Spoiler alert – it’s awesome. But, let me dive a little deeper so that you can make the decision that makes the most sense for your group and your trip. Under Canvas Zion is one of ten Under Canvas locations around the US. If you don’t know, Under Canvas is a glamping hotel that brands itself as “upscale safari-inspired glamping”.
Travel + Leisure voted Under Canvas Zion one of the best resort hotels in Utah in 2022. Its close proximity to the park and secluded feel are some of the many highlights of this hotel. Without further ado, here is my complete review with photos.
Hotel Review: Under Canvas Zion
I stayed at Under Canvas Zion in early June – before the high season. To me, this was a perfect time because it was not too hot and not too busy. Instead, it was perfectly chilly in the mornings, and warm and breezy in the afternoons. While it’s not cheap to stay here, it’s not outrageous, and there are several things that set Under Canvas apart from other glamping options in the area.
Whether you are planning on visiting Zion National Park or enjoying other activities in the area, the location is convenient and unspoiled.
Located about 5 miles off the main road in Virgin, Utah, it’s set back in a valley surrounded by impressive sandstone and red rock cliffs. As you wind your way around Kolob Terrace Road, you find yourself in a place of solitude.
The camp is 20 miles from Zion National Park. This makes for a quick 25-minute drive to get to the park entrance. This may seem far to some (since there are closer places to stay in Springdale) but the drive to the park is beautiful and a great chance to wake up before arriving.
Zion National Park is an International Dark Sky Park, and Under Canvas Zion is one of four Under Canvas locations located outside of dark sky parks. To honor this, Under Canvas uses low-level lighting to avoid light pollution, making it a prime location for incredible stargazing.
We were immediately greeted by enthusiastic staff upon our arrival. They took us to a table to go over all of the necessary information and give us freshly charged lamps and chargers for our stay. We received a quick tour and then they offered to take our bags to our tent in a golf cart.
You can tell that every interaction or touchpoint with guests is very intentional. The staff is so kind and they are really there to help however you need. Each time we interacted with them they were upbeat and happy to help.
There is a restaurant on-site (Embers) and the food was actually delicious – like very very good. They have GF and vegan options and they have an espresso machine for proper coffee in the morning. There is indoor seating for about 20 and outdoor seating for many more. I rated the dining experience 4.5 because the food was a bit overpriced.
Rooms at Under Canvas Zion: 4.5/5
We stayed in the Deluxe tent. This is a two-person tent with a king-size bed, ensuite bathroom with a shower, fireplace, and perfectly sweet front porch. The tent was very clean and the bed was really comfortable. All of the furniture in the tents is from West Elm.
I rated the room 4.5 only because there are some areas where there was a gap between the tent and the floor. I realize many people will not care about this but as someone who is not familiar or comfortable with desert creatures (snakes, etc.) this made me nervous. That being said, I was assured that snakes didn’t want to be in our tent and sure enough we never even saw one.
The property uses significantly less water and energy than a hotel and they do this in a few ways: pull chain showers, low-flow toilets, a towel reuse program, and automatic shut-off faucets. They also do not have electricity in the tents and use low-level lighting throughout which mitigates light pollution.
Under Canvas partners with companies with similar sustainability values. For example, the bath products you will find in your tent are made in a zero-waste facility.
The camp design is meant to minimize any disturbance to the land. And finally, all of the camp and corporate staff give back to the local community by volunteering with various local organizations.
Under Canvas understands that more connection with nature makes us happier and healthier and they do a great job of creating a space where you can really connect with the outdoors without giving up all of your creature comforts.
They use colors that blend with the natural environment and feel luxurious. Wifi is intentionally not available. There is often live music around dinnertime. They light fires all over the property each evening for s’mores.
There is no electricity in the tents, and while there are doors to the bathroom/shower areas there isn’t much privacy. Luckily, they have two separate bathroom buildings (in addition to the bathrooms in your tent). Each building has about 6 private bathrooms that have electricity and showers in them. So if you must use a hair tool or if you have to shower at night and need light, you can use these bathrooms (they’re also heated).
They have an Adventure Concierge tent where you can easily and seamlessly schedule adventure experiences.
Each night you get a complimentary smores kit – one per person. This might be ridiculously nit-picky but if you are a s’more connoisseur this is a warning to just bring your own chocolate! The chocolate tasted and looked like 10-year-old Halloween candy.
They also have complimentary tea and coffee.
It is clear that Under Canvas prioritizes environmental wellness and encourages guests to engage in their physical and mental wellness. The unassuming and secluded location offers an escape. The conscious decision to not offer wifi is an effort to get guests to connect with their surroundings and their company.
They create a space for physical wellness by offering yoga mats and a concrete yoga deck for your own private practice. And of course, they offer a number of activities to participate in through their adventure concierge. I rated wellness a 4.5 out of 5 because I see an opportunity for additional wellness programming.
Overall Under Canvas Zion Score: 4.6/5
Ultimately, Under Canvas Zion was a fantastic stay. If you are heading to Zion National Park, or just to southwest Utah to explore all the area has to offer, I highly recommend staying at Under Canvas Zion.
For more places to stay check out: Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
Things to Consider at Under Canvas Zion
There are a couple of things to note that may or may not be important to you depending on your age, vision for your trip, and camping comfort level. Some of these won’t matter at all to some people and could be deal breakers for others so I felt it was important to include them.
This may be great for you, or it may be a deterrent. We noticed that the property was very family and kid-friendly. They offer kids tents, lots of games, and overall there were just a lot of families there and kids running around. This is not something we expected and it was a small deterrent for us. Either way, just know there are lots of kids around!
Glamping…is similar to camping!
Don’t let the price fool you, glamping is basically camping. As I mentioned earlier, there is no electricity in the tent. They provide you with lanterns for when the sun goes down but remember you will not have outlets, AC, heater (unless you make a fire), TV, lights, etc.
You will also be more vulnerable to the elements. It can get pretty windy in the area and you are in a tent so the canvas flaps a bit and can be quite loud.
You are in the desert and you are in a tent. So bugs and small critters could get in the tent through a handful of small entryways or if you leave the tent unzipped. We never had anything in our tent besides bugs but something to keep in mind.
FAQs About Under Canvas Zion
Can you rent it out as a wedding venue?
Yes! Under Canvas Zion offers full camp buyouts for weddings, private events, and corporate retreats.
Does Under Canvas Zion have air conditioning?
No! There is no air conditioning in the tents and yes they can get warm in the desert heat. They do provide small fans and you can open the “windows” to create some cross-ventilation.
Are there hikes near Under Canvas Zion?
Yes, there are so many hikes near Under Canvas Zion. Of course, if you venture into the park there are about 10 hikes you can do from the main entrance. However, if you are trying to avoid going into Zion, there are plenty of other options. You can head over to Kolab Canyon (the lesser known side of Zion), Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, or you can stay in Virgin. Some more popular hikes in Virgin are Sheep Bridge Trail and JEM Trail.
Is Under Canvas Zion Kid-Friendly?
Yes! Very kid-friendly.
Are there restaurants near Under Canvas Zion?
There is a restaurant onsite called Embers. There are also a couple of restaurants in Virgin but none that I can recommend in good faith. I would probably head into Springdale for a dinner out.
How long does it take to get from Under Canvas to Zion National Park?
It took us 25 minutes. We left very early in the morning and there was no traffic on the road. Build in a little more time if you leave later.
Under Canvas Zion Review Wrap-Up
Personally, I love glamping. You don’t have to bring any camping gear or deal with setting up or cooking, but you still get to connect with the outdoors. You can hear the wind and the wildlife at night, and spend your evening reading or in conversation since engaging with technology isn’t an option. You get to make a fire, stargaze, and soak in the smells of the desert. But, you have a proper bathroom, shower, and bed. What is better than that??!