Zion National Park is a beautiful year-round destination in Utah. This unique area, a hiker’s wet dream, stands out for its red sandstone cliffs and deep green canyon floors. But where to stay near Zion National Park for the best experience?
There’s a rustic but convenient lodge within Zion National Park. In addition, you find a wide range of great hotels just across Virgin River in the gateway town of Springdale.
Further from the park action, the budget-friendly La Verkin, Hurricane and St. George are other options for where to stay when visiting Zion.
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Zion National Park
There’s a location wise unmatched option for where to stay when visiting Zion: Zion National Park Lodge. This is the only place to stay inside the park, with trails just steps away (Emerald Pools Trailhead is across the street).
Here, you wake up and go to bed in the park, making your whole stay a park adventure.
Inside the main building, the casual Red Rock Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to hungry hikers. But with Zion Canyon outside the large windows, it’s unavoidable that the view comes first and the food second.
Want something light to go? Adjacent to Red Rock Grill, the seasonal Castle Dome Cafe brews that well-needed coffee as well as supplies you with sandwiches and burgers.
These — Red Rock Grill and Castle Dome Cafe — are the only food establishments within Zion National Park.
But you don’t stay within Zion National Park for the amenities (for that, Springdale wins hands down). The drawcard of the rustic Zion National Park Lodge is, of course, the unique in-park location.
Stay in Zion National Park for: Best possible park access.
Springdale is another great option for where to stay when visiting Zion National Park. A charming town positioned just outside the park, Springdale completes the outdoor experience with the best of civilization.
It starts with the location: Virgin River is all that separates Springdale from Zion National Park. Therefore, staying at a hotel here feels almost like staying within the park boundaries.
From the northern end of Springdale, it’s only a short walk to the park’s southern entrance, where Zion Canyon Visitor Center is situated. A top hotel, Cable Mountain Lodge is the closest of them all — how about just a few hundred feet from hotel door to park gate?
In comparison, accommodations further south in Springdale might feel a little off. Still, most months of the year, the dutiful Springdale Line shuttle transports visitors from the town of Springdale up to Zion’s entrance, giving easy access to all the fun things to do in Zion National Park.
After active time in the park, refuel at one of the many top restaurants in Springdale. Flavorful southwestern fare, refreshing drinks and those red mountain views — Bit & Spur certainly knows what recharging is all about.
Yes, Springdale give you the better of both worlds. Spend the days in nature, have plenty of dining options to choose from in the evening and sleep like a king in your comfy hotel bed at night.
Pick Springdale for: Park-access-and-amenity combo.
Best hotels in Springdale
- Cable Mountain Lodge – At Cable Mountain Lodge, you’re only steps from Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Just cross the Virgin River bridge, and you’re there — this is the hotel closest to Zion National Park. Add to that a private picnic site by the splashing river and a reviving pool area, all against the backdrop of mighty red cliffs (the biggest one is called the Watchman).
- Cliffrose Lodge – Springdale is a place where nature and civilization intersect, and Cliffrose Lodge shows that brilliantly. Dip your hot feet in the swimming pool, relax in the hot tub or just stroll the peaceful riverside grounds. The animal kingdom approves this hotel too; deer frequently show up to graze. Oh, and among all the places to stay near Zion National Park, only Cable Mountain Lodge sits closer the park.
- Holiday Inn Springdale – The hotels in northern Springdale are often more expensive due to their unique location so close to the park. But although not as convenient, it’s easy to get to the park from Downtown Springdale as well. Downtown Springdale’s Holiday Inn Express sits less than 2 miles (3.2 km) from the stunning park — with Springdale Line stop number 6 right outside the hotel’s doors. Comfy and practical, this is a great value option for where to stay near Zion National Park.
La Verkin & Hurricane
The lodging within Zion and in Springdale tends to book up quickly. However, west of the park, the towns of La Verkin and Hurricane are great options for where to stay near Zion National Park on a budget.
From these towns, on opposite sides of Virgin River, it’s only a 20-mile (32 km) drive to the visitor center in Zion National Park. In roughly 30 minutes, you get from La Verkin or Hurricane to the famous trails in the park.
The location further west also means that you’re closer to St. George and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. So from La Verkin and Hurricane, you easily reach Red Cliffs too.
But despite the appealing location, hotels in La Verkin and Hurricane offer relatively inexpensive rates. That these cities are located slightly away from Zion National Park simply keeps the rates down.
Pick La Verkin/Hurricane for: Zion on a budget.
Best hotels in La Verkin & Hurricane
- La Quinta La Verkin – For a comfortable Zion stay on a budget, don’t miss out on La Verkin’s La Quinta, offering modern and spacious rooms. As the hotel is located slightly away from Zion, but still less than 30 minutes from the park, there’s absolutely nothing about its location to complain about.
- Wingate Hurricane – The Wingate hotel in Hurricane lets you explore Zion National Park in great fashion. With its comfy rooms and easy park access, hidden not more than 30 minutes from the celebrated Utah park, it’s one of the best places to stay around Zion National Park without breaking the bank.
St. George is the option for where to stay when visiting Zion National Park that is situated furthest away from the park. From St. George to Zion, it’s 42 miles (68 km) and roughly an hour to drive.
So locations closer to the park are much more convenient for exploring the park. The places to stay directly at Zion National Park clearly offer much better park access.
But St. George is a bigger city than the other options for where to stay near Zion National Park. With a bigger size comes more options for not only lodging but also dining and entertainment.
St. George also has Red Cliffs National Conservation Area as its neighbor. So if you want easy access to both Red Cliffs and Zion on the same Utah trip, St. George could be the real winner.
Pick St. George for: A bigger town.
Zion National Park hotels by shuttle stop
Zion National Park has a shuttle system consisting of two lines: the Zion Canyon Line and Springdale Line. These make it easy to explore Zion while ensuring that the popular park remains peaceful.
Shuttles generally run daily from some time in March to late November, during the Christmas period and at select weekends in the off-season.
Can you drive in? If Zion’s shuttle system isn’t in operation, you are welcome to drive into Zion Canyon yourself. But when the shuttles run, Zion Canyon Scenic Drive isn’t accessible by private vehicle.
Zion Canyon Line
Inside Zion National Park, the Zion Canyon Line takes you around. It has nine stops throughout Zion Canyon.
Zion National Park Lodge is stop number 5. Cable Mountain Lodge, adjacent to the park, is 0.2 miles (0.3 km) from stop number 1, the visitor center. From Cliffrose Lodge, make that 0.4 miles (0.6 km) instead.
- Zion Canyon Visitor Center
- Zion Human History Museum
- Canyon Junction
- Court of the Patriarchs
- Zion National Park Lodge
- The Grotto
- Weeping Rock
- Big Bend
- Temple of Sinawava
The Springdale Line, which also has 9 stops, connects the town of Springdale with Zion Canyon. At Zion Canyon Village, you exit the Springdale Line shuttle and enter the park by foot before continuing with the Zion Canyon Line, departing from Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
Cliffrose Lodge has a stop, but have in mind that it’s just an easy 0.4 mile (0.6 km) walk from this hotel to the visitor center.
- Zion Canyon Village
- Cliffrose Lodge
- Flanigan’s Inn
- Desert Pearl Inn, Canyon Ranch Motel
- Bumbleberry Inn
- Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn
- Driftwood Lodge, Quality Inn & Suites
- Silver Bear Enterprises
- Majestic View Lodge
Tips for your Zion stay
Hopefully you feel ready for a jaw-dropping Zion National Park stay now. But to make sure that you really have it all covered, take a look at these tips for staying in Zion National Park.
- Consider Angels Landing permit – In general, you don’t need a permit to hike Zion National Park. However, for Zion’s storied Angels Landing hike, it’s different. Because of Angels Landings popularity and its nature as a trail where the space is limited, everyone who hikes it needs an Angels Landing permit.
- Book rooms in advance – Zion is one of the most visited national parks in America. With that comes a big demand for nicely located hotels. Therefore make sure to secure your Zion National Park lodging as soon as you can.
- Beat the heat – June, July and August are the busiest months in Zion National Park. During this period of the year, temperatures often exceed 100°F (38°C). Although you find appreciated shade throughout the Utah park, make sure to cover yourself up, bring lots, and lots, of water and avoid demanding hikes around midday.
- Know the shuttle – When Zion’s park shuttle operates, which is most of the year, the road through Zion Canyon is closed for private vehicles; instead the Zion Canyon Line, a shuttle line having nine stops, takes you around. Its southernmost and first stop is Zion Canyon Visitor Center, while the northernmost and final stop is Temple of Sinawawa, where you jump off to hike the Riverside Walk and the Narrows. If you stay at Zion National Park Lodge or Cable Mountain Lodge, this is the only shuttle line you need to know about. However, for visitors staying further south in Springdale, the Springdale Line connects the town of Springdale with Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
- Tick off Bryce – Zion is not the only national park in southern Utah. Just 86 miles (138 km) and 2 hours from Zion, you find the hoodoo-filled Bryce Canyon National Park. There are great places to stay near Bryce Canyon too, but many visitors choose to day trip from Zion.
Final words about where to stay near Zion
Zion National Park is filled with breathtaking beauty, and thanks to the best places to stay near Zion National Park — everyone can enjoy Zion’s unique landscape.
Stay at Zion National Park Lodge or Cable Mountain Lodge for the very best park access. However, anywhere in Springdale is certainly a good location for where to stay when visiting Zion National Park.
Where to stay near Zion National Park FAQ
Zion National Park Lodge or the hotels in the gateway town Springdale, such as the lovely Cable Mountain Lodge, are the most convenient options for where to stay when visiting Zion National Park. However, you find cheaper lodging away from the park in La Verkin, Hurricane and St. George.
Springdale is the town closest to Zion National Park. The small Utah city, with a wide range of hotels and amenities, sits right where the park adventure begins. From hotels in northern Springdale, it’s just a few hundred feet to the Zion National Park entrance.
Most of the year, generally from March to November and during the Christmas period, the Springdale Line connects Springdale with Zion National Park Visitor Center. This shuttle has nine stops throughout Springdale, from Majestic View Lodge to Zion Canyon Village, where visitors jump off and walk into the national park.
Note that Zion Canyon Village is located at the northernmost Springdale hotels. So if you stay at Cable Mountain Lodge, or Cliffrose by Hilton, you effortlessly can walk into the park.
Zion National Park Lodge is the one and only option if you want to stay inside Zion National Park. However, hotels in Springdale, some with the park within steps, offer more amenities, including restaurants and swimming pools.
Zion National Park Lodge is unique in the way that it’s the only place to stay inside Zion National Park. So if you really want that national park ambience 24/7, and it isn’t booked up for your travel dates yet, stay there.
Rather want to enjoy the best amenities? Then don’t look past Cable Mountain Lodge. Framed by red sandstone cliffs, this hotel offers comfy suites, a pool and jacuzzi area, space for riverside picnics and — maybe best of all — it’s hidden just 0.2 miles (0.3 km) from Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
La Verkin and Hurricane are top options for where to stay near Zion National Park on a budget. Hotels in these two towns are generally much cheaper than in the first-row Springdale. Still it’s just about 30 minutes by car from La Verkin and Hurricane to the entrance of Zion National Park.
It’s optimal to spend at least two or three full days in Zion National Park. Allowing three full days gives you time to explore the park at your own pace, without having to hurry through the spectacular scenery.
Related: Also check our comprehensive list of the best things to do in the United States. Do you think Zion is there?
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