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Old 02-26-2015, 09:21 PM   #1
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Zion & Bryce Campground Tips

We are 56 days into our first "snowbird adventure". We have spent most of Jan-Feb in AZ and CA but heading back to AZ ( west side then north) into NV and southern Utah. Any expert "tips" would be greatly appreciated. We have travelled thus far without reservations and moving with the weather to stay warm and dry. We expect to be in southern Utah early- mid March before heading slowly back east.
Many thanks,

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Old 02-26-2015, 11:34 PM   #2
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Zion NP basically has 2 campgrounds: the Watchman CG offers revs, and sometimes you need them. We tried to get a 3-night res. for late March, and they were full up, so we booked in one of the RV parks in Springdale, the gateway community.

The South CG is first-come, first serve, but the trailer sites can fill up early. I've seen RVs lining up at the entrance at 9:00 am to bag the first vacated sites.

(The primitive CG at Lava Point is probably still snowed in-- although the Utahns on this forum should have an update on how dry it's been in their part of the West.)

You can try to book the Watchman CG on-line or by calling the 1-800 number on the ZNP website. Campgrounds in Zion - Zion National Park (U.S. National Park Service) Sometimes they have cancellations, but they are awfully popular in spring.

Early March is probably better than late March, so hopefully you'll get in with no troubles.

Bryce Canyon is stunningly beautiful, but also up very high in elevation. There can be snow throughout March. We've usually opted to stay at Ruby's Inn, just outside the park, with the luxury of hookups and nicely wooded sites.Ruby's Inn Bryce Canyon Lodging | Lodging in Bryce Canyon

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Old 02-27-2015, 07:02 AM   #3
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If you are into dogs or animals at all I would suggest a stop at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, UT. They have two full service concrete pad sites on 3,000 + acres they own and rescue almost any kind of animal. Largest no-kill rescue in the world. My wife and I stayed there this past fall for a week and loved it. Not sure when the sites open in the spring. Of seven nights we had the place to ourselves for 4 of the nights, NO LIGHTS at all.


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Old 02-27-2015, 07:26 AM   #4
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Following this Thread..thinking about going in April/May
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:37 AM   #5
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I've planned a trip to North Rim Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce in early June. I monitored the reserve sites at North Rim Campground, Watchman and Bryce prior to my 6 month window opening up and was able to reserve at all three when my days opened up. Looks like Watchman in Zion is all booked up in March but there is South campground in the park that is first come first serve. Two loops on Watchman have electricity so I needed to book early to get one of those sites. Gotta keep my dog cool under the AC in June. There are private campgrounds outside the Zion Park and Bryce. Those are your best bets especially if you need hookups.

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Old 02-27-2015, 08:12 AM   #6
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I just looked at Ruby's near Bryce and their campground doesn't open until April.

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Old 02-27-2015, 08:53 AM   #7
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FYI I've camped at Ruby's in May and it went below 32. Totally unexpected, so the outside hose had ice in it, in the morning.

And there was snow on the ground.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:29 AM   #8
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If you can get into Walkman campground, Loops A or B, they are the best. They have electric hookups (not sewer or water though).

I've spent a week in each of the two loops and it is so nice to have electricity without having to run a generator. Our Airstream has a heat pump instead of a regular Air conditioner, so we are able to use it for heat (with their electricity) down to 40 degree outside temperature. One of the weeks we were their was this last October, the other the year before. Walkman has nice rest rooms, but does not have showers.

You do not want to show up earlier than your reservations though, as we showed up late the night before hoping to get a one night spot before our reservations, and got shooed away by security and had to back track some 20+ miles on windy roads to a WalMart for that night.
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:56 PM   #9
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Thanks for the post, we are planning the same area in May.
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:26 PM   #10
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:49 PM   #11
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We went to Bryce in 05 still had snow on the ground early June also snowed some one day. We where in our popup at the time glad it melted fast but the hodo's looked cool with snow on them.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:12 PM   #12
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We have stayed at Ferber Resorts in Springdale a number of times. It is a commercial RV place with hookups for $45 a night. The sites are level and it is just outside the park in the town of Springdale. It is walking distance to restaurants and stores.
Zion National Park Campground — Zion Canyon Campground and RV Resort — 479 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, UT, 84767 — (435) 772-3237

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Old 02-28-2015, 11:47 AM   #13
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There are other RV parks located near the major entrance to Bryce Canyon, but we've not stayed in them. The park is popular with x-c skiers and snowmobilers (on the main drive,) so hopefully at least one is open in early March. Panguitch, Utah bills itself as the gateway to Bryce, but it's not that close, and is a cold place this time of year. Try Tropic, Utah, which sits under the park. I believe the CG in the park is open all year, but this would likely be winter boondocking in early March.

Dogs generally are not permitted on trails in US national parks, with the exception of the Pa'rus trail in Zion NP (which is also wheel chair accessible.) There is a kennel in nearby Rockville, Utah, which has space for both day- and overnight boarders. We've not used them before but made a reservation for our dog for two nights for our upcoming trip:

Doggy Dude Ranch | Southern Utah's premier dog care facility with camp-like fun!

Zion's high season is probably from March through October. I know some Streamers prefer to take their chances, but this can be one busy park. It attracts many foreign visitors. And rightfully so. I'd go for revs. in the Watchman CG if you can get them.

We spent our honeymoon in Zion NP, and it is a very special place!
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:11 PM   #14
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I might also mention that if you plan to drive your AS through the Zion tunnel, you will need to pay a small fee to purchase a permit. Then rangers are posted at each end, to let one-way traffic go through at alternating intervals. The tunnel is well worth it, even if you're not planning to tow your AS that way! Amazing views through the windows.

Also, during the busy season, ZNP has shuttle buses to go up the canyon. These run often, early, and late. You will be required to leave your vehicle in the CG or visitor center.

Dinner at the lodge in the park is a nice experience. They require dinner reservations in advance when they're busy.

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