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San Diego To Zion National Park Road Trip: Top 27 Tips

Note: This guide was last updated 1 year and 2 months and 21 days ago. If you've spotted anything that seems a bit out-of-date or if you have some killer tips to share, we're all ears! Feel free to leave a comment below.

San Diego to Zion National Park road trip is one of the best journeys you can experience in the USA. The 489 miles of San Diego to Zion National Park drive takes around 7 hours and 36 mins without stops.

This article includes 27 tips that turn your San Diego to Zion National Park drive into an unforgettable journey. So if you’re looking for the best hotels, restaurants, and places to visit on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park, take your coffee and keep reading!

9 Best Hotels On The Road Trip From San Diego To Zion National Park

On the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip, you may want to stay at some points. Here are the top nine hotels on the San Diego – Zion National Park route!

1. Best Western Escondido Hotel

Best Western Escondido Hotel is one of the best hotels; you can stay on the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. Driving from San Diego to Best Western Escondido Hotel might take around 35 mins.

Best Western Escondido Hotel is a great spot on the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. Our double room (two queen beds) had comfortable mattresses, and we slept well. The refrigerator and microwave were a nice bonus. The hotel was quiet and the breakfast was decent. The bathroom wasn’t the biggest, but it was fine for our stay. We didn’t find any restaurants in walking distance, but there were plenty close by. All in all, this was a great place to stay.

Check the Best Western Escondido Hotel, one of the best hotels in Escondido, California, on TripAdvisor and Booking.com for recent reviews, prices, and availability.

2. Hampton Inn & Suites Temecula

Another top hotel where you can choose the stay on the road trip to Zion National Park from San Diego is Hampton Inn & Suites Temecula. Located in Temecula, California, the hotel is 59.5 miles away from San Diego, and it would take 59 mins to drive.

Hampton Inn & Suites Temecula is a great stop on a San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. The hotel offers a great range of amenities, like complimentary high speed internet and free local calls. The room was spotless and the staff were super helpful. They even recommended a great restaurant. Plus, the breakfast buffet was plentiful and the area was clean. After a full day of activities, you can relax in the comfort of a room with a microwave, hair dryer, iron, and mini fridge. This hotel is also a great base for exploring Temecula’s California Wine Country and Old Town, being just 6 miles away. All in all, Hampton Inn & Suites Temecula is an excellent place to stay.

If you want to learn more about the Hampton Inn & Suites Temecula, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

3. Hampton Inn & Suites San Bernardino

Didn’t our first two hotel suggestions interest you? So we would like to introduce you to the Hampton Inn & Suites San Bernardino. Hampton Inn & Suites San Bernardino is located in San Bernardino, California, and it’s 106 miles away from San Diego. You can arrive there with 1 hour and 45 mins of non-stop driving.

Hampton Inn & Suites San Bernardino is a great place to stay while on a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. Located in the Hospitality Lane business district, it offers easy access to restaurants, shopping, and entertainment options. The hotel is also only 25 minutes from the Ontario International Airport and close to the Loma Linda University Medical Center and the National Orange Show Events Center. Travellers can also reach Big Bear Lake in 40 minutes and the beautiful beaches of Los Angeles in 50 minutes. The rooms are clean, and the breakfast area is wonderful, making it a great spot for a solo traveler who needs a safe place to stay. The free hot breakfast buffet offers a selection of hot and cold breakfast options, and guests can also enjoy free tea and coffee in the lobby anytime.

Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Hampton Inn & Suites San Bernardino, for more information.

4. California Inn, Barstow

If you are taking the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park, Barstow, California is must have a place you should visit. Plus, California Inn, Barstow is one of the best hotels in town. The hotel is 177 miles from San Diego, and it would take 2 hours and 47 mins to drive.

California Inn, Barstow is an excellent choice for travelers looking to break up their San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. This family-friendly hotel offers great value, comfort, and convenience, with amenities such as a pool, complimentary breakfast, and free parking. The hotel provides a pleasant atmosphere for those who want a peaceful place to rest for the night. It is an ideal spot for anyone looking for a good night’s sleep, and a great place to take a break from the long drive.

If you need more info about the price and availability of California Inn, Barstow, check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages.

5. Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino

Our next hotel is Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino, Primm, Nevada. It will take 4 hours and 26 mins of car ride o reach this hotel from San Diego.

Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino is a great place to stay while on a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. Located in Primm, Nevada and only minutes from Las Vegas, it offers a unique Wild West atmosphere with brand new amenities and a 209-foot roller coaster for some extra excitement. The rooms are newly renovated with new TVs, carpeting, and beds, making for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Guests can also enjoy the wide selection of slots and Denny’s restaurant onsite. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a convenient and affordable place to stay, and it’s definitely worth a stop on your road trip.

Check the Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino on TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino for reviews, prices, and availability.

6. Park MGM Las Vegas

Another hotel you can accommodate on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park is Park MGM Las Vegas. It’s possible to arrive at this hotel, located in Las Vegas, Nevada within 4 hours and 59 mins drive from San Diego.

Park MGM Las Vegas is a great option for travelers on a San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. Featuring Chef Roy Choi’s celebrated French- and LA-inspired cuisine at Bavette’s, a poolside restaurant and bodega-style bar, as well as the Juniper Cocktail Lounge, with its craft cocktails and informal atmosphere, Park MGM Las Vegas offers guests a truly unique dining experience.

Before making the reservation, we suggest you read the latest reviews on TripAdvisor and Booking.com.

7. Eureka Casino Resort

Another hotel that deserves to be on the list is Eureka Casino Resort. It’s located in Mesquite, Nevada and it is 411 miles from San Diego. You can arrive there within 6 hours and 11 mins of car drive.

Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite, Nevada, is the perfect place to stop for a night during a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, always greeting guests with a warm smile and cheerful attitude. The casino offers a great range of slot machines, table games, and a sports book, so there’s plenty of entertainment. The four restaurants on-site serve delicious food at reasonable prices, while the 200 rooms and suites are comfortable and modern. The resort also has a great location, only 3 miles from the Palm Golf Club, and stunning mountain views. All in all, Eureka Casino Resort is a great stop on the journey, offering something for everyone.

If you need further information, you can check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Eureka Casino Resort.

8. Best Western Plus Abbey Inn

Located in St. George, Utah, Best Western Plus Abbey Inn is another hotel where you can stay on the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. Best Western Plus Abbey Inn is 448 miles from San Diego and will take 6 hours and 45 mins of non-stop driving.

The Best Western Plus Abbey Inn in St. George, Utah is a great place to stay when on a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. It has modern amenities and thoughtful designs that make it stand out from other hotels in the area. The fitness room is a great addition, giving travelers the opportunity to keep up with their exercising routine while away from home. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the rooms are clean and well-equipped with all the necessary amenities. Best Western Plus Abbey Inn is an ideal place to stay for travelers looking for comfort and convenience on their road trip.

Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Best Western Plus Abbey Inn for more information.

9. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

As we approach the end of our list, another hotel we would like to introduce to you is the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort hotel. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Zion National Park, Utah is 509 miles from San Diego, and you can arrive there with 8 hours and 17 mins of non-stop driving.

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is a stunning place located in the top of Zion National Park. It has Vacation Homes, Cabins Suites, Cowboy Cabins, Conestoga Wagons, and RV / Tent Campground for lodging. Ray’s restaurant is there for dining. There are lots of activities to do such as horseback riding, jeep tours, zip line, climbing wall, canyoneering / hiking excursions, miniature golf, paint ball, and more. Brandi and Parker, the activities team, are exceptional in every way and make the experience even more enjoyable. The communal showering facilities are always spotless and warm and the hook ups for RVs are great and easy to use. The only thing that could be improved is the staff attitude at reception and the food at the main restaurant. All in all, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is a great stop on the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip.

Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort for more information about the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort hotel.

In this part, we explained nine hotels you can stay at on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. You can pick one of them that suits your taste. Don’t forget to share your experience by commenting on this post. It will help people who will take San Diego to Zion National Park route.

Now, it’s time to discover the best restaurants from San Diego to Zion National Park. We have nine restaurant recommendations worth your attention.

9 Best Restaurants On The San Diego To Zion National Park Road Trip

If dining is a pleasure, some restaurants will please you on your San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. This section lists nine restaurants to dine at on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. Stay hungry and enjoy!

1. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido

We would like to start our restaurant recommendation list on San Diego to Zion National Park road trip with Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido is located in Escondido, California, and is 32.4 miles from San Diego. It would take 39 mins of driving.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido is a great place to stop on your road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. The food is delicious with lots of locally sourced ingredients, and the staff are very friendly. The goats cheese salad was particularly tasty and the gardens are a great spot to relax and enjoy the food. With a selection of 32 beers and wines, you are guaranteed to find something to quench your thirst. The experience at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido is truly unique, with fresh and organic produce, a delicious selection of food and drinks, and wonderful staff. Highly recommended.

For more information about Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido, you can visit the TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido.

2. The Goat and Vine

Another top restaurant you can choose to eat at on the road trip to Zion National Park from San Diego is The Goat and Vine. Located in Temecula, California, The Goat and Vine is 58.6 miles from San Diego and would take 58 mins of driving.

The Goat and Vine is a great stop if you’re on the road from San Diego to Zion National Park. The restaurant is bright and airy, with a century old design that creates a comfortable and classy atmosphere. We opted for the Saloon Steak Mushroom Melt and the Turkey Sandwich, and were not disappointed. The bread was fresh and the ingredients were all top notch – a great combination of flavors. The dishes are all made from scratch, so you know you’re getting something special. It’s definitely worth a stop if you’re looking for a rustic and real lunch in Old Temecula.

If you want to learn more about The Goat and Vine, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

3. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, San Bernardino

Another restaurant that can be preferred by those who are fond of food is BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, San Bernardino. It will take 1 hour and 45 mins of car drive to take 106 miles from San Diego to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, San Bernardino is definitely worth a stop on your drive from San Diego to Zion National Park. We had a great experience here and were served quickly. The menu is quite diverse with plenty of options for vegans and gluten-free diners, as well as delicious burgers, ribs and salads. The clam chowder is particularly delicious, be it in a bowl or bread. The bar and craft beers selection is impressive and there are plenty of Happy hour and specials. We didn’t try any of the desserts, but they looked mouth-watering. All in all, it’s the perfect place to stop and refuel during your road trip.

You can check BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, San Bernardino, on TripAdvisor or Google Maps for more information.

4. Los Domingos Mexican Restaurant

Los Domingos Mexican Restaurant deserves to be on our list. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Barstow, California.

Los Domingos Mexican Restaurant in Barstow, California is a great spot on the road trip to Zion National Park. The food here was delicious, and the Mango Chamoy margarita was a real treat. Service was fast, and they were open late into the night, which was perfect after a long drive. The staff were friendly and attentive. It was a great place to have dinner and a great way to end the day. Highly recommended.

Los Domingos Mexican Restaurant is 139 miles from San Diego, and it would take 2 hours and 17 mins of non-stop car driving. If you want to learn more about Los Domingos Mexican Restaurant, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

5. GP’s Steak House

If you enjoy dining, GP’s Steak House, would be an excellent choice in Primm, Nevada. It’s 288 miles from San Diego and would take 4 hours and 26 mins of car driving.

GP’s Steak House in Primm boasts a great atmosphere with friendly and efficient staff. I had the cedar plank salmon, which was surprisingly good given the location. My husband opted for the flat iron steak, which was also very tasty. We had side dishes of mashed potatoes, broccoli and Caesar salad, as well as fresh bread, to complete the meal. Our waiter, Carlos, was very attentive and kept us well supplied with everything we needed. The meal was not cheap, but the food was really good. Overall, a great stop on our drive from San Diego to Zion National Park.

If you want to learn more about the GP’s Steak House you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

6. Fresco Italiano, Las Vegas

Another restaurant we recommend you to visit on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park is Fresco Italiano, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada. It will take 5 hours of driving to reach Fresco Italiano, Las Vegas from San Diego.

Fresco Italiano in Las Vegas offers a unique Tuscan-inspired dining experience. From freshly prepared pastas to handcrafted flatbreads and succulent steak, chicken, and seafood dishes, there is something to satisfy everyone’s tastes. The menu is full of flavorful dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. On your San Diego to Zion National Park road trip, Fresco Italiano is a great place to stop for a delicious meal. With its unique twist on Italian cuisine, it is an unforgettable dining experience.

For more information about Fresco Italiano, Las Vegas you can check TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of the restaurant.

7. Muddy River Bar and Grill

Ranked seventh on our list, Muddy River Bar and Grill appeals to those who want to turn their Zion National Park vacation into a memorable experience. Located in Moapa, Nevada 379 miles away from San Diego, and it’ll take 5 hours and 43 mins of driving.

Muddy River Bar and Grill in Moapa, Nevada is a great spot to stop on a San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. The menu has something for everyone and the prices are reasonable. I tried the Philly cheese steak which was recommended by our server and it was delicious. The fries served with it were also tasty and had a great batter. My whole group enjoyed their meals and we were so glad that we didn’t have to stop at a fast food chain. The atmosphere was great and the staff was friendly. I’d definitely recommend stopping at Muddy River Bar and Grill if you’re ever in the area.

If you want to learn more about Muddy River Bar and Grill you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

8. Gregory’s Mesquite Grill

Gregory’s Mesquite Grill is an excellent restaurant that is 411 miles away from San Diego. Gregory’s Mesquite Grill is located in Mesquite, Nevada, and you can reach there after 6 hours and 12 mins of car driving.

Gregory’s Mesquite Grill in Mesquite, Nevada is a great place to stop on a San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. Their steak and lobster is some of the best in Nevada and rivals Maine lobster. The chefs and servers are friendly and attentive, ensuring a pleasant dining experience. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options are available, making it an excellent choice for all eaters. The portions are generous, so you’re sure to leave satisfied. All in all, if you’re looking for a delicious dinner, Gregory’s Mesquite Grill is the place to go.

If you want to discover the menu and more information about Gregory’s Mesquite Grill, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

9. Cliffside Restaurant:

Eating is serious business. Another restaurant that can be preferred by those who take this job seriously is the Cliffside Restaurant, St. George, Utah. It is 450 miles from San Diego and would take around 6 hours and 49 mins of car driving.

Cliffside Restaurant in St. George, Utah offers an incredible view of the valley below, with a unique atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in southern Utah. Sitting atop a cliff, the restaurant gives you a breathtaking panoramic of the entire city. The food is delicious and the service is top-notch. Whether you’re stopping on your San Diego to Zion National Park road trip or just looking for a great place to eat, Cliffside Restaurant is an excellent choice.

You can visit the official TripAdvisor and Google Maps pages of Cliffside Restaurant, for detailed information.

This section lists our nine restaurant recommendations for your road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. We hope these suggestions will help you turn your 489 miles journey into a feast of taste. Of course, you can choose a suitable restaurant from the list according to your preference. Remember, like you, people planning a Zion National Park road trip need your opinion. Therefore, we kindly ask you to share your experience with us in the comment field at the end of the blog post.

In the next section, we list the destinations worth seeing along the route from San Diego to Zion National Park. Keep reading.

9 Places To Visit On The San Diego To Zion National Park Drive

A unique experience awaits you in Zion National Park. However, there are also some unique destinations like Escondido, California on your road trip. We want to explain the top nine destinations we recommend on the Zion National Park route.

1. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park will be the first destination we recommend you to stop by on your San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. Located in Escondido, California, San Diego Zoo Safari Park is 32.1 miles away from San Diego, and it would take 36 mins to drive.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California is a great place to visit on a San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. It is a non-profit wildlife sanctuary with 3,000 animals from 300 species. The Park has 1,800 acres of protected native species habitat and boasts an impressive botanical collection with 3,500 species and 1.75 million specimens. It is the perfect place for people of all ages to appreciate the beauty and importance of nature and wildlife. Every visit helps to contribute to the conservation mission of the Park, allowing it to protect and maintain the wildlife for future generations.

If you want to learn more about the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

2. Old Town Temecula

Old Town Temecula, Temecula, California is one of the destinations we recommend you to stop by on the San Diego to Zion National Park route. It’s 58.9 miles from San Diego, and it’ll take about 59 mins of driving.

Old Town Temecula is a charming, western-style town with plenty of things to do and see. Located in the Temecula Valley, it’s a great spot to stop by if you’re on a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. There are vintage stores, coffee shops, gardens, restaurants, a soap shop, and an olive oil shop. The City of Temecula Civic center is especially beautiful during the Christmas season. It can get very cold in the winter, so it’s best to visit during the day when the sun is out. Although it was cold when I visited, I was still able to experience the unique boutiques, specialty food-related purveyors, antique dealers, curio stores and various food and beverage restaurants. Old Town Temecula is an exciting town with something for everyone, and I’m looking forward to coming back to explore it more.

If you want to learn more about Old Town Temecula, you can check it on TripAdvisor or their website.

3. San Bernardino National Forest

One of the stops you should not neglect to stop by when you take the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park is San Bernardino, California. And if you visit San Bernardino, California, we suggest you visit San Bernardino National Forest. You can arrive at San Bernardino National Forest after 1 hour and 42 mins of driving.

San Bernardino National Forest is a must-see on any San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. This incredible 660,000-acre area offers breathtaking views of the San Bernadino Mountains, ranging from 1,000 feet to the summit of Mount San Gorgonio at 11,502 feet. From the desert to the tallest alpine peaks in Southern California, the San Bernardino National Forest is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With numerous hikes, lakes, and small towns nestled within the forest, there is something for everyone who visits.

You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site of San Bernardino National Forest for more information.

4. Western America Railroad Museum

Do you also like to travel and experience new things? Then, it would be best to visit Western America Railroad Museum, Barstow, California on the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip. Western America Railroad Museum is 176 miles from San Diego, and you can arrive there after the 2 hours and 49 mins of drive.

Western America Railroad Museum in Barstow is a great place to stop and explore the history of trains. The museum is filled with old locomotives that you can climb and explore. Inside you’ll find all sorts of artifacts and memorabilia from the days of the great American railroad. It’s a fun and educational experience for the whole family and a great way to break up your drive from San Diego to Zion National Park.

In addition, you should check TripAdvisor and the official website of Western America Railroad Museum before going there.

5. Desperado Roller Coaster

Located in Primm, Nevada, Desperado Roller Coaster ranks fifth in our list of tourist destinations on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. You must take 4 hours and 26 mins of driving to arrive at Desperado Roller Coaster.

Desperado Roller Coaster in Primm is an adrenaline-pumping ride that is worth the price. It zooms along at 80 mph, and is a thrilling ride for those seeking a heart-stopping experience. Unfortunately, the ride may not be open if the weather conditions are unsuitable. Additionally, the times of operation can be unclear and hard to find – we had to make a special trip there and waited for over half an hour and for our 1 pm ride time. The ride itself was amazing, but no apology was given for the delay. I hope the experience will be improved in the future, as this roller coaster deserves to be the main event rather than an afterthought.

If you want to learn more about Desperado Roller Coaster, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

6. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Another attraction you can visit on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nevada. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is 338 miles from San Diego, and it would take 5 hours to drive.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is an absolute must-see for any road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. Its remarkable red-hued rock formations are a sight to behold, offering a stunningly beautiful landscape for photographers and visitors alike. The abundance of awe-inspiring images make it a great place to take a break from the long drive and take in the majesty of the natural world. Whether you are looking for a short hike or an extended stay, Red Rock Canyon should be added to your itinerary.

For more information about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area you can check their TripAdvisor page or official website.

7. Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge

You can visit many destinations on your San Diego to Zion National Park journey. One of these destinations is Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge located in, Moapa, Nevada. You can arrive at Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge after 5 hours and 53 mins of driving.

Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a great stop on any road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. Located in Moapa, Nevada, this little-known sanctuary is the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy some of the local wildlife. There are a few short hiking trails and a great opportunity to observe the endangered Moapa Dace. The refuge also offers a docent-led fish viewing area where visitors can learn about the species and their habitat. During the hot summer months, the refuge may be closed, so make sure to check the website for updates before you go. For those looking for a picnic spot or a place to enjoy some shade, the refuge provides an excellent area just across the street. With restrooms and plenty of shade, this is the perfect spot to take a break from the drive.

If you want to read the reviews of previous visitors about Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge you can visit Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s TripAdvisor page or their website.

8. Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery

As we near the end of our list of the top 9 best places to visit on the road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park, it would be unfair not to mention Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery locates in Mesquite, Nevada, 411 miles from San Diego, and it takes 6 hours and 12 mins drive from San Diego to get there.

Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is a great place to visit on a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the artwork of local artists. They have an impressive selection of crafts and artwork, with a judged showing that the public can vote in. Prices are reasonable and the staff are very welcoming and helpful. It’s a great place to find unique gifts, and something to remember your road trip by. We should have bought more when we were there, it was a really enjoyable experience.

If you want to learn more about Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

9. The Narrows

Now, we would like to introduce you to another vibrant restaurant on the Zion National Park trip. Located in Zion National Park, Utah, The Narrows is 497 miles from San Diego, and it would take 7 hours and 58 mins to drive.

The Narrows at Zion National Park is a great stop on any road trip to Utah. It’s a unique and beautiful hike unlike any other. We did it in November when the temperature was a comfortable 55 degrees, but the river was still quite cold! We made the mistake of renting dry pants and conyoneering boots from Zion Outfitters, which weren’t great at keeping our feet dry. It’s best to rent from Zion Guru by La Quinta Inn, as their dry pants are fully connected to the sock/foot part, so you can be confident your feet will stay dry. Summertime visitors should still bring wooden walking poles and conyoneering boots, as these will provide a good grip on the rocks, but if you’re okay with your feet getting wet, you may be able to skip the dry pants. The Narrows is Zion’s most popular, and also most dangerous, hiking trail due to the risk of flash floods, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather and be prepared.

If you want to learn more about The Narrows, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

FAQ of the Road Trip From San Diego to Zion National Park

Here we are answering the frequently asked questions about the San Diego to Zion National Park drive.

How Long Is The Road Trip From San Diego To Zion National Park?

  • With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip takes approximately 7 hours and 36 mins to drive. The driving distance between San Diego to Zion National Park is 489 miles.
  • If you want to make the San Diego to Zion National Park road trip by bike, the time you spend on the road will be 2 days.
  • If you are crazy enough and plan to walk the San Diego-Zion National Park route, then you will have to walk for 7 days and 5 hours.

Where Do You Stop On Driving From San Diego To Zion National Park?

There are many beautiful pits stops along the way to Zion National Park. You can visit Escondido, California; Temecula, California; San Bernardino, California; Barstow, California; Primm, Nevada; Las Vegas, Nevada; Mesquite, Nevada; St. George, Utah; Zion National Park, Utah; Moapa, Nevada on the road. Here we list nine places to visit for you. For more information about the best places on the San Diego to Zion National Park journey, you can check the 9 Best Places To Visit On The San Diego To Zion National Park Road Trip.

  1. San Diego Zoo Safari Park: 32.1 miles / 36 mins to drive from San Diego | 468 miles / 7 hours and 18 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  2. Old Town Temecula: 58.9 miles / 59 mins to drive from San Diego | 431 miles / 6 hours and 44 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  3. San Bernardino National Forest: 95.4 miles / 1 hour and 42 mins to drive from San Diego | 369 miles / 5 hours and 48 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  4. Western America Railroad Museum: 176 miles / 2 hours and 49 mins to drive from San Diego | 314 miles / 4 hours and 55 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  5. Desperado Roller Coaster: 289 miles / 4 hours and 26 mins to drive from San Diego | 202 miles / 3 hours and 16 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  6. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: 338 miles / 5 hours to drive from San Diego | 174 miles / 2 hours and 52 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  7. Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge: 388 miles / 5 hours and 53 mins to drive from San Diego | 120 miles / 2 hours of driving to Zion National Park.
  8. Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery: 411 miles / 6 hours and 12 mins to drive from San Diego | 79.8 miles / 1 hour and 31 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  9. The Narrows: 497 miles / 7 hours and 58 mins to drive from San Diego | 8.2 miles / 24 mins of driving to Zion National Park.

Where Should You Stay On The Road Trip From San Diego To Zion National Park?

There are many excellent hotels during your road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. We have selected nine hotels for you. These hotels are listed below. Remember, you can find detailed information about these hotels in the 9 Best Hotels On The Road Trip To Zion National Park From San Diego section.

  • Best Western Escondido Hotel: 32.8 miles / 35 mins to drive from San Diego | 457 miles / 7 hours of driving to Zion National Park.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Temecula: 59.5 miles / 59 mins to drive from San Diego | 431 miles / 6 hours and 45 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites San Bernardino: 106 miles / 1 hour and 45 mins to drive from San Diego | 388 miles / 6 hours of driving to Zion National Park.
  • California Inn, Barstow: 177 miles / 2 hours and 47 mins to drive from San Diego | 313 miles / 4 hours and 53 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  • Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino: 288 miles / 4 hours and 26 mins to drive from San Diego | 202 miles / 3 hours and 16 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  • Park MGM Las Vegas: 326 miles / 4 hours and 59 mins to drive from San Diego | 165 miles / 2 hours and 45 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  • Eureka Casino Resort: 411 miles / 6 hours and 11 mins to drive from San Diego | 79.1 miles / 1 hour and 29 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  • Best Western Plus Abbey Inn: 448 miles / 6 hours and 45 mins to drive from San Diego | 42.6 miles / 55 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  • Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort: 509 miles / 8 hours and 17 mins to drive from San Diego | 19.8 miles / 45 mins of driving to Zion National Park.

Where To Eat Between San Diego to Zion National Park?

If you are thinking of taking a break and having a nice meal on your San Diego to Zion National Park drive, you can consider the nine restaurants we have chosen. In addition, you can read detailed information about the restaurants in the section titled 9 Best Restaurants On The San Diego To Zion National Park Road Trip.

  1. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido: 32.4 miles / 39 mins to drive from San Diego | 461 miles / 7 hours and 11 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  2. The Goat and Vine: 58.6 miles / 58 mins to drive from San Diego | 433 miles / 6 hours and 45 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  3. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, San Bernardino: 106 miles / 1 hour and 45 mins to drive from San Diego | 388 miles / 6 hours of driving to Zion National Park.
  4. Los Domingos Mexican Restaurant: 139 miles / 2 hours and 17 mins to drive from San Diego | 354 miles / 5 hours and 33 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  5. GP’s Steak House: 288 miles / 4 hours and 26 mins to drive from San Diego | 202 miles / 3 hours and 15 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  6. Fresco Italiano, Las Vegas: 330 miles / 5 hours to drive from San Diego | 163 miles / 2 hours and 44 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  7. Muddy River Bar and Grill: 379 miles / 5 hours and 43 mins to drive from San Diego | 111 miles / 1 hour and 57 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  8. Gregory’s Mesquite Grill: 411 miles / 6 hours and 12 mins to drive from San Diego | 79.3 miles / 1 hour and 30 mins of driving to Zion National Park.
  9. Cliffside Restaurant: 450 miles / 6 hours and 49 mins to drive from San Diego | 42.7 miles / 59 mins of driving to Zion National Park.

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a complete guide to planning a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park. We have listed nine hotels, nine restaurants, and nine places to visit on the San Diego to Zion National Park drive. We have also given you detailed information about each place so that you can make an informed choice about where to stay, eat, and what to see. We hope this guide has helped make your road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park as enjoyable as possible.

Share Your Thoughts

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Video: Zion National Park Road Trip – Top Things

In this video, you can find a detailed travel guide about Zion National Park.




Tolga

Hi, I'm Tolga. Your guide for unforgettable road trips across the USA, Europe, and Australia. I offer destination insights, tips, and occasionally use AI for added accuracy. Let's explore the world one road at a time!

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