We spent an amazing month exploring the Mighty Five National Parks in Utah with kids. The competition was fierce, but our family visit to Zion National Park may very well be the highlight of our entire trip.
Zion National Park in southwestern Utah is the crown jewel of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks. The red-rock wonderland created by wind, water, and snow experiences more than 300 days of sunshine and is famed for its 35+ hiking trails and iconic views.
The impressive cliff-and-canyon landscape here is full of the unexpected. It’s a great place to visit for families, especially those who love outdoor activities, such as hiking! Some visitors to Zion National Park may prefer to rough it and go camping, but those traveling to Zion with kids might prefer a little more comfort. If you are wondering where to stay in Zion National Park with kids, read on to learn about the top kid-friendly hotels in this Utah wonderland.
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Where to Stay in Zion National Park with Kids
1. Zion National Park Lodge
Simple, rustic, and tranquil, this iconic lodge is the only lodging inside Zion National Park and is the perfect place to unwind from the hustle of city life.
Guests of the Zion National Park Lodge can stay at historic cabins that include a gas log fireplace and a private porch from which you can watch the wildlife graze at night. Bigger families can choose a cabin with two double beds, while parents with one little hiker can pick from cabins with a single queen bed. Children (under age 16) can share a room with their parents for free if no additional bedding is needed.
If the cabin life is not for your children, book a cozy hotel room with modern amenities like a 37-inch flat-screen TV with satellite reception for keeping the kids occupied. This can be a real lifesaver as the internet connectivity in the area is extremely spotty.
The Zion National Park Lodge also provides disability-friendly cabins and hotel rooms with a roll-in shower. Just keep in mind that the lodge comes equipped only with stairs, which means visitors need to call ahead to ask the staff about ADA-compliant rooms and accessibility before making bookings.
Aside from magnificent views, the lodge also serves delicious food like pecan-crusted trout at the Red Rock Grill or cinnamon buns, hot dogs, burgers, and even beers for the adults at Castle Dome Café. Want to pack in a nice meal before a morning hike? Opt for the affordable breakfast buffet at Red Rock Grill.
A transport shuttle functions within the national park from spring to fall, but renting a bike can be a lot more fun when with kids. Lodgers are allowed to drive straight to the Lodge using the red permit, which means you don’t have to bank on the shuttles at the Visitor Center.
Because of its direct access to Zion National Park, the many hiking trails, and pristine nature preserves, Zion Lodge is an extremely popular choice. Reservations are made a whole year in advance via their online portal, so plan ahead and keep a close eye on the calendar. You don’t want to miss out on the winter special rates and packages!
We weren’t lucky enough to stay at the Zion National Park Lodge, but we did enjoy a fun picnic under a massive tree on the beautiful lawn of the hotel. We had just enjoyed a beautiful kid-friendly hike on the Grotto Trail, which is considered one of the best hikes in Zion for wildlife viewing.
2. Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection by Hilton
Located a mere 5 minutes from Zion Canyon, the Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection By Hilton is the closest family-friendly hotel to the entrance of Zion National Park. It’s so close that once you park your car, you might not need it again until you leave. This is is huge benefit, as during our family trip to Zion National Park we often found the Springdale shuttle buses to the park entrance were too full for additional passengers.
With rooms that offer gorgeous views of the canyons nestled atop the Virgin River, the verdant gardens, or the pools, your stay here promises the most iconic panoramic views. Just imagine spotting local wildlife from your private patio as you sip on a beverage after a day of hiking and exploring.
The free parking, WiFi, excellent concierge service, and plush beds make it the epitome of comfortable luxury. And those traveling with “free-spirited” kids will find the guest laundry to be a bargain. They even provide free soap and fabric softener!
Give your kids a break from the nature activities and let them splash around in one of the two heated outdoor pools, or let loose at the kid’s playground. Meanwhile, you and your spouse can soothe your sore muscles in a hot tub by the river or relax with a facial and a massage at the Five Petals Spa. The hotel also comes with a 24-hour fitness center for parents who want to squeeze in a quick workout.
The onsite restaurant, Anthera, offers glorious views of Zion National Park and a wide range of food options prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. Let your kids order from the special lunch and dinner menu catered to their taste buds. Make sure to look into the Breakfast Included Package for offers on family dining.
3. Flanigan’s Resort and Spa
With the quintessential park lodge ambiance, Flanigan’s Resort and Spa offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors. Book a fancy room or an elegant suite, or even your very own private villa if you don’t mind splurging for a memorable Zion family vacation. The villas come with individual patios that provide spectacular vistas of Zion National Park and fantastic opportunities to stargaze at night.
All rooms are fitted with a coffee machine to satiate parents who need the added caffeine boost, whereas the seating area can double as a place for kids to play. For an extra $10 each night, you can get a rollaway bed if you aren’t comfortable putting your kids up in a separate room. Cribs are included for free for children under five years of age.
Unwind after an adventurous day outdoors with a dip in the resort’s clean and refreshing pools. Packed with steaming jacuzzis, luxurious spa treatments, and vibrant salons, this is one of the top family hotels in Zion National Park.
When it’s time to feed those hungry tummies, head to the Spotted Dog for some farm-to-plate meals that feature pasta, salads, and entrées with seafood, meat, vegan and gluten-free options. Parents can wash down their meals with a drink or two from the restaurant’s extensive collection of wines, cocktails, and beers. Don’t forget to reserve a table in advance for indoor dining. Hotel guests get a 10 percent discount on breakfast and dinner services!
You can get to Zion National Park from the hotel in under 12 minutes by catching a free shuttle. However, if you are up for it, you and your family can cover this distance on foot in about the same time. We stayed across the street from Flanigan’s Resort and Spa and we walked to the park entrance almost every day.
You can even plan an additional day of fun with the help of the hotel’s sponsored activities in the Zion National Park area. Choose from professionally guided adventures like mountain biking, canyoneering, rock climbing, cycling, horseback riding, and so much more to satisfy the adrenaline junky in you.
4. Best Western Plus Zion Canyon Inn & Suites
Conveniently located by Springdale Shuttle Stop #4, this is one of Springdale’s most highly-rated family hotels. It’s so close to Zion National Park that you can bypass traffic in the morning by simply walking to the park entrance.
The rooms at the Best Western are comfy, clean, and spacious and come with their own patios to take in the stunning scenery. Those traveling with large families can request cribs and sofa beds or opt for the three-bedroom stay that can accommodate up to 8 guests.
The wide range of amenities, like the outdoor heated pool, 24-hour free exercise facilities, hot tub, laundromat, ice, and vending machines, make this a family favorite. If you’ve forgotten to pack any of your kids’ essentials, just stop by the convenience store on the hotel grounds and pick up what you need.
Don’t forget to make the most of the complimentary breakfast that comes with every booking. Fuel up for a day of hiking the Watchman Trail with kids with standards like eggs, bacon, sausage, muffins, waffles, bagels, juices, coffee, oatmeal, cereal, tea, and coffee.
5. La Quinta by Wyndham at Zion Park/Springdale
Worried about leaving your pet behind while you embark on your trip to Utah’s beautiful canyons? Then bring them along and book a stay at La Quinta, one of the best pet-friendly hotels in Zion National Park that offers unbeatable views of the surroundings. After all, a family vacation is one that includes everybody, and that includes your beloved pets!
Located no more than a mile from the park, the La Quinta hotel offers spacious, contemporary, and comfortable rooms to both humans and their pets (for an additional cost). Larger families should check out the family room with bunk beds that little ones will enjoy climbing up and down all day long.
When your kids tire of jumping on the beds, check out the seasonal outdoor pool and the hot tub against the backdrop of the exquisite mountains. Take advantage of the onsite fitness center if you prefer warming up instead of winding down. There’s even an easy-to-access laundry room with dryers – perfect for drying off after hiking the Lower Emerald Pool Trail with kids – one of our favorite family-friendly hiking trails in Zion National Park.
The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast with all the staples to satisfy even fussy eaters. Fill up on a large helping of eggs, sausage patties, potatoes, waffles, bagels, muffins, and bananas before you set out on your kid-friendly hike in Zion National Park.
6. Zion Glamping Adventures
When in Zion National Park, do as the campers do. We’re talking about combining the adventures of camping with upscale living comforts during your Zion National Park family vacation.
If you want to be outdoors but your kids aren’t used to camping, Zion Glamping Adventures is a fun way to introduce your kids to the wonders of sleeping under the stars. Set amidst the Canaan Mountain Wilderness, this unique and serene campsite even allows its guests to bring their four-legged friends along.
Choose from glamping tents situated at the base of the camp or above the hill, where you are sure to catch breathtaking views of Hildale and the sparkling night sky. The tents are spacious and clean and have comfy beds to sink into at the end of the day. You can make a request for an extra kid’s cot if needed. Fully equipped with anything you may need, even the bathrooms exude high living, with free toiletries, slippers, and bathrobes.
Head over to the community fire pits to toast marshmallows or have a BBQ night for a wholesome family experience. Complimentary breakfast is also provided, so indulge in hearty American fare on the sun terrace before setting out on the hiking trails.
Ultra-cozy accommodations are not all that Zion Glamping Adventures has to offer either! It also organizes guided tours, horse rides, and buggy tours that range from $80-$240 per person. Let the kids burn off some energy at the children’s play area on the campsite. With yard games, late-night activities, tetherball, and plenty more – this is a no-brainer if you want your tiny tots to witness a whole new side to vacationing!
If isolation is what you are after, Zion Glamping Adventures is a fun idea for your Utah family vacation. The isolation may result in some additional driving though, as it’s about an hour away from the Zion National Park entrance.
7. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Few family resorts meet expectations like the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Experience rural charm mixed with luxury living by staying at the resort’s Conestoga Wagons, camp in style in glamping tents, or let your little ones live out their Wild West fantasies in the Cowboy Cabins. The resort also offers RV camping and tents if you want to try some good old-fashioned camping in the woods.
Amenities like hot showers, wi-fi, and coin-operated laundry rooms are accessible to all visitors. In fact, you don’t need to bring anything more than you would if you went to a hotel. With amazing scenery and loads of activities at reasonable prices, staying at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort feels nothing short of magical, making the 30-min drive to Zion National Park worth it!
From canyoneering, off-roading, shooting, and horseback riding, to even enjoying yourself at a mini golf course, there’s never a dull moment at the resort. Try out assisted activities like bungee trampoline, gather the kids for a fun game of paintball, or get cozy under a blanket as you gaze up at stars in the night sky. When it’s time to cool off, take a dip in the two-tiered pool or unwind in the jacuzzis with your partner.
Treat your palettes to something new every day with the different on-site eatery options. For wholesome food made with locally sourced ingredients, try the family restaurant Ponderosa Eats, which even includes a special kid’s menu.
If a quick bite is what you want, Kiki Dee’s Taqueria food truck serves a range of Mexican delicacies that guests can’t stop raving about. In the summer, don’t forget to check out Ruth’s Country Dinner and savor a true American western dinner as The W Duo’s serenade your entire travel party.
8. Red Rock Inn Cottages
Modeled after old-school B&B cottages, this inn is nestled in the heart of Springdale and located about one mile from the Zion National Park entrance. The Springdale shuttle stop (stop #5) is also conveniently located just 50 yards from the property.
At Red Rock Inn Cottages, you’ll enjoy the privacy of your own cottage, which surrounds a cozy courtyard with a huge pecan tree, grass, and a fire pit area. Rooms are a blend of homely and elegant, with thoughtful little touches. For families of 5, The Angels Landing Suite is the ideal getaway with its own family room and full kitchen. With private baths, complimentary toiletries, and bathrobes, this is one of the top kid-friendly hotels in Zion National Park.
Known for its warm hospitality, this cute and quaint oasis is the place to be if you imagine yourself enjoying the feeling of sitting amongst the beautiful red rocks. Munch on free breakfast provided at Oscars, a local restaurant that’s a short walk away. And don’t forget to steal some time with your partner to enjoy the dreamy views of the rugged mountains from the 24-hour hot tub.
9. Cable Mountain Lodge
If you are still wondering where to stay in Zion National park with kids, nothing will impress you quite like the Cable Mountain Lodge.
Check out the premium suites that include luxuries like jetted soaker tubs and personal fireplaces, and wake up to a gorgeous view of sandstone ridges on the private outdoor decks. For a more affordable option, opt for the studio rooms that come with a microwave and refrigerator, and are just as comfortable.
Let kids splash about in the swimming pool while the adults catch some me time at the spa. There’s even a hot tub where you can soak your exhausted muscles after exploring the epic trails of Zion National Park, such as the Angels Landing Trail.
Situated right next to the banks of Virgin River, a stay here presents the perfect opportunity to have riverside grills with your loved ones at the picnic area. The resort provides picnic tables, grills, and lounge chairs, so all you have to bring are good vibes and the picnic fare.
But don’t worry if you forgot to pack some – the Zion Canyon Village is just a short walk away. Head to the market in the nearby area for quick snacks and supplies, or to the gift shop to pick up some souvenirs and take back a piece of this beautiful paradise with you!
Where We Stayed on Our Zion National Park Family Vacation
When we visited Zion National Park with our kids, we were a little shocked at the cost of the hotels in Springdale. As an active family, when we visit beautiful places like Zion National Park, we typically spend most of our days outdoors, enjoying the many kid-friendly hikes, so we don’t love spending a ton of money on a hotel room we are barely in.
Our solution was to go camping with our kids near Zion National Park. We got an incredibly beautiful camping spot right on the Virgin River at the Zion Canyon Campground. Right across the street from Flanagan’s Resort and Spa, we loved how close we were to the national park entrance, allowing us to skip the Springdale shuttle and walk instead.
While our kids loved the experience of camping near Zion National Park, and I loved how affordable it was, I recall thinking how nice it would have been to flop down on my comfy bed in a nice air conditioned hotel room after a long day of hiking.
If you are interested in camping near Zion National Park, I’d highly recommend the Zion Canyon Campground.
We hope that sharing our experiences will help you find the perfect accommodations for your Zion National Park family vacation.
Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.
When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip).