Zion Lodge and Campgrounds
Look to Springdale or the East Entrance of the park for more options.
This rustic lodge (435/772-7700 or 888/297-2757, www.zionlodge.com) sits in the heart of Zion Canyon, three miles up Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Zion Lodge provides the only accommodations and food options within the park. It's open year-round; reservations for rooms can be made up to 13 months in advance. During high season, all rooms are booked months in advance. Double rooms begin at $159; cute cabins are $173.
The Red Rock Grill, the lodge restaurant, offers a southwestern and Mexican-influenced menu daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (435/772-7760, 6:30-10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5:30-9 p.m., dinner reservations required, most dinner entrées $15-20).
A snack bar, the Castle Dome Café, serves decent fast food, including salads (closes in winter).
The lodge also has evening programs, a post office (open Mon.-Sat.), and a gift shop.
Zion Canyon Campgrounds
Campgrounds in the park often fill up on Easter and other major holidays. During the summer, they're often full by early afternoon, so it's best to arrive early in the day. The South and Watchman Campgrounds, both just inside the South Entrance, have sites for $16 with water but no showers.
Watchman has some sites with electrical hookups for $18; prime riverside spots are $20. Reservations can be made in advance for some sites at Watchman Campground (877/444-6777, www.recreation.gov, $9 extra reservation fee). One of the campgrounds stays open in winter.
South Campground is a bit smaller than Watchman, with a few choice walk-in sites and easy access to the Pa'rus Trail, but tenters shouldn't eschew Watchman; loops C and D are for tents, and these sites are more spacious than those at South. Some of the pioneers' fruit trees in the campgrounds are still producing; you're free to pick your own.
Private campgrounds lie just outside the park in Springdale and just east of the park's east entrance.
Up the Kolob Terrace Road, find Lava Point Campground (no water, no fee), a small, primitive campground that offers sites during warmer months. The Red Ledge Campground in Kanarraville (435/586-9150, $25) is the closest commercial campground to the Kolob Canyons area (there's no campground in this area of the park); go two miles north on I-15, take Exit 42, and continue 4.5 miles into downtown Kanarraville. The campground is open year-round with a tent and RV sites, cabins, a store, showers, and a laundry room. The tiny agricultural community here was named after a local Paiute chief.
A low ridge south of town marks the southern limit of prehistoric Lake Bonneville. Hikers can explore trails in Spring and Kanarra Canyons within the Spring Canyon Wilderness Study Area just east of town.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition