The Don’ts of Zion National Park RV Camping
Zion National Park is one of the most popular RV camping destinations in America. In fact, 4.3 million visitors travel to the park each year.
Amazing hiking trails, scenic campgrounds and easy access are just a few reasons Zion is a bucket list trip for many.
However, not every trip to Zion is epic. We’ve been multiple times and learned a few lessons the hard way.
Today we’re sharing 7 Don’ts of Zion National Park RV camping.
Let’s dive in!
Don’t Stay at an RV Park
Zion Nation Park is a busy place! Additionally, there’s only one entrance to the main visitor center.
If you camp at an off-site RV park you’ll have to wait in long car lines when entering.
The onsite campgrounds are within walking distance to the visitor center (which gives you access to the park shuttle). Camping onsite will save you precious time each day – you’ll be able to beat the crowds.
South Campground and Watchman Campground are the two spots near the action. Here’s our Ultimate Zion Campground Resource.
Don’t Arrive Without Groceries
Zion Nation Park isn’t close to any large grocery stores. You’ll want to arrive with your RV stocked with groceries.
There are a few independent grocers in Springdale (the nearest town). However, if you’re camping inside the park, it’ll be a burden to make the trip to town to buy high-priced supplies.
Make it a point to stock up before you head out!
Don’t Forget The Free Camping
While we don’t recommend camping at on off-site RV park, we highly recommend giving the nearby free camping a try.
Within 10 miles of the National Park entrance you’ll have many boondocking options. The best free campsite is North Creek BLM. It’s only 5 minutes from the park entrance and the sites are tucked underneath shade trees beside a small creek.
Keep in mind, North Creek BLM is only accessible with smaller RVs and trailers. You can find all of the free camping options in our Ultimate Zion Campground Resource.
Don’t Hike Angel’s Landing Unprepared
Angel’s Landing is one of the most popular hikes in the USA. However, this 5 mile trail has an 1,488 elevation change, 21 switch backs and steep climbs where chains are essential.
In fact, multiple people have died and many needed rescue on Angel’s Landing trail. If you haven’t hiked in a while, think twice before attempting this trail.
Don’t let this scare you – just use it as motivation to be prepared.
Know your limits. Carry extra water. Have snacks in your back pack.
Don’t Forget The Lodge at Zion
If you don’t have an RV, or want to try something different, check out the Lodge at Zion.
The lodge offers hotel rooms, suites for families and rustic cabins. There are also two restaurants on the property. It’s not the most economical option, but it will provide a unique experience.
A recent Google reviewer says, “I think the lodge is very expensive – however, if you have the ability to afford it then you should definitely stay inside the park. There is nothing like waking up in Zion and being able to walk to Angel’s Landing hike”
Don’t Begin Without RV Routing
On your way to the Zion National Park you’ll drive on some remote roads. We always use a RV specific GPS router on travel days. Don’t be caught without one!
RV Trip Wizard lets us insert our RV specs & travel preferences (tolls, elevation, speed, etc…) and then it creates a RV safe route.
This way we never come across a low hanging bridge or a too-steep mountain.
Zion is fairly easy to access from the south. If you’re coming from the north, we highly recommend RV specific trip routing.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Make Your Campsite Reservation
As you can imagine, the two main campsites at Zion National Park fill up quickly. Book them online as quickly as possible to guarantee your spot.
If there are no spots left at either campground you can give the boondocking (aka free camping) a try. These free BLM campsites never require reservations and usually have room available.
The Best Free Camping in America
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.
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