Could there really be that many entertaining things to do in a town that had a population of 698 in 2020? To someone who doesn’t have a clue about Springdale, Utah, it’d be easy to get confused as to why the town seems to be such a popular vacation spot.
Well, it all starts to make sense when you realize that Springdale is known for being the gateway city to Zion National Park. It’s not as if Springdale is a small village that is in the middle of a couple of roads that has no sights to see at all.
Many of the best things to do in Springdale, Utah are based on Zion National Park, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good amount of variety to experience when visiting the small town.
Some of the best experiences in the area will come from the Zion National Park Visitor Center, Worthington Gallery, Lower Pine Creek Waterfall Trail, Red Desert Adventure, and Mild to Wild Rhino Tours. However, let’s dive a little deeper into those places, shall we?
1. Zion National Park Visitor Center
Well, we might as well just kick off the best things to do in Springdale, Utah with the main reason you’d probably even go there, in the first place. The Zion National Park is simply a sight to behold with massive sandstone cliffs, and the Zion National Park Visitor Center is a great place to visit.
Given that things can get complicated and complex, there are interpretive displays, tips, and maps that surround the visitor center complex to help you plan your stay. They even detail attractions and hikes around the park.
Of course, inside the center, there are NPS park rangers that can also be of some assistance. They’ll answer questions, help you with whatever you need, and even issue overnight hiking and wilderness permits. The visitor center also serves as the main transportation hub for both the shuttle systems at the park.
Additionally, you can find the Zion Natl Park Forever Project Park Store. Inside, you can find many unique items such as puzzles, posters, collector pins, patches, and various other knick-knacks. It’s a very neat gift shop that some of you will very much love and appreciate.
Basically, if you want to see the Zion National Park, it’s a really good idea to stop by the Zion National Park Visitor Center!
2. Worthington Gallery
Art lovers won’t have a hard time finding fun things to do in Springdale, Utah, and the Worthington Gallery is definitely a place to stop for anyone who has any interest at all in art. The shop features high-quality works from 40 local and regional artists.
While the gallery itself was established in 1980, the building that houses the gallery is much, much older. It was built in the 1880s and serves as a historic pioneer home that’s as gorgeous to see as the art itself. The atmosphere is really an art lover’s dream.
You’re probably going to have a chance to visit, too, as it’s open year-round, seven days a week. Holidays serve as the exception, but it’s also open most of the day (9 am to 8 pm), each day.
There are many, many different types of art to see and experience inside (and outside). From paintings to hand-blown glass to pottery to jewelry, there’s truly a little something for everyone. Oh, and there are also terrific wind sculptures to see, and they cover the entire yard.
As compared to other art galleries that you go to, as well, the prices aren’t quite as expensive. Walking the streets of Springdale, Utah, you’ll find some really good boutique galleries, and this is certainly one of them.
3. Lower Pine Creek Waterfall Trail
Outside of death and taxes, nothing is more certain in life than the fact that you can find a hiking trail no matter where your vacation destination is. We’re being a bit over the top there, but we had to include this trail here. It’s called the Lower Pine Creek Waterfall Trail.
What might strike you as alarming right away is the fact that the trail is only 0.7 miles long. That’s pretty darn short for a hiking trail, so what makes this so darn special? Judging by the name, you can kind of figure that out without us saying another word.
It’s only around a 20-minute hike (depending on skill level and how much you stop and look at the surroundings), but the waterfall you see at the end makes it all worth it. Some reviewers have called it a wonderland and that this is the best short hike you’ll ever take.
For a short hike, it does have its challenge. You’ll have to cross a creek on some rocks and will also have to climb some rocks to reach the waterfall at the end. If you’re extremely afraid of heights, this trail may not be the best for you.
Oh, and if you do decide to visit this popular trail, be sure to break in your hiking boots before you do so. That right there could derail all the excitement of seeing the waterfall.
4. Red Desert Adventure
Red Desert Adventure is a really good destination if you’re looking for things to do in Springdale, Utah with the entire family. As they claim, guided trips are what they do the best. Canyoneering, rock climbing, and hiking are the three main activities they offer, and their services are available from lodging locations at Zion National Park.
The Canyoneering trips that the business offers are probably their most popular. “Canyoneering trips descend slot canyons and explore water carved landscapes. Guided trips are fast paced with an emphasis on doing. Rappelling is a part of every trip along with hiking, scrambling, stemming, sometimes wading and swimming. Our trips visit a diverse selection of canyon routes and areas. No experience is necessary for most trips.”
Of course, rock climbing and hiking are also available, and both are great experiences. Red Desert Adventures offers sport, multi-pitch, and traditional options on a wide range of different rock types. Additionally, the climbing trips can take place in different areas. No experience is necessary, as with most canyoneering trips, according to the company.
As for the hiking, this allows you to see slot canyons, peaks, and slickrock areas that are little lesser-known. The hiking trips take place outside Zion National Park’s boundaries, so you better make sure your hiking boots fit right to avoid pesky blisters out there. It would be no surprise if a trip to Red Desert Adventures was the highlight of your visit to Springdale.
5. Mild to Wild Rhino Tours
Of all the things to do in Springdale, Utah on this list, did this one raise your eyebrows the most? It’s not exactly what you think, but it’s still really, really cool. Basically, Mild to Wild Rhino Tours offers three ATV and UTV tours in southern Utah.
One of which is Zion National Park, which you already know is arguably the main reason to come to the small town of Utah. The other two options include the dunes of Sand Hollow and Warner Valley and also Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
Truth be told, we really think that their site describes it better than we ever could.
“Join the fun with Mild to Wild Rhino Tours’ family-friendly Utah ATV tours. Get ready to tour our beautiful southern Utah mountains on your own Rhino ATV tour. Travel through hidden gems located around Zion National Park, glide across large sand dunes and enjoy breathtaking mountaintop views from the plateaus of Zion and southern Utah. Along the way, get off and explore amazing historical sites from thousands of years ago, such as ancient petroglyphs left by Native American Indian tribes, naturally carved slot canyons and footprints left in the earth from real dinosaurs millions of years ago.”
We don’t know about anyone else but that sounds like a blast right there. If only they allowed their customers to actually drive the ATVs and UTVs wherever they wanted. What could possibly go wrong with that scenario? We can smell the lawsuits from here.
Let’s be honest, if you have no interest in Zion National Park then you probably shouldn’t come to this small town. There are still things to do in Springdale, Utah otherwise, but seeing the national park (or at least partaking in the activities that involve the park) is going to be the priority for most traveling to the state.
Speaking of traveling, another popular vacation spot is Vashon Island. That’s a lot different than taking a trip to Springdale, but there are certainly several fun things to do on that island too.