From towering sandstone walls to majestic bighorn sheep to a serene river, there’s abundant reasons to visit Zion National Park. While the nearby gateway town of Springdale has lots of lodging to offer, it’s an even more incredible experience to stay inside the park at the Zion Lodge. Staying in the park will let you experience the solitude once the daytime crowds have left and the stars come out. It will also give you a head start in the morning when it comes time to hit the trails.
There is only one lodging option inside the park. Three campgrounds allow campers and RVers to pitch a tent or pull up their rig, but if you want to sleep in a real bed your only option is to stay at the beautiful Zion Lodge.
Tucked up against the cliffs along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, Zion Lodge is a collection of hotel-style buildings and cabins. The lodge has a Southwestern flair and is set on a sprawling green lawn shaded by big trees. There are three options for spending the night. Hotel rooms in the lodge buildings have two queen beds, or one full size bed depending on the room. All rooms have a full bath as well as a private porch or balcony. A flat-screen TV with satellite ensures you don’t have to miss a game, even in the middle of the park. For those looking to upgrade, suites include a sitting room and a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed, a wet bar with a fridge and sink and a microwave.
If you want to feel a bit more away from it all, book a cabin. Most cabins have two double beds and some come with a single queen. On chilly evenings you can warm up around the gas fireplace or head out to your private porch to stargaze. Each cabin has a private full bath, a microwave and a mini fridge.
If you’re visiting in the summer, the best part of staying at Zion Lodge is that all the rooms and cabins have air-conditioning.
Another reason to choose to stay at the Zion Lodge is its commitment to sustainability. The hotel is LEED certified, which is a rating system for sustainable buildings. The lodge uses 100% wind-powered electricity and has water-conserving plumbing. The lodge even worked with the National Park Service to create a pollinator sanctuary to help protect bees, birds and bats on-site. If you’re road tripping in your electric vehicle, Zion Lodge also has chargers for you.
Do I Have to Take a Shuttle to Zion Lodge?
While Zion Lodge is located on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive that is only accessible by shuttle for most of the year, hotel guests can drive their personal vehicles to the lodge. When you make your reservation, you’ll be mailed a red permit that you’ll have to get validated at the front desk and then display on your dashboard for the duration of your day.
Having a guaranteed parking spot inside the park is one of the biggest perks of staying at the lodge. Finding a parking spot can be a headache. Once you arrive at the lodge, you can leave your vehicle parked and either walk to trailheads and scenic viewpoints, rent a bicycle at the front desk, or hop on the park’s free shuttle that runs along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and into Springdale.
Does Zion Lodge Have Free Breakfast?
Unless you specifically book a Bed & Breakfast package, Zion Lodge does not offer complimentary breakfast. If your reservation doesn’t include breakfast, you can still dine at the Red Rock Grill which has a breakfast buffet that includes both hot items like pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs and cold items like cereal, yogurt and pastries. The Red Rock Grill also serves lunch and dinner with a focus on local and sustainable dishes. You’ll find a locally sourced bison cheeseburger, house-made quinoa black bean cakes and pecan crusted trout with fresh pico de gallo on the menu. The restaurant even grows their own herbs in a garden in Springdale. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant.
If you’re looking for a quicker option, head to the seasonal Castle Dome Café, which is adjacent to the main lodge. In the mornings, you’ll find coffee and espresso beverages alongside pastries. For lunch, the café grills burgers and hot dogs to serve with French fries. After a long day of hiking, stop by the Beer Garden Cart on the patio for a local microbrew to enjoy.
What is There to Do at Zion Lodge?
Zion Lodge is located along the beautiful Zion Canyon Scenic Drive which features many of the park’s most popular trails and sights. From the lodge you can walk to the trailhead for the Emerald Pools, Angels Landing, the Grotto and more. Zion Lodge is located at Shuttle Stop #5, so you can also hop on the free park shuttle to get to trailheads further down the canyon like the Narrows, or you can take the shuttle back towards the Visitor Center. From the Visitor Center, you can transfer to the Springdale shuttle to get into town.
A great option for exploring is to rent bikes from the lodge and pedal along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Since this road is closed to all vehicle traffic except for shuttle buses and private vehicles coming and going from the lodge, it makes for a safe ride for the whole family. The full road is 7.5 miles long and at any point you and your bike can board the shuttle back to the lodge.
Back at the lodge, relax on the patio with a cold drink or read a book on the sprawling lawn. Hotel staff can also help arrange a horseback ride for you.
Is Zion Lodge Open?
Zion Lodge is open year-round, but facilities are more limited in the winter. Some amenities, like the café and the shuttle are either closed or operate on a limited basis.
Because Zion Lodge is the only hotel inside the park, reservations go very quickly. You can reserve a room 13 months in advance, starting on the first of the month. For instance, if you wanted to reserve a room in October 2023, you could make a reservation starting on Sept. 1, 2022 for the entire month of October 2023. It’s best to make a reservation as soon as the window for your desired dates opens at www.zionlodge.com.