Our campsite on the river at Zion Canyon Campground
We had some different needs this week than we normally do when picking out a place to stay. While we prefer to boondock (or dry camp), this week we stayed in two RV parks. However, we did spend a couple hours driving around checking out boondocking sites for future reference. 😉 These places are all close to the West Entrance to Zion.
Let’s start with the RV Parks. We stayed at Zion River Resort
and Zion Canyon Campground
. Both were fairly clean and typical of a basic RV park aka the sites are rather close together. Here are the differences:
Zion River Resort
has a heated pool, laundry area, and path to walk along the Virgin River. We paid extra for a river site, BUT it had NO view of the river…just a wall of rocks (yes, I was extremely disappointed). It is about 14 miles to the entrance of Zion National Park. We had little or no cell reception with Verizon and T-Mobile. Their WiFi was mostly down while we were there. When it was working, it was decent.
Zion Canyon Campground
will not guarantee you a river front site, but you can request one and we got one!! Yay!! The river front sites only have water and electric. The campgrounds are a bit more rustic than Zion River Resort. The entrance to Zion National Park is about a mile away and you can walk to most of Springdale. The one surprise here was when one of those Rotel
(Rolling Hotel) buses showed up. They parked the bus next to the bathroom and it was hard to get into the bathrooms or showers without waiting and after they left there was no toilet paper left and the bathrooms needed cleaning. The people from the bus also would walk onto our campsite to look at the river. Thankfully, they were just there one night. As for cell reception, it varied, but overall it was rather good…2 bars of LTE on Verizon and 4G T-Mobile. During the day the Wifi was enough to work, at least most of the time. At nights, like most busy RV parks, you can forgot about trying to use it.
For me, even though I love heated pools, if I came back to stay at an RV park in the area, I’d go with Zion Canyon Campground. It cost less, has river views, better cell reception and Internet, is walking distance to town, and super close to Zion. Oh, and I forgot to mention the amazing canyon views!
Zion Canyon Camground
Now for the boondocking…
La Verkin Overlook Road
~ We found this by accident. We were on a mission to take pictures of the sunset and ended up here. Only to discover tents and RVs at various places off the road. Most sites have 180-360 degree views! It was difficult to find very much information about this area online, perhaps you’ll have better luck than I did. I believe it is land trust land. There are at least five areas you could park RVs well and even more places for tents. Two of the areas are large enough a big RV or two or three could park. Did I mention the views?! Good Verizon cell signal, too! The Maverick in La Verkin has free dumping and water. This camping area is about 20 minutes to the entrance of Zion. I plan on coming back here someday!
Sunset from La Verkin Overlook Road
Kolob Terrace Road
~ Lots of tents and smaller RVs. About 2 miles up the Kolob Terrace Road, you will see a camping area with a sign saying “use by donation.” We also saw people camping other areas off this road.
Disclaimer: This is only based on the few places we have stayed and personally visited. Please check websites like Campendium.com
to see if details have changed before you attempt to camp at the “free” sites. Also, always check the weather and road conditions!