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TravelWhere to Stay In And Around Zion National Park: Our Favourite Places

Where to Stay In And Around Zion National Park: Our Favourite Places


Zion National Park spans over 146,000 acres of pure beauty. You’ve got the teetering climb up Angel’s Landing, the Narrows and its novelty hike through the river, and so many viewpoints that you’ll struggle to decide which to visit first. The hikes just astound you in Zion National Park. But with so much to do, it is no wonder we always get questions about where to stay in Zion National Park and what the best Zion National Park lodging is. After countless visits to this park (Which is one of our favorites in the USA), we put together this deep dive into the area to help you decide.

Best Places to Stay in Zion National Park

Best Places to stay in ZionBest Places to stay in Zion

You have a few different options for finding places to stay in Zion National Park. There are limited choices if you’d like to stay inside the park itself (think one hotel and lots of campgrounds), or you can stay in one of the nearby towns, just a short drive or walk to the park entrances. These towns have much more choice in terms of hotels, and you’ll just need to drive into the park each morning to enjoy its popular trails. Zion National Park lodging is pretty varied.

In this guide, we’ll weigh everything up for you to choose the best Zion National Park lodging for your trip. Whether you want a hot tub, fitness center, or private deck overlooking amazing views, we’ve got you covered. Here’s where to stay in Zion National Park.

1. Zion National Park Lodging (Inside The Park)

Where we stayed inside Zion National ParkWhere we stayed inside Zion National Park

So, let’s start with the most obvious option first. For many, staying in the park itself makes sense if you’re visiting Zion National ParkWaking up overlooking red-tinged sandstone views just sounds magical, doesn’t it?

Staying inside the park is possible, but you must be organized or very flexible. There’s only one hotel option with the park – Zion Lodge. We’ll discuss this hotel more in a second. Still, you must understand that if you want a hotel experience inside Zion National Park, check availability and book in advance. Obviously, with just one hotel option, rooms go fast, especially in peak months like summer.

Otherwise, there are many campgrounds to choose from, so pack your tent or start up your campervan: South, Watchman, and Lava Point Campground are all great options. And camping inside Zion National Park is great fun.

Luxury: Zion National Park Lodge

Zion National Park LodgeZion National Park Lodge

Zion National Park Lodge is the only hotel actually set within Zion National Park. The historic lodge dates back to 1924 and offers rustic cabins with a ridiculously convenient location. While it might not be the most extravagant luxurious accommodation choice, it definitely qualifies as the most luxurious place to stay in Zion National Park, given that it’s the only place you can bag an actual hotel room. There’s also a quiet, imposing beauty to the property, with a dark wooden exterior lit up against its sandstone cliff backdrop.

Zion National Park Lodge is open year-round and has fantastic views. It’s easily one of the best hotels in the region, and its excellent location sets it apart. There’s an on-site restaurant, free parking, and comforts like free Wi-Fi and TVs in each cabin, room, or suite. If you want comfort inside Zion National Park, you’ll have to check availability at Zion National Park Lodge, which provides easy access to the park’s attractions.

Mid Range: Under Canvas Zion

Okay, we’ll be completely honest: Under Canvas, Zion technically straddles the Zion National Park border on its north-western Kolob Terrace region. However, since the only other options inside the park are campgrounds, we decided to highlight one of the few potential glamping sites. You’ll be right on the Zion border and get a more remote experience with the comfort of deluxe glamping tents.

Guests can enjoy a fire pit, horseback riding tours, hot air ballooning, and on-site yoga sessions. The tents feature huge beds; some have stargazer elements, with transparent sections to admire the night sky. Under Canvas Zion might be a rather cheeky addition to the ‘inside Zion’ section, but the promise of gorgeous glamping sites on the national park border should be a strong enough selling point for you. Definitely check availability for its glamping tents.

Budget Hotel: South Campground

South Campground is where to stay in Zion National Park if you are a hardy camper and happy to ‘rough it’ to stick to a budget. It is further into the park than its neighbor, Watchman Campground. The campground is basic but has water access, showers, a laundry room, and toilets. There’s even a playground for families.

You can bring a tent or an RV. It is an easy walk into Springdale for town amenities or a stroll to the shuttle for Zion’s main trails and attractions. You are literally minutes away from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and Pa’rus Trail. You can also walk to the Zion Human History Museum in as little as 20 minutes. Considering you are camping inside Zion National Park, you still have easy access to more formal attractions and town amenities. It’s a nice balance that makes South Campground worth considering if you’re traveling to Zion on a budget.

Why you should stay inside Zion National ParkWhy you should stay inside Zion National Park

Pros Of Staying inside Zion National Park

  • It is an excellent location to access all the trails, which gives you a head start if you want to access trails early in the morning to beat the crowds.
  • You don’t have as much driving time as you can use the free shuttles and walk around the park. Many attractions are just minutes away from the accommodation in Zion National Park.
  • You get gorgeous views galore and experience Zion when most people go home.

Cons Of Staying inside Zion National Park

  • You do miss out on amenities like restaurants, with limited choices for dining inside the park. If you want a restaurant meal, you’ll have to head to Springdale, just outside the south Zion National Park Entrance or stay at Zion Lodge so you can dine at the on site restaurant.
  • There is little diversity in terms of hotel options and pricing. If you look at hotels outside Zion National Park, you’ll find better value for money.
  • You’ll only see Zion rather than get to explore other areas as well.

2. Springdale

Where to stay in Zion  SpringdaleWhere to stay in Zion  Springdale

Springdale is the trusty second-in-command for staying near Zion National Park; most visitors choose this as their base. If you missed the boat and found Zion National Park Lodge to be booked out or just fancy more hotel options, Springdale is your best shout. The town is literally steps away from the south entrance of Zion National Park, meaning you could still walk to any of its main attractions if you really wanted to – just with the added bonus of more hotel choices and better amenities. Springdale is a great location if you want proximity to Zion’s attractions but a more urban experience than you get from in-park lodging. It is where you can stay in Zion National Park for utter convenience.

La Quinta Resort in Springdale near Zion National ParkLa Quinta Resort in Springdale near Zion National Park

Zion’s south entrance is served by a mandatory Zion Canyon Shuttle for much of the year. This shuttle runs through Springdale itself, meaning you don’t even need to spend extra driving time. When staying in Springdale, you’ll be a short walk from your nearest pick-up point.

Aside from being really convenient, Springdale is also a gorgeous town. The small handful of houses, restaurants, and hotels sit against a backdrop of sandstone cliffs, and the Virgin River snakes through the town. Thanks to the scenery, it feels like you are already in the park, and you won’t miss out on any of that ‘wow factor’.

Luxury: Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection

Cliffrose Springdale is a beautiful 4-star hotel on the riverfront in central Springdale. Upscale and immensely sophisticated, we greatly admire how Cliffrose Springdale balances modern and traditional design. Its stunning architecture uses wood and sandstone to seamlessly blend into the environment while showcasing large, modern windows for abundant natural lighting. Inside, each room offers a private deck or balcony with plush bedding and contemporary decor.

However, the real reason we added this luxury hotel to this guide is its hot tub, fire pits, and seasonal outdoor pool. It has a real outdoor ambiance where guests can relax with different activities after a busy day in Zion National Park. Imagine soaking in a hot tub at your lodging after a long day in Zion.

Furthermore, Cliffrose Springdale is a designated stop on the Springdale shuttle to the park, so reaching the main Zion trails is easy.

Mid Range: Red Rock Inn Cottages

Red Rock Inn Cottages has comfortable rooms and an unpretentious vibe. Guests get homely rooms with flat-screen TVs, minifridges, and coffee-making machines. Each room has views of Zion Canyon or the property’s serene garden areas. And if you do want to upgrade your experience, you can splurge on a special room with a private hot tub. Red Rock Inn Cottages are the perfect Zion National Park lodging for anyone wanting a comfortable stay.

Guests get a complimentary breakfast and parking. In summary, Red Rock Inn Cottages is just a beautiful property to use as a base, putting lots of effort into its interior design and making it visually appealing. This lodging is where you can stay in Zion National Park to kick back in a hot tub and embrace homely comforts. Check availability in advance as this is a popular accommodation choice and is open year-round.

Budget: Zion Canyon Cabins

Zion Canyon Cabins are adorable log cabins situated centrally in Springdale. These cabins are ideal for nature lovers or those who like a more rustic aesthetic. Even better, they are some of the most budget-friendly accommodations in Springdale—which, remember, tends to hike accommodation prices up given its incredible location and access to Zion National Park.

Zion Canyon Cabins have a seasonal outdoor pool and communal fire pits. The communal fire pits are great for meeting new people, and there’s an outdoor grill and BBQ area for cooking. It might seem a little pricey, but it’s worth reiterating that Springdale accommodation prices are higher than in other areas. There’s just a premium price tag because of its convenient location. Still, comparably, Zion Canyon Cabins are your best option for snagging the most competitive price.

Where to stay in Springdale Utah near ZionWhere to stay in Springdale Utah near Zion

Pros Of Staying in Springdale

  • You can easily catch the shuttle, drive, or walk into Zion National Park. Springdale is really convenient, and it is located next to Zion’s south entrance.
  • Springdale has many amenities, including many hotel options and restaurants, so you can budget better with more choices.
  • Springdale is widely recognized for its beauty and is a genuinely pretty little town and place to stay. You’ll enjoy a backdrop of sandstone cliffs and the nearby Virgin River; you don’t miss out on natural beauty by staying in Springdale.

Cons Of Staying in Springdale

  • Springdale is the top choice amongst those wanting to stay outside Zion National Park, so it gets busy. Remember to check availability and book in advance. Also, be prepared for crowds in peak seasons.
  • Springdale needs more attractions (if we are being picky). It is beautiful, but otherwise, it is a launchpad to see Zion National Park rather than a tourist destination in its own right.
  • Prices can be slightly hiked up for tourists because Springdale is such a ‘through-town’.

3. Mt Carmel Junction

Mount Carmel Junction, UtahMount Carmel Junction, Utah

Cast your eyes to the other side of Zion National Park; Mt. Carmel Junction is a short 15-minute drive from the eastern Zion National Park Entrance. Unlike staying in Springdale, you’ll need to drive your way into the park. It isn’t close enough to be within walking distance, but you’ll be driving to Zion National Park on the Mt. Carmel Highway Scenic Drive. The ‘commute’ into the national park is one of the most scenic drives in the region, and it’s still pretty easy access.

Mt. Carmel Junction is tiny and a really sweet place to stay. If you want somewhere slightly less popular (read: busy) than Springdale, this is where to stay in Zion National Park. It has several restaurants, gift shops, and an all-necessary fuel station. Accommodation is limited, but you have many hotels and RV parks to choose from. If you want to feel a little in the sticks, Mt. Carmel Junction is ideal. It has decent amenities but is much less touristy.

Mt. Carmel Junction is also a great place to explore places apart from Zion National Park. You’re just a short drive from the Belly of the Dragon Trail, which starts by walking through a vast tunnel and Elkhart Cliffs Slot Canyon. You are just a 20-minute drive from Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, too. It’s a great location to get more out of your trip and detour from the standard tourist trail. The nearby hiking trails are much quieter than the major trails in Zion, so it’s a nice balance for your itinerary.

Mount Carmel Junction near Zion National ParkMount Carmel Junction near Zion National Park

Luxury: Zion Mountain Ranch

Zion Mountain Ranch is the most luxurious accommodation option in Mt. Carmel Junction. The historic ranch has a mixture of wooden cottages and luxurious suites—all adorned in luxurious, traditional old Western style. And even better, there’s a herd of bison on an on-site reserve, which is amazing for animal lovers and those wanting to spot wildlife when visiting Zion.

There’s parking and an on-site restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and evening meals. Zion Mountain Ranch is secluded and a great place to embrace the more rural, authentic atmosphere of Mt. Carmel Junction. Definitely check availability for its stunning suites.

Mid Range: Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge

Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge is a little more modern, offering fantastic mid-range accommodation in central Mt. Carmel Junction. Guests get access to queen and king rooms, with the option to upgrade to suites. The room decor is light and boutique-style, providing a peaceful space to retreat to after all your sightseeing and hiking in Zion National Park. There are complimentary toiletries in each, as well as in-room entertainment.

You can find a large outdoor pool on-site, 24-hour reception, and laundry facilities. The latter is a nice touch, considering you’ll get so mucky in Zion National Park. Of course, there’s free WiFi and parking, and overall, it is a reasonably priced and comfortable experience in Mt. Carmel Junction.

Budget: Mt. Carmel Motel & RV Park

Located just north of Mt. Carmel Junction’s center is Mt. Carmel Motel & RV Park, the region’s best budget-friendly accommodation. Mt. Carmel Motel & RV Park is undoubtedly the most competitively priced place to stay in the area, with basic but comfortable rooms and a handy location to head into Zion National Park. The motel is modest and down-to-earth but in a tasteful way.

The motel has only six rooms, so you are guaranteed a more lowkey atmosphere. Each room has a mini fridge, microwave, and coffee machines. Of course, this is great for keeping your eating bills low, and you can upgrade to a cabin option that features its own private kitchen for a self-catered stay, too. If you want a budget stay in the Mt. Carmel area, this motel is for you.

Pros Of Staying in Mt. Carmel Junction

  • Mt. Carmel Junction offers a more authentic and less touristy experience. It is more relaxed than other places like Springdale.
  • You have loads of different places to sightsee nearby, including slot canyons and trails that take you through tunnels. All of these trails are much quieter than those in Zion National Park, giving you more balance for your itinerary.
  • The driving route to Zion National Park takes you on a scenic highway and only takes 15 minutes.

Cons Of Staying in Mt. Carmel Junction

  • You aren’t within walking distance of the park, so you must be happy driving.
  • There are limited amenities in Mt. Carmel Junction, so it isn’t suited to anyone wanting many bars and restaurants.
  • Similarly, you are limited in terms of hotel options. You should book accommodation in advance to avoid it selling out.

4. Hurricane

Where to stay in Zion National Park HurricaneWhere to stay in Zion National Park Hurricane

Hurricane is the furthest option when researching where to stay in Zion National Park, approximately 30 minutes from Zion’s south entrance. So, why bother with the drive? Well, Hurricane is the closest city to the national park, meaning tons of amenities for your visit and lots of entertainment. If you’re more of a city lover, Hurricane is the most entertaining place to stay near Zion National Park.

Hurricane has the Hurricane Valley Heritage Park Museum and Pioneer Corner Museum for tourists. You can also visit Quail Creek State Park, Sand Hollow State Park, and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. It’s a great base to explore many different attractions around Utah. It also has more residential attractions, like a cinema, golf courses, splash pad, coffee shops, and many parks. It’s where to stay in Zion National Park if you want a busier city experience while away from Zion’s hiking trails. You have everything you need on your doorstep.

Hurricane is our top recommendation for anyone who wants endless entertainment choices and many hotel options. If you book a stay in Hurricane, you’ll have a much more packed itinerary.

Luxury: The Dwellings

The Dwellings is boutique accommodation just north of Hurricane’s center. It’s out of the hustle and bustle and offers tastefully decorated deluxe studios, complete with private terraces. If you want a luxury base in Hurricane, The Dwellings is a fabulous choice. Each studio features a kitchenette and hot drinking-making facilities. Guests have a self-contained living space, with bedrooms and adjoining seating areas, plus ample access to outdoor space.

Spending long days in Zion, it’s nice to know you have somewhere peaceful to retreat to and rejuvenate. For extra peace of mind, there’s parking on-site and family rooms for those who’d like them. The hotel was only built in 2020, so the decor is trendy and tasteful too.

Mid Range: Wingate by Wyndham Hurricane

Wingate by Wyndham Hurricane is located in the heart of Hurricane and is the place to stay if you want a mid-range property in the heart of the city’s action. As a chain hotel, this property is more like a traditional hotel experience, with a grand lobby and guest room layout. The 3-star hotel has a 24-hour reception desk and a spacious car park. It is a great base in Hurricane and ticks all the necessary boxes for a very reasonable price.

Each room has an ensuite with complimentary toiletries, and you get a fridge that comes in handy for storing grocery-bought food and saving money on eating out. Wingate by Wyndham Hurricane has an onsite outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and business center. Overall, it is a welcoming and reliable base when staying in Hurricane.

Budget: Hurricane Hideaway Lodging

Hurricane Hideaway Lodging has hotel rooms that are about as central as you can get in Hurricane. You’ll have doorstep access to the city’s entertainment and amenities like restaurants, perfect for getting the most out of your experience. It is only a few minutes on foot from the Hurricane Valley Heritage Park Museum and a tasty Peruvian restaurant, Peruvian Flavors. You are a block away from Hurricane’s shop-lined Route 9. For a budget-friendly rate, great location, and comfortable rooms, you can’t top this hotel.

Each room comes with coffee machines, minifridges, and microwaves. Anyone passionate about budget travel knows the magic of this magic combination. You’ll be able to squirrel away leftover food safely and make the most of grocery shopping. You also get a private bathroom, WiFi, TV, and access to communal outdoor seating. It is a great deal if you want to experience Zion National Park on the cheap.

Hurricane is one of the best places to stay near Zion National ParkHurricane is one of the best places to stay near Zion National Park

Pros Of Staying in Hurricane

  • You get a city atmosphere with many more activities and entertainment. This is ideal for staying entertained in the evenings when you likely aren’t spending time in Zion National Park anyway.
  • Hurricane has many more hotel options, so you can find better deals and rates.
  • There’s a lot to explore nearby, including museums in the city center and state parks around its outskirts.
  • You are only a 30-minute drive from the national park, which is still very convenient.

Cons Of Staying in Hurricane

  • You aren’t within walking distance of the national park, and the drive isn’t gorgeous, like Mt. Carmel Junction’s scenic highway. You’ll need to be happy driving at least an hour return each day.
  • Hurricane is a city rather than a scenic town, so you will get a different scenery and views than you would staying in Springdale.
  • Hurricane is busy. Get ready for crowds.

FAQ’s About The Best Areas to Stay in Zion

Best areas to stay near Zion National ParkBest areas to stay near Zion National Park

You now know exactly where to stay in Zion National Park. Are you choosing to stay near the quiet eastern entrance? Or beautiful Springdale or the citified Hurricane? Choosing a location is as crucial as deciding on your lodging. Though, of course, weighing up between a hot tub or pool is pretty exciting.

Before you go, though, let’s look at some of the most commonly asked FAQs. Here’s some quickfire information that could help you narrow down your choices.

Where do people stay when visiting Zion National Park?

Most people stay in Springdale, as it’s the closest town outside the national park and has the most hotel and amenities options.

Is it better to stay inside or outside Zion National Park?

It depends on what you enjoy doing. Overall, we’d recommend staying just outside of Zion National Park. You won’t notice much of a difference if you stay in Springdale.

Is it better to stay in Zion or Bryce Canyon?

Both offer similar accommodation choices, with one central hotel in each park and a cluster of hotels near the park entrances. However, Bryce Canyon is generally a little quieter, as Zion National Park is the most popular of the two.

How many days do you need in Zion National Park?

You need at least three days in Zion National Park. We suggest more than three days if you want to hike a few significant trails (think the Narrows and Angels Landing). You’ll need some downtime in between, and you don’t want to tire yourself out on major trails only to miss the shorter routes and experiences.

Where not to stay in Zion National Park

Where not to stay stay in Zion National Park St GeorgeWhere not to stay stay in Zion National Park St George

When staying in and around Zion National Park, we recommend staying within a 30-minute drive. You want to maximize your time in the park, and by staying further away, you’ll lose a considerable chunk of your day to driving. This is worse for your energy levels and itinerary and means other people are more likely to beat you to those precious few car parking spots. Make your life easier by staying close to the park and its entrances. Similarly, while vacation rentals and Airbnbs are great, having a more formal lodging site is great for added luxuries at the end of a long day.

These are a few of the places near Zion National Park that we’d suggest avoiding:

1. Hildale

Where not to stay in Zion National Park HildaleWhere not to stay in Zion National Park Hildale

Hildale is a town bordered by Colorado City on the Arizona border. It has some pretty gorgeous glamping sites and a history closely interlinked with Warren Jeff’s cult—which is interesting for anyone interested in darker US history.

However, more suitable options exist for those looking to stay near Zion. We recommend avoiding this spot as it takes over an hour to reach the national park by car. Travel time will take up a considerable portion of your day and tire you out before you even arrive.

If you’re looking for glamping, check out Under Canvas Zion instead. It’s located in the Kolob Terrace region, just a 35-minute drive from the park.

2. St. George

St. George is the first port of call when you enter Utah from Nevada, and if you’re driving from Las Vegas, you’ll pass straight through this southwestern city. It’s a cool place, with petroglyphs, dinosaur remains, and doorstep access to Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. An excellent place to stop on a road trip? Absolutely. But we wouldn’t recommend staying here if you want to visit Zion National Park.

St. George is just a little bit too far from the park entrance, taking around an hour one way by car. You’ll probably drive through Hurricane, too, which means you often catch city traffic at peak hours.

Instead, stay in Hurricane itself for half your daily journey time and then take a day trip to St. George to see all it has to offer on non-Zion day.

3. Kanab

Kanab is difficult to rule out because it is a quirky border town. However, it is a bit too far to justify choosing it for accommodation when visiting Zion National Park. It takes roughly an hour to reach the park from Kanab.

We will say, though, to stay in Mt. Carmel Junction and then make a day trip to Kanab. Kanab has Little Hollywood Land and dozens of nearby trails, including Moqui Cave Natural History Museum and a couple of slot canyons.

Why we love Zion National Park

Why we love zion canyon inn in utahWhy we love zion canyon inn in utah

To be honest, who doesn’t love Zion National Park? The park is overflowing with character and good looks. You can admire the sandstone canyon walks and narrow ridges or walk through rivers. It’s the sort of national park that challenges preconceptions. It’s no wonder it’s considered one of the best national parks in the USA.

Zion National Park is an easy passion point for us as we love our hiking trails and US national parks. There’s so much to see. Check out some of the attractions around Zion National Park, too; don’t just pigeonhole yourself into walking the major trails. Visit the lesser-visited slot canyons and state parks dotted around its edge.

Its surrounding area is just part of Zion National Park’s beauty and allure; deciding where to stay in Zion National Park is a great decision. Whether you pick a spot near a Zion National Park entrance, stay inside the park itself, or pick a more distant base—like the exciting city of Hurricane—we hope you have a wonderful time.

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