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Brian Knell | 07.06.2017

If you’ve hiked any of Zion National Park’s world-famous locations such as Angel’s Landing, The Narrows, The Subway, or Observation Point, then you’ve already at least passed through the picturesque Southern Utah town of Springdale at one point in your lifetime. It’s also nearly certain that you were helpless not to notice how visually stunning this modest little city was. Surrounded on three sides by the towering cliffs of Zion – one of the most beloved and frequently visited National Parks in America – this unheralded gem is a powerhouse vacation destination disguising itself in small-town trappings.

From whatever direction you’re heading to Zion Canyon, you can tell miles before you arrive that you are somewhere special. Southern Utah as a whole is virtually covered, mile to mile, with incredibly unique scenery that in many respects is incomparable to anything anywhere. The closer you get to Zion National Park, the more spectacular the views become until you reach the city of Springdale, the eye-candy epicenter of the entire State of Utah. Mother Nature seems to have set up shop here 50 miles west of St. George, so it isn’t any wonder that this is where Uncle Sam decided to plant the Park’s entrance.

Springdale is a living embodiment of the familiar adage “more than meets the eye.” Those who’ve been coming here for years have treated it fondly with a well-deserved best-kept-secret reputation. But as of late, Springdale is surfacing as a veritable revelation to tourists, travelers, and outdoor enthusiasts all over the world. With a 2016 visitation number approaching 5 million, Springdale and Zion Canyon have never received more attention. A big part of its magic is its ability to preserve an endearing main-street charm amidst ever-increasing popularity. Year after year, Springdale proves its adeptness at growing in appeal without growing in size.

So what’s the big draw?

Well, it’s a given that if you had Zion National Park as your backyard you would be hosting multitudes as well. But outside of the obvious, Springdale has as much going on under the hood as the best destination locations. Whether your intention is to relax in luxury, have fun and be entertained, or spend as much time inside the Park as possible, Springdale appears to have what is necessary to satisfy every class of traveler; everything from 5-star restaurants, exclusive world-class resorts and spas, and several fine-art galleries to campsites, pubs, local dining favorites, live concerts, and a variety of other attractions and events. In all reality, there are as many to-do options inside the city itself as there are inside Zion National Park. Zion remains the ideal destination for all adventure lovers and has for decades. But the next time you go, rather than just driving through that cute little town you pass right as you enter the Park, plan to spend some time there. Chances are you’ll be glad you did, and then you can consider yourself in on the “secret” that is Springdale, UT.

Keep scrolling for comprehensive field guides to adventuring the best of Zion!

For more information on Zion National Park and the town of Springdale, check out


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