I am an EXTREMELY spontaneous person when it comes to weekend hiking and camping. The problem with my spontaneity is that camping is very popular in Utah and campsites fill quickly. Zion National Park, among many others, is a favorite camping/hiking destination, but without the right information, your expectations of showing up to find an open camp site may be shattered. If you plan to camp in Zion Nation Park at any time in the next year, KEEP READING!
Zion National Park Camping
Here is the down low. Zion has 3 campsites: Watchman Campground, South Campground, and Lava Point Campground. Remember, Watchman and South Campgrounds are in desert terrain and are fairly exposed, so plan accordingly. Here is information about each campground individually.
Located 1/4 mile into the park from the Springdale Entrance (south entrance), Watchman Campground has 87 tent sites ($20/night), 96 electric sites ($30/night) and 6 group campsites (Price varies on group size). This is Zion National Park’s only camp ground that does reservations and the reservations often run out months in advanced. If you want a guaranteed camp site on your next trip to Zion, book it now at www.recreation.gov!
This campground is located 1/2 into the park from the Springdale Entrance. South Campground has 117 normal campsites ($20/day) and 4 group sites ($50/day) that are all first come first serve. On weekdays, the sites are usually taken between 9-noon and weekends are even earlier. The website said that “Campers begin lining up for a campsite as early as 5:30 am. The camp host will not start assigning campsites til 7:00 am during the long daylight hours or 7:30/8:00 am during the early spring/fall hours.” In Zion National Park, the early bird gets the worm!
Lava Point Campground
This campground is located in the Kolob Canyons portion of Zion. There are 6 primitive campsites (pit toilets, no water, but free!) which are all first come first serve. If you are planning on doing the normal hikes in Zion like Angels Landing, The Narrows, etc., I wouldn’t recommend this campground. The drive from Lava Point to the south entrance of the park is over an hours drive. If you choose to camp in Lava Point, please check for road conditions first!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or message us on Facebook. We would love to help you out! Also, be sure to plan now for your trip to Zion whether that means getting reservations at Watchman or planning to leave at the buttcrack of dawn for South Campground!