This is how you can get insider tips on all Zion National Park’s gateway has to offer: Springdale Visitor Center

The Springdale Visitor Center pictured in this photo acts as a hub for shopping, dining and adventuring in and near Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of zionnationalpark.com, St. George News

FEATURE — The eclectic town of Springdale is a destination in its own right, one that holds its own alongside its magnetic neighbor, Zion National Park.

The Springdale Visitor Center pictured in this photo acts as a hub for shopping, dining and adventuring in and near Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of zionnationalpark.com, St. George News

With unique shopping, a smorgasbord of dining options and access to exciting adventure beyond Zion, Springdale is making a case to be a one-stop vacation hub.

And with record-high visitation to Zion National Park, there is no better time than now to find alternate ways to enjoy the stunning scenery without all the crowds and impact.

“In an effort to help understand what the park really wants to do and to reduce the impacts on the park, we want to highlight everything there is to do outside of the park,” said Breck Dockstader.

Dockstader is the president and CEO of the Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens in Springdale and its associated properties; these include Watchman VillasHummingbird Villa, the Springdale Visitor Center, Bistro H and, coming soon, Barefoot Taqueria

Dockstader said that he realizes visitors are still going to want to see Zion National Park when they come to the area but he hopes that they can present tourists and residents alike with several different options to enjoy the land surrounding the park as well as ways to support Springdale’s businesses and all they have to offer.

Enter: the Springdale Visitor Center.

The Springdale Visitor Center – formally the Springdale and Zion Canyon Adventure Center – was designed to be a visitor hub, offering everything from unique Springdale and Zion Canyon souvenirs, quality outdoor gear, information, maps and booking services for every kind of adventure.

“This is a way for us to highlight a lot of different things,” Dockstader said. “Whether it be off-roading on the outskirts of the park or mountain biking on nearby world-class trails, the knowledgable staff at the Springdale Visitor Center can help guests make the most of their vacation.”

Having a really well-trained staff helps the center direct guests to areas that are best suited to their skill levels and outdoor knowledge, Dockstader said.

“We can make sure that the visitors we are directing to local areas are visitors that know how to use them and how to respect them,” he said. “We don’t want to add to any problems, we want to make sure that everyone is having a really great experience.”

A lot of guests feel a great amount of pressure to go into the park and hike Angel’s Landing or other well-known hikes, Dockstader said, adding that many of them feel relieved when the guides at the Springdale Visitor Center give them other options to enjoy Zion without having to navigate the crowds.

For guests looking for a more tranquil vacation, Springdale is the ideal spot to take an easy stroll through its varied shops and art galleries, sit by the river and enjoy pristine views of Zion or dine alfresco at one of the many unique restaurants.

The Springdale Visitor Center is a great first stop for souvenirs and gifts as well. From specialized plush toys to mugs, water bottles, shirts and Springdale-specific items, the center offers an array of things that are sure to help guests remember their trip in a special way.

A water bottle sold at the Springdale Visitor Center, Springdale, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of zionnationalpark.com, St. George News

Products can be viewed and purchased online as well.

Because Dockstader understands that guests are still going to want to enter Zion Canyon, the staff at Springdale Visitor Center can help people choose the best times of day to visit the park to avoid the crowds or see Zion in the best light.

“We’re not just dumping more people on (the park),” Dockstader said. “If people know, in general, better times to visit the park, everyone is going to have a better experience.”

The center is not just for tourists either. Dockstader said that many locals come in and learn about hikes or adventures that they had never known about before.

The Sprindale Visitor Center is located at 1101 Zion Park Blvd.

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