Celebrate July 4th in Zion National Park


WeMoveQuoteThe plan is to leave late Tuesday, July 2nd or very early on Wednesday July 3rd, and drive to Zion National Park in Utah for a cook-out dinner and 4th of July celebration. Wednesday, July 3rd, Thursday, July 4th, Friday, July 5th and Saturday, July 6th will be spent hiking and taking in the sights, or perhaps snoozing in a hammock under a shady tree. There are trails for every skill level and lots of activities available in the park itself, not to mention the touristy town of Springdale, UT located just outside the park… so our exact itinerary will be determined as we go. We will drive back after breakfast on Sunday, July 7th, aiming to arriving home late that afternoon.

Getting There

Where are we going?
  • The closest town is Springdale, UT.
  • Population: approx. 500 – Elevation: approx. 3,900 ft.
  • Springdale was named one of the 20 ‘prettiest towns’ in the United States by Forbes Traveler in 2008
  • There are some amenities (sporting goods, groceries, restaurants, fuel), but it’s a really small town.
Where is Zion National Park?
  • From Costa Mesa: 435 Mi (7+ Hr drive) – Basically, we’ll take the 15 North, past Vegas, across the corner of Arizona into Southern Utah. From there, we take Rt. 9 through Springdale into Zion National Park (link to map)
  • Springdale and Zion National Park is quite isolated. It’s between a whole-lot-a-nothin’ to the South, a little-more-but-not-really-anything to the North; and some interstates through the desert to either side. This is important because cell phone service may be spotty, making communication and impromptu group coordination more difficult.
Car Pooling
  • We have one 15 person passenger van to transport everyone and their gear.
  • Please note, the train will leave on time.
  • The departure time & location, and any individual carpools to the “launch point” will be arranged at a future logistics meeting

The Campground

The Watchman Campground

Watchman Campground is an ideal place to stay. Located near the park’s south entrance, the campground is just a short walk from the main visitor center, the Zion Canyon Shuttle System and the adjacent town of Springdale. Zion is known for it’s dynamic geologic history and Watchman Campground is no exception. Named for the rocky peak that rises above it, the campground is surrounded by tall sandstone cliffs that glow red and orange during sunrise and sunset. The Virgin River, a narrow but powerful river that has carved out the canyon over time, runs adjacent to the site.

  • There are 162 regular sites, 2 wheelchair accessible sites and 7 group sites.
  • Campfires are allowed, unless there is a Wild Fire Danger advisory.
  • Only SOME campsites have shade. (The sites reserved for this trip are “partially shaded”.)
  • There are toilets, trash receptacles, fresh water and picnic tables at the campground, but no showers.


Because we will be “car camping”, our tents and group gear can be left at the campsite each day. However, each person should have and carry their own personal gear in a small day-pack – while storing their excess clothing and whatnot in their tent.

Personal Gear:
  • Hiking Boots & an old pair of sneakers for hiking in the water!!
  • Comfy Day-Pack
  • Refillable Water Bottles/Hydration Bladder
  • A plastic bag or two to keep your belongings dry
  • GOOD Socks (+ carry an extra pair)
  • Headlamp/Flashlight
  • Small Knife, Matches, Small First Aid, TP
  • Sunglasses, Sunscreen & Lipbalm with SPF
  • Map/Compass/GPS
  • Hiking Poles?
  • Camera? Watch? MP3?
  • Bandana? useful
  • Extras (laces, batteries, contacts, etc…)

Group Gear:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Pillow
  • Earplugs? For sleeping.
  • Books, cards, games, hammock, etc.
  • Travel Mug
  • Food (see Menu item below)

As the saying goes: USE LAYERS!!
  1. Base Layer: Your base layer should be made of merino wool (popularized by brands such as SmartWool, Ibex and Icebreaker), synthetic fabrics (such as REI MTS, Capilene, PowerDry and CoolMax polyester). Rather than absorbing moisture, these fabrics transport (or “wick”) perspiration away from your skin, dispersing it on the outer surface where it can evaporate. The result: You stay drier even when you sweat, and your shirt dries faster afterwards.
  2. Insulation Layer: The insulating layer helps you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Polyester fleece, merino wool and goose down are excellent insulators. Polartec 100, 200 or Thermal Pro polyester and other synthetic insulations such as Thinsulate provide warmth for a variety of conditions. These are popular insulators because they’re lightweight, breathable and insulate even when wet. They also dry faster and have a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than even wool. Classic fleece’s main drawbacks are wind permeability and bulk (it’s less compressible than other fabrics).
  3. Shell Layer: The shell or outer layer protects you from wind, rain or snow. An outer shell is an important piece in bad weather, because if wind and water are allowed to penetrate to your inner layers, you begin to cool off. Furthermore, without proper ventilation, perspiration can’t evaporate but instead condenses on the inside of your shell. Obviously, your shell layer should be roomy enough to fit easily over other layers and not restrict your movement.

Before & After the Climb
  • We suggest that you wear a set of comfortable clothes in the car on the way there, change when we arrive, and reserve that same car outfit for the ride home.
  • Each night, change into and sleep in your base layer for the next day.
  • Insulation layers and shell layers can be worn more than once, so don’t bring more than you need.
  • Pack your clothes in a small duffel bag, and your technical gear in your daypack.
  • Bring sandals, or something kind to the feet, for around camp and in the car.
  • Bring a small towel for freshening up (i.e. bird-bath style) or swimming in the Virgin River.

An Example of “Layers”:
  • Base Layer: Polypropylene Underwear & Under Armor Wicking T-Shirt
  • Insulation Layer: Light-weight Fleece Pullover & Synthetic Zip-Off Travel Pants
  • Shell Layer: Warm Jacket/Rain Shell
  • Peripherals: Sun Hat


Getting Home

  • Sunday Morning, after breakfast.
  • The same way we came.
  • Food – We will need energy and likely stop on the way home. (Not included)
  • Fuel – Food for the car, we will likely need to fuel-up.



The menu will be close to what is below. While the meal plan is fairly certain, there may be minor changes if, for example, a horde of ants decide to launch an expedition into the cooler. Also, we fully understand that our menu may not please EVERYONE – however we are doing our best given the budget, limited space and the dietary limitations that we know of. While we’re open to suggestions, we’re simply not be able to accommodate everyone’s individual preferences.

Lastly, we will endeavor to provide real, natural and healthy foods (as opposed to processed, preserved or freeze-dried) whenever practical. (Marshmallows excepted)

4th of July Dinner
  • Burgers & Hotdogs
  • Cole Slaw
  • Potato Salad
  • Chips
  • Beer & Wine
  • Marshmallows!
Thursday Breakfast
  • Egg Scramble
  • Sausage
  • English Muffin
  • Orange
  • Coffee/Tea
Thursday Dinner
  • Pasta & Red Sause
  • Spicy Italian Sausage
  • Cheesy Focaccia
Friday Breakfast
  • Pancakes!
  • Banana
  • Coffee/Tea

Friday Dinner
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Grilled Veggies
  • Sweet Potato
Saturday Breakfast
  • Oatmeal w/ Nuts & Berries
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Orange
  • Coffee/Tea
Saturday Dinner
  • Spicy Tuna Melt
  • Pickle
  • Chips
Sunday Breakfast
  • Bagel & Cream Cheese
  • Left overs
  • Coffee/Tea


The total cost for this adventure is currently being determined.

It includes:

  • Transportation to and from Orange County
  • All permits and campsite fees
  • All park entrance fees
  • Dinner every night
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Fun activities all day long
  • The ultimate adventure to kick off your summer!!!!

The permit allows a total of 12 people.
There are currently 12 spots remaining.

Spots will be allotted on a first-come first-served basis. Should you need to cancel, a 50% refund will be made if your cancellation occurs prior to 1 week before our departure, however after that we will be unable to offer any refund.

Please contact us, or speak with us, to arrange payment as soon as possible.

Important Message

On Safety:

The SAFE return of every participant is the first priority.

Entering the wilderness can be unpredictable and dangerous. Prepared and experienced individuals have become gravely injured, and even died, in Zion National Park and the surrounding area. Should someone in our party become sick or injured, it is expected that all participants will assist in facilitating our own extrication or rescue.

All participants are expected to obey Zion National Park’s Rules & Regulations.

All participants will be required to sign a liability waiver.