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AutoCamp Zion in the Winter: An Exciting Glamping Experience Like No Other


Imagine waking up in a cozy bed, surrounded by snow-draped mountains and the peaceful silence of winter. This isn’t a luxury ski resort—it’s AutoCamp Zion in the winter, a glamping experience that transforms the rugged beauty of Zion National Park into a serene winter retreat. As a lover of unique travel experiences, I ventured to AutoCamp Zion during the colder months to discover how luxury camping fares against the backdrop of Utah’s winter wonderland.

AutoCamp Overview

AutoCamp is synonymous with upscale outdoor lodging, and their Zion location is a testament to their commitment to blending luxury with nature. In winter, this fusion takes on a magical quality, offering a unique way to experience the park’s majestic beauty under a blanket of snow.

Autocamp Zion near entrance to Zion National Park

Getting to AutoCamp Zion

The major airports leading into AutoCamp Zion will be Las Vegas, NV or Salt Lake City, UT. We drove in from Los Angeles which took close to 7 hours with a stopover in Vegas for lunch. From Las Vegas to AutoCamp Zion it was about 2.5 hrs along I-15 through Mesquite and into St. George. The trip from Salt Lake City to AutoCamp Zion would take about 4.5 hrs spanning close to 300 miles along I-15 South.

Arrival and First Impressions

Situated near the majestic Zion National Park south entrance (12 miles west of Springdale), AutoCamp Zion is perfectly located for both tranquility and adventure. It was hard to find the AutoCamp sign off the freeway due to the lack of light pollution from the camp. As we entered the premise, we were struck by the sheer size of the campground! The check-in was a breeze, setting a relaxed and friendly tone for the stay.

Bungalows at Autocamp Zion

AutoCamp Zion Winter Accommodations

From chic Airstreams to cozy tents and cabins, AutoCamp Zion offers a variety of accommodations. We opted to stay in one of the custom-designed bungalows, equipped with modern amenities like a plush bed, private bathroom, fully-equipped kitchenette, WiFi with Apple TV and other streaming services found on Roku. The attention to detail in the design was impressive, merging functionality with a sleek, modern aesthetic. Our bungalow was ADA compliant which mean it had a large patio, outdoor propane fire pit and a bench seating area. Don’t worry there are 2 heaters in the bungalow to keep it warm at night which hit the mid 20’s F when we stayed late December.

Autocamp Zion in the Winter

The big hit of AutoCamp Zion is of course the Airstreams which line the entire property. The interior is well appointed for a 2 or 3 person family but it was going to be tight for the 4 of us plus 2 pets. The Airstream has similar amenities but no stove and a much smaller fridge. If you’re staying in the Airstream, you need to bring your own smokeless logs (they also sell them onsite for a heavy markup). The fire pit also doubles as the grill! The tents are not available in winter time probably due to lack of heating.

Autocamp Zion communal area

AutoCamp Zion Winter Activities and Amenities

Winter at AutoCamp Zion is far from dormant. The camp offers guided snowshoe tours, winter hiking advice, and evening gatherings around fire pits, perfect for sharing stories under the stars. The communal areas, though brisk, provided a wonderful space to connect with fellow winter adventurers. The pool wasn’t open in the winter time when we went in December because they couldn’t keep it heated.

Zion National Park in Winter

Zion National Park is a different world in winter. The snow-capped peaks and frozen waterfalls create a breathtaking landscape, ideal for photography, peaceful hikes, and snowshoeing. We thought that coming in late December it would be quieter with less people but when we arrived around 10am, the visitor center parking lots were completely full! We ended up driving up the scenic route and headed back down to the southern camp parking lot to walk on Pa’rus Trail.

Zion in the winter

The Narrows Zion in the Winter

We were able to get to the Visitor Center earlier the next day but it took us 2 hours standing in line before we could board the Zion shuttle bus to stop 9 – Temple of Sinawava. There is no actual temple and this stop is very popular as it leads to The Narrows. We did not do The Narrows in the winter because of our smaller children but there were many people that rented dry suits / waders from the local stores for $60 and hiked through the Virgin River. We opted for the Zion Narrows Riverside Walk Trail which was a paved 2 mile out and back.

The Emerald Pools Zion in the Winter

We then took the shuttle bus down to stop 6 – The Grotto and headed for the Emerald pools. The hike was easy but there were some steps. After 1.4 miles out from The Grotto you hit the Emerald pools which were very underwhelming. The middle pool was a small puddle and the upper a larger pond. It could have just been due to the winter season. Overall the hike had some beautiful spots for photos.

Kolob Canyon

Kolob Canyon, a lesser-known but equally stunning section of Zion National Park (30 minutes from AutoCamp Zion), is a hidden gem that captivates visitors with its majestic beauty. Tucked away in the park’s northwest corner, this area is renowned for its striking crimson canyons and towering cliffs, which are some of the tallest in the world. Kolob Canyon is a paradise for hikers and photographers alike, offering serene trails like the Timber Creek Overlook and the Taylor Creek Trail, each presenting breathtaking vistas and opportunities to witness the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

Unlike the main section of Zion, Kolob Canyon feels more secluded and tranquil, providing a peaceful escape into nature. Its unique landscape, characterized by narrow canyons and tall finger canyons, showcases the power of geological forces over millions of years, making it a fascinating destination for both nature enthusiasts and geology buffs.

Dining and Food Experience

Glamping is all about preparing your own meals and don’t expect the food options from AutoCamp Zion to fill you up. The store has basic things like snacks, various drink options. There’s a supermarket 10 minutes away in Toquerville before getting into AutoCamp Zion. We brought in all of our food that could easily be warmed up in the microwave or induction stove. Michelle prepared hotpot for us which was amazing on the cold winter nights. Nearby Springdale provides more hearty options, but several places close for the winter due to low season.

Overall Experience and Value for Money

AutoCamp Zion in the winter offers a unique, luxurious camping experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. The tranquility and beauty of Zion in the winter, combined with the comfort of AutoCamp’s facilities, provide excellent value, especially for those seeking a different kind of winter getaway. We found it peaceful and a great time to spend enjoying each other’s company. The smaller quarters were a test for all six of us but we survived and made some great memories along the way.

Winter in Zion view of the Virgin River

Pros and Cons of Winter Glamping at AutoCamp Zion


  • Unique, serene winter environment.
  • Luxurious and warm accommodations.
  • Exclusive access to a quieter side of Zion National Park.


  • Winter weather can be unpredictable.
  • Limited on-site dining options in the colder months.
  • Some popular trails may not be accessible due to weather conditions.

Lessons Learned From This Trip

  • The America the Beauty National Park pass expires 1 year from the month you purchase it! I thought it was based on calendar year doh!
  • Look at the shuttle schedule! I thought the shuttles ended in November but they actually run during the last week of December.
  • Pack enough food, there are no places to eat once you’re in Zion park except for Zion Lodge.
  • Bring a decent sized bag, for a family of 4, I think we should have brought a 35-40L sized bag to carry all the snacks. I had a 2L water bladder that we were able to refill along the way.
  • Zion National Park is not dog friendly at all, there’s only 1 trail Pa’rus that allows dogs on leashes. Many places we looked at were pet friendly like AutoCamp Zion but what’s the point if they have to stay back?


AutoCamp Zion in the winter is an extraordinary experience for those looking to merge adventure with comfort. The tranquility of Zion’s snowy landscape, combined with the warmth and luxury of AutoCamp’s accommodations, creates a winter getaway unlike any other. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest articles.

Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Zion National Park in Winter

1. What is the weather like in Zion during the winter?

  • Winter in Zion National Park typically brings cool and often wet conditions. Average high temperatures range from 50-60°F (10-16°C), while lows can drop below freezing. Snowfall is possible, particularly in higher elevations, but the valley floor may receive less snow.

2. Are the park’s facilities and roads open in winter?

  • Most roads in Zion are open year-round, including the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, weather permitting. However, some facilities, including campgrounds and visitor centers, may have reduced hours or be closed. It’s recommended to check the current conditions and availability before visiting.

3. What should I wear for a winter visit to Zion?

  • Dress in layers to adapt to changing conditions. Waterproof and insulated hiking boots, a warm coat, gloves, a hat, and moisture-wicking base layers are essential. If there’s snow or ice, consider traction devices for your boots.

4. Can I still hike in Zion during the winter?

  • Yes, many of Zion’s trails are open in winter. Popular winter hikes include the Riverside Walk and lower elevation trails. However, some trails, like Angels Landing, may be closed due to ice and snow hazards. Always check trail conditions and closures before setting out.

5. Is it necessary to use tire chains or four-wheel drive in winter?

  • While Zion’s main roads are plowed, tire chains or four-wheel drive may be required during and after snowstorms. Always check current road conditions and requirements before your visit.

6. Are ranger-led programs available in winter?

  • Ranger-led programs may be limited in winter compared to the peak season. Check the park’s visitor center or website for the schedule of any available programs during your visit.

7. How is wildlife viewing in Zion during winter?

  • Winter can be a great time for wildlife viewing, as animals like mule deer, bighorn sheep, and various bird species are still active. Animals may be more visible against the snowy backdrop, especially in the early morning and late afternoon.

8. Are camping and lodging available in Zion in winter?

  • Limited camping is available in the park during winter. The Watchman Campground is often open year-round, but reservations are recommended. Lodging is also available in nearby towns.

9. Is Zion crowded in winter?

  • Winter is one of the least crowded times to visit Zion, offering a more peaceful experience compared to the busy spring and fall seasons.

10. Are there any special safety concerns for winter visits?

  • Be prepared for slippery trail conditions, shorter daylight hours, and cold weather. Always tell someone your itinerary and check in with park rangers for the latest safety information.

Remember that conditions can change rapidly in winter, so it’s important to check the latest weather forecast and park conditions before and during your visit to Zion National Park.

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