Animals

Fort Zion

Fort Zion

Fort Zion is a gift shop located along the highway that leads into Zion National Park from the west. You won’t have a hard time finding Fort Zion as it looks like a huge fort with several old facades in front. Its address is technically 1000 W on Hwy 9, in the town of Virgin.

 

The important thing to remember is that this is primarily a gift shop. But the owners have added a few other aspects to it to make it more attractive to families with small children. The first is a restaurant. We had an unexpected stop here (as you’ll notice when you drive by, the place cries out for you to stop. We drove by 4 times in and out of Zion, each time saying, “We’ve GOT to stop there.”) so we didn’t eat, but the food seemed reasonably priced at around $6-$8 per person. It looked to be primarily burgers and fries.

Fort Zion

This is the main building of Fort Zion where the gift shop and restaurant are. You go through the building and out to the petting zoo!

The reason we stopped was to check out the mini-petting zoo and old west village that can be seen from the road. It costs $1 per person to visit this section of the fort, and you can purchase three carrots for a dollar (Hint: we broke our carrots into three pieces so we got the most out of our feeding time). We spent all of $7 because our 3 boys wanted to feed the animals a second time. There are several llamas, a few deer, some donkeys, and a hilarious pony that kicks the metal fence loudly if he sees you’ve got a carrot in your hand. Our boys loved feeding the carrots to the animals, even though they were a bit timid.

Fort Zion

The animals were nice, so we were able to pet most of them.

Fort Zion

The llamas will stretch as far as possible for a carrot.

Fort Zion

The deer were more docile, but still fun to feed!

Fort Zion

Our kids were pretty hesitant about the animals for some reason.

Next to the petting zoo is a group of small buildings with facades. There is a bank, a jail, a brothel, an undertaker’s shop, and several others. Our kids had fun looking through each building, but the best part was playing jail with Dad. The game went like this: If you got tagged, you had to go to jail until someone came and tagged you out. We had a lot of fun dodging in and out of the buildings trying to escape from jail. [If you play, be a bit careful, the ground is rocky and not forgiving if you trip or crash.]

Fort Zion

The village was fun to explore and play games in. It’s also great for pictures.

Fort Zion

You can go inside the buildings but there is nothing fancy inside.

Fort Zion

There are two rows of buildings to explore next to Fort Zion.

Fort Zion

Run! The Sheriff is coming!

Fort Zion

Darn. He caught us and put us in jail!

Zion can be a bit hard on little kids– hiking in the hot sun all day. We felt like Fort Zion was just the thing to let our little ones giggle and chase for a few minutes instead!

Watch for this sign on your way to Zion National Park.

Watch for this sign on your way to Zion National Park.