The Ultimate Guide to Camping in Zion National Park

This post on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Are you headed to Zion to explore the wonders of the Virgin River, hike the Narrows, or enjoy the view at Angels Landing? Zion National Park has over 90 miles of hiking trails to explore.  Camping in Zion National Park maximizes your time in the park.  You can sleep under the stars and enjoy the high cliffs.

Looking to join other national park lovers, trade advice, or see inspiring photos of the National Parks? Join the National Park Obsessed Facebook Group here.

Sleeping in a tent is a must to try experience Zion National Park.

Zion Camping

Things to Know about Zion Camping

  • There is a 14-day camping limit during from March to mid-November.  This limit is in effect park-wide.
  • Watchman Campground is the only campground open year round.
  • Zion National Park is extremely hot during the summer, the majority of campsites have no shade or partial shade.  Be prepared for this.  Riverside spots a few and far between.
  • Make a reservation if at all possible. Sites fill up fast and any remaining first come first serve spots will be claimed by 8:00 am during the height of summer.
    • Zion National Park first come first serve camping is offered at Lava Point and South Campground.  Several campgrounds outside the park offer first come first serve camping.
  • Each tent campsite can have up to 6 people. There is space for two tents and two vehicles at the campsite. The campsite has a picnic table. Many of the campsites have a fire pit. Please double check the fire regulations and ensure your fire is completely out before going to bed.
  • Please do NOT leave any food, utensils out, or any scented items out. This includes toothpaste, toothbrush, chapstick. Pretty much put everything but what you are going to sleep into your car.  This includes your cooler. Wildlife have been known to raid campsites and human food is dangerous.
  • If using a hammock in the campground, please only use trees larger than 10 inches in diameter.  Please pad your straps as to not damage the tree.  Only 2 hammocks per tree and the hammock must be inside the campsite footprint.

Zion Tent Caterpillar

If camping during April and May be prepared for the invasion of native southwestern tent caterpillars (Malacosoma incurvum). The Tent Caterpillars live and feed on the Fremont cottonwoods in many of the zion campgrounds.

During peak years (every 8-10 years), the caterpillars will cover every surface they can.  I would check with NPS and avoid the campground if in a peak year (or a non-peak year if afraid of bugs).

Photo Credit – NPS Photo/Marc Neidig

Getting to Zion National Park

Zion is a centrally located park.  It is within driving distance of Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and Phonxiz.  All three cities have an international airport and the concentration of national parks in the surrounding area makes it easy to visit multiple parks in one road trip.

** All Campground prices are valid as of January 28, 2019.

Where to camp in in Zion National Park?

Campgrounds in Zion National Park

      • Lava Point Campground
      • South Campground
      • Watchman Campground

Campgrounds near Zion National Park

      • Zion Canyon Campground and RV Resort
      • Zion River Resort RV Park and Campground
      • Hi-Road Campground
      • The Riverside Ranch
      • Willowwind RV Resort
      • Temple View RV Resort
      • BLM Old Highway 89
      • BLM Twin Hallows Canyon
      • BLM Smithsonian Butte

Camping in Zion National Park - View of the Zion Canyon Walls

Zion National Park Camping

Lava Point Campground

Lava Point Campground is located about 1 hour and a half north of Zion Canyon along Kolob Terrace Road.  This campground is a primitive campground that is reached by a narrow road with steep grades.  It is not recommended for large RVs and trailers.  During the late spring or early fall check the road conditions before driving out to this campground.

Season June – October
Number of Sites 6 sites
Fee per night N/A
Reservations Available No, first-come-first-serve
Max RV Length 19 ft
RV Hook-up No
Restrooms Vault Toilets
Water No
Showers No
Max Length of Stay 14 Days
Wheelchair Accessibility No
Wifi on Property No
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Zion Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Mid-morning during summer
Closest General Store Virgin, Utah

South Campground

South Campground is located 0.5 miles from the South Entrance. This campground is located near the visitor center and shuttle pickup area.  The campground is located next to the Virgin River.  There are a handful of sites that are walk-in sites which have riverfront views.

**ADA park visitors should note that none of the bathrooms in South Campground are ADA compliant.  You will have to travel 0.3 miles to the Watchman Campground for an accessible restroom.

Season Mid May – End of September
Number of Sites 117 sites (110 tent sites, 4 group sites, and 3 accessible sites)
Fee per night $20 per site  and $50 for the group sites
Reservations Available No, first-come-first-serve
Max RV Length 45 ft – RVs are limited to 12.5 ft in height
RV Hook-up No
Restrooms Flush Toilets
Water Hot Water
Showers No(additional charge)
Max Length of Stay 14 Days
Wheelchair Accessibility Yes
Wifi on Property Limited availability
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Zion Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Reservations are a must. They are available two weeks ahead of time.  
Closest General Store Springdale

Watchman Campground

Watchman Campground is located 0.25 miles from the South Entrance.  The campground is nestled at the base of the Watchman rock formation.  Watchman is the most developed of the three campground and electric sites are available.

Season Year-round
Number of Sites  176 sites (2 wheelchair accessible sites, and 6 group sites)
Fee per night

$20 for Loop C, D, and F

$30 for Loop A and B

Group sites range from $50 to $130

Reservations Available Yes
Max RV Length None but vehicle height is limited to 13 ft in many sites.
RV Hook-up No, but electric sites are available.
Restrooms Flush Toilets
Water Hot Water
Max Length of Stay 14 Days
Wheelchair Accessibility Yes
Wifi on Property N0
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Zion Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Usually fully reserved during June to September
Closest General Store Springdale

Which is campground did you pick for your camping in Zion National Park adventure?

Get your FREE National Park Checklist

Sign-up for our mailing list to receive access to our free National Park Checklist and other exclusive downloads.  Each month, you will get an email with exclusive monthly content.
* indicates required
Planning on going camping in Zion National Park?  Confused about which campsite to pick. National Park Obsessed\'s Ultimate Guide is here to help you pick the very best campsite.

Zion national park vacation.  Zion national park | Zion national park vacation | Zion national park photography | Zion national park itinerary | Zion hikes | Zion itinerary

Jennifer Melroy

Jennifer has been obsessed with national parks as a child.  This Tennessee native spent her childhood exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and traveling with her parents to National Parks and around the Caribbean.  She is always planning her next adventure and is ready to see the world while trying to visit all 59 National Park (*She is ignoring the hunk of concrete that just became a national park).

Jennifer Melroy has 96 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Melroy

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Camping in Zion National Park

  • 22 Feb 2019 at 9:39 pm

    This post is so helpful as I’m planning to finally get to Zion in April and most likely will be camping. Always knowing which sites you can reserve in advance are super helpful. And, I never would think to be aware of caterpillars covering everything!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.