A TravelingMom reader wants to plan a family trip to Zion National Park in March. There’s a lot to consider – where to fly in, where to stay, how he can effectively use travel bonus points, and how to find the best deal. Stay in a cabin, hotel or camp? And what will the Zion weather be like?
Visiting Zion: Where to Stay?
A TravelingMom reader asks, “My kids and I decided to go to Zion National Park at the end of March. Would love any advice you might have on who could plan a trip for us, use my points, etc. We’ll probably fly in/out of Vegas (or at least I hear that’s what most folks do). Any suggestions? Especially if there is an agent who knows how to find great deals (understand we pay for that, but my gut says the savings could out weigh the costs!).”
Flying into Vegas is definitely the best bet, says Dia Adams, Travel Hack TravelingMom. “Use Autoslash to make sure you’re getting the best rental car rates,” says Dia. “Awardmapper.com will show you which points hotels are nearby, but honestly I don’t see any good values on points. For Zion lodging, I’d suggest a rental, maybe in nearby St. George. I’d try EndlessVacationRentals to start.”
Eric Jay Toll, a TravelingDad writer from Scottsdale, Ariz., says, “I agree with the flight into Vegas, although the drive from Salt Lake City is prettier. The closest town is Springdale, and in March, rates are very good. I’ve stayed for as low as $50 a night in the Best Western. In addition, the Zion Lodge is running some specials well into March. Sometimes staying at historic park lodges is worth the extra cost.”
It’s also important to know the access road to the park, advises Eric. “U.S. 89, which goes to Zion, is primarily a two-lane highway. It’s a beautiful drive. Even though outlying lodging might be cheaper than staying in Springdale, you’ll pay the difference in time and fuel. The question is whether you want to deal with traffic after a long day at the park, or find a closer Zion hotel and spend that time in the park. I almost always opt for proximity to the park.”
Don’t Miss Bryce Canyon National Park
“Plan on sprinting up U.S. 89 to Bryce Canyon National Park. It should not be missed,” says Eric. “Many people feel it is actually more beautiful than Zion because more of it is accessible without a lot of back-country hiking. If you’re looking to hike, you’ll spend a lot of time hiking Zion to really see the best areas of the park. At Bryce Canyon, you can see more of the park from the overlooks. That’s a consideration for families with young children who may tire easily while hiking Zion.”
“Remember, even in March, this is high desert. Carry lots of water, not soda or sugared drinks. Drink at least 3/4 of a liter for each hour of activity, children about 1/2 a liter per hour. And wear good supporting shoes for hiking into back country.”
TravelingMoms also suggest checking the Zion weather – it could be chilly in March, so be sure you’re prepared and dress in layers!