Planning a trip to Zion National Park? Need a place to stay?
I've visited Zion National Park at least forty times. My parents grew up in Cedar City and my dad took us to Zion – usually with a van full of cousins – every year. Then I spent three years at Southern Utah University, which is just 45 minutes from Zion Canyon.
Now I live in Northern Utah, but I keep returning to Zion National Park with my family because Zion Canyon is my happy place.
Zion National Park is not located far off the beaten path. The main entrance is about 30 minutes from Interstate 15 and a Walmart Supercenter. It has several sections and entrances where you can escape into nature, but first-time visitors will want to focus on Zion Canyon near Springdale, Utah.
The “perfect” place to stay is the one that best fits your itinerary, budget and family. Whether you want to focus on Zion National Park, or find a central base for all the parks, monuments and activities in the area, my goal is to help point you in the right direction.
Here are the top cities where you'll find hotels near Zion National Park, with their advantages. I recommend my favorite hotels and vacation rentals in each. Look for a map at the end of this post.
Inside the Park
Why stay here? Location, location, location. Enjoy the red cliffs of Zion Canyon around the clock. Beat the crowds early and late in the day.
Zion National Park has one lodge and two campgrounds in Zion Canyon, which is the most visited section of the park. I've stayed at one of the campgrounds, but not Zion Lodge. Yet.
Popular dates sell out at the lodge and campgrounds, so make reservations early for best availability.
Zion Lodge has hotel rooms, cabins and suites. Visitors can enjoy an on-site restaurant, snack bar and gift shop. Zion Lodge has a shuttle stop, and is a short walk from Emerald Pools and Angel's Landing trails. There is a big lawn with shade trees that we love for picnics.
Click the button below to learn more about the Zion Lodge at www.zionlodge.com.
Why stay here? You can't get closer to Zion's top attractions without staying at Zion Lodge. Choose from a variety of hotels. Bike or shuttle into the park. Local outfitters can help you gear up for the Zion Narrows or other adventures.
Springdale is located on the west side of Zion National Park, near Zion Canyon. This is the most popular entrance to Zion National Park, located about 30 minutes from Interstate 15. The Kolob Terrace entrance is also nearby.
Springdale is a tiny town filled with visitor services, and you probably won't leave Main Street.
Years ago, I stayed with my parents, two sisters and a couple of friends in a family suite at the historic Pioneer Lodge in Springdale. This motel is just a few blocks from the entrance to Zion National Park. Most of the rooms are standard rooms, but it also has a couple of family suites.
We had three bedrooms and a full kitchen in our family suite. At the time, this motel looked its age, but it has been completely remodeled and still gets strong online reviews.
Click the button below to see rates and availability for Pioneer Lodge and other Springdale lodging on TripAdvisor.com. The towns of Rockville and Virgin are also close to the park entrance.
Why stay here? See a different side of Zion National Park. Get away from the crowds. Kanab makes a good base for day trips to Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon North Rim or Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Kanab is located on the less-accessible east side of Zion National Park, on scenic Highway 89. This small town has all the amenities you need, with few chain stores and restaurants. Phone service and WiFi are less reliable on this side of the park, but that's not always a bad thing.
It will take you longer to reach Zion Canyon via the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway and tunnel, but it's a nice drive through the park. I recommend that you start your day early to beat the traffic at the one-lane tunnel.
On this side of the park, I like Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. It's not in Kanab, but even farther off the beaten path. Zion Ponderosa Ranch borders Zion National Park and offers lodging options from tent camping to cabins to large vacation homes. There are a variety of fun activities on site.
Click the button below to see Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, or other Kanab area hotels on TripAdvisor.com.
- My Review of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
- Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon North Rim
- Things to Do in Kanab, Utah
Why stay here? Get all the amenities of a large city, within 30 minutes of Zion Canyon. This city has many hotels and restaurants. It's on Interstate 15 and close to Snow Canyon State Park, Tuacahn Amphitheatre and Dixie State University.
My top two picks for Zion National Park hotels in St. George are Coral Springs Resort and Abbey Inn. There are many other good options as well.
Coral Springs Resort is great for families because you get all the amenities of a vacation home and a resort. Our luxurious three-bedroom unit had beds for twelve, and a full kitchen. Coral Springs Resort is a little outside of St. George, but closer to Zion National Park.
Abbey Inn is a great choice if you want a traditional hotel room. It's affordable and conveniently located. Amenities include a year-round outdoor pool and complimentary breakfast. It's at the top of the list for Best Value in St. George on TripAdvisor.
Click the button below to check prices and availability for Coral Springs Resort, Abbey Inn and others on TripAdvisor.com.
- My Review of Coral Springs Resort
- 10 Fun Things to Do in St. George
- Things to Do in Washington County
Why stay here? Cedar City makes a good base for visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon, plus Cedar Breaks and Brian Head. It's on Interstate 15 and is home to the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University.
Cedar City is 3,000 feet higher than St. George, so it is usually about ten degrees cooler (Fahrenheit). For that reason, I prefer Cedar City in the summer and St. George in the winter.
We usually stay in Cedar City because we have family here. My favorite place to stay in Cedar City is Abbey Inn. In addition to traditional motel rooms, this Abbey Inn has vacation homes as well. You get the space and comfort of a house, with the convenience and amenities of the hotel – including the indoor pool and complimentary breakfast.
We shared Abbey Inn's “Serenity Place” with my sister's family a few years ago, and it was great. This home sleeps 10.
Click the button below to see Abbey Inn and other Cedar City lodging on TripAdvisor.com.
There are hundreds of places to stay near Zion National Park, and the best one is the one that best fits your family's schedule, budget and needs. I've selected several options that I hope will help you find the perfect place for your family.
Have a question? Email me at [email protected] I'll do my best to help.