7 Unusual Places to Stay Near Zion National Park

Don’t let your trip to Zion and nearby Bryce Canyon National Park sound just like your neighbors’ vacation. Set it apart by staying at some of the fantastic and unusual lodging options along the way. You can stay at a pet refuge, sleep in a polygamist’s wife cottage, or bunk in a yurt. Here are our top five places to stay in Southwest Utah, if you are seeking unforgettable, adventurous experiences.

1. Lie Down Among Dogs, Cats, and Horses

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Photo by Sarah Ause courtesy of Kanab, Utah

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Photo by Sarah Ause courtesy of Kanab, Utah

Stay at a cottage, cabin, or RV site on the grounds of an animal sanctuary. You’ll have views of horse pastures, juniper forests, and walking trails, and maybe even make some new animal friends. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is on 33,000 acres near Kanab, Utah. They run the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for about 1,600 companion animals such as dogs, horses, cats and domesticated birds. Guests are welcome to have lunch with the sanctuary’s volunteers at the Angel Village Cafe for an additional cost.

For more information:
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
435-644-2001
5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741
bestfriends.org/sanctuary/visit-our-utah-sanctuary/places-stay

2. Snooze in a Native Dream Catcher

Ruby's Inn Tipi

Tipi at Ruby’s Inn

Have a large group or family? Stay in a tipi at Ruby’s Inn Campground with room for up to eight adults. It’s a rustic adventure with no electricity or plumbing, but you are welcome to use the campground restrooms and showers. There aren’t any beds either. Bring your own sleeping bags, camp chairs, camp stove, and cooler. Or maybe throw some woven blankets in the tipi for an old-fashioned cultural experience that you will long remember. Go full on Western by adding a guided horseback ride near Bryce Canyon and some old-time photos at Ruby’s portrait studio.

For more information:
Ruby’s Inn Campground
888-878-9373
300 So. Main Hwy 63, Bryce Canyon, UT 84764
www.brycecanyoncampgrounds.com/bryce-canyon-cabins/

3. Bunk in a Backcountry Yurt

A cozy fire outside the yurt at sunset. Photo courtesy Zion Backcountry Yurt

A cozy fire outside the yurt at sunset. Photo courtesy Zion Backcountry Yurt

If you crave the quiet wilderness with expansive views of Zion National Park, then here’s the yurt for you. It will be just sheep and cows grazing in the meadows, you, plus 8 of your closest friends. (Okay, that may not be so quiet!) You won’t be roughing it. The yurt has hot water, a flushing toilet, hammocks, beds, a BBQ, and a wood-burning stove.

Located just over 3 miles from Zion, the yurt sits on the side of a mountain overlooking the entrance to the world-famous Narrows hike. In the evening, the lack of light pollution makes for the darkest of skies and brilliant stars. The perfect place for viewing is one of the two private fire pit in front of the yurt.

For more information:
Zion Backcountry Yurts
801-529-6645
4605 S Yurt Rd, Orderville, UT 84758
www.zionbackcountryyurts.com

4. Sleep in a Wife’s Cottage

The U.S. outlawed polygamy in 1882 but that didn’t stop some multi-wife families. At the largest house of the Seven Wives Inn, there is a secret door to the attic where some polygamists were hidden after the law was passed. One such hidden family’s patriarch was Benjamin F. Johnson who did have seven wives, hence the name of the inn. Today the inn is made up of three buildings: two homes and a cottage and is just 40 miles from Zion National Park. Each of 13 guest spaces is named after a woman. Stay in the Ada Cottage with a king bed, fireplace, and jetted tub for privacy from the main houses.

For more information:
Seven Wives Inn Bed and Breakfast
800-600-3737
217 North 100 West, St. George, UT 84770
www.sevenwivesinn.com

5. Stay at a Ski Resort in Summer

Are ski resorts even open in summer? You betcha. Enjoy the mountain trails, scenic chair lifts and activities such as disc golf, mountain biking, ATVing and archery without the snow. At Brian Head Resort north of Zion National Park, there are two lodges plus condo rentals. Their Cedar Breaks Lodge offers several restaurants, a tavern, game room and a spa. You won’t have time to miss the skis.

For more information:
Brian Head Resort
435-677-2035
329 South Highway 143, Brian Head, UT 84719
summer.brianhead.com

6. Stay in a Movie-Star Room

Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah. Photo courtesy of Kane County Office of Tourism

Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah. Photo courtesy of Kane County Office of Tourism

The Parry Lodge is where movie stars like Anne Bancroft, Clint Eastwood, and John Wayne stayed when they acted in films on location. So many movies were filmed in the Kanab area that they call it Little Hollywood. Most recently Disney’s 2012 film John Carter, and 2001’s Planet of the Apes were set among Kanab’s dramtic landscape. Plaques above each hotel room door note which Hollywood star spent the night. Frank Sinatra paid for the construction of the lodge’s swimming pool.

For more information:
Parry Lodge
435-644-2601
89 E. Center St, Kanab, UT 84741
parrylodge.com

7. Relax in a Kids-Free Zone

Red Mountain Resort near St. George, Utah. Courtesy photo

Red Mountain Resort near St. George, Utah. Courtesy photo

Stressed out moms and dads can gain back their sanity at a resort dedicated to health and relaxation. And no kids under 12 are allowed. At Red Mountain Lodge, you can enjoy your adult time getting a massage, attending healthy-life classes, doing personal-discovery activities, hiking, biking, or practicing yoga. Packages include three healthy meals each day. Still stressed? Participate in their Pound Puppy Program where you can borrow a dog from the local animal shelter and take them on a hike. Or go for the works with Red Mountain’s Wellness Package that adds physician and nutritionist evaluations from the Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well Center.

For more information:
Red Mountain Resort
877-246-4453
1275 E. Red Mountain Circle, Ivins, UT 84738
www.redmountainresort.com