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Hotels and Cabins

8 Unusual Places to Stay Near Zion National Park

Don’t let your trip sound just like your neighbors’ vacation. Set it apart by staying at some of the fantastic and unusual lodging options along the way.

Near Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, find unique places to stay from renovated Airstreams to a pet refuge to safari-inspired glamping tents. Here are 8 of our favorite picks for unique lodging near these amazing national parks.

1. Lie Down Among Dogs, Cats, and Horses

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

Stay at a cottage, cabin, or RV site on the grounds of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. You’ll have views of horse pastures, juniper forests and walking trails, and maybe even make some new animal friends.

Or you can stay at Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile, a modern motel in downtown Kanab. Choose from rooms with a kitchenette and two-stories or a single room. Rooms feature stunning artwork of animals, trundle beds and water and food bowls for your pets and hip, spacious bathrooms. A large cafe and store set in a gorgeous modern building full of windows and natural light provides complimentary breakfast. You’re steps away from Kanab’s great restaurants and locally-owned shops.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is on 33,000 acres near Kanab, Utah. It runs 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
5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741

2. Snooze in a Tipi

Tipi at Ruby's Inn. Courtesy photo
Tipi at Ruby’s InnCourtesy 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. To complete your experience, add a guided horseback ride near Bryce Canyon and some old-time photos at Ruby’s portrait studio.

For more information:
Ruby’s Inn Campground
300 S Main Hwy 63, Bryce Canyon, UT 84764

3. Stay at a Drive-In Movie Theater

Watch movies from classic cars at Yonder Escalante
Watch movies from classic cars at Yonder Escalante (Photo: by Kim and Nash Finley courtesy of Yonder Escalante)
Cozy cabins at Yonder Escalante
Cozy cabins at Yonder Escalante (Photo: by Kim and Nash Finley courtesy of Yonder Escalante)

Stay at the gorgeous, modern Yonder resort in Escalante, north of Bryce Canyon. It’s on the grounds of an old drive-in movie theater. Guests can watch movies from restored classic cars before spending the night in a beautiful cabin, renovated Airstream or RV site. There’s even a swimming pool.

For more information:
Yonder Escalante
(435) 274-7222
2020 UT-12, Escalante, UT 84726

4. Stay at a Ski Resort in Summer

Mini Zipline at Brian Head Resort
Mini Zipline at Brian Head ResortPhoto by Alex Santiago courtesy of Visit Cedar City • Brian Head

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
329 South Highway 143, Brian Head, UT 84719

5. Stay in a Movie Star Room

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

The Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah, 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 the 2001 Planet of the Apes were set among Kanab’s dramatic landscape. Plaques above each hotel room door note which Hollywood star spent the night. John Wayne not only requested that Parry Lodge build a pool, he paid for its construction and always stayed in a poolside room. The rooms have an older hotel feel, so if you are looking for modern hotel room, you may want to drive a few seconds down the street to some of the national chains in town or the new locally owned inns like the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile.

For more information:
Parry Lodge
89 E. Center St, Kanab, UT 84741

6. Relax in a Kids-Free Zone

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

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:

7. Glamp Near Zion

Glamping near Zion National Park with Under Canvas
Sleep in a glamorous tent near ZionUnder Canvas

Stay at Under Canvas for an unforgettably hip glamping experience. Set on 196 acres bordering Zion National Park, you can choose from a variety of tents, including ones with flush toilets and showers in your private tent.

Open March through early November, Under Canvas Zion offers on-site dining, an outdoor fire pit with complimentary s’mores fixings, in-tent luxury bedding and an adventure concierge to help you plan your days.

For more information:
Under Canvas Zion
3955 Kolob Terrace Road
Virgin, Utah 84779

8. Sleep in an Airstream Next to Zion

Opening in 2023, AutoCamp Zion is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the magic of the desert tucked next to the Virgin River just 20 minutes from the park. Stay in an elegantly renovated Airstream or a modern cabin perfect for larger groups.

For more information:
AutoCamp Zion
(877) 713-3003
1322 East State Route #9
Virgin, UT 84779