Is Zion National Park overrated?

Local News

SPRINGDALE, UT – MAY 15: The morning sun lights up the Court of the Patriarchs in Zion National Park on May 15, 2020 in Springdale, Utah. Zion National Park had a limited reopening Wednesday as part of its reopening plan after it was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – If you’re from Utah – and maybe even if you aren’t – you have likely heard of Zion National Park. From its beautiful views, narrow slot canyons, and massive sandstone cliffs, what’s not to love?

Apparently a lot, according to a new study.

A new study by ParkSleepFly analyzed reviews of the 63 U.S. national parks posted to Tripadvisor to find the most underrated national parks. To form their rankings, ParkSleepFly relied on the total visitors to each park in 2020, their total reviews, the number of excellent reviews, and the percentage of reviews.

Topping out the list were Glacier Bay and Kenai Fjords, both in Alaska, and Crater Lake in Oregon. Also making the list were Utah’s Canyonlands at 15th and Capitol Reef at 20th.

While determining which national parks are underrated, the travel blog also ranked the U.S.’s most overrated national parks. Indiana Dunes in Indiana, Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio, and Hot Springs in Arkansas landed in the top three for this list. Landing in the number five spot was Utah’s own Zion National Park.

SLIDESHOW: Views of Zion National Park

  • Hikers Find Body After Apparent Fall at Zion National Park_53596874

Based on the blog’s rankings, Zion’s percentage of ‘excellent’ ratings sits at 81.3%, well above Hot Springs’ 62.2%, and Yosemite’s 80.1%.

In 2021, Zion saw numerous record-breaking visitor rates. In June alone, Zion saw nearly 676,00 visitors, well above the previous record set in June 2019, according to the Associated Press. The park has become so popular officials have proposed permit requirements to visit parts of it. A recent report found two of Zion’s campgrounds have reported high occupancy rates in recent years.

Still, there are many reasons to love Zion – like its recent certification as an International Dark Sky Park. But if you aren’t a big fan of this national park, Utah has four others that are just as remarkable – Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

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