For visitors to Zion National Park, South Campground is an ideal place to stay. Reservations for South Campground are available 14 days ahead of arrival. Located near the parks south entrance, the campground is just a short walk from the main visitor center, the Zion Canyon Shuttle System and the adjacent town of Springdale. The canyon and most of the parks trails are only accessible by shuttle bus from approximately the end of February until the end of November each year. South Campground is open from approximately March 1st to the Monday after Thanksgiving in November. For reservations more than 14 days ahead of arrival, please check Watchman Campground which offers reservations six months ahead of arrival.
Zion is known for its dynamic geologic history. The South Campground and Amphitheater were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the early 1930s. The project was completed and opened to the public in the spring of 1935. The Virgin River, a narrow but powerful river that has carved out the canyon over time, runs adjacent to the site. Cottonwood trees surrounding the campsite turn golden in the fall. Although the campground is moderately forested, most of the campsites are in partial to full sun but visitors can cool off in the cold river when temperatures peak during summer. Be Advised: The months of April and May bring an unusual infestation of Tent Caterpillars, which fall from trees onto tents, tables, and unsuspecting campers and can make it quite uncomfortable to sit outside. The months of July and August in particular bring a higher concentration of ants in the campsites, which seem to come out especially after the monsoons, but are present all summer long. August and September bring meat eating yellowjackets. Insecticidal treatment by visitors is not permitted.
Hikers can access three trails directly from the facility: the Watchman Trail, a moderate trail that ascends the peak behind the campground; the Archeology Trail, which offers a light hike to an archeological site; and the Parus Trail, a paved walking and biking trail that runs alongside the river, and the only trail in the park that allows dogs. The Zion visitor center and the park shuttles are a short walk from the campground where additional hiking trails are available. Many popular rock climbing routes are within a short shuttle bus ride into the main canyon.
Flush toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, firepits and a dump station are provided at this facility. Four group sites are available that can accommodate RVs and tents. There are no hook-ups in this campground. Generators can be used during specific hours. Use of OHVs and ATVs is prohibited in Zion National Park.
The town of Springdale has shopping, art galleries, shower facilities, restaurants. equipment rental businesses, gas stations, markets, bike rentals, library and health clinic.
Day Use Area: Amphitheater
Sites are first come first serve and assigned randomly. Some of the sites looked amazing! We were able to fit all 3 tents with plenty of room. Plenty of overflow parking for extra cars. Our camp wad right next to everyone but there was shade and the other campers were either very friendly or kept to themselves. Bathrooms were clean. Walking distance to the first shuttle and a store to rent gear for the narrows!
The key to an enjoyable stay at this campground is to get here VERY EARLY. The campsite fills up before noon, and they don't start letting people in until 9am. However, you can start lining up (in your car) for a site as early as 7am, and I highly recommend getting here at 7am. Whenever a campsite is cleared, they let someone else in. A person with a clipboard will check you in and take payment, and they will send you to the newly open site. The campground is beautiful!! It is surrounded by giant rocky cliffs that glow in the sunlight, and you truly know you are somewhere spectacular. There are few trees in the campground, so it can get quite hot. However, there is a stream nearby that some people were swimming in. The tent sites are a decent size, though there isn't much space between campsites. We even had friendly deer visitors! There are also flush toilets, sinks, and water faucets available, but no showers. One of the best parts about this campground is its close proximity to the Visitor Center and park trams. We could walk from our tent to the Center in about five minutes, which made going in and out of the park so easy and stress-free! All in all, even though it's a crowded campground, it's views and convenience are unbeatable.
Great campground, but I could do without all the people. It's accessible to the park (obviously) so that is a definite perk! Just might go off season next time (if that even exists!)
Fun campground, beautiful scenery.
In a park like Zion that's so incredibly popular, I was pleasantly surprised by how perfect this campground is.
The location could not be better. You can easily walk to the visitor center for water, food, and shuttles. Heck, you can walk all the way into town it's so close!
The campsites generally have good shade. Sunrise and sunset in the canyon are both spectacular and well worth seeing. Once it's dark, you can see a band of the milky way over the canyon and thousands of stars.
NOTE: pretty high winds at night (hence the canyon). You MUST stake your tent. Maybe bring extra blankets.
Also, since this one's first come first served, get there early or expect to be dispersed camping outside of the canyon.
This campground has it all, water, access, hikes and best of all peace. The sites are spaced where you don't feel that you are on top of each other and for a tent camper that is great. The facility was clean and while I only spent one night here it's on my list to come back!
You're in walking distance of the shuttle station where shuttles take you into the canyon to enjoy hikes all day. You're also in walking distance of a trail that goes along side the river and if you walk South on that trail there's a deep enough spot where you can swim. And there's sand banks where you can lay out under the sun. There's also a rock you can jump off of into the river. As far as the campground goes it has everything you need. It has shade to keep you cool during the summer, and enough trees for a hammock. It has good views, through the trees, it has water, it has a camp host in case you need anything or if a neighbor is blasting music, which happened to me and the comhost just ask them to turn it off. Overall it's a great campsite.
My husband and I stayed 2 nights in the campground this April and it was perfect! We arrived around 10am on a Sunday and were able to get a spot next to the river without any difficulty. The views from our spot were fantastic! The sites are a little close to one another, but I've see worse. There is a nice paved running/biking/walking trail located right next to the river that makes for a lovely walk and I believe can be used to access the tour buses. Be mindful that Zion campgrounds don't have showers so be prepared to make other arrangements if you are staying for awhile. The first day it was in the mid 70's and was perfect. The second day, it poured and was 50 degrees and windy. Luckily, it began to rain after we packed up our stuff :) I read a lot of bad reviews about this campground, mainly the fact that there are no showers, however I thought that our site was well worth the $20 especially for it being a National Park! Most of our campgrounds here in WA cost that much and are worse!
The only thing that bummed me out about this campsite is that people will drive down on a Monday set up their stuff and then leave until the weekend so no one else can use it because they don't want to chance not getting it for the weekend. Other than that it's a great campsite. It's very similar to Watchman but if you don't plan your vacation out 6 months in advance all the watchman campsites are booked up than it becomes a game of chance trying to get one of these campsites.
I only spent one night here but I still prefer it to Watchman. The sites are spaced out more and it's a little further from the noise of the road and town. Keep in mind that the park service does not allow gathering of firewood so you are forced to buy it by the bundle in town for $7-$8 each. The wood sucks, we burned through at least 2 bundles in one night.