Holiday weekends, particularly during the summer months, tend to bring a surge of visitors to Southern Utah. Parks like Zion and Bryce Canyon often see their busiest weekends of the year around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. While this might mean more people on popular trails, the visitor center, or at overlooks, with a little pre-planning, it’s still possible to take advantage of a long weekend away from work or school and enjoy a fun adventure in the region’s national parks.

If you’re thinking about booking a stay at resorts near Utah national parks like Water Canyon Resort around a holiday, keep reading. We’re breaking down what you need to know to beat the crowds and make the most of your visit.

Stay Ouside of Springdale

It might be tempting to camp in Zion National Park or stay just outside the park in nearby Springdale. But on busy holiday weekends, this is a big mistake. Just like the national park, Springdale sees big crowds on and around holiday weekends. This not only means lots of traffic when traveling through town, but also waits and lines at restaurants and stores. 

While you will still need to drie through Springdale to get to Zion, choosing resorts near Utah national parks that are a bit further away is a great way to get away from the crowds and traffic. The best places to stay in Southern Utah are outside of the busy cities and towns popular with tourists.

Staying at Water Canyon Resort means that you’re just an hour from the entrance to Zion. You can get to the park early in the day to hit the trails before the crowds. Then, when you’re finished exploring, leave busy Springdale behind, and escape to the peace and quiet of Hildale, Utah. Relax in your cabin, dine in a local restaurant, and take in the quiet, stunning landscapes that surround you. If you have time, we recommend scheduling in a day or two of rest at the resort to help you reset. We even have our very own winery where you can enjoy a wine tour or tasting on your day off from hiking and exploring!

Keep Your Itinerary Light

Traffic on roadways, crowding on popular trails, and lines to get onto the shuttle will all vary from day to day during busy weeks and weekends at Zion. This can make it tough to plan out exactly how long it will take you to get from one trail or overlook to the next.

While planning out trips down to the minute helps ensure that you get to see as much as possible, this may not be an option during a holiday weekend. If you try to cram too much, you’ll likely end up disappointed when your plans have to change due to unexpected delays. Instead, its best to keep your itinerary light. You can always add in another hike if you get finished faster than you expected.

Take Advantage of Less Popular Trails

During Memorial Day weekend in years past, park rangers worked to alleviate the long lines that would form at the start of the trail to Angels Landing. Despite efforts, some years hikers were left waiting hours to start their hike.

In response to crowding and lines on the trail in recent years, the National Park Service implemented the Angels Landing Lottery system, which requires hikers to apply for a permit in one of two lotteries if they want to hike this trail.

If you do have your heart set on hiking Angels Landing during your visit, make sure that you don’t miss the window for the Seasonal Lottery. If you don’t get a permit, you can also apply to the Day-Before Lotery for a second chance.

Angels Landing isn’t the only trail that sometimes sees lines on busy weekends. To avoid finding yourself on a crowded trail, consider hiking some lesser-known options during your visit. Watchman Trail or Hidden Canyon Trail are two longer hikes with great views that don’t see the crowds that once flocked to Angels Landing.

Another great option is Hidden Canyon Trail. On this trail, you’ll start at the Weeping Rock trailhead and climb 1,000 feet in the air to the entrance to a “hanging” slot canyon. It’s equally as unique as Angels Landing, but if you hike early or late in the day, you may just have the trail all to yourself.

Water Canyon Resort is the best place to stay in Utah for hiking. Not only are you close to Zion, but there are also tons of other hiking trails and state parks nearby.

Visiting Resorts Near Utah National Parks During a Busy Weekend

There’s truly never a bad time to visit Zion National Park. From the beautiful spring blooms and warm summer days to seeing the park’s famous landmarks coated in snow or the trees at the higher altitudes changing color in the fall, the park offers incredible views all year long.

Unfortunately for those who hate crowds, the beauty of this park has also made it one of the most popular in the country. In fact, it ranks as the 4th most visited of all national parks. Many of these visitors make their way through Zion’s entrance gates during the summer months, beginning on the busiest weekend of the year, Memorial Day, and lasting through Labor Day. While holiday weekends see a serious uptick in numbers, on any fair-weather days from mid-May to late August, you can expect to encounter crowds.

That certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of your vacation time or your children’s summer break to visit the park. Instead, it simply means you’ll want to do a little pre-planning to ensure that you can still enjoy a fun trip and get to see and experience everything you’re dreaming of during your stay in resorts near Utah national parks.

Looking for the best cabins to stay in Utah for your holiday weekend getaway? Book your stay at Water Canyon Resort today!