SPRINGDALE – As winter nears its end, Zion National Park’s gateway community, Springdale, awakens from hibernation this President’s Day Weekend. Zion National Park is fee-free to visitors Saturday through Monday, and restaurants reopen after many closed down for the off-season.
This weekend Springdale is expected to see a lot of traffic, Zion Canyon Visitors Bureau President Dean Cook said. “This is the time that we all prepare for the busy season,” he said. “The upcoming weekends we expect to be seeing a lot of activity.”
Some new and returning offerings may be just the thing to consider for a day or two getaway to dine or explore the canyon.
Newly remodeled, Zion Canyon Brew Pub offers a new bar with free karaoke every Thursday night, and live music every Saturday night for a small cover charge. (The proprietor offered St. George News readers to mention that you saw this article to receive 50 percent off all menu items through the month of February.)
The Zion Canyon Brew Pub features three new beers on tap: Redemption West Coat I.P.A, Lodge Beer, and Delusion Ale. It also offers the only dart board in town.
Before the onset of the suffocating heat, Zion Adventure Company suggests you plan a date with its guided tours in canyoneering, biking, rock climbing, or backcountry interpretive driving tours.
“We help people get set up with what they need to go experience Zion on their own,” Zion Adventure’s Bill Dunn said. “A lot of people come in to rent gear for The Narrows, which is one of the biggest draws to Zion.”
Zion Adventure Company offers half-day and full-day trips for all levels including what Dunn coined “neverevers,” meaning people who have no experience at all. They also offer three-day canyoneering trips in Escalante. Technical gear is provided for all trips and courses, while food is provided for multiday excursions.
“We can’t rent ropes to the general public,” Dunn said, “but we can provide ropes to people after they have taken a course, but only within the same year.”
“The best time to go canyoneering is late April or early May,” Dunn said. “Canyoneering draws the retired community from St. George because it is a gravity-induced sport which is great for people with bad knees or bad backs.”
Zion Adventure also runs the tubing program that runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, quite popular with locals.
Limitations may apply for would-be younger adventure participants to be determined on site. The company has had a child as young as 4 participate in rock climbing.
“We generally say participants must be 5 or 6 years old for canyoneering and rock climbing trips,” Dunn said, “though our age group varies from 4 to 85. As far as mountain biking tours go, if you can ride a bike, we can make it work.”
Photography courses are also offered in Springdale. Seth Hamel is a professional photographer who provides photography courses for people who have fancy cameras and may not know how to use them. Hamel also offers photography guides through the canyon for people interested in getting iconic photography.
Valentine’s day dinner specials will be offered tonight at most of Springdale’s restaurants.
To find out more about Springdale and Zion Canyon’s variety of offerings, visit the Zion Canyon Visitors Bureau website by clicking here.
Zion Canyon Shuttle: Though the advent of the tourist season has come, private vehicles are still allowed to drive on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive through March 31. From April through October the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will be accessible by shuttle bus only.
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