Zion National Park lives up to its rating. This has to be one of the beautiful places in Western United States. The drive in from the Eastern entrance is simply incredible and full of epic photo ops. Zion reminds me of Yosemite Valley in some ways. The park is located near some large population areas in Southwest Utah and Nevada. So it can get very crowded at times, especially give the limited capacity of the roadways and parking. So you will need to plan your visit carefully.
The campground is easily accessible and located along the shuttle routes. The campground views are some of the best we have seen during our travels. The facilities are very good and hiking trails runs through the camp. Like many National Parks, you will not have much privacy at your site but the views and the hikes more than make up for it. The focus here is tent camping but you can park a small van or camper in many of the sites. The visitor center and park staff were outstanding. We also enjoyed the diversity of visitors from around the world. It’s clear Zion and Southern Utah is on a lot of bucket lists. This camp is very popular and full most of the year. So you will need reservations and a plan to beat the traffic coming into the park. We are planning to come back and spend more time in this beautiful place.
Very cool canyon and river. Even though it may be hot outside it will always be cold in the shade.
South campground is located within Zion National Park. The campground used to be first come, first serve but is now reservable, with sites opening on a rolling basis two weeks in advance. This is great for a semi-spontaneous trip at a busy time of year - a little advance planning, but your site doesn't have to be booked months in advance.
The campground is best suited for tents and smaller trailers/RVs/van setups… larger rigs should seek out Watchman campground next door.
This is a National Park campground. The sites are pretty close together, amenities are minimal, and it is busy. The convenience of staying in the park and walking to the shuttle is worth it; at least you eliminate parking and waiting to get into the park.
The campground has bathrooms (reasonably clean), drinking water, and dumpsters for trash. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Some sites are tent only, and you have to walk your tent and gear into the site. I highly recommend checking out the campsite photos online to see which sites would work best for your equipment, especially if you have a camper or van. Not all of the parking pads for the sites are level.
We stayed at site 13 on our first night (close to the road) and site 82 for two nights. Site 82 is a great site, level parking area and right off the Pa'rus trail (paved walking trail that leads to a shuttle stop and the visitor's center). If you don't like the thought of people walking or biking by your site frequently, sites along the path might not be for you - it didn't bother us at all. There was a path to the river right across from our site as well, which was a nice place to relax. The views were outstanding! We walked to Zion Brewery for a beer and to Zion Outfitters for a shower before flying home. Showers were $4 for 5 minutes and were pretty nice. It is a decent walk over there (past the visitor center and over the bridge into Springdale - I think it was close to a mile from our site).
As a ranger for the Dyrt, I am lucky to get to test products from time to time. At this campground I tested the Trekz Air Headphones by Aftershokz.
I LOVE these headphones. I had been in the market for a wireless pair after upgrading my phone and gps watch. I rarely use headphones, mostly because in-ear headphones tend to irritate my ears, and I find them distracting when I'm running, etc. I had been looking at these when I was offered the chance to test them out, what great luck!
These headphones work by using bone conduction technology. Instead of ear buds obstructing your ear canal, the headphones rest in front of your ears and the sound is conducted through the bone. The result is good sound quality without losing sense of your surroundings. There is a pair of soft earplugs included; using these eliminates the ambient surrounding noise and makes the headphone sound louder and more isolated.
The headphones are very lightweight and fit comfortably. I didn't feel them at all when running, and was able to wear them with a hat and sunglasses. I have long hair, and I was able to loop the back both over and under my braid/ponytail and it stayed put securely both ways. I used them for some running and hiking; the sound quality was excellent and I could easily hear and interact with people when I ran on the busy Pa'rus path in Zion; no getting startled by cyclists or faking a weird smile when someone says something to me as I run by… I could hear everything! I have not yet tested the limits of the battery life, but they stayed charged through a few hours of use on the trip and during a 2 hour movie on the flight home. The pairing instructions were easy to follow and I had them paired to my phone and my garmin in seconds. I can't recommend these enough!!
Plenty of hikes and places to just go visit. We of course had to do angels landing. The campsites are really nice and kept up. However if you want to camp in the actual park you have to reserve your spot months in advance for peak season. To any one that asks, we recommend this place.
Great location, river front, come early if you don’t have reservations. Stayed in a number of sites including the group site. No showers so bring your own, or you can pay for a shower in town.
You can check out my other reviews for Zion National Park. Make sure you don't get confused, there is only one south campground at Zion National Park. If you are looking for long term reservations then you need to camp at Watchman. if you can take the risk of a first come first serve campsite and you have missed your window for getting a site at Watchman, then take your chances, it is worth it. But get there early, before 7:00 a.m. The campground fills up quickly.
Zion is becoming more poular every year. Expect big crowds.
The views from the site were incredible and had access to one of the trails. Also right next to the visitors center to catch the shuttle. Campsites are very close together which made being right next to screaming kids a little unbearable. Our site was also on a slant which made use continually slide to one end of our tent all night. Overall it was convenient and a beautiful campsite.
The South Campground in Zion is less popular than the Watchman Campground. There seemed to be less RV's in South, which for me is always a plus. I visited at the very beginning of October and if was still very warm, the temperature never seemed to drop at night. All I needed to sleep was a blanket, and not even my sleeping bag.
Upon arrival, the campground hosts chose a spot for me based on the current availability. The challenge with camping in the park is that as soon as spots are empty they are taken so there is a constant turn over and you just take what you can get.
The sites themselves are not all the private but a conveniently located to bathrooms, water, and trash. Unfortunately I was placed right behind one of the bathrooms and the sites are such that people were walking through on their way to and from the bathrooms.
There is a river that runs along one side of the campground and if you're really lucky, you may get one of those sites. There are a few spots where you can access the river to relax or for a quick dip.
The Pa'rus trail runs through the campground which makes is easy to get to the Visitors Center and shuttle stop (roughly a 5 minute walk). The town of Springdale is not far away and easy to get to through the southern pedestrian entrance.
If you're looking for a hike and want to forego the shuttle lines and/or the crowds of Angles Landing (or maybe it just isn't your thing) I suggest the Watchman Trail that leaves from the Visitors Center.
To enter the South-Zion National Park camp grounds you have to go through the park entrance and the camp grounds are just behind the parks entrance. There is drinking water, flush-able toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, flat places for a tent, dump stations. There is not however, showers, shade which can get hot on 100 degree days, there is no power, the ground is too hard to stake down tents, no trees for hammocks, the bathroom have huge spiders and filthy, there are plenty of rocks to sleep on!
This is not the best camp site on the planet it is ok. It currently costs $35 to get into the Zion National Park and then it costs to camp at this site. With the amount of traffic this area gets and the amount of money flowing in they could put in a decent bathroom, one without bugs.
I have good news there are lots of trails for backpacking and biking. If you'd like to go for a stroll to shower there are showers a little less than a mile away that cost $15 for 12 minutes. They aren't wonderful but they get the job done. They are however also filthy! Thank goodness I had my Oofos Oolala flip flops on hand to save my feet from whatever nasty germs were living in the shower floor that was covered in hair. There are some great places to eat close by to this camp grounds and great coffee! If you need any souvenirs there are plenty of places to shop!
The South-Zion National Park campgrounds have a shuttle close by that drives guests to the trail for the well known, "Narrows". The shuttle comes with your park pass and is a hop on hop off transit. It is the easiest way to see some of Zions most precious wonders!
Close to popular trails
River runs next to camp
Close shopping and food
Places to throw away trash
Bad bathrooms (rather go outside) + small stalls
The camp grounds were adequate with picnic tables, electricity, cell reception, toilets, water and fire rings. The park provided buses that shuttle you all over the park and start at 6:30 am so you can get an early start hiking the narrows. It was beautiful and exhausting… my ankle still aches a bit but it was the most amazing and everyone is so into it. I will return