The Best Books About Zion National Park

Are you headed to, back from, or thinking about a trip to Zion National Park?  From books to keep kids entertained to guidebooks for trip planning, picture books for souvenirs, or books with fun facts and history to give more depth to your trip, there are all sorts of ways that books can round out your trip. 

It can be difficult to find the best books, however.  Which is where this guide to national parks book list comes in.  Here you’ll find my top picks for books featuring Zion National Park, including fun reads, kids books, picture books, guidebooks, and more.  

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Two photos: Above, huge rocks surrounded by trees, and below, the person holding a book and eyeglasses with the text "Great Books to Read When Visiting Zion National Park."
Four photos: Huge rock mountains and trees; a woman wearing a round cap holding a book; three books in the ground; and a river surrounded by rocks with the text "14 Best Zion National Park."

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Top Zion National Park Book Picks

Death in Zion National Park: Stories of Accidents and Foolhardiness in Utah’s Grand Circle (2017), Randi Minetor

So, this is a little macabre – but totally fascinating.  From flash floods in The Narrows to falling of Angels Landing, there have actually been numerous deaths in Zion National Park – and they are all here. 

Don’t let these tales scare you away from your own Zion adventures, but do enjoy these scary stories and perhaps learn what NOT to do on your trip there!

Deaths and Rescues in Zion National Park (2016), Dave Nally

OK, I know this is another book about deaths in Zion, but what can I say – there have been quite a lot of them.  These stories of deaths – and rescues (so it’s not all bad) – really are fascinating. 

Covering close to 100 deaths and many heroic rescues, this makes a great read.

The Lonely Polygamist (2011), Brady Udall

This novel isn’t set in Zion National Park specifically, but it is set in Utah. 

A New York Times Best Seller and Editor’s pick for Best Literature & Fiction, it tells the story of a man with four wives and 28 children who’s in the middle of a mid-life crisis.  It sounds kind of corny, but it’s surprisingly human and touching.

Picture Books about Zion National Park

Picture books make great souvenirs, are the perfect gift for someone who’s been (or is going) to Zion, and can inspire you to take the trip you’ve thought about for a while. Here are some beautiful books featuring Zion’s stunning landscape.

Zion National Park in Utah United States Photography Coffee Table Book for All (2022)

Unlike many coffee table books, this is a paperback – and not very large.  But it’s filled with gorgeous photos that will transport you to Zion National Park.  Easy to carry around and easy to reference.

Zion National Park Impressions (2008)

Featuring over 80 breathtaking photos of Zion National Park, this makes a really great souvenir.  The photos have been taken throughout the year, so they feature all four seasons; throughout the day, so there are variations of light and weather; and throughout the park, so the range of Zion landscape are included.

A Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Zion National Park (2022)

This book has over 100 stunning photos of Zion National Park, but it is more than just a coffee table picture book.  It’s designed for landscape photographers of all levels who will be visiting the national park.

It gives a total of 39 suggestions of places throughout Zion that are great for photography, along with tips on when to take the best photos, the best angles, recommended equipment, and more.  If you want to create your own coffee table book filled with gorgeous photos of this incredible place, then this is the book to have.

Zion National Park Photography Coffee Table Book (2021)

Another book filled with beautiful photos of Zion National Park. This is also a paperback and has 40 pages.

Books about Zion National Park for Kids

Zion National Park Activity Book: Puzzles, Mazes, Games, and More About Zion National Park (2021), Little Bison Press

Suitable for ages 7-12, this activity book is the ideal way to keep your kids engaged throughout their trip to Zion National Park.  With so many games, puzzles and other activities to do, they will never be bored!

Zion Gold Rush (The Campground Kids: National Park Adventures) (2022), C.R. Fulton

Part of a fictional series for older kids featuring the Campground Kids.  Follow their adventures glamping in Zion National Park.  It’s a fun story that will bring the park to life and keep kids entertained before, during or after their trip to Zion.

Zion National Park Travel Journal & Activity Book for Kids (2020), Outdoor Adventures Publishing

For ages 7-11, this book makes a great journal, as there are plenty of places for kids to write, draw, paste in photos, and record what they see and do.  There are also loads of fun activities for them to do including puzzles, mazes and coloring pages.

Zion (A True Book: National Parks) (2017), Tamra B. Orr

Suitable for 8 – 10 years, this is a great way to teach kids more about Zion National Park.  They will discover how the incredible slot canyons and other geological formations were formed.  They will also learn about the history of Zion, including how it became a national park.  Educational and fun.

Zion National Park Guide Book Top Picks

Lonely Planet Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks (2021), by Greg Benchwick and Christopher Pitts

The Lonely Planet is a reliable series with loads of useful information to help you plan your trip.  There are accommodation and restaurant suggestions, popular hikes, maps and more. This also features Bryce Canyon National Park, since it is common to visit both parks together.

Moon Zion & Bryce: With Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante & Moab: Hiking, Biking, Scenic Drives (2021), W. C. McRae

If you’re planning an active trip to the Utah parks, this guide book is for you.  It has a heavier focus on Zion, but features all of Utah’ Big 5 parks, as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante.  There is information on hiking trails, as well as biking routes, scenic drives, and other adventures activities like white water rafting.  It includes sample itineraries and practical tips.

Zion: The Complete Guide (Color Travel Guide) (2019), James Kaiser

If you prefer a guidebook that just focuses on Zion National Park, Kaiser’s book is filled with practical information, tips, maps, and interesting background information.

Are you traveling to Zion National Park? Check out my Guide to Zion National Park and get my Zion Itinerary Planner to make your planning easy.

If you are planning to visit Zion National Park in spring, summer or fall, make your planning easy and stress free with a detailed itinerary. I have 1-, 2-, and 3-day itineraries for Zion that include all the park highlights, give you choices based on your preferred activity level and take all the stress out of planning your trip.  

Check out the three Zion itinerary options

If you love reading about national parks, check out more books about national parks

Do you have another book about Zion National Park that you recommend? Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know (you can also pick up extra planning tips, share your photos and stories with other national park lovers and more).  

If you like these books, save them to your Zion National Park or Travel Books boards:

Four photos: Huge rock mountains and trees; a woman wearing a round cap holding a book; three books in the ground; and a river surrounded by rocks with the text "14 Best Zion National Park."
Two photos: Above, huge rocks surrounded by trees, and below, the person holding a book and eyeglasses with the text "Great Books to Read When Visiting Zion National Park."

Are you just starting to think about taking a national parks trip? Get Inspiration
Are you starting to plan a trip to Zion National Park? Read my Guide to Zion National Park and Get an Itinerary for Zion National Park
Are you looking for a place to stay near Zion National Park? Find a vacation rental near Zion National Park
Are you ready to book your trip? Use these Planning and Booking Resources

About the Reviewer

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.

He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and most of the national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks. 

Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.

As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including USA Today, Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.

Read more…

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