From gorgeous sights to amazing hikes, Zion is a great destination when you want to be outdoors. It’s open all year round and features some of the most underrated beauty in the US. This is one of the more unique national parks in the country with many places to stay near Zion National Park.
When I found out it’s only a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, I booked my flight to explore this stunning park. I’d seen some amazing sunrise and sunset photos of the park online and wanted to try to experience these for myself. I was also excited to go on all the different hikes in Zion National Park.
Since I hadn’t been to this area before, I was a little confused on where I should stay. I figured other people might wonder where to stay in Zion as well, so I created this guide to help you decide so you don’t have to do the research.
When to Visit Zion National Park
The most popular time of the year is from May to November because that’s when the park offers free shuttle services. Temperatures in the summer regularly get around 80 degrees, with record high temperatures being over 100. That’s why people are encouraged to hike around the park in the morning or late afternoon.
During the winter, the temperatures drop to around 30 degrees. However, it doesn’t often snow in the canyon, so you can still go hiking.
Shoulder season in Zion is May, October, and November. During these months, the weather is still warm. However, there are smaller crowds than during the high season. June to September is when the park has the most visitors, while December to April has the fewest.
Since there are no shuttles in the shoulder season, the Zion Scenic Drive is open to private vehicles. You’ll have the best chance at finding affordable places to stay near Zion National Park during this time. The rates are at its lowest and you’ll have an easy time finding accommodations.
Where to Stay in Zion National Park
Unlike larger parks like Yellowstone National Park, there aren’t many options for staying in the park. In fact, there is actually only one place to stay in Zion National Park (you can camp in the park, but more on that later). That means you’ll want to book your room here far in advance!
Zion National Park Lodge
When you’re looking for where to stay in Zion, this is the ideal location if you want to be right in the park. Zion National Park Lodge is a historic building that was originally constructed in 1925 but was burned down in 1966. However, the reconstruction was almost identical to the original, so you can still feel like they’re visiting an old-time park lodge.
Most of its rooms offer queen-sized beds but a handful of them have king-sized ones as well. You can also expect a flat-screen TV with satellite reception, your own private porch or balcony, and a private bathroom. The rooms aren’t exactly a part of the lodge itself but are separated by a short walk.
Staying in the lodge is a good choice if you want to be fully immersed in the park when staying in Zion National Park. You’ll have immediate access to many of the park’s hikes and natural spots. The only downside to staying in the lodge is that you’ll have limited dining options compared to staying at Springdale or other towns.
Best Places to Stay Near Zion National Park
You have plenty of choices to pick from when deciding where to stay when visiting Zion National Park. The most important factors to look at are the location and price.
I’ve organized this section by the most common areas people book when looking where to stay in Zion, as well as several recommendations in each and the cost. Springdale is the closest city to the park, while Kanab is an hour east and St. George is an hour west.
Springdale is one of the best places to stay near Zion National Park if you want to be close. This is the “gateway” to the park and the closest city to it. You’ll be able to keep your car parked at your hotel and take the shuttle into the park (the only stop on the shuttle system that’s outside Zion). If you only have one day in Zion, I recommend staying here for the convenience.
There are many advantages to staying here, with the main one being you’re the closest you can get to the park without staying in it. The disadvantage to consider is many people stop here on their way to the park, so the town gets crowded. You’ll also likely pay more for hotels here due to the convenience of its location.
- Quality Inn at Zion Park – Quality Inn is one of the best cheap places to stay near Zion National Park. It’s close to the park’s entrance and many of Springdale’s popular attractions are very close. The inn offers free continental breakfast, a seasonal pool, and sundeck, as well as high-speed internet in the rooms. (rates start at $79 per night; book your room on Hotels.com or Booking.com)
- Driftwood Lodge – This is a three-star Zion National Park lodging with easy access to the park. It’s about 2 miles away from the park’s entrance, but the stop for the shuttle is close to the lodge. The lodge also has direct access to the nearby Virgin River. (rates start at $109 per night; book your room on Hotels.com or Booking.com)
- Red Rock Inn Bed & Breakfast – When you’re looking where to stay near Zion National Park on a budget, this is a great option. It’s less than a mile away from the park’s entrance and is close to Springdale’s popular spots, such as coffee shops and restaurants. (rates start at $114 per night; book your room on Hotels.com or Booking.com)
If you’re wondering where to stay in Zion National Park that’s a bit further away, the small town of Kanab is ideal. It’s an hour east of the park and more affordable than Springdale.
There are many things to do in Kanab when you need a break from Zion, such as visiting Peek-a-boo Slot Canyon. Fun fact – the town was used in many western movies in the past and its rustic cowboy charm is present to this very day. You can visit the free Little Hollywood Museum while you’re there to learn more about it.
- The Cowboy Bunkhouse – This hostel near Zion National Park has a western movie theme, so you’ll want to stay here if you’re a fan of them. You’ll find the Sarsaparilla Saloon here with an old piano, a parlor, and even a garden that grows fresh veggies. This is one of the most unique places to stay near Zion National Park. (rates start at $69 per night; book your room on Booking.com or read reviews on TripAdvisor)
- Hampton Inn Kanab – The Hampton Inn is one of the best places to stay near Zion due to its location. Not only is it close to the park, but it’s also close to Coral Pink Sand Dunes and the Moqui Cave. There’s a gym, laundry service, a pool, and a spa on the premises. (rates start at $109 per night; book your room on Hotels.com or Booking.com)
- Comfort Suites Kanab – This hotel solves the problem of where to stay near Zion National Park with a great location close to many attractions. The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Coral Cliffs Golf Course are nearby as well as many of Kanab’s popular attractions. (rates start at $88 per night; book your room on Hotels.com or Booking.com)
The once sleepy town of St. George is now a vibrant city that’s a destination well-worth visiting on its own. I stayed here during my visit to Zion and enjoyed exploring it when I wasn’t in the park. St. George is about an hour west from the park and is a good option when you’re looking for cheap places to stay near Zion National Park.
There are dozens of restaurants here, including chain restaurants if you want something quick before heading out to the park. You’ll also find plenty to do outdoors here, such as Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and Snow Canyon Slate Park.
- Clarion Suites – This is a charming Zion National Park lodging that’s located within walking distance to Saint George’s most popular attractions. This hotel has an indoor swimming pool, a BBQ and picnic area, as well as laundry services. Overall, this is a great budget Zion National Park lodging. (rates start at $53 per night; book your room on Hotels.com)
- Hyatt Place – This is the perfect midrange lodging near Zion National Park. With an on-site restaurant, a swimming pool, and a hot tub, this is one of the best places to stay near Zion National Park for families. (rates start at $93 per night; book your room on Hotels.com)
- Courtyard by Marriott – This Zion National Park lodging is located in the center of Saint George. It’s a luxurious hotel that comes fully equipped with an indoor pool, a fitness center, and even a whirlpool. (rates start at $95 per night; book your room on Hotels.com)
Where to Camp in Zion National Park
You don’t have to stay in a hotel when looking for places to stay near Zion National Park. In fact, camping in Zion National Park is the best way to experience the outdoors in the region. Due to the park’s moderate elevations and good weather, it’s one of the most ideal places to set up camp in the region.
There are a few things to note first if you decide to camp instead of stay in a hotel:
- Fires are strictly prohibited when the fire danger is high.
- You’re not allowed to collect wood from the park and you must carry your own firewood with you.
- Leave as little impact as possible (pack it in, pack it out).
There are three main campgrounds in Zion and around 270 campsites in the park, which means camping is quite limited. However, there are a few other campsites very near the park so you do have a few more options when it comes to camping in Zion National Park.
Often considered as the best campground in Zion, the South Campground is conveniently located near the south entrance, just outside of Springdale. This is a spacious campground with probably the best location of any camping site in Zion. It’s technically within the park itself so you’ll have the chance to admire the park in all its glory but you’re also near the town.
That way, you can head out to grab anything you might’ve forgotten to take with you from Springdale. This part of the park is also one of the most breathtaking, so you’ll be fully immersed in Zion’s dramatic scenery.
South Campground is open from March 1 to late November, but that may vary because of weather conditions. Every campsite includes a fire grate, picnic table, and drinking water.
RVs are allowed in the campground in the recently added campsites, which can accommodate 7 to 15 people or up to 5 vehicles. For RVs, generators are allowed from 8 am to 10 am and from 6 pm to 8 pm. There are three wheelchair-accessible campsites in the campground as well.
Cost: $20 per night
This is a campground that’s quite conveniently located at the southern entrance to the park. Watchman Campground is slightly farther away than South Campground, however. It’s just as scenic as the rest of the park, maybe even more so because there are fewer tall trees here.
That means that you’ll have completely unobstructed views of the park but the tradeoff is that the campsites are always directly under the sun. This campground is also very close to the shuttle system and there are plenty of hiking trails nearby.
Watchman Campground is open throughout the entire year, but it works on a reservation basis from March through November. The other part of the year, it’s on a first come first serve basis.
There are toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, and BBQ available at this campground; it’s also pet-friendly.
Cost: $20 per night
Lava Point Campground
When you’re looking where to camp in Zion National Park, you’ll love Lava Point Campground. It’s located at a beautiful part of the park where you’ll have a clear vantage point of the entire grounds of the park.
Lava Point is on a remote part of Zion, one that was formed by flowing lava millions of years ago. It towers at almost 8,000 feet above the rest of the park and is one of the best overlooks in the entire park. The sunsets are absolutely phenomenal when camping in Zion National Park.
The campground is free, so you’re able to pull up and set up your tent if there’s availability. This may be a gamble during the busy season, so have a backup plan in mind just in case.
You should also know that amenities are minimal due to it being free. There are pit toilets and picnic tables, and that’s pretty much it. The campsite doesn’t any running water, so make sure to bring plenty of it with you. Six campsites are located at this campground.
Zion Canyon Campground and RV Resort
This campground is the most convenient spot for camping near Zion National Park. It’s not inside the park proper but it’s just outside the south entrance to Zion.
It’s within walking distance to the visitor center. This campsite is quite spacious, especially for RVs, and it has amazing views of the park and the surrounding region. The proximity to Springdale means that you’ll be able to stock up on anything you might need with ease.
There are plenty of facilities in the campground here such as toilets, showers, running water, as well as hookups for both 30 and 50 amps for RVs. It’s a family-friendly campground in Zion that also features a playground, grill, BBQ, as well as access to a pool. It costs
Cost: $44 per night for a tent site, $54 per night for an RV site
Zion River Resort
Located just 20 minutes by car away, Zion River Resort is the ideal place to stay near Zion if you want your camping near Zion National Park to have a bit of extra comfort. It’s found in the town of Virgin, which is right beside the Virgin River that runs through Zion itself.
It’s a sizeable and comfortable RV resort and it’s well-connected to the national park as it offers a shuttle service for a small fee in case you don’t feel like driving. This campground is well-equipped with a pool, showers, toilets, internet and Wi-Fi, dedicated pet areas, and an amazing view of the region.
Cost: $32 per night for a tent site, $37 per day for an RV site
As you can see, there are plenty of places to stay near Zion National Park when you’re ready to book your trip. Whether you want to stay in the park or go camping instead, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for with one of these accommodations.