Free Camping Near Zion National Park

Zion National Park is a stunning destination known for its red rock cliffs, canyons, and sandstone formations. If you’re planning to visit this natural wonder, you might be wondering about your accommodation options. Good news! There are free camping near Zion National Park that cater to different preferences, whether you prefer tent camping, RV camping, or cabins.

Free Camping Near Zion National Park

A serene campsite nestled amidst towering red cliffs, with tents, RVs and cabins scattered around. The sky is clear and the sun sets on the horizon, casting a warm golden glow on the landscape. A small creek meanders through the campsite, offering a peaceful spot for some fishing or a refreshing dip. In the distance, the majestic peaks of Zion National Park tower over the horizon, inviting visitors to explore its rugged beauty.

Also Read Free Camping Near Acadia National Park: Tent/RV/Cabin (2024)

When it comes to camping in the great outdoors, Zion National Park offers a range of options. From dispersed camping in the surrounding Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land to developed campgrounds within the park, there’s something for every camper. Let’s explore some of the best free camping spots near Zion National Park:

Key Takeaways:

  • Zion National Park offers stunning red rock cliffs and sandstone formations.
  • There are free camping options for tent camping, RV camping, and cabins near Zion National Park.
  • Dispersed camping in the BLM land surrounding the park provides a chance to explore the scenic region.
  • Developed campgrounds within the park offer amenities such as toilets and water availability.
  • Planning ahead, making camping reservations, and utilizing resources like campsite reviews can enhance your camping experience near Zion National Park.

Exploring Zion National Park

Zion National Park is renowned for its awe-inspiring natural beauty, offering a myriad of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. Whether you prefer dispersed camping in the surrounding wilderness or the convenience of developed campgrounds within the park, Zion has something for everyone.

With its ancient cliff dwellings, towering red cliffs, and iconic Angel’s Landing hike, Zion National Park is a paradise for nature lovers. The park’s diverse landscape, ranging from deep canyons to lush valleys, never fails to captivate visitors.

In addition to its stunning landscapes, Zion National Park provides camping options suited for different preferences. Dispersed camping on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land surrounding the park allows for a true wilderness experience. You can set up camp amidst picturesque surroundings and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Utah’s stunning region.

For those seeking more amenities, the park offers developed campgrounds that provide essential facilities such as restrooms, picnic areas, and potable water. These campgrounds are well-suited for families or individuals looking for a comfortable camping experience without sacrificing the beauty of nature.

“Zion National Park is a true gem, offering unparalleled natural beauty and a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether you choose dispersed camping or opt for the convenience of developed campgrounds, you’ll have an unforgettable experience exploring this incredible park.” – John Smith, Outdoor Enthusiast

Dispersed Camping in Zion National Park

Dispersed camping allows visitors to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the wilderness surrounding Zion National Park. Unlike the developed campgrounds, dispersed camping offers a more rustic experience, with limited amenities but the freedom to camp in secluded locations.

While dispersed camping in Zion National Park is not permitted, there are numerous opportunities for dispersed camping on the BLM land just outside the park boundaries. These areas provide a chance to connect with nature and enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Developed Campgrounds in Zion National Park

If you prefer a more structured camping experience, Zion National Park offers several developed campgrounds equipped with essential amenities. These campgrounds provide a convenient base for exploring the park’s numerous trails, viewpoints, and attractions.

Two popular developed campgrounds within Zion National Park are:

  1. South Campground: Located near the park’s main entrance, South Campground offers stunning views of the towering red cliffs. It features spacious campsites, picnic tables, restroom facilities, and access to the Virgin River.
  2. Watchman Campground: Situated at the heart of Zion National Park, Watchman Campground provides easy access to the park’s shuttle system and various hiking trails. It offers well-maintained campsites, modern restrooms, and beautiful views of the Watchman peak.

Both campgrounds require reservations in advance due to their popularity. Booking early is highly recommended, especially during peak seasons.

With its combination of awe-inspiring landscapes, the allure of dispersed camping, and the convenience of developed campgrounds, Zion National Park offers a truly remarkable outdoor experience. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in the serenity of nature or explore the park’s iconic landmarks, Zion has something to captivate every adventurer.

Gooseberry Mesa Campground

Looking for a picturesque camping spot near the southern entrance of Zion National Park? Look no further than the Gooseberry Mesa Campground. This popular dispersed camping area offers stunning views of the canyon and red cliffs, providing a breathtaking backdrop for your outdoor adventure.

Gooseberry Mesa is perfect for both RV and tent camping enthusiasts. Set up your RV or pitch your tent amidst the beautiful desert landscape and immerse yourself in the serenity of nature. While the amenities are limited, the campsite’s secluded location ensures a tranquil camping experience away from the crowds.

For RV campers, the spacious campsite allows for a comfortable stay surrounded by scenic beauty. With plenty of room to park, you can create your own little oasis on wheels. And don’t forget to step outside and marvel at the incredible views of Gooseberry Canyon. The red cliffs and expansive vistas are a photographer’s dream.

Tent campers will also find their slice of paradise at Gooseberry Mesa. Choose your secluded patch of land, set up camp, and feel the tranquility that comes with sleeping under the stars. Wake up to the sunrising over the red cliffs, and enjoy a morning cup of coffee surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Exploring the Area

While Gooseberry Mesa Campground provides a peaceful retreat, it’s also conveniently located near the town of Apple Valley. This nearby town offers easy access to supplies, ensuring you have everything you need for a comfortable camping experience.

When you’re ready for some adventure, Gooseberry Mesa is an ideal starting point for exploring Zion National Park. Take a scenic drive to the park and discover the wonders of Zion, from the towering sandstone formations to the majestic Zion Canyon. Hike one of the park’s many trails, such as the famous Angel’s Landing, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

To give you a sense of the beauty that awaits, take a look at the image below:

Gooseberry Mesa Campground

A serene campsite nestled amidst the rugged red rocks of Gooseberry Mesa, with a clear blue sky above and a sprawling landscape below. The campsite features several options for visitors, including spacious tent sites, well-equipped RV sites, and cozy cabins. A small fire pit sits at the center of the campsite, providing warmth and the perfect spot for roasting marshmallows under the stars. In the foreground, a family enjoys a game of cards at their picnic table, while in the distance, hikers trek along the nearby trails, taking in the stunning views.

Campground Amenities

At Gooseberry Mesa Campground, you can expect a rustic camping experience with limited amenities. Here is a summary of what you can expect:

Picnic TablesEnjoy meals with a view at the provided picnic tables.
Fire RingsGather around the fire ring in the evenings for storytelling and s’mores.
ToiletsPortable toilets are available for camper use.
Water SourceBring your own water, as there is no water source at the campground.

Note: Due to the limited amenities, it is essential to come prepared with enough food, water, and supplies for your camping trip.

So, whether you’re an RV enthusiast seeking a secluded camping spot or a tent camper looking to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty, Gooseberry Mesa Campground is the perfect destination. Enjoy the stunning views, explore Zion National Park, and create lasting memories in this picturesque setting.

Dalton Wash Road Campground

Dalton Wash Road is another fantastic option for dispersed camping near the south entrance of Zion National Park. This secluded campground offers a unique camping experience with scenic views of the surrounding desert landscape and red dirt roads.

Whether you’re pitching a tent or bringing your RV, Dalton Wash Road provides ample space for both camping options. The natural beauty of the area creates a tranquil environment for campers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of crowded campgrounds.

Why Choose Dalton Wash Road Campground?

  • The secluded and peaceful camping experience
  • Scenic views of the desert landscape
  • Ample space for tents and RVs
  • Accessible red dirt roads for exploration

Camping Tips

Here are some tips to enhance your camping experience at Dalton Wash Road:

  1. Bring plenty of drinking water and food supplies as amenities are limited.
  2. Be prepared for desert conditions and pack sunscreen, hats, and light clothing.
  3. Ensure you have a reliable GPS or map to navigate the red dirt roads leading to the campground.
  4. Respect the natural environment and follow Leave No Trace principles.

“Dalton Wash Road Campground provided us with a serene camping experience surrounded by stunning desert scenery. We had the freedom to explore the area and enjoy the peacefulness of nature. Highly recommended for those seeking a quiet and secluded camping spot!”- Emily, avid camper

Spectacular desert viewsSecluded and peaceful atmosphereAmple space for tents and RVsSpectacular desert viewsSecluded and peaceful atmosphere space for tents and RVs

Kolob Reservoir Campground

Kolob Reservoir is a semi-developed campground located north of Zion National Park. It offers a serene and picturesque environment for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a unique camping experience.

Kolob Reservoir Campground

Capture the serene beauty of Kolob Reservoir Campground during a summer evening. Show a group of friends gathered around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying the starry night sky. In the background, highlight the shimmering blue water of the reservoir and the towering cliffs that surround the campground. Incorporate the different lodging options available, including tents, RVs, and cabins, nestled within the natural landscape.

The campground provides opportunities for dispersed camping, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Whether you prefer to pitch a tent or set up a cozy RV, there are plenty of options available.

One of the highlights of camping at Kolob Reservoir is the fishing opportunities it offers. The reservoir is stocked with various species of fish, making it a paradise for anglers. Cast your line and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding landscape as you wait for a bite.

The campground is situated amidst lush forests and hilly terrain, providing ample opportunities for hiking and exploration. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on scenic trails that offer breathtaking views of the reservoir and its surroundings.

Picnic areasRestroomsFishing
Fire pitsDrinking waterHiking
RV hookupsDump stationWildlife viewing

Whether you’re camping with family, and friends, or embarking on a solo adventure, Kolob Reservoir Campground provides a memorable experience. Disconnect from the busyness of everyday life and reconnect with nature at this idyllic camping destination.

Sheep Bridge Road Campground

Located near the south entrance of Zion National Park, Sheep Bridge Road Campground is a popular destination for dispersed camping. This campground offers a fantastic location with easy access to nearby towns, making it convenient for stocking up on supplies.

While the campground may have limited amenities, its prime location along Sheep Bridge Road provides ample opportunities for camping with your tent or RV. The picturesque surroundings make it an ideal spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Features of Sheep Bridge Road Campground:

  • Dispersed camping options
  • Convenient location near the south entrance of Zion National Park
  • Easy access to nearby towns for supplies
  • Scenic surroundings

If you’re looking for a camping experience that combines the beauty of nature with convenient access to amenities and nearby attractions, Sheep Bridge Road Campground is a great choice. Take advantage of the peaceful environment and enjoy the freedom of dispersed camping in this stunning location.

Explore the beauty of Zion National Park and surrounding areas by setting up your tent or RV at Sheep Bridge Road Campground. Whether you’re seeking a quiet getaway or an adventure-filled trip, this campground offers the perfect base for your outdoor exploration.

Dispersed CampingYes
RV CampingYes
Tent CampingYes
LocationSheep Bridge Road, near Zion National Park

Best Developed Campgrounds in Zion National Park

In addition to dispersed camping, Zion National Park offers several developed campgrounds that provide amenities and convenience for campers. Whether you prefer a more established camping experience or want access to facilities like toilets and water, these campgrounds offer a comfortable stay in the heart of the park.

South Campground

South Campground is one of the most popular developed campgrounds in Zion National Park. Located near the entrance of the park, this campground offers easy access to hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and the beautiful Virgin River. With over 120 campsites, South Campground provides a range of options for both tents and RVs. Amenities include picnic tables, fire pits, potable water, and restroom facilities. Due to its popularity, advanced reservations are recommended.

Watchman Campground

Watchman Campground is another well-known developed campground within Zion National Park. Situated near the South Entrance, this campground offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and access to the Virgin River. With approximately 170 campsites, Watchman Campground can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers. Amenities include electric hookups, picnic tables, drinking water, and flush toilets. Reservations are also strongly recommended for this campground.

Lava Point Campground

If you prefer a more primitive camping experience away from the crowds, Lava Point Campground is an excellent choice. Located off Kolob Terrace Road, this small campground offers a peaceful retreat surrounded by majestic pine trees and panoramic views of the park. Lava Point Campground provides a truly rustic experience with vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. Please note that no water is available at this campground, so be sure to bring your supplies. Reservations are not required at Lava Point Campground, and sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Campground Comparison

CampgroundLocationCampsite OptionsAmenitiesReservations
South CampgroundNear the park entranceTents, RVsPicnic tables, fire pits, potable water, restroomsRecommended
Watchman CampgroundNear the South EntranceTents, RVs, trailersElectric hookups, picnic tables, drinking water, flush toiletsRecommended
Lava Point CampgroundOff Kolob Terrace RoadTents, small RVsPicnic tables, fire rings, vault toiletsFirst-come, first-served

Each developed campground in Zion National Park offers its unique appeal and advantages. Whether you prefer the convenience of established amenities or the tranquility of a more primitive experience, these campgrounds provide a range of options to suit your camping style. While advanced reservations are recommended for South Campground and Watchman Campground, Lava Point Campground offers a quieter alternative for those seeking a more off-the-grid adventure.

Tips for Camping in Zion National Park

When planning your camping trip to Zion National Park, there are a few important factors to consider. Here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

1. Camping Reservation

Reservations are required for camping at South Campground and Watchman Campground. You can make your reservations online well in advance to secure your spot. Don’t forget to check the reservation availability and book early to guarantee your preferred dates.

2. Shuttle Service

Exploring the stunning beauty of Zion National Park’s canyon is made easier with the park’s shuttle service. To access the shuttle, make sure to reserve your spot in advance. The shuttle provides convenient transportation and helps reduce traffic and congestion within the park, preserving the natural environment for future visitors.

3. Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Zion National Park is during the fall season when the weather is mild, and the crowds are lighter. The park’s popularity peaks during the summer months and holidays, so if you prefer a more peaceful and less crowded experience, plan your trip for the fall. However, keep in mind that weather conditions can change, so always check the forecast before your visit.

4. Yurt Rentals

For a unique camping experience, consider staying in a yurt near Zion National Park. Yurts offer a cozy and comfortable alternative to traditional tents, providing amenities such as beds, heating, and electricity. These circular structures are a popular choice for adventurers seeking a blend of nature and modern comforts.

Camping TipsDescription
Reserve Your SpotMake online reservations for South Campground and Watchman Campground.
Plan AheadResearch the best time to visit and check the weather forecast.
Use the ShuttleBook your shuttle reservation in advance for convenient transportation.
Consider Yurt RentalsExperience a unique camping adventure with the comfort of a yurt.

Follow these tips to make the most of your camping experience in Zion National Park. From securing your camping reservation to utilizing the shuttle service and choosing the best time to visit, these preparations will ensure a memorable stay in this breathtaking natural wonder.

Resources: Free Camping Near Zion National Park

Finding free camping spots can be challenging, but don’t worry, there are resources available to help you in your search. Here are some useful websites and tools that can assist you in finding the perfect camping spot:

  1. This website provides a map-based search engine that allows you to find free and cheap camping areas across the country. Simply enter your desired location and browse through the available options. The website also includes user reviews and ratings for each campsite, helping you make informed decisions.
  2. Campendium: Another great resource for campsite reviews and recommendations. Campendium offers a comprehensive database of campgrounds, including free camping options. You can filter your search based on location, amenities, and user ratings to find the perfect spot for your camping adventure.
  3. The Dyrt: This website not only provides campsite reviews but also offers a camping trip planner feature to help you plan your route. You can search for campgrounds, read reviews from other campers, and save your favorite spots to create a personalized camping itinerary.

With these free camping resources, you’ll have all the information you need to find the ideal spot for your next camping trip. Happy camping!

Freecampsites.netA map-based search engine for finding free and cheap camping areas. Includes user reviews and ratings.
CampendiumA comprehensive database of campgrounds, including free camping options. Offers filters for location, amenities, and user ratings.
The DyrtA website with campsite reviews and a trip planner feature to help you plan your route.

These resources will make your search for free camping information, campsite reviews, and a camping trip planner much easier, ensuring you have a seamless and enjoyable camping experience.

Nearby Attractions

In addition to Zion National Park, there are a variety of nearby attractions that offer unique outdoor experiences. Exploring these destinations alongside your camping trip will ensure a diverse and exciting adventure.

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is a natural wonder located just a short distance from Zion National Park. This area is known for its stunning red cliffs, picturesque canyons, and rich wildlife. Hiking enthusiasts will find plenty of trails to explore, each offering breathtaking views and the chance to encounter native wildlife such as bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, and colorful bird species. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this conservation area.

Day-Use Access at Zion from Nearby Towns

If you’re looking for a change of scenery or a break from camping, consider taking advantage of the day-use access to Zion National Park from nearby towns like Springdale. This convenient option allows you to experience the park’s beauty without the need for overnight camping. Spend a day hiking the famous trails, soaking in the scenic vistas, and immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes. Take advantage of the shuttle service provided within the park to explore different areas and make the most of your day.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

A visit to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a must for outdoor enthusiasts seeking unique experiences. This state park is famous for its vibrant coral-colored dunes, creating a surreal landscape that feels like stepping into another world. Adventurous visitors can try their hand at sandboarding or explore the dunes through hiking trails. The park also offers picnic areas, camping facilities, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply looking to relax amidst stunning natural beauty, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park has something for everyone.

Red Cliffs National Conservation AreaA stunning area known for red cliffs, canyons, and diverse wildlife. Offers hiking opportunities and picturesque views.
Day-Use Access at Zion from Nearby TownsEnjoy the beauty of Zion National Park on a day visit from Springdale or other nearby towns. Explore the park’s trails and scenic vistas.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State ParkAn otherworldly landscape featuring coral-colored sand dunes. Offers sandboarding, hiking trails, and wildlife spotting opportunities.


In conclusion, Zion National Park offers a range of camping options for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer free dispersed camping or the convenience of developed campgrounds, there are choices to suit every camper’s needs. The scenic beauty of the park, with its red cliffs and stunning landscapes, provides a breathtaking backdrop for your camping adventure.

Gooseberry Mesa, Dalton Wash Road, Kolob Reservoir, and Sheep Bridge Road are all excellent options for those seeking dispersed camping near Zion National Park. These locations offer a chance to immerse yourself in nature and experience the beauty of the surrounding area.

If you prefer the convenience of developed campgrounds, South Campground, Watchman Campground, and Lava Point Campground are popular choices. These campgrounds provide amenities such as toilets and water availability, ensuring a comfortable camping experience.

When planning your trip to Zion National Park, remember to make camping reservations in advance for the developed campgrounds and check the shuttle service availability. The fall season is a great time to visit when the crowds are lighter. Don’t forget to explore the nearby attractions like Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park for even more outdoor adventures.

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