Last Updated on September 1, 2022
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Our family had never been to Zion, nor had we ever been glamping. So, we decided that if we were going to take a summer road trip to visit some of Utah’s stunning national parks and other picturesque areas of the state, we’d do it differently this time around and try out glamping in Utah. And we’re glad we did.
Glamping is a term used to describe a glamorous form of camping. This is usually done in a tent or yurt providing more amenities than the typical ‘roughing it’ camping experience. Which is precisely why we booked our stay at Zion Glamping Adventures, located in Hildale, Utah.
The property is only 45 minutes from the entrance of Zion National Park, but we absolutely loved the location as it also offers nearby small-town convenience, stunning topography, and lots of outdoor adventure. In addition, the drive to the national park itself is extremely scenic and memorable.
The Utah Glamping Experience
Zion Glamping Adventures describes the experience as a perfect blend of adventure and comfort, and that describes it to a T.
As we exited the paved highway and turned onto a curvy but groomed and secluded dirt road at dusk, the multi-leveled tents of the property set against the picturesque mountains came into view. There is no check-in area, rather a grizzled pioneer-appearing gentleman with a long beard named Bill there to welcome us.
After giving us a quick introduction how they do glamping in Utah, he pointed out our assigned tent that would house our group of four adults for a two-night stay.
Options for Glamping in Utah
Zion Glamping features one and two-queen bed tall and sturdy tents perched throughout the property at varied elevations. Each tent/campsite includes soft comfy bedding, bath towels, table and chairs with a lantern, daily housekeeping, an outdoor fire pit, outdoor seating, and a picnic table. Some single units also include a small sofa. The tent floor is well-cushioned, and a small wooden decking fronts the tent’s entrance.
Each tent is equipped with air conditioning and heat if needed. Facilities located in the main area include both indoor and outdoor showers and private bathrooms. Because the 20-some campsites are well-spaced throughout the property, there’s a sense of personal space and total privacy.
Barbeque grills and grilling accessories are available for use, though guests will need to bring their own coolers, food, plates, cups, and silverware. This part of it is really like the true-blue camping experience but with comfortable beds to sleep in lieu of really roughing it. For those who in need of extra grocery or personal items, a lovely, well-stocked grocery store is only a 15-minute ride from the campground.
We enjoyed our own planned steak, baked potato, corn-on-the-cob dinner followed by an evening around the campfire enjoying the ambience of the surrounding wilderness.
During our stay, a pancake breakfast was also included along with an evening S’mores get-together for camping guests.
Benefits of Glamping Near Zion
Whatever you think the average age of glampers is, you might be very surprised, as even during our stay, there were groups of college kids, young and middle-aged couples, as well as seniors. Everyone was friendly, engaging, sharing information about the area and national parks. And no worries aboutlate partyers as it seemed everyone was exhausted from their day exploring the park or meandering the area’s numerous hiking trails.
Service animals are welcome at no charge, but there is an additional fee for your non-service Fido family member.
Some of the Best Stargazing in Utah
Minimal lighting is used on property, making it a great place for stargazing in Utah. Pathways are lit by small solar lights scattered throughout the campground. This low-lighting atmosphere allows guests to fully enjoy the awe-inspiring night sky.
All of Utah’s five national parks, plus 19 other sites around the state, have been recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as places where human-made light sources are at their minimum. Knowing this in advance our son brought along his telescope, allowing us spectacular viewing of the planets. Even with no telescope, it felt as though the Big and Little Dippers and layers upon layers of stars were almost within reaching distance.
Getting up at 4:30 am and stepping just outside our tent the first morning, we were able to see Saturn and its rings, Jupiter and its moons, along with Mars, and Venus through the lens of the telescope. It was completely still and quiet except for an occasional distant yipping of coyotes and caterwauling of wild cats.
Exploring Zion National Park
Zion Glamping Adventures offers guided hiking, horseback riding, jeep and cattle drive tours though guests are more than welcome to explore areas like Water Canyon Trailhead on their own.
But we were in Utah for the show-stopper experience- Zion National Park. Zion is located in Southwestern Utah near the town of Springdale (not to be confused with Hildale). Though the park is open year-round, summer is the busiest season. Get to the park early to ride the shuttle that stops at some of the most scenic vistas to hike or gaze in awe at Mother Nature’s finest gifts.
It’s almost impossible to describe Zion’s towering sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant bluebird sky, or the vast wilderness surrounding narrow slot canyons. It’s so magnificent, it takes your breath away. Zion resembles a spectacular movie set, only this is the real deal.
Some of the must-sees here include the Temple of Sinawava accessed by the easy Riverside Walk and The Virgin River Narrows. The Zion Lodge stop offers visitors a chance to explore the historic property or head out for a moderate hike to the Emerald Pools.
A few suggested adventures in Zion:
- Peek-a-boo slot canyon UTV tour of Zion
- Hike the narrows in Zion with a private guide
- Sandboarding UTV adventure in Zion
- Stargazing in Zion
If you really want to see Zion in all its glory, plan for at least a two-day visit. Word of warning, however. This is not a one-time visit park. You’ll want to come back for more.
Final Thoughts on Glamping in Utah Near Zion
As we loaded up the SUV to head back on the road to our other planned Utah adventures, we talked about our glamping experience.
Experiential travel is a trending authentic way to connect with nature. Together, the experience is about stepping off the beaten path, walking away from superficial tourist activities and embracing an immersive cultural environment.
It felt pure, wholesome, and a throwback to simpler times, especially during childhood. But it also gave us some laughs, jokes about ‘roughing it’ as older adults who need some creature comforts. But most importantly, it gave us memories we’ll always have of this unique shared summer road trip experience.