Zion National Park is one of our favorite national parks in the United States, with its surprisingly lush, green canyon juxtaposed with towering red rock walls, and the blue-green hues of the winding Virgin River. I have been multiple times, mostly with family growing up, and I joked to Alysha on our last trip that it was a VERY different experience from my previous visits, when I opted for reading Harry Potter in the car rather than going on a hike.
This time, we did our best to explore every facet of Zion – the hikes, the scenic drives, and also where to stay near Zion National Park. We spent an afternoon walking the main strip in the town of Springdale, passing countless hotels and B&B’s along the way to give us a good idea of where to start our research. While we haven’t stayed at every place on this list, we have visited them and done the research to figure out which places are worth staying at, and which aren’t.
This guide to the best places to stay at Zion National Park will give you a range of options, whether you’re camping, you’re on a budget but want a hotel, or you’re looking for a worthwhile splurge for your time in Zion.
Planning your trip to Zion? You won’t want to miss our guide on how to plan the perfect Zion itinerary based on our latest Zion adventure.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post, like hotel links, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, we would never recommend something to you that we don’t stand behind 100%.
Zion Geography Overview
If you’ve never been to Zion before, then you’re in for a real treat. This park not only has stunning geological rock formations and breathtaking canyon vistas, but the number of hikes and scenic drives inside the boundaries of the park is staggering (and that doesn’t even include the areas just outside the park!).
Where is Zion National Park?
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah, just 2.5 hours east of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 4 hours north of the Grand Canyon.
Depending on where you’re coming from, there are three different entrances to the park. Most visitors choose to base themselves near the south entrance, as it’s close to Springdale and the central Zion National Park Visitor Center.
If you’re coming from the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon, or as part of a broader Utah National Parks road trip, you can also enter through the east entrance. The northern part of the park is accessible through the Kolob Canyon entrance, which is roughly an hour away from the main part of Zion Canyon.
The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive winds through the heart of the park, offering fantastic views of the canyons and valleys. It’s closed to private vehicles during the high season from March to November, although there is a free shuttle that you can take instead. The shuttle leaves from the visitor center and stops at several key locations like the Zion Lodge, West Rim Trail, and the Temple of Sinawava. Read more about it here.
Be careful not to confuse the in-park shuttle with the one that drives around Springdale. That shuttle takes visitors from town to the south entrance. Once you reach the park, you can hop aboard the Zion Canyon shuttle to travel along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
Overview of Places to Stay
While researching where to stay in Zion, you’ll likely choose between these three different areas.
- Inside the Park: If you want to be close to all the action, then you can spend the night inside the park at either the Zion Lodge or one of the two rustic campground sites (the Watchman Campground or the South Campground). There are fewer options, and the Zion Lodge is going to be relatively expensive compared to options outside the park.
- Springdale: This charming town sits right outside the entrance to the park (some hotels are within walking distance) and has plenty of hotels to choose from. This is a great option if the Zion Lodge is too expensive (or fully booked) and you’re simply not interested in camping.
- East of the Park: Although the eastern entrance is further away from the main sights and attractions in Zion Canyon, there are some pretty cool rentals that offer a more secluded and rustic experience that is still within a manageable distance.
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
As we mentioned, there are plenty of places to stay in and around Zion National Park. From charming B&Bs and luxury lodges to vacation rentals and campsites, you’re guaranteed to find something that fits your style and budget.
Where to Stay Inside Zion National Park
We love staying inside national parks and generally think it’s a better experience overall. However, we’re usually up for camping. Staying in hotels and lodges inside the park is going to be more expensive than staying just outside the park, and the facilities are usually going to be a little rundown because they’re constantly at full capacity.
Spending the night inside the park is super convenient if you want to wake up early and beat the crowds to the shuttle or trails, particularly in Zion.
If you stay at the Zion Lodge, you’ll bypass the long shuttle lines altogether with your own special stop. If you stay at the campground, you’ll be able to walk to the shuttle pickup, which means you won’t have to deal with parking at the Visitor Center (which can be a nightmare, especially after 9 am or so).
Unfortunately, options to stay inside the park are limited to one lodge and two campgrounds.
The Zion Lodge: The Only Hotel in the Park
As the only in-park hotel accommodation, the historic Zion Lodge is one of the best places to stay at Zion National Park. You really can’t get any more central to the numerous sights and trailheads (like the Emerald Pools and Angels Landing), which are literally right outside your front door.
Besides having spectacular views of the 2,000-foot canyons from your room or cabin, the lodge also offers plenty of activities to keep you occupied. You can rent bikes, go on a horseback riding tour, or walk a few steps to catch the Zion Canyon shuttle for a scenic tour of the park.
There is an on-site restaurant and a small cafe, although it’s worth hopping over to Springdale if you’re looking for more diverse dining options.
You’ll also be able to park inside the Zion Canyon, even during the season where it’s closed to private vehicles. There is a shuttle stop at Zion Lodge (2021 Note: you still need to reserve tickets in advance if you want to ride the shuttle), so you’ll be connected to all the stops inside the canyon without having to worry about parking (plus you can walk to a couple of the trailheads for the best hikes in Zion).
They have a mix of lodge-style rooms, which are more like standard hotel rooms, and private cabins. We’d definitely choose the cabins, which have a kitchenette with a microwave and mini-fridge, along with a fireplace and private porch.
Camping in Zion National Park
Who wouldn’t want to spend a night under the stars? Zion National Park has two different places where you can camp within the park. Both the South Campground and the Watchman Campground are located approximately ¼ of a mile from the south entrance, although each offers different experiences for campers. If you’re up for pitching a tent, camping is the most affordable option if you want to be close to all the attractions in the park.
Watchman Campground: THe Best Campground at Zion
Nestled on the North Fork of the Virgin River in between the towering canyon cliffs, the Watchman Campground is the largest (and in our opinion, the best) campground inside the park. There are over 190 campsites and RV hookups, all of which have picnic tables and fire pits for your use. We stayed here and really enjoyed camping out underneath the stars and being able to walk to the Visitor Center in the morning to catch the shuttle.
Although there are flush toilets and sinks for washing up, there are no showers located on-site. However, you can use the pay showers at Zion Outfitter, a 10-minute walk away from the campground and just outside the park’s south entrance (be sure to bring your National Park Pass or proof of payment to get back in when you’re done!).
Reservations can be booked up to six months in advance for stays between March and November. Otherwise, spots are first come, first serve.
The South Campground is centrally located right near Route 9 – the main road that leads through the park. That means things can get a little noisy with car traffic, although you can try to snag a campsite near the river banks if you’re looking for something quieter. This spot has 117 campsites but no RV hookups.
This campsite is only open from March to the end of November and is generally first come, first serve. However, reservations are currently required due to the COVID-19 pandemic and can be booked up to two weeks in advance.
Where to Stay in Springdale, Utah
If you can’t stay inside the park, then spending the night in the town of Springdale is your second-best option. It’s located right outside the south entrance and has different accommodation options for all types of travelers.
Hotels in Springdale that are Walkable to the Park Entrance
Staying at one of these three hotels within walking distance to the park has its benefits. Not only will you be able to bypass the sometimes excruciatingly long lines at the entrance, but you also won’t have to pay the extra fee for taking a vehicle ($35 vs. $20 for walk-ins).
On the other hand, these hotels tend to be a little pricey compared to ones located further out in town.
The Cable Mountain Lodge: Best Overall Location + Hotel
Arguably the nicest hotel in Springdale, the Cable Mountain Lodge gets rave reviews for its central location, top-notch facilities, and unbeatable scenic views. It also happens to be the closest hotel to the park’s entrance, which is great. You’ll still need to enter the park through the pedestrian entrance, which sometimes has a long line in its own right, but you won’t have to worry about parking or connecting with the Springdale Shuttle.
In addition to the beautiful rooms, this lodge has a pool, spa, grocery store, brewery, coffee shop, and riverfront picnic and BBQ area. It’s also within walking distance to Zion Outfitters in case you want to rent biking or hiking gear for the Narrows.
The Cliffrose Springdale Hotel
The Cliffrose Springdale Hotel is located just steps away from the entrance to Zion National Park and features a botanical garden, a spa, and an on-site restaurant. The rooms are impeccably clean, with some of them boasting views of the river or canyons. It’s a five minute walk to the park entrance, and only a few minutes away from the plaza outside the Cable Mountain Lodge, which has a grocery store and coffee shop.
You can choose between standard hotel rooms of various configurations – two queens or a king – and suites, which are significantly more spacious. Some suites have a kitchen if you’re looking to save money by cooking for yourself rather than eating out all the time – you can get groceries at Sol Marketplace in Springdale (but be prepared for relatively high prices – we’d recommend buying groceries before you arrive in Zion).
After a day of hiking or sightseeing, you can come back and relax in the waterfall pool, or go for a swim in one of the two outdoor pools facing Zion’s iconic mountainous peaks.
Flanigan’s Inn is a laid-back eco-resort just ¼ of a mile from the park’s entrance with cozy rooms, suites, and villas for you to choose from. While the stand alone villas are great for large groups or those craving a bit of privacy, many of the other rooms are just as nice and even have balconies or patios that overlook the lush gardens and surrounding landscapes.
The hotel’s restaurant, the Spotted Dog Café, serves a decadent array of American dishes like red trout, braised lamb shank, and pesto pasta (although there aren’t any gluten free options on the menu). It’s one of the highest-rated restaurants in the area if you’re craving a hearty meal.
Hotels in Springdale That are Further Out
If you’re on a tighter budget, then consider staying a bit further outside the park’s entrance in Springdale.
Although you won’t necessarily be able to walk to the park, Springdale’s shuttle system makes it easy for you to travel back and forth. These hotels are listed in order of distance from Zion National Park.
Zion Canyon Bed & Breakfast
This Southwestern-style B&B pulls out all the stops to make your stay as comfortable as possible. From the complimentary snacks to the free-to-use antique pinball machines and massage chairs.
Breakfast is also nothing short of outstanding. The owners pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients (like eggs and pecans that come straight from their garden) and will happily accommodate any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have.
Harvest House Bed & Breakfast
The Harvest House is just a ½ mile away from the park’s entrance and offers a smaller scale, intimate experience that you’re not going to find at some of the bigger hotels in the area. They have four rooms inside the house, each one with a private en-suite bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and up-close views of Zion right outside your window.
Outside, you’ll find a relaxing garden with a koi pond and a hot tub that you can use after a long day of exploring the canyons.
The Best Western PLUS
The Best Western PLUS is one of the best choices (which is something I don’t think I’ve ever said about a Best Western before) in Springdale if you’re looking for value.
It has spacious modern rooms and pretty good on-site facilities like a heated outdoor pool, a gym, and complimentary breakfast. We love that all the rooms have balconies or patios where you can unwind with a glass of wine while admiring the picturesque views of the surrounding canyons.
Best of all, there is a shuttle stop right in front of the hotel that takes you into town or straight to the park entrance.
Desert Pearl Inn
This historic boutique hotel has one of the best views of West Temple, one of Zion’s incredible rock formations. Many of the rooms look straight out towards those iconic sandstone cliffs, while others have direct views overlooking the Virgin River.
The rooms here are spacious and filled with all the amenities you’re going to need for your time exploring Zion, including a kitchenette with a microwave and mini-fridge so you can pack picnic lunches and save some money. Plus, private balconies with Adirondack chairs, which is a perfect place to spend a warm summer evening recovering from your day and planning the next one.
They also have suites, which are much bigger and have a full kitchen, including cooktop and full-size refrigerator, plus a sofa bed to accommodate up to four people. Of course, there’s a pool (open in spring and summer) and hot tub (open year-round) too.
When you’re ready to head into the park, all you have to do is step outside the lobby door. A shuttle will pick you up from there and take you directly to the park.
The Bumbleberry Inn
Located just 1 mile away from the entrance to Zion, the Bumbleberry Inn is a no-frills hotel that’s comfortable, clean, and best of all, quiet. It’s situated off the main road so you can enjoy the tranquil sounds of nature while you sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to start the day (after a delicious complimentary breakfast, too).
They have a free shuttle service to the park as well as an outdoor pool and hot tub. Behind the hotel, you’ll even find a small farm with ponies, goats, ducks, and chickens!
The Red Rock Inn (Our Pick for our next visit)
If we were planning a trip to Zion and weren’t up for camping, this would probably be our choice. This top-ranked bed and breakfast is a stylish place to stay during your trip to Zion. Each of the eight cottages is bursting with charm and character like wood-paneled walls and southwestern-styled woven carpets. It’s a nice change from some of the other places to stay, some of which are chain hotels or in need of renovation.
Free breakfast is served at Oscar’s Café, a quirky no-frills joint just 2-minutes from the Inn. Indulge in a breakfast burrito, omelet, or frosted French toast before catching the shuttle to the park’s entrance (note – they have gluten free options, but it’s unclear how Celiac-safe they are). Plus, the best coffee in town – Deep Creek Coffee – is basically across the street.
The Holiday Inn Express
Don’t be fooled by the big brand name – this Holiday Inn Express feels more like a lodge than a business hotel. With dark wood and stone furnishings and outdoor firepits with unobstructed canyon views, you’ll get the cozy charm of a small inn with all the amenities of a hotel.
In addition to the free breakfast, you’ll also have access to a fitness center, an outdoor pool, hot tub, and riverfront walking paths. As this hotel is over a mile from the park, you’ll need to take the shuttle to the entrance (which is located just a few yards from the hotel).
If you’re looking for a luxurious resort with spacious rooms (honestly more like vacation rentals than anything else), then look no further than LaFave Zion.
Here, the average unit is over 1,200 square feet (so in reality, it’s actually more like a villa) and equipped with a full kitchen, a washer and dryer, and a private outdoor deck or patio with a grill.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of cooking, then you can walk to four different restaurants near the property. And the free park shuttle makes it easy for you to leave your car (and all your worries) at home.
Vacation Rentals in Springdale
If you’re looking for something spacious with the comforts of home, then a vacation rental might be the perfect option for your stay in Zion. Sometimes it’s nice having your own kitchen to cook and space to sprawl out in, and thankfully, there are plenty of options where you can do that in Springdale.
Vacation Rentals for Couples
There actually aren’t a whole lot of studio and one bedroom vacation rental options in Springdale, so a hotel – or one of the charming B&B’s above – might be your best bet here if you’re traveling solo or as a couple (however, if you have a group, there’s a bunch of great choices for you – see below).
The Historic Rose Cottage in Springdale, Utah
Enjoy the best of both nature and city living with this centrally located 2 bedroom cottage near Zion Park. You’ll be within walking distance to downtown Springdale for shops and restaurants and also close to the shuttle that takes you straight to the entrance of the park for an exhilarating day outdoors.
Every inch of this home is filled with love and charm – from the colorful artwork (painted by the owner) to the potted plants and garden flowers around the property. There’s also a private outdoor patio where you can start your morning with a cup of coffee while listening to the chirping of birds or the hypnotic song of wind chimes.
GREAT LOCATION near Zion National Park Entrance
This modern apartment is located literally across the street from the park’s entrance and comes with a free parking spot so you can ditch the car and explore Zion on foot. After you return back home, you can cook a meal in the spacious open kitchen or watch a movie while you relax in your plush master bedroom.
There’s one bedroom, but it has a king bed PLUS a queen bunk bed, which means you can comfortably sleep anywhere between two and six people.
A big bonus is the washer and dryer unit, which is perfect for those staying in town for more than a few days. There are also several restaurants and shops nearby in case you need anything during your stay.
In case this rental is already booked, the owners also rent out another apartment in the same building. It also sleeps six and has fantastic views of the canyons from each room.
Vacation Rentals for Groups/Families
There are a bunch of great vacation rental options for groups in Springdale, who might want a little more space and don’t want to have to rent multiple hotel rooms to accommodate everyone.
Springdale Townhome #1
This newly-constructed townhome has tons of space in its 1,200-square foot floor plan, making it a great option for groups or large families staying in Zion National Park. The main floor features a dining room and chef’s kitchen, while the second floor has both the master suites.
Although the home is located a mile from the park, there’s a shuttle stop just 400-feet from the property. You can also walk into downtown Springdale if you’re looking for shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Central and Spacious 2 Bedroom in the heart of town!
This bright and quirky rental has everything you need for a comfortable stay in Springdale. It has two large bedrooms and a shared bathroom with double sinks and a bath/shower combo. And the open kitchen is massive and centered around a concrete island where you and your guests can enjoy breakfast or coffee before heading out for the day.
Location-wise – this apartment is within walking distance to restaurants and shops while also being just one mile from the park’s entrance.
Private Patio! 3 BDRM in the heart of Springdale
When you’re not exploring the great outdoors, you and your group will love relaxing in this spacious 3-bedroom apartment in downtown Springdale. Cook a gourmet meal in the extra-large chef’s kitchen, watch a movie on the 62” TV in the living room, or unwind with a glass of wine on the 500-square foot deck outside.
The apartment also has free parking, although all the shops and restaurants are just right outside your doorstep. And that includes the park shuttle, so you won’t have to worry about driving!
Large Family Home Just Steps Away From The Entrance To Zion
With four bedrooms, two living rooms, and a spacious grassy backyard with canyon views, this enormous villa is practically made for family gatherings or vacations with your friends. There’s plenty of space for everyone to have their privacy while still having shared areas where everyone can gather (like the 8-person dining room or the outdoor BBQ patio).
We love that guests can use the facilities over at the Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens. They have a pool, a business center, and complimentary coffee throughout the day.
Other Cool Places to Stay Near Zion National Park
Although most visitors choose to base themselves in the park or in the neighboring town of Springdale, there are plenty of other worthy alternatives if you’re wondering where to stay near Zion National Park.
Outside the East Entrance
There are two main places we can recommend if you want to stay outside the east entrance of the park. Both the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort and the Zion Mountain Ranch are beautiful properties where you can indulge in a little rest and relaxation during your stay.
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Tucked away on a scenic 4,000-acre property along the eastern border of Zion is the Zion Ponderosa Ranch. It’s just 10-minutes from the east entrance and 40 minutes to the south entrance, so you aren’t too far away from the main sights and trailheads.
The ranch has several different types of accommodation styles, including cabins, glamping tents, and deluxe vacation rental homes. You can also spend the night in the back of a Conestoga Wagon, which is arguably one of the coolest things we’ve seen!
There’s also a wealth of fun things you can do without leaving the resort. Paintball, mini-golfing, zip-lining, and skeet shooting are just a few activities they offer to guests.
Zion Mountain Ranch
For those seeking a quiet stay in east Zion, check out the Zion Mountain Ranch. Situated just three minutes from the eastern entrance to the park surrounded by grasslands, prairies, and herds of roaming buffalo, this ranch is an excellent place to unwind from the bustle of daily life.
Stay in either a private cabin or lodge room, and enjoy farm-to-table cooking at their on-site restaurant. When you’re not exploring the sites of Zion (the south entrance is just 30-minutes away), you can take advantage of the jeep tours, canyoneering treks, and horseback riding adventures offered by the resort.
Outside of Springdale
While Springdale is located close to the park’s entrance and contains many shops and restaurants, basing yourself a bit further allows you to experience a more primitive part of the region that is often overlooked by many tourists. Most of these places are situated along the 21-mile scenic Kolob Terrace Road which leads up into the mountains and towards the park.
Under Canvas Zion
Under Canvas Zion offers a luxury glamping experience in the middle of a remote 196-acre space in the desert. There are several styles of tents scattered throughout the property, many of which have their own private bath and wood-burning fireplaces.
The camp’s restaurant serves an ever-changing menu of locally sourced meals, although you can also throw your own BBQ at one of the grill sites or fire pits. While it’s more remote than other places on this list, it’s worth staying just to experience the dazzling scenery of the desert landscape.
With picturesque views of the canyons from your private glamping tent, bungalow rooms, or covered wagons, the Wildflower Resort is one of the coolest places to stay on Kolob Terrace Road.
After returning back from the park (the south entrance is less than 20-minutes by car), you can hang out by the fire pit or play a round of cornhole before firing up the BBQ for dinner. They also offer complimentary bike rentals if you want to explore a bit more around the area.
Secluded/Private 10 Acre Estate in & surrounded by Zion National Park
Located 25-minutes from the south entrance, this spacious 5-bedroom lodge sits on a very private 10-acre lot surrounded by flowering meadows and towering rock formations. It features an inviting living room (with a stone fireplace and live red cedar trees) and a large gourmet kitchen where you can gather with your friends and family.
Step outside and marvel at the canyons from one of the three outdoor patios while lounge in the hot tub or huddle by the fire pit. This property also features a number of fun amenities like a basketball hoop, a horseshoe pit, a volleyball court, and a walking sanctuary path.
The Boundary Cabin 2
Perfect for a couple or a solo traveler, this rustic 400-square foot cabin is just a few minutes from Zion’s east entrance and 25-minutes from the south. It has a full bathroom, outdoor porch, and unobstructed views of the grazing horses in the pasture.
However, the rental does not have a kitchen which means you should plan on eating your meals out during your visit.
The Ark Tiny House
This adorable tiny home packs all the comforts of a vacation rental in a 360-square foot footprint just 25 minutes from Zion’s south entrance. It has a full bathroom, a well-stocked kitchen, an office, and a built-in washer and dryer.
The outside of the tiny home is equally as impressive, with a hot tub, fire pit, and a spacious covered porch with a lounge seating area. It’s the perfect place to relax while you soak in the majestic views of the mountains and desert landscape around you (especially at night when the sky is illuminated with a blanket of twinkling stars).
Zion National Park is one of the most magical places on the planet. It’s worth spending a few days in the area to enjoy all the scenic trails, rugged canyons, and lush, cascading waterfalls the park is known for.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter where you stay – as long as you are comfortable and close to all the amazing sights and attractions that Zion has to offer. So strap on your hiking boots and get out there to enjoy the incredible natural beauty of Zion!