If you’re visiting Zion for the first time, I’m so excited for you. My husband and I spent a week exploring Zion and its surroundings, reveling in the rich, expansive red landscapes, and having the most amazing time. If you are wondering where to stay near Zion National Park, look no further.
This is an HONEST review of the best hotels, Airbnbs, and glamping sites, broken down by town. Not everything is “an oasis” or “dreamy”. There are many places I would not stay. These are places I would stay or have stayed near Zion National Park.
You may have read that the “best place to stay” near Zion is Springdale, but I say that depends on what experience you are looking for. Reference the map below before reading to get your bearings.
Important: No matter where you choose to stay, do yourself a favor and book as early as possible. Every year Zion is among the country’s top five most visited National Parks, and the best places to stay book up months ahead of time. If this is more of a last-minute trip, consider camping!
TOP THREE PLACES TO STAY
I’ve included detailed information on where to stay near Zion national park below, but if you want to skip the detail and get right to the juicy part – here are my TOP THREE PLACES TO STAY near Zion National Park.
Aim to drink at least 3 liters of water a day when exploring southern Utah, and more if you’re doing strenuous hiking. The desert plus elevation requires more water than usual to stay hydrated.
Where to Stay in Zion National Park
There are limited options for staying in the actual park but lots of options just outside of it. In this blog post, we’ll give you a breakdown of the best places to stay both in and near the park.
1. Zion Lodge – Where to Stay in Zion National Park
Zion lodge is located in the center of the park and has a shuttle stop right out front. This is convenient but it also means lots of people swarming your lodging all day. The lodge is a bit dated but staying here does grant you access to the park when the crowds are gone and the wildlife is out.
While we were in the park we meandered into the lodge to check it out and could see how this may be a great option for families. Staying here also gives you a head start on all the trails in the morning without getting up at 4 am. There is only one (mediocre) restaurant in the lodge and in the entire park so it is always busy. If you want other options you will have to leave the park.
A lot of activities you might be interested in doing are outside of the park – shops, restaurants, breweries/bars, excursions, and good coffee. If you are hiking the narrows you’ll need to drive into Springdale to rent water socks and a walking stick from Zion Outfitters.
Did You Know?
Zion National Park is a certified International Dark Sky Park! This certification recognizes the exceptional quality of the park’s night skies and provides added opportunities to enhance visitor experiences through astronomy-based interpretive programming.
Make sure to check out the stars at night, and help protect this resource by turning lights out when not in use!
2. Springdale, UT – Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
As you can see from the map above, Springdale is the closest town to Zion and is where many (maybe most) Zion visitors choose to stay. This makes sense – the town is pretty cute and it’s a 5-minute bus ride to the Zion entrance. There are a LOT of great lodging options in Springdale as well as restaurants, actually good coffee shops, a brewery, and a market with healthy foods.
Personally, I like to be in more secluded areas but as far as convenience and proximity to the park you can’t beat Springdale.
Tip: If you stay in Springdale, you’ll have a head start to a parking spot at the Visitor Center (which fills up almost as soon as the park opens). Or, you can remain parked at your hotel and hop on the shuttle into Zion.
The Loft at Zion
This is about as close as you can get to the park aside from camping at the South Campground (literally you can walk to the park entrance in 3 minutes). This means you won’t have to deal with parking at all. It’s new construction, modern, offers amazing views in every direction, AND it’s above the best coffee shop in Springdale.
Cable Mountain Lodge
9.4 on Booking.com! Cable Mountain Lodge is very close to the park entrance, grocery stores, coffee shops, and restaurants as well as Zion Outfitters (where you will want to rent your water socks and walking stick if you are planning to hike The Narrows). They offer apartment-style suites with kitchenettes and multi-level living. There is a pool, a spa, and a convenience store all on-site. Excellent option!
Zion can be VERY busy, especially from June to September. If you want a real escape, stay somewhere where you can be away from the crowds.
Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection By Hilton
9.2 on Booking.com! Another really nice option in Springdale. The Cliffrose has a variety of stay options from hotel rooms to apartment-style suites. The grounds and views are beautiful, the rooms are updated and spacious, and the amenities are plentiful. Enjoy a walk in the gardens, a dip in the pool, or an afternoon at the spa after a day of hiking.
3. Virgin, UT – Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
Virgin is the second closest town to stay near Zion; about a 20-minute drive to the park entrance. It offers significantly fewer opportunities for dining or grocery shopping than Springdale but there are a couple of restaurants and some fun touristy things to do like visit Fort Zion which has a petting zoo, gift shop, and ice cream parlor.
You also can’t miss Zion Helicopters – right off the road. This is the place to go if you’re in search of an epic aerial view of Zion. The real allure of Virgin, however, is the accommodation options!
Under Canvas has 9.2 rating on Booking.com! There are ten Under Canvas locations around the US and we had our first (and not last!) Under Canvas experience at their Zion location. Under Canvas brands itself as “upscale safari-inspired glamping”.
Each large canvas tent has its own bathroom with hot water, a super comfy king-sized bed, and a fireplace. This location is about a 25-minute drive from the Zion National Park entrance.
For my full review, check out Under Canvas Zion: My Unsponsored Review
9.2 on Booking.com! This is a newer glamping site in Virgin, and it’s about half the price of Under Canvas. There are a few different accommodation options here – you can stay in a tiny home, a yurt-style tent, or a covered wagon! If you want electricity you can choose one of the tiny home-style options.
It’s a very fun vibe here. There are families but a bit of a younger crowd than Under Canvas (likely because of the price point compared to Under Canvas). They do not have a restaurant but there is a convenience store on site. There are fire pits and games and complimentary s’mores at night.
The location is right off the main road in Virgin (the same road you would turn on to get to Under Canvas). You feel less secluded but it sits up higher so the views are really beautiful.
4. Hildale, UT – Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
Hildale is nothing to write home about (sorry anyone from Hildale). It’s just a very tiny, flat town with not much there. However, there is one big fat reason to go here…..
Zion Eco Cabins
Just 40 minutes from Zion, these A-frames are a great option for couples or solo travelers. The location is quiet because of the distance from the park and the views are stunning. The Canaan Mountain Wilderness is your backyard.
About a year ago, I discovered these cabins on Instagram and basically built a trip to Zion around staying here. The Zion A-Frame 110% did not disappoint. Not to mention the drive from Zion to Hildale through Apple Valley is 5 stars. There are actually several trails right off the highway where you can stop and hike around. Anyway, back to the cabins.
This A-frame has a convertible door that opens up the space, allowing you to watch the sunrise or stargaze from bed. There is a hot tub, a nice bathroom that is separate from the A-frame, AC, a beautiful deck for taking in the views, a fire pit, and a grill.
There are about 4 A-frames to choose from but the “Zion A-Frame” has the best view, a deck, and a hot tub – although it is much pricier than the others for that reason. If you get a chance to stay here – do it.
5. East Zion (Glendale, Orderville, Mt Carmel Junction) – Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
Zion Ponderosa Resort
No matter what you are looking for in accommodations, you will find it at Zion Ponderosa Resort, literally. From luxury vacation homes to rustic cabins to remote camping, and everything in between…they have it.
Hugging the eastern side of the park (see map above) the resort also provides access to a ton of other activities located along Scenic Highway 89 and easy access to Bryce Canyon.
6. Boondocking – Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
There is tons of BLM land around Zion, so if you have everything you need for primitive camping – have at it!
Visiting Zion National Park: FAQs
What is the best time to visit Zion National Park?
Zion is open year round but not all of the hikes are not always accessible year round. The shuttle system only runs during high season, but you can drive your car into the park during off season. It doesn’t snow often but it can be very very cold in the winter time. Always Check the weather when planning and on the day of your visit.
Be sure to also check for current conditions, alerts, and closures before you visit the park. Some of the hikes are prone to flash floods. Trail closures will likely be clearly marked on shuttles and in the park but for planning purposes it’s nice to know ahead of time. Two of the hikes we planned on doing were closed so we had to make a backup plan in order to make the most of our time.
Where Can I Find the Most Updated Park Information?
Do I Need a Permit?
Beginning April 1, 2022, Angels Landing requires a permit. You can hike to Scout’s Landing, just before the cables without a permit but you cannot complete the cable section without a permit. No other hikes require a permit at this time.
How Much Does it Cost to Get into the Park?
All park visitors are required to purchase a recreational use pass upon entry. You have two choices: 1) a weekly (7) day pass for $35 or, 2) an annual pass for $70. 1 pass per vehicle.
How Do You Get Around the Park if You Can’t Drive Your Car In?
Zion has an incredible shuttle system. Read about it below.
How to Visit Zion National Park Intentionally
Do not feed the animals in the park!
Get up early for peace and quiet in the park
Bring a journal
Leave no trace
Seek out healthy and locally sourced restaurants
Support small local businesses
Respect the land, local culture, and community
Sit in stillness and breathe, listen to the sounds, and feel the desert sun on your face!
The Wrap Up: Where to Stay Near Zion National Park 2022
Alas, no matter where you stay you will not miss the beauty of the Zion area -it’s all around you! I recommend building in some time to just drive around the area – there are so many beautiful spots to pull off and explore.
And of course, take care of yourself. Stay hydrated, sit and soak in the sounds of smells of the desert, and get into it.