Go Glamping (but Still Feel the Touch of Nature) in Zion National Park

The trail to Angel's Landing, in Zion National Park.

Photo © Bryan Chan, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Zion National Park’s Watchman and South Campgrounds may be as close as you’ll come to a plush camping experience. Both campgrounds are a short walk from the Zion Canyon visitor center and the shuttle bus that takes hikers and sightseers to trailheads and overlooks.If you want to try “glamping,” or glammed-up camping, but don’t have the funds to hire on with an outfit that sets you up in fancy canvas tents and delivers morning coffee, Zion National Park’s Watchman and South Campgrounds may be as close as you’ll come to a plush camping experience. Both campgrounds are a short walk from the Zion Canyon visitor center and the shuttle bus that takes hikers and sightseers to trailheads and overlooks. But what makes these campgrounds so cushy is their proximity to the parkside town of Springdale, which is loaded with good restaurants. It’s an easy walk from either campground into town, so don’t worry if the Coleman stove is acting up or you run short on camping food.

A fair warning: if you’re heading out this spring, be prepared to encounter western tent caterpillars. Although the degree of infestation with this native insect varies from year to year, their population generally peaks every 8 to 10 years, and 2013 was a big year; in addition to defoliating trees, they covered tents, RVs, and picnic tables. The National Park Service says that it’s still not possible to gauge 2014 populations and notes that “the caterpillars are just a part of the Zion experience.”

The red rocks of Zion National Park.

The red rocks of Zion National Park. Photo © Andrew K. Smith, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

  1. Zoe Scofield says:

    Thanks! Do you have suggestions of what to do with 3 days at the park? I really like hiking, nature and quiet.