Humans entered the area about 8,000 years ago with small groups of Native Americans. Other tribes moved in as centuries passed. Mormons entered the area in 1858 and built settlements in the early 1860s. President Howard Taft named the area Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1918 to protect the canyon. The name was changed to Zion National Monument in 1918 and to Zion National Park in 1919.
The park is northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, and southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, at the junction of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau regions. Its variety of geography and life zones (desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest) create homes for many types of animals and plants. Within the park, you'll find mountains and canyons as well as mesas, buttes, slot canyons, natural arches, rivers, and more.
Among Zion National Park's stunning rock formations is Kolob Arch, which at 310 feet is the largest arch in the world. The deep canyons include The Narrows, which brings in hikers from all over the world. It was ranked No. 5 on National Geographic's list of 100 Best Adventures in 2000.
The West Entrance and South Entrance to Zion National Park is near Springdale, Utah, a charming village of about 500 people that welcomes and accommodates thousands more each year. Both entrances have visitors centers, and the West Entrance has a museum open from March through October. Many experienced hikers enter the park via the East Entrance, which has more rustic trails that are shaded for more comfort in summer.
When are the best times to visit Zion National Park, Utah?
The climate in Zion National Park is classified as cold desert, with hot summers, cold winters, and limited precipitation. The moderate weather in spring and fall make these the best times to visit. April and May and September and October tend to be warm and sunny, with average highs ranging from 60-90 degrees. The warmest month is July, when average highs are around 101 degrees.
The most popular times to visit Zion National Park are in April through November when free shuttle buses run in Zion Canyon, but the park is open all year. If you want to avoid the crowds and don't mind colder temperatures, you could travel in winter and get lower hotel rates. The winter temperature averages 53 degrees, and the park doesn't get much snow.
The ideal time, however, is fall. Hiking can be very hot in summer, with temperatures approaching 120 degrees, and is difficult in spring because of runoff, so fall offers the best setting for those who want to spend time in the canyon. You can buy seven-day entrance passes to the park for vehicles or individual passes for pedestrians or people on motorcycles or bicycles.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Zion, UT:
Zion by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Zion, UT. You can use these illustrations to determine the best dates to book a room in Zion for upcoming travels.
What are the luxury hotels near Zion National Park, Utah?
4 Star Average Prices: $283.74
The only lodging within Zion National Park, Zion Lodge puts you right in front of the beauty and hiking opportunities. The main lodge is rustic, with rock features and hardwood floors. Front-desk staff can help you plan your activities. Right outside the front door, you'll find plenty of shaded green space and picnic tables. Dine at the Red Rock Grill for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or enjoy the seasonal Castle Dome Cafe.
Each guest room has two queen-size beds (a few have king beds) and a private porch or balcony, along with a 37-inch flat-screen TV with satellite programming and free Wi-Fi. Choose a suite to add a king-size bed in a separate sleeping area, a sitting room, and a wet bar with a sink, mini fridge, and microwave. Rooms and suites all have coffee/tea facilities. You can also stay in a cabin with one or two twin beds, a gas log fireplace, private porch, mini fridge, microwave, and full bath. The cabins are within walking distance of the main lodge.
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park in Springdale is within a 5-mile drive of the park's South Entrance. When you're not hiking and exploring the park, you can enjoy the hotel's outdoor pool and fitness center or relax in the lobby in front of the fireplace. Suites have two queen beds or one king bed, including a larger suite with two queen beds. All have twin sofa beds. Your spacious suite will have premium bedding, spa bathrooms, microwaves and refrigerators, and 55-inch smart televisions with premium channels. Free breakfast is served daily.
Bumbleberry Inn, established by the Smith family in 1973, is the longest-running family business in Springdale and is a mile from the park entrance. The hotel offers Porter's Smokehouse & Grill, Bumbleberry Theater, and a gift shop. The Bumbleberry Inn is near dining and shopping opportunities. It has a heated outdoor pool, in-ground hot tub, and ample green space with a large picnic and barbecue area. A petting farm is also on the property. Rooms feature mini fridges and microwaves, coffee makers, and flat-screen TVs. Free breakfast is served daily.
What are the affordable hotels near Zion National Park, Utah?
3 Star Average Prices: $149.24
Although Springdale has ample accommodations for park visitors, you can save big on hotel rates by staying just a little farther away.
Econo Lodge Hurricane Zion Park Area in Hurricane, Utah, is 16.5 miles from Zion National Park, but is also 6 miles from Quail Lake State Park and 14 miles from Discovery Dinosaur Site. The hotel has an outdoor pool and hot tub, open from February to October. Rooms have 39-inch flat-screen televisions with satellite programming, free Wi-Fi, mini fridges and microwaves, and some have tables and chairs. Restaurants and bars are nearby, and the hotel provides a continental breakfast for a fee. Some upscale rooms come with free breakfast.
Best Western Plus Zion West Hotel in La Verkin, Utah, is 15 miles from Zion National Park, 8 miles from Quail Lake State Park, and 16 miles from Discovery Dinosaur Suite. It's near shopping areas and has an outdoor pool. Rooms feature pillowtop beds, refrigerators, microwaves, flat-screen TV with cable programming, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel serves a free full breakfast and has a 24-hour business center and laundry/dry cleaning services.