects collected by rangers over the years. They also have a park bookstore and an information office. Their website even offers a free park film that can prepare you for what you will see in person. 

“I'm a sucker for museums, so I had to check this place out. For the amount of museums I've seen, I was blown away. This place was huge as well as amazing. Multiple floors for hours worth of learning and soaking in everything around you. The prehistoric displays were the best I've seen. Such a marvelous sight to behold. I can't wait to come back in the future and find things I missed the first time.”–Yelp Review

7. Canyon Trail Rides

See breathtaking views on horseback. 

280 W Bryce Way | Tropic |

Canyon Trail Rides offers a way to experience the Zion Canyon on horseback. From the time you mount your horse all the way up to when you get off, you will get to see different natural attractions like The Beehives, Three Patriarchs, and the cactus gardens. 

You can choose to go on a shorter or longer excursion depending on what you’re looking for. You can take a one hour ride along the Virgin river or take a more adventurous three hour trip along the Sand Bench trail that offers amazing views of the southern end of the park. The overall views this park offers are breathtaking, and seeing them on horseback will only make the views that much better! 

“A truly amazing way of experiencing Bryce National Park's amazing views. This was my first time riding a horse and I felt safe and enjoyed the experience. Our guide, Wyatt was amazing and was patient with me. If you want a different experience book with Canyon Trail Rides. You won't be disappointed.”–Yelp Review

Zion National Park is a place where you can enjoy amazing sights and activities. If you’re in the mood for an adventure, this is a place you should definitely check out!

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