If you've ever wanted to visit Zion National Park, and stay in Zion Canyon, now is the time to make that reservation. Zion Lodge officials say advance bookings for the summer are down, which is good news for travelers. Of course, what makes this opportunity particularly noteworthy is that this year marks Zion's 100th as a unit of the National Park System.
According to officials with Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the lodging concessionaire in Zion, a decline in the lodge’s advance reservations has created great opportunities throughout the summer.
“This is great news for the traveler who, like many of us, is just now getting around to actually making firm plans for that summer vacation,” says Trina L. Smith, regional general manager for Zion and Bryce Canyon Lodges.
Zion Canyon was designated Mukuntuweap National Monument July 31, 1909 by President William Howard Taft. On November 19, 1919 Congress added land to the monument and designated it Zion National Park.
For many Zion is one of the most gorgeous places in the National Park System. Sandstone monoliths and a tight slot canyon are what most stands out about Zion, and rightfully so. When you enter Zion Canyon your eyes can't help but be drawn to the Sentinel, the Three Patriarchs, and the Mountain of the Sun.
At canyon's end stands the Temple of Sinawava, the gateway to Zion's famous "Narrows," a slot canyon whose walls soar in places to 2,000 feet while embracing the Virgin River. Across from the Temple just to the south rests Angel's Landing, a lofty perch 5,990 feet above sea level that offers incredible views of Zion Canyon for those who manage the nerve and mountain goat ability to make it to the top.
As for the Zion Lodge, it was designed and built in 1925 under the direction of famed architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who was working at the time for the Union Pacific Railroad’s Utah Parks Company. While the original lodge burned in 1965, it was immediately rebuilt.
In 1990 the lodge was restored to its original form. With 81 rooms and 40 historic cabins, the lodge is situated on the east side of Zion Canyon and is an easy shuttle ride from the park’s world-famous hiking trails.
Along with the rooms and cabins, Zion Lodge operates a restaurant, café and gift shop. For reservations, visit this websiteor call 1-303-29-PARKS (1-303-297-2757) or toll-free at 1-888-29-PARKS (1-888-297-2757).