Camping is one of the best ways to experience Zion National Park. Nothing brings you closer to the park’s magnificent scenery than spending a night under the stars surrounded by Zion’s famous sandstone cliffs.
There are three campgrounds in Zion National Park. The two most popular are Watchman Campground and South Campground, both located in Zion Canyon near the main visitor center. Lava Point Campground is a small first-come, first-served campground near Lava Point off Kolob Terrace Road.
Camping in Zion is extremely popular, and finding a campsite during peak season can be challenging. Book your campsite as far in advance as possible.
Note: From March through mid-November, campers in Zion are limited to a maximum of 14 nights per year. An additional 30 nights per year are permitted from mid-November through February.
If no campsites are available in Zion National Park, check out some of the great campgrounds near Zion.
Cost: $20 per campsite, per night
Elevation: 3,900 feet (1,190 meters)
Reservations: March – November, available 6 months in advance.
Watchman Campground is Zion’s largest campground, with over 180 campsites, including two wheelchair-accessible campsites and six group campsites.
Watchman Campground is my favorite campground in Zion Canyon. That’s because, unlike South Campground, it’s not sandwiched between a busy road and a popular hiking trail. Nestled between the Virgin River and Zion’s towering cliffs, it offers plenty of peace and quiet (unless you have noisy neighbors).
Reservations, available March through November, can be booked up to six months in advance at recreation.gov.
Each campsite accommodates a maximum of six campers, three tents and two vehicles (only one of which can be an RV).
Watchman campsites options include tent-only, standard electric, and RV electric. All campsites are located a short walk from “Comfort Stations,” which have flush toilets, drinking water, a sink where you can wash dishes, and trash containers.
Located in the desert at 3,900 feet of elevation, Watchman Campground has great temperatures in spring and fall. Summer days can top 100 F, and winter temperatures can drop below zero.
There are no showers at Watchman Campground. Pay showers are available at Zion Outfitter, a 10-minute walk from the campground just outside the park’s pedestrian entrance.
Open: March – October
Cost: $20 per campsite, per night
Elevation: 3,940 feet (1,200 meters)
Reservations: Available 14 days in advance
Located just north of the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, along the banks of the Virgin River, South Campground is the second-largest campground in the park. There are 128 campsites, including four group campsites and 3 wheelchair-accessible sites.
The biggest downside to South Campground is its location between Route 9 (the main road to Zion Canyon) and the Pa’rus Trail, which lures a steady stream of hikers and bikers. If possible, try to reserve a campsite closer to the Pa’rus Trail, which quiets down after dark. Campsites closer to the road are most affected by the sound of traffic. The biggest upside to South Campground: its spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs.
Reservations at South Campground become available 14 days in advance. Visit recreation.gov for campsite reservations. There are 30 non-reserved campsites at South Campground.
All campsites are located a short walk from “Comfort Stations,” which have flush toilets, drinking water, a sink where you can wash dishes, and trash containers.
Each campsite can accommodate a maximum of six campers, three tents and two vehicles (only one of which can be an RV). No campsites at South Campground have electricity.
South Campground experiences identical temperatures to Watchman Campground: mild temperatures in spring and fall, summer days above 100 F, and winter nights that often drop below zero.
There are no showers at South Campground. Pay showers are available at Zion Outfitter, a 10-minute walk from the campground just outside the park’s pedestrian entrance.
Lava Point Campground
Open: May – September (weather permitting)
Elevation: 7,890 feet (2,400 meters)
Lava Point Campground is located near Lava Point, a sweeping viewpoint located about a 90-minute drive from Zion Canyon. There are just six primitive campsites at Lava Point Campground. There is no running water, but there are pit toilets.
Located at 7,890 feet elevation, Lava Point Campground is situated at one of the highest accessible parts of Zion National Park. Camping is most pleasant in summer, when the relatively cooler temperatures are a relief from the scorching temperatures in Zion Canyon. Temperatures at night can get very cold in spring and fall. Lava Point Campground is closed in winter due to deep snow.
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