Wonding where to stay at Zion National Park? You have a lot of good options. Here's an overview of the cities near Zion and the advantages of staying in each.
I've visited Zion National Park at least forty times. My parents grew up in Cedar City and my dad took us here – usually with a van full of cousins – every year. Then I spent three years at Southern Utah University, which is just 45 minutes from the park.
Now I live in Northern Utah, but I keep returning to Zion National Park with my family because it's my happy place.
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? The town of Springdale is immediately outside the entrance to Zion Canyon. You can't get closer to the park's top attractions without staying at Zion Lodge.
This is the most popular entrance to Zion National Park, located about 30 minutes from Interstate 15. The Kolob Terrace entrance is also nearby.
Finding a parking space inside the park has become a challenge in recent years. You can bike or take the free shuttle into Zion Canyon from Springdale and save yourself some hassle.
Springdale is a tiny town filled with visitor services along its main street. Choose from a variety of hotels and restaurants. Local outfitters can help you gear up for the Zion Narrows or other adventures.
Years ago, I stayed with 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, 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 the 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.
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 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.
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.
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 is Abbey Inn. In addition to traditional motel rooms, this Abbey Inn has vacation homes. 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.