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, and you can enjoy it better by knowing the best places to stay in 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.
This post promotes travel to a national park that is the traditional lands of the Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) and Pueblos people. I make a formal land acknowledgment showing my respect and appreciation to the people of these lands. You can learn more about this on Native Land.
How to Pick Where to Stay in Zion National Park
Here are a few things to know before you plan your trip.
Overview of Zion
Before I get into the best places to stay in Zion, here are the main areas so you can decide where you want to book.
- In the park – Your options are very limited for where to stay in Zion, but it’s the most convenient place to stay. You’ll be ready to get up and go on that sunrise hike if that’s what you’re looking forward to.
- Springdale – This is one of the best places to stay near Zion National Park if you want to be close and is just southwest of the park. 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 convenience.
- Kanab – This city is only about 30 minutes southeast of the park and tends to be cheaper than Springdale. There are many things to do in Kanab, such as visiting Peek-a-boo Slot Canyon or the free Little Hollywood Museum. Fun fact – the town was used in many western movies in the past and its rustic cowboy charm is present to this very day.
- St. George – St. George is about an hour west of the park and is a good option when you’re looking for cheap places to stay near Zion National Park. 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.
When to Visit Zion
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.
Tips for Camping 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.
The Best Places to Stay in Zion National Park
Let’s get into it – here are some of the best places to stay in and near Zion!
Unlike larger parks like Yellowstone National Park, there aren’t many options for staying in the park. In fact, there are actually only a few places to stay in Zion National Park. That means you’ll want to book your spot here far in advance!
Hotels in Zion
There is only one hotel in Zion, so your choices are slim for lodging in Zion – but it’s worth it to stay in the park.
Zion National Park Lodge
When you’re looking for the best place 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.
Camping in Zion
Camping is a great way to experience your time in Zion. Here are a few options you have for the best 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.
Many people consider Springdale one of the best places to stay in Zion National Park. There are many advantages to being 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.
Hotels in Springdale
Here are some of the best hotels in the Springdale area.
- Quality Inn 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)
Vacation Rentals in Springdale
You have a variety of Springdale vacation rentals if you prefer that over a hotel when looking for lodging at Zion.
- Historic Rose Cottage – This adorable cottage is right by the entrance of the park, is a private home, and sleeps up to four people. (rates start at $245 per night)
- Tiny Cabin – This is a great place if you want to be outdoors like you’re camping, but feel comfortable with amenities like air conditioning and heat. (rates start at $214 per night)
- Spacious House in the Heart of Town – When you’re with a big group, you’ll love this Springdale vacation rental that sleeps up to six people and has a deck and patio. (rates start at $359 per night)
Camping in Springdale
You can also camp during your trip if you prefer.
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 and within walking distance to the visitor’s 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 20 minutes away from Springdale, 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
If you’re wondering where to stay in Zion National Park that is a bit further away, the small town of Kanab is ideal. It’s half-hour east of the park and more affordable than Springdale.
Hotels in Kanab
Here are a few options for hotels in the Kanab area when looking for places to stay at Zion National Park.
- 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 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)
Vacation Rentals in Kanab
You also have plenty of places to stay in Kanab if you prefer a vacation rental.
- Scenic Home With Pool – You’ll have a beautiful view of the red rocks from this vacation rental and also enjoy an indoor and outdoor pool during your stay. (rates start at $199 per night)
- Three Bedroom Home With Deck – You’ll enjoy a deck and patio at this house along with having hiking and horse trails within walking distance. (rates start at $170 per night)
- Two-Bedroom Casita – This guest home has a private entrance with a full bath and kitchen to cook your meals in. (rates start at $110 per night)
St. George is one of the best places to stay in Zion National Park when you’re looking to stay away from the crowds a bit. 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.
Hotels in St. George
Here are several hotels in St. George to choose from when looking for where to stay when visiting Zion National Park.
- Clarion Suites – This is one of the more charming places to stay in Zion 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 Booking.com or 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 Booking.com or 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 Booking.com or Hotels.com)
Vacation Rentals in St. George
You have a variety of vacation rentals in St. George to choose from as well.
- Two-Bedroom Condo – You can sleep up to six guests at this condo close to town that has a full kitchen and three TVs. (rates start at $83 per night)
- Remodeled Family Getaway – This three bedroom, two bathroom sleeps up to eight people and has a full kitchen and dining area to enjoy. (rates start at $115 per night)
- One-Bedroom Condo – This condo is a great place to stay when you only need one bedroom and want a deck to enjoy. (rates start at $82 per night)
As you can see from this list of best places to stay in Zion National Park, you have plenty of options 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.