Just about a year ago, I was hunting for a job and stumbled across ZAC, the Zion Adventure Company. ZAC was looking for a Marketing Manager to add to the team. I found their ad on LinkedIn and I immediately sent in an application.
To my surprise, I was called for a Skype interview the very next day, a week later flown to Vegas, then shuttled to St George and driven the rest of the way to Zion Canyon Quality Inn and RV Park to rest before meeting the team for the final interviews.
While I was excited for the opportunity, I realized that my entire way of living would be altered and I’d have to really want to make these changes. Anyway, to make a long story short, I did not take the job, but I did have a great experience with ZAC and I can’t wait to go back.
Part of my weekend of interviewing was to participate by going on one of their guided tours, so they brought me into the canyon outside the park to try canyoneering for the first time ever! Oh, boy, I can not say enough about the professionalism and how much fun it was to have this opportunity. Despite my severe fear of heights, I was able to drop into the canyon from more than 80 feet up on my first descent because of the confidence of my guide.
I learned about all that ZAC offers Zion visitors and realized that if you are planning a trip to Zion National Park, you should first be coordinating with these folks. Renting any kind of hiking, canyoneering, mountain biking, climbing, or camping gear is so easy and they are only seconds from the entrance to the park. The staff is awesome, too! If you need more help, a guide, or even want to explore the area by 4×4 in their monster truck called a Unimog, that’s possible too.
While I was visiting for the interview, I was given a car and time to explore the area I’d be living in if I took the job. I drove away from the park to see what was there and passed an old Wild West-like village on the side of the road. It was obviously a tourist attraction that was closed for the winter. Just the same, I pulled over to chat on the phone with a friend about this journey. Suddenly, a white SUV pulled up along the side just a little bit in front of me. Four girls bubbled out of the vehicle and ran into the closed Wild West village.
They seemed to be having a great time taking photos until I heard a scream and noticed one of them running through the parking lot. There it was: the biggest and most ferocious chicken I have ever seen, puffed up and chasing the girls through the buildings. What a sight it was. Just when I thought I’d seen it all, they stood in the middle of the highway and set up their camera to take this photo. I had so much fun watching these tourists, it really made my day. Tourists come from around the world to see this park, but I am not sure that any of them had fun like these girls did.
Traveling to Zion isn’t the easiest. The nearest major airport is Las Vegas, but you can also come from Salt Lake City or spend a little extra money to fly into St. George, Utah. From Vegas, take the shuttle service to St. George and rent a car from there, or rent a car from Vegas and drive the 2.75 hours to the park. During winter months, it’s very quiet there and you will get the best attention from the staff at ZAC, but not all trails are open. On the other hand, the summer offers trips into the Zion Narrows and that is something everyone should do at least once!!
The nearby small town of Springdale, Utah, offers accommodations of all kinds. There is a great collection of restaurants and cafes to choose from, all offering some of the best food around.