Friday, March 4, 2016

Kennel Chills, Zion RV & Campground, Mount Carmel, Utah

My class B conversion van RV, Kennel, is parked in a camping spot at Zion RV & Campground in Mount Carmel, Utah, overlooking scenic Slickrock Country.

Kennel (the van) cooled his treads today at family-owned Zion RV & Campground, which is better than the National Park campgrounds, IMHO. Why?

First of all try getting a spot in Zion National Park without a reservation. I tried and failed! So Kennel, Coco, Tiarra, and I headed east into Utah’s Slickrock Country.

But just 3 miles east of the park entrance, we found *our* Zion. It’s beautiful, quiet, and price-competitive with the National Park. The tent campsites are nestled among shrubby trees, so you don’t feel elbow-to-elbow with other campers. There are also games, WiFi, showers, and laundry.* Across the street is a trading post with curios, souvenirs, a pizza parlor, and a demonstration blacksmith shop.

Best of all, there’s a whole lot fewer people on the east side of Zion National Park. The west entrance gets all the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas (and other) visitors coming off I-15. It’s an overdeveloped playground for the rich and richer. But this side of the park is kind of in the middle of nowhere – just the way I like it.

If you’re coming up here to stay awhile, and especially if you have kids with you, I think the campground is a better option than the National Park. It’s less busy, there’s more for the kids to do, and you’ve got showers, which you don’t get in the National Park – all for about the same price.

Zion RV & Campground is owned by the same family as Zion Mountain Ranch, a buffalo (American bison) ranch just up the street. The ranch has cabins and lodges, horseback trips into the National Park, and a restaurant that specializes in serving buffalo meat.

Here’s a recent review I found on YouTube:

* Note: Right now, they’re doing upgrades on the shower house. But the laundry and bathrooms work. The contractors will be done by “the season,” which I guess is end of April 2016 or so.

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