Amusement Parks
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Getting There Lodging Restaurants Hiking Backpacking The Narrows The Subway Springdale

Springdale is the best national park entry town in the country. It is still very small and has not become a tourist trap. It's background scenery is magnificent. You might be forced to stay here because Zion Lodge and the two campgrounds are full. But you might just choose to stay here for the obvious advantages.

First, it has a row of modern motels which may be technically out of the park but feature views of the same scenery. They have swimming pools, air conditioning, wifi, TV and other advantages the National Park Lodge does not. And it's much easier to get reservations here than at the always in demand National Park Lodge. For reviews of these motels, see our Lodging page. Springdale offers four very good restaurants. For reviews, see our Restaurant page. The shuttle system has six stops in town, so you can leave your car parked here and never have to drive into the park. Zion Outfitters is also here, to enhance your outdoor experience.

And finally, in Springdale you find rock shops, galleries and antique shops. The only other national park entry towns with so many high quality shops and galleries are Dubois and Jackson in Wyoming, at the entrances to Yellowstone, the Tetons and the Wind River Wilderness.

Springdale is headquarters of Zion Adventures. You'll have to come into town anyway, to rent your boots, socks, poles and dry bags from them if you want to hike The Narrows. They teach the classes in canyoneering and lead the descents of numerous canyons in the area. They host back country Jeep and truck tours of the slickrock desert country. They rent bikes, including electric bikes, and lead bike trips.

If you plan on taking lessons or going on any of their guided trips, you should definitely phone ahead and make reservations.

The Zion Tribal Arts Gallery is an outstanding Native American outlet which has been here since 1988. It is locally owned and run by a knowledgeable and committed dealer, who does not display anything not hand made by a Native American artisan. Everything is arranged by tribe (Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, Ute, etc.) and staff members are happy to help you understand each piece. Some of the items here are expensive, but there are others quite affordable.

Remember each piece here is individually crafted, not mass produced. Many of them contain pure silver, turqoise, and other valuable materials. Some of them require multiple days for a gifted, trained, experienced artist to produce. These are valuable pieces of art you buy to keep for a lifetime, hand down to children, or gift to important friends.

The Gallery is on the left as you enter the town from the park. There's a lot to see here, so allow yourself plenty of time.

You can find pottery, baskets, kachinas, weavings, paintings, jewelry (pendants, rings, necklaces, bracelets, bolos, buckles, earrings, etc.), rugs, sculptures, masks and other kinds of art. They're arranged by type, by tribe and by artist.

The building is air conditioned so this is a good stop in the afternoon after a morning hike.

They can ship purchases,so you don't have to worry about squeezing an item into your pack if you flew out or came by Amtrak.

In our travels for this website, we have stopped at similar shops across the Southwest. This one ranks among the very best. It's not as extensive as the one at Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Reservation, which has separate rooms for each type (Baskets, Pottery, etc.), but the quality is just as good.


Zion Prospector is an outstanding rock shop. It contains great examples of every major kind of rock. Its offerings of Dendrites and Tiffany Stone are the best of those we've ever seen, either in museums or shops. If you're just browsing, you could easily spend an hour here. Attendants know their geology and can answer any questions you might have. Some of these specimens, especially the larger ones, are pretty pricey, but others, especially the smaller ones, are quite affordable. Zion Prospector is on your right on the long downhill past the center of town. If you've never been in a good rock gallery and never understood why anyone would find rocks interesting, you need to spend some time here.


Zion Rock & Gem is a bit less professional in its appearance. Many of its specimens are laying outside on tables and they're not as finely cut or polished as at its rival up the street. But there are some very good items here and someone who knows rocks can find some outstanding deals. You have to work a little harder here because the afternoons are likely to be in the 100s and you'll be browsing outside in the Sun. But hang in there. It's worth it. Zion Rock & Gem is further down the same hill and on the same (right) side of the street as Zion Prospector.
DeZion Gallery both displays art pieces and offers them for sale. It has paintings, sketches, sculpture, photography and other works. This is a great collection of mostly local and some regional art. Even if you're not interested in buying anything, if you enjoy art you would enjoy an hour or so of browsing here. It's fascinating to see how those who live here and appreciate the beauty of the area use their creativity to reflect the landscape, history, plants and animals. DeZion presents both emerging artists who have not yet acquired mainstream attention, as well as established artists of national and international renown. The photographs on display are stunning. Jason Butler is surely one of the great photographers of Utah and the American West.
The Worthington Gallery also offers paintings, pottery, and other art, but it is most famous for Lyman Whitaker wind sculptures, as can be seen rotating in the wind in the photo at right. Whitaker, a graduate of the University of Utah, makes his sculptures of steel and copper and uses tiny ball bearings to make sure they rotate smoothly in the wind. They respond to the smallest breeze but withstand powerful storms. His works are both beautiful sculptures and intriguing pieces of machinery. If you purchase one of Whitaker's wind sculptures, he will hand make your piece and ship it to you in about nine weeks. The Worthington Gallery is definitely worth a stop. It's on your left as you drive South, just past the Desert Pearl Inn.
We don't know what to make of Frontier Plunder and you probably won't, either. But stop anyway. It's worth a visit. You'll find everything from old books to jewelry to antiques to Native American artifacts to signs to hats. It's like wandering through the attic of your grandfather the cattle rancher. Some of what's here you'll probably think is junk but you very well might find something that will strike your fancy and you'll buy. If nothing else, the old pueblo style building is worth checking out. Frontier Plunder is on your right in the center of town.
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