The best places to stay at Zion National Park


by Matt, updated Oct 2021

Zion National Park Lodge

If you’re looking for a place to stay at Zion National Park, this article is for you. We’ll simplify the options for you and give you our recommendations based on our own experiences and reading hundreds of online reviews.

Quick Recommendations

  • In the park: Zion Lodge. This is the only lodging in the park.
  • The most upscale areas are in the park or in Springdale, UT. Hotels here will cost a lot ($200-500), but there are some very nice hotels, and there is no travel time to the park.
  • The best city to stay in is St. George. Here you will have the most options for hotels, restaurants, and entertainment. It’s about an hour away. It’s close to Kolob (the west side of Zion NP) and Snow Canyon (video) – both red rock canyons with incredible scenery and hiking.
  • The most remote towns (for those who like to get away from the city) are Hildale, UT, Orderville, UT, and Kanab, UT. They are affordable, and they are still within an hour of the park.
  • The best value areas are Hurricane/LaVerkin and Orderville/Mt Carmel Junction. These are the best combination of affordability and proximity to Zion.

We will explain each one of these areas and give some specific recommendations for hotels in each city.

Zion Lodge

There is literally only ONE choice here: The Zion National Park Lodge. It is the only hotel in Zion National Park. It was originally built in 1924, but a fire destroyed it in 1966. It was hastily rebuilt to accommodate visitors, but in 1990 it was restored to its original look.

It has three kinds of accommodations you can book: Hotel rooms, suites, and cabins. Prices are over $200 per night.

Here are a few things to know about the Lodge:

  • Each additional person is $10/night
  • It does not have WiFi (the website says it sometimes works), and the TVs are small.
  • Reservations open up 12-13 months in advance (for example, on May 1, 2021, you can book lodging for May 1-31, 2022).
  • Pets are not allowed
  • It has a restaurant and a cafe

The Zion Lodge is located right in Zion Canyon and is actually one of the shuttle stops. If you stay here, you’ll be surrounded by the high red-rock canyon walls.

It has a big grassy area in front with a massive shade tree, perfect for picnics or naps. Just watch out for the deer scat; deer graze on the grass every morning and evening.

Springdale, Utah

Springdale is a very cute little town that literally sits right next to the entrance to Zion. The population is under 1,000, but they know how to handle the crowds.

There are over 25 hotels and B&Bs in Springdale. No matter where you stay, you’ll either be next to tall red cliffs or next to the Virgin River. You really can’t go wrong.

Here are three that stood out to us:

  1. Zion Canyon Bed and Breakfast. The reviews for this place are insanely high. The prices are competitive (about $170-205/night). Their rooms are named after the formations in Zion, which we like. Obviously, they serve breakfast.
  2. Desert Pearl Inn. Many people commented how nice it was that their rooms were located right along the Virgin River. We believe you have to book early and request a river room. It has a pool as well.
  3. Best Western Plus Zion Canyon Inn & Suites. This is a new hotel and although it’s a chain, it gets great reviews. Their management is really responsive to negative reviews. It has a big pool.

We almost always use booking.com to find our accommodations! We find much better deals there than Airbnb.

Hurricane & LaVerkin

These two cities are right next to each other and they are about 30-40 minutes away from Zion. They are on the west side, so access to Kolob isn’t far away either.

Most places here are budget hotels. It’s not upscale, it’s just an affordable option to use as a jumping-off point to Zion. It’s really common to stay here.

We’ve driven around this area quite a bit. Considering the reviews and my own eye test, here are the two I recommend. They are both in LaVerkin.

  1. Best Western Plus Zion West.
  2. La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndam.

These two places are right next to each other. There is a nearby gas station named Maverik that you can stop at to get breakfast in the morning. Don’t laugh, this isn’t your ordinary gas station. It’s big, and it has a lot of food options for a quick breakfast before hitting the park!

Check booking.com for deals.

St George/Washington

Southern Utah is remote, and the towns are very small. St. George is the exception. It’s a full-sized city and is growing rapidly due to the nice year-round weather. It’s like Florida for northern Utah — it’s where people go to vacation or retire.

It’s about an hour away from Zion. There are a TON of hotels, condos, Airbnbs, VRBOs, etc. You can use booking.com to find places, but we’ll give two suggestions that stood out to us as we researched this:

  1. The Inn on the Cliff. This sits on a cliff that overlooks St. George. It has a pool and nice views.
  2. Best Western Abbey Inn. We don’t mean to sound like Best Western salesmen, but it had amazing reviews. And honestly, we have had great experiences with Best Western, so it came as no surprise to us that they get really good reviews.

Check booking.com for deals.

St George has soooo many other fun things to do, so take that into consideration as well. Here are a few ideas:

  • Snow Canyon. This is like Zion Junior. It’s beautiful.
  • Red Cliffs Conservation Area. Great red-rock exploring here.
  • Sand Hollow State park. You can ATV on sand dunes here.
  • Golfing, biking, hiking, and ATVing.
  • And many other activities.

Hildale

This little gem seems out of the way, but it’s about the same distance to Zion as St. George or Kanab. It’s located right on the border of Utah and Arizona.

There are many hotels in Hildale with the name Zion in them! They really don’t want you to forget that you can stay here when visiting Zion, LOL.

Reviewers commented that they loved this place because it was removed from the crowds. It’s much more remote and hidden. And the views are beautiful. It sits right by red-rock formations.

This is a place worth looking into more, but here are two to get you started:

  1. Zion Glamping Adventures. You stay in tents near the red-rock walls. They have a community fire where you can gather to meet other people, if you like.
  2. Zion’s Most Wanted Hotel. This got surprisingly good reviews. It is the former home of Warren Jeffs, who is a polygamist leader of the FLDS church (not to be confused with the LDS church — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or “Mormons.”). He was wanted by the law, until they caught him and now he’s in prison.

We hope this helps you plan your trip to Zion. If you’re going to Zion, you need to know that the park is very busy! The visitors have doubled over the last 7 years, so you really need to have a solid game plan.

Check booking.com for deals.

Places to stay in between Zion & Bryce Canyon

8 Things to do between Zion & Bryce!

Many people visit Bryce and Zion National Park on the same trip. To get the most out of each park, we recommend staying close to each park and changing hotels.

But if you want to stay in one hotel and use it to see both parks, here are some options:

Cedar City

image of home
Big Yellow Inn Bed and Breakfast (from website)

Cedar City is 1.5 hours from Bryce and 1-hour from Zion. It’s a mid-sized city that has many hotels.

It’s a little college town and puts on the yearly Utah Shakespeare Festival, with a gorgeous outdoor Old English-style theatre.

Also, Cedar Breaks National Monument is nearby.

There are too many chain hotels to choose from, so I won’t cover them here. What stands out about Cedar City is it has so many cute little B&Bs with Shakespear and English cottage garden themes. The homes are gorgeous and the ratings are awesome. Here are two:

Check booking.com for deals.

Orderville/Mt Carmel Junction

East Zion Resort has some interesting cabins and yurts

This is on the east side of the park. Mt Carmel is only about 15 minutes away from the East Entrance to the park. However, once you enter the East Entrance, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the visitor center, where you park and catch the shuttle for Zion Canyon.

The east side is much less populated but could be a great place to stay if you’re coming from or going to Bryce Canyon or the Grand Canyon. A lot of people will use this as a home base for both Zion and Bryce.

Here are three places that stood out to us:

  1. Zion Ponderosa. This is a big resort area with cabins, RV spots, tents, etc. They have many activities, such as mini-golfing, rock-climbing, wagon rides, zip lines, virtual reality.
  2. East Zion Resort. You can stay in a variety of rooms here, such as treehouses, yurts, tiny-houses, and tents. Reviewers raved about this place.
  3. Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge. The reviews here weren’t as amazing as some of the other Best Westerns, but we included it here as more of a budget option vs the resorts. It’s only 12 miles from the park.

Check booking.com for deals.

Kanab

If you’re into hiking, Kanab could be a vacation destination on its own. Kanab itself is a little town but there are many hiking areas within 30-60 minutes of the city, including the famous wave formation.

Kanab is about 35 minutes from the East Entrance of Zion (but 1 hour from the shuttles), and 1.5 hours to Bryce. It’s quite affordable to stay. Here are two that stood out to us:

  1. Canyons Boutique Hotel. This is a little more upscale; each room is a different design. It was recently remodeled.
  2. Quail Park Lodge. This is a cute, colorful 1950’s-style motel. Many reviewers commented about how they liked the retro feel to this place.

There are a few other things to do in Kanab, such as the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and the Little Hollywood Movie Museum.

One more benefit to Kanab: It’s possible to hit the Grand Canyon North Rim from here (although we recommend staying closer to the park).

Check booking.com for deals.

Need a game plan for visiting Zion? Check out our itineraries!

We’ve designed plans to help you get the most out of your trip. We want you to LOVE your trip to Zion! Check them out here.

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