Jen Young
by Jen Young
Posted May 10, 2022

Utah is famous for its arid deserts and red rock formations. The marvels of these landscapes are likely best visible at Zion National Park, one of the country’s most popular tourist sites.  

This massive Park in Southern Utah offers a wide range of scenery and activities. The most well-known attraction is Zion Canyon, a magnificent vista of towering red cliffs.

The Virgin River meanders along woodland hiking routes to finally lead to the Emerald Pools, where waterfalls and a hanging garden may be found.

This national park has a tonne of experiences crammed into every corner, which is why it’s one of the best RV excursions in Utah. 

If you don’t own an RV yet, fear not! We have a wide range of RV rentals for all budgets. Check our current inventory here.

If you and your family plan on driving to this park in an RV, you’ll most likely need to locate somewhere to stay once you arrive.

So don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

This article will look at why RV is the best vehicle when traveling to Zion National Park, some additional tips that will help you enjoy your trip to the fullest, and several fantastic RV trailer parks around Zion National Park.

Why You Should Visit Zion National Park With an RV 

Camping in an RV is the ideal way to view the Mighty Five of Utah.  

Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, Arches, and Capitol Reef are Utah’s five national parks.

The breathtaking splendor of these geological treasures should not be overlooked. Even just one will bring a lifetime of memories. 

Here are some of the reasons why you should RV camp in these national parks.

1. Live and Breathe These Wonders of Nature 

It’s an amazing experience to wake up amid a gorgeous environment with animals at your door. All five Utah parks have remarkable characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the National Park System.

2. Return to Your Own Bed 

Having your own RV park room is the pinnacle of RV travel. When you’ve finished touring the park for the day, there’s no need to “go.” You are not required to say farewell.

3. In-Depth Stargazing

Four of Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks have been certified as International Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association. This is a global designation. Except for Zion, all else receives this honor.

4. Camp Like a Pro in the Parks

Some of the parks provide rudimentary sleeping sites, but if you’re accustomed to sleeping at RV resorts, be prepared to “rough it.” In the Mighty Five, national park campsites with facilities are hit or miss.

5. Even when national park campgrounds are full, there is plenty of Bureau of Land Management camping available

If you can find a site, camping in these national parks is wonderful. If you can’t, there are hundreds of free Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campsites near and between these parks, most of which are free.

Are RVs Allowed in Zion National Park? 

Zion features two RV-friendly campsites, both close to the Springfield entrance. Reservations are required for the South Campground, which may be made two weeks in advance by visiting recreation.gov.

Does Bryce Canyon have RV Parking? 

There are two campsites in Bryce Canyon National Park: Sunset and North. Both are near the tourist center and include RV parking. 

Camping in the park is popular, particularly during the summer. Reservations are strongly advised and may be made online at recreation.gov

Where can I camp between Zion and Bryce? 

The Grand Canyon’s North Rim campground is the best area to camp. If you can get a reservation there (they may fill up quickly, so do it as soon as you know your dates and the sites are open for bookings), you won’t be disappointed.

Why is it the best? 

North Rim Campground has 90 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings with grills.

There are normal non-electric sites as well as tent-only sites.  

On-site, there is a disposal station. There are drinking and cooking water spigots everywhere, as well as flush toilets.

At the campsite, there is also a petrol station and a basic shop. Showers and washing facilities were forced to close because of the epidemic.

The North Campground in Bryce Canyon is another lovely campground. The issue is that tents are first come, first served, so you must arrive early. You may book an RV if you own one.

The campgrounds in Zion National Park are handy but not spectacular. 

Now, let’s look at 5 of the best RV parks near Zion National Park:

1. Jamaica Beach RV Park (free camping near Zion National Park) 

Because this is a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) camping area, it is first-come, first-served, and free.

This is an excellent chance for people who have prior boondocking experience, have adequate water, are self-contained with septic, and have a source of heat/electricity, if necessary.

What distinguishes this park is that it is a free dry-camping area for tents and small RVs. Although there are no facilities or connections, the seclusion and views are breathtaking. According to most reports, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

This park is about 5 minutes from the National Park entrance and approximately 12 miles from Zion.

What we like about it: 

  • Free 
  • Dog-friendly 

Drawbacks: 

  • Rugged  
  • Limited access in RV size 
  • Only for active and healthy people 
  • There is no food, drink, or other necessities. 

2. Watchman Campground (near Zion National Park) 

When it comes to convenience, Watchman Campground is unrivaled!  

It’s directly in Zion, about a quarter-mile from the South Entrance. It’s directly on the banks of the Virgin River, in the park’s desert region. 

One of the nicest aspects of being in Zion is that it is next to a shuttle station, allowing you to conveniently go to all sections of the park!

What distinguishes this campground is it provides a real camping experience, allowing guests to forget about their problems and enjoy the great outdoors in a stunning environment. Disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature! 

Bathrooms, a dump station, and cold drinking water are provided to make your stay more comfortable.

Each site also has a picnic table, a fire pit, and a grill. Some locations are even riverside, allowing you to fully appreciate the landscape! 

What we like about it: 

  • Very close to Zion
  • Having a campground within the park, like South Campground, means you won’t have to wait in line to enter in the morning. 

Drawbacks: 

  • It’s a bit small so you’ll have some trouble finding space.

3. Lava Point Campground

Lava Point Campground is ideal for those seeking more basic camping with breathtaking views. 

With just 6 first-come, first-served campsites, you’ll need a little luck to get a spot here, but if you do, it’ll be free. Lava Point Campground is free, however facilities are limited, including just pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and garbage, and vehicles larger than 19 feet are not permitted on the grounds.

There is no running water or connections here, so you must prepare accordingly. If you stay at Lava Point, you’ll be around an hour and 20 minutes from Zion National Park’s south gate and 45 minutes from Springdale.

What distinguishes this campground is this campsite is usually open from May to September, depending on the weather. It is located off the Kolob Terrace Road, 25 miles (45 minutes) north of the town of Virgin, at an elevation of 7890 feet above sea level. 

The journey to the campsite from Zion Canyon’s South Entrance takes around an hour and 20 minutes. 

What we like about it: 

  • A remote location 

Drawbacks: 

  • Constricted availability 
  • Access is difficult and sluggish.

4. Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground (RV parks near Bryce Canyon and Zion) 

The nearest village to the area is Bryce Canyon City, which is less than three miles from the park’s entrance. If there are no campsites available in the park, this is the best option.

Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground is a massive company that offers a variety of camping alternatives. They accept tents and RVs, but they also rent teepees and camping lodges. They also run the Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn in addition to the campsite. 

Despite its proximity to a town, the campground backs onto a natural area, and the campsites are generally spread out in a forest setting, with big, well-spaced sites at the foot of towering pine trees. A flat parking space accommodates large RVs.

What distinguishes this park is it boasts 250 campsites, each with power, water, and full hookups, as well as a tent and group camping area.  

A basic shop, as well as a pool and hot tub, are available on-site. The campsite is available from April 1 to October 31, and reservations are accepted.

What we like about it: 

  • Food, hot tub, pool, souvenirs, groceries, live entertainment. 

Drawbacks: 

  • Most sites are not leveled
  • A lot of them have no shade 
  • Insect control is lacking 

5. Cedar City RV Park

This park, located on Cedar City’s historic Main Street, is accessible to all of the area’s shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions. 

It is also close to Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. This park is about one hour from the main entrance to Zion National Park and 20 minutes from the entrance to Kolob Canyon, but it provides a nice “home base” for a tourist to stay to take a day excursion to Zion National Park

What distinguishes this park? 

Unlike the Boondocking Companion sites in Zion National Park, this park is near Cedar City and maybe a better option for people who love nature treks and the harshness of nature in lesser doses.

What we like about it: 

  • Chess set in life-size 
  • Exercise facility 
  • The fire pit 

Drawbacks: 

  • Not near Zion National Park

Are you looking for affordable RV rentals for your journey to Zion National Park?  Then be sure to check our inventory here.

Jen Young

 

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