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The Ultimate Seattle to Southern Utah Road Trip

Seattle to Southern Utah

Planning a road trip to southern Utah conjures up images of jaw-dropping canyons, crimson-red spires, and towering sandstone arches. On this unforgettable adventure from Seattle to Utah, travel from the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest to the sweeping desert landscapes of the Southwest. 

Beginning from Seattle, this journey will lead you to vibrant cities, otherworldly monuments, and five spectacular national parks! Learn about hop production in Washington, enjoy a taste of the Basque Country in Boise, Idaho, and explore all of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks on this epic 12-day southern Utah road trip! 

Travel Time from Seattle to Southern Utah

This road trip spans over four state lines, beginning at Escape Camper Vans’ Seattle depot before crossing through Idaho, traversing the southwest state of Utah, and finally ending at our Las Vegas hub. Alternatively, you have the option to loop up to Escape Camper Vans’ Salt Lake City location, although this will add a few hours to your trip.

In total, this journey will cover approximately 1,704 miles and we recommend planning at least twelve days to make the most of your time on the road. This should be enough time to fully immerse yourself in the lush landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, as well as experience all the outdoor adventures that southern Utah has to offer.


Directions Tips:

Total Time: 12 days, driving approximately 27 hours
Total Miles: 1,704 miles

Best Time of Year for a Seattle to Utah Road Trip

Since this route passes through such a wide variety of climates and landscapes, it can be difficult to pin down the best season to embark on a Seattle to Utah road trip. However, the spring and fall offer the best overall conditions for each of the destinations that you’ll visit.  

Spring

The spring is a great time to drive from Seattle to southern Utah. While there’s a good chance you’ll run into some rain in the Pacific Northwest, the temperatures throughout your trip should be comfortable and great for hiking and other outdoor activities. However, this is high season for many of Utah’s national parks, so aim to reserve your campsites well in advance. 

Summer

While the summer is a great season to travel through Washington, many of the other destinations on this itinerary become incredibly hot during July and August. In southern Utah, the intense heat in the desert can make it particularly difficult to venture on long hikes or spend extended periods of time outside. The summer is also the busy season for Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, so campgrounds and popular trails tend to be quite crowded.

Fall

September and October can be great months to travel from Seattle to Utah. While this is another rainy season in Washington, you’ll find vibrant fall foliage in Boise. The Mighty Five parks also experience ideal temperatures in the fall, and the crowds tend to be less intense than the spring. 

Winter

In the winter, both Boise and Salt Lake City offer a plethora of opportunities for skiers to hit the slopes. In southern Utah, December through February tends to be an incredibly tranquil time to visit, as this is when all parks are at their least crowded. However, if twelve days of cold temperatures and snow showers aren’t what you had in mind, we recommend skipping this winter road trip and considering a journey along California’s Pacific Coast Highway instead. 

Preparation for a Seattle to Southern Utah Road Trip

With a variety of different states, landscapes, and altitudes involved in this road trip, a fair bit of advanced planning is essential. Make sure to gather all the gear you’ll need before your trip and book your campgrounds far in advance if you have your heart set on waking up inside any of the national parks.

Camping

Many of the campgrounds on this route fill up very quickly, especially those located inside Utah’s national parks. Since you can often book these sites up to six months in advance, planning ahead and making your reservations a few months before your trip is highly recommended. If you’re unable to find available sites or you’re setting off on a last minute adventure, look into the many dispersed, or free, camping sites throughout southern Utah.

Navigation

If you plan to use your Smartphone as your GPS, remember to download Offline Maps to navigate the more remote areas of this trip. You’ll also need to pack portable chargers, since you won’t be able to charge your phone when your camper van is turned off. 

As a backup, it’s a good idea to also grab paper maps of Utah’s national parks. These can help locate secluded campgrounds or off the beaten path trails in the parks.

Supplies

A person lighting a camp fire on a San Francisco road trip in an Escape Camper Van.

Escape Camper Vans’ extensive list of extra add-ons makes it easy to ensure that you have all the gear and supplies you’ll need before hitting the road. Grab a kitchen kit so you can easily prepare meals at your campsites, along with a bedding kit to keep warm during cool nights in the desert. To make sure you’re fully comfortable at campgrounds with minimal amenities, we recommend adding a solar shower, picnic table, and camp chairs. Since you’ll be visiting five different national parks, you’ll also want to add a national parks pass!

Food and Water

Before hitting the road, swing by a market near our Seattle hub to stock up on groceries for easy to make camper van meals and road trip snacks. Since you’ll encounter several remote campgrounds along this route, not having to stop for food everyday will be a big time saver. 

 

Likewise, have plenty of water in the van stocked throughout your trip. Not all of your campgrounds will have potable water, and you’ll definitely want to stay hydrated in Utah’s desert climate.

Which Camper Van is Best for a Seattle to Southern Utah Road Trip?

Escape Camper Vans offers an extensive range of camper van models to choose from, three of which are available from our Seattle depot. The Del Mar, Mavericks, and Mesa all feature handy kitchenettes and queen sized beds. While the Mavericks is slightly smaller than the other models, all three comfortably sleep up to five people when you add a rooftop sleeper. To determine which van is best suited for your trip, we recommend spending some time comparing the three models on our website.

Seattle to Southern Utah Itinerary Stops

Day 1: Seattle to Yakima, Washington

Your sojourn to southern Utah begins at Escape Camper Vans’ Seattle, Washington location. Make sure you have all the gear you’ll need to make the trek down south, and don’t forget to load up on plenty of road trip snacks!

Your first stop as you start heading south will be the Pacific Northwest city of Yakima, Washington. Celebrated for its rich agriculture, lush vineyards, and endless opportunities for outdoor excursions, Yakima Valley is the perfect place to kick off your road trip. Spend your day hiking Cowiche Canyon, or relax at a local brewery- as the largest hop producing region in the world, an ice-cold draft won’t be hard to find!

Things to do in Yakima, WA

Visit a Winery: Yakima Valley contains over ninety wineries, making it one of the premier wine regions in the Pacific Northwest. Stop by a local winery for a decadent tasting, or spend the day vineyard-hopping through wine country!

Go to a Brewery: If you’re not a fan of wine, you might prefer to tour the region’s endless breweries. Nearly 75% of the US’s hops are grown in Yakima Valley, and the area boasts the world’s only hop country craft beer trail.

Explore the Yakima River Canyon: Immerse yourself in Yakima’s stunning scenery by visiting the longest river that runs exclusively through Washington state. Spend the afternoon floating down the river, or explore the canyon in hopes of spotting bighorn sheep and other wildlife.

Places to Eat in Yakima, WA

Cowiche Canyon Kitchen & Ice House Bar: Hearty American dishes and delicious cocktails are served at this industrial-modern locale. All their meals are prepared from scratch every day, including their bread and pastries, which are freshly baked each morning.

Crafted: This husband and wife-owned, farm-to-table eatery prides itself in only using the freshest ingredients from local farmers and vendors. Their menu changes based on the season’s produce, and guests are encouraged to try out the “hand’s free” chef’s menu- an inventive tasting menu for the entire table to share.

Campgrounds in Yakima, WA

Yakima River Canyon Campgrounds: This network of four scenic campgrounds along the Yakima River Canyon makes for the perfect base when exploring Yakima Valley. All of the campgrounds operate year-round, and become first come, first served from October through April. Amenities include vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings, though none of the campsites provide hookups or potable water. 

Clover Flats Campground: This seasonal campsite is first come, first served and typically operates from May through September, depending on snowfall. Tucked away in a verdant forest, the charming campground provides picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets.

Day 2: Boise, Idaho

After an early breakfast at your campsite, head back on the road for the five and a half hour drive down to Boise, Idaho. Coined as the “City of Trees,” this urban metropolis isn’t lacking at all when it comes to stunning scenery. Flanked by looming mountains, powerful rivers, and verdant forests, Idaho’s capital offers plenty of activities for both city dwellers and nature lovers alike. Spend your day walking around the city’s lively downtown, go on a scenic hike, or immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the vibrant Basque Block.

Escape Camper Vans Mesa van parked beside a lake on the Pacific Coast Highway beside paddle boards and kayaks.

Things to do in Boise, ID

Hike to the Top of Table Rock: This 3.9-mile loop trail is the best way to take in a birds-eye-view of Boise’s expansive cityscape. The steep hike is considered mildly strenuous, and typically takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

The Basque Museum & Cultural Center: This fascinating museum is the best way to learn about Basque culture and history, as well as to gain a better understanding of how such a high population of Basque people came to live in Boise. After touring the museum, deepen your experience by taking a walk around the rest of the neighborhood, which is brimming with Basque murals and eateries.

Float Down the Boise River: In the summertime, floating down the serene Boise River is a must. Rent a tube at Barber Park, and then enjoy a refreshing six-mile ride while admiring the breathtaking scenery along the way. There is even a shuttle service that will take you back to your car when you reach the end.

Places to Eat in Boise, ID

The Basque Market: Boise is known for having the largest population of Basque Americans in the country, making a visit to a Basque restaurant practically mandatory during your stay. This charming market contains a small number of tables where you can enjoy authentic pintxos, along with other Basque delicacies.

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar Southern comfort food is served in a modern setting at this popular eatery, which is especially famous for its delicious fried chicken. The owners pride themselves in making each dish from scratch and utilizing sustainably sourced ingredients from local farmers and producers.

Campgrounds near Boise, ID

Macks Creek Park: Situated along the Boise River, this tranquil campground operates from May through September and reservations can be made up to six months in advance. While amenities are quite basic, the site features vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and beach access.

 

Willow Creek Campground: Located just outside of the city, this first come, first served campground runs from April through October. This no-fee site provides vault toilets, fire rings, and grills, and potable water.

Day 3: Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, Idaho

After a leisurely morning at your campsite, hop back on the road towards the otherworldly Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. Located only two hours and forty minutes away from Boise, visiting this expansive field of lava flow and sagebrush will feel like you’re walking on another planet. Hike among cinder cone trails, drive along the ethereal Loop Road, and trek through a Lava Tube cave. 

Since Craters of the Moon isn’t very big, you do have the option to make this a quick pit stop on the way down to Salt Lake City, rather than staying the night. However, if you have time, it’s worth sticking around just to witness the twinkling stars over an ocean of lava at this International Dark Sky Park!

Places to Eat near Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID

Pickle’s Place: This low-key diner is a definite favorite in the area, with an array of hearty meals on the menu for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In addition to their special “John’s Seasoning Spice,” their signature atomic burger is their most raved about dish.

CK’s Real Food: This sustainable eatery offers an elevated dining experience, along with a menu of only locally sourced produce. Tucked away in a lush garden, the restaurant’s owners are committed to recycling everything- from composting vegetables to giving their used cooking oil to a local science teacher.

Campgrounds near Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID

Lava Flow Campground: Wake up alongside a young lava flow at the only campground within the park. The incredibly unique site is first come, first served and the campground usually closes to vehicles from November through April. Amenities include potable water, food storage lockers, charcoal grills, and picnic tables.

Craters of the Moon KOA: If the Lava Flow Campground is full, try this nearby campground and RV resort, located just 19 miles away from Craters of the Moon. The year-round site can be reserved online, and features a laundry room, convenience store, and dump station.

Day 4: Salt Lake City, Utah

Take in one last glimpse of Crater of the Moon’s captivating lava flow, and then get ready to finally cross over into the Southwestern state of Utah. The drive to Salt Lake City will take approximately four hours, and it’s worth getting an early start so you can make the most of your time in Utah’s vibrant capital city. 

Similar to Boise, Salt Lake City strikes the perfect blend of outdoor recreation with urban excitement. Roam around the historic Temple Square, marvel at the impressive State Capitol building, or take a quick day trip to Great Salt Lake– located just twenty minutes outside of the city!

Two people sitting inside and escape camper van on a road trip through the hudson valley

Things to do in Salt Lake City, UT

Ensign Peak Trail: This gorgeous 0.9-mile hike is the perfect way to enjoy captivating views over Salt Lake City. Located just above the State Capitol building, this is a particularly popular choice for watching the sunset over the entire city.

Visit Antelope Island: Situated only 45 minutes away, the Great Salt Lake’s largest island makes the perfect day trip from the city. After driving over the causeway, take in the views while keeping an eye out for an abundance of wildlife. The island is home to nearly 700 bison, along with pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and coyotes!

Hit the Slopes: During the winter, Salt Lake City is renowned for its four premier ski resorts, along with several others located within an hour of the city. The season usually lasts from November until May, and all resorts offer a multitude of passes, rentals, and lessons.

Places to Eat in Salt Lake City, UT

The Pearl: This recent addition to the Salt Lake City culinary scene has quickly become a local favorite. Serving authentic Vietnamese dishes in a charming setting, this is a perfect go-to spot if you’re craving a mouthwatering bowl of pho!

Laziz Kitchen: Run by a husband and wife team, this Lebanese restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean cuisine along with an inviting ambiance. Both their lunch and dinner menus offer a wide variety of mezze and classic Lebanese dishes, as well as an extensive drinks menu.

Campgrounds near Salt Lake City, UT 

Spruces- Big Cottonwood Campground: Conveniently situated just outside of the city, this forested campground features several wonderful hiking trails nearby. The site operates from May through September, and is first come, first served from May through June. The facility provides flush toilets, campfire rings, picnic tables and potable water.

Redman Campground: Located in the same forest as Spruces- Big Cottonwood, this scenic campground sits at an elevation of 8,300 feet and provides stunning views, along with vault toilets, picnic tables, and campfire rings. The site is only open from June through September, and reservations are recommended.

Days 5-6: Moab, Utah

Enjoy an early breakfast in Salt Lake City, and then pack up your camper van and begin making your way down to southern Utah. After about three hours and forty minutes on the road, you’ll enter the desert city of Moab, famed for being the gateway to both Arches National Park and Canyonlands

Since two of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks are located in Moab, we suggest spending an extra night here. This way, you’ll have time to explore both national parks, as well as check out some of the other outdoor adventures in the area!

A man standing in the desert on a Denver road trip.

Things to do in Moab, UT

Visit Arches National Park: Known for containing over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, a visit to this park is often the main draw for many Moab visitors. Spend the day hiking to towering geological formations and feast your eyes on some of the world’s most impressive natural arches.

Visit Canyonlands National Park: Carved by the Colorado River, this is Utah’s largest national park and another obligatory stop when in Moab. Explore the massive Island in the Sky mesa, marvel at the towering spires of The Needles District, or take a scenic drive to some of the park’s most picturesque viewpoints.

Dead Horse Point State Park: Admire jaw-dropping views of Canyonlands and the Colorado River from this park’s famous overlook. Outside of its dramatic viewpoints, Dead Horse Point also offers numerous trails and unrivaled stargazing opportunities!

Places to Eat in Moab, UT

Moab Garage Co: This laid-back cafe is the perfect spot when you need a caffeine boost in between all your outdoor adventures. In addition to freshly brewed coffee, they also carry a wide selection of breakfast items, sandwiches, salads and street tacos.

The Broken Oar: Hearty meals are served in a charmingly rustic setting at this popular eatery. This is a particularly great choice for meat lovers, as the restaurant is known for their flavorful barbecue, steaks, and burgers.

Moab Diner: This retro-style diner has been in business since the early 1960’s, and their menu boasts an extensive selection of classic diner meals, including all day breakfast. Make sure to leave room for dessert so you can indulge in their robust ice cream selection.

Campgrounds near Moab, UT

Devils Garden Campground: Make the most of your time in Arches by waking up at the only campground located inside the park. This year-round campsite requires reservations from March through October, and becomes first come, first served for the remainder of the year. Toilets and fire rings are available, but there is no potable water.

Island in the Sky Campground: Located inside Canyonlands National Park, this small campground only has twelve sites, all of which are first come, first served. The campsite operates all year, and amenities include fire rings, toilets, and picnic tables.

Goose Island Campground: If you prefer to base yourself between the two national parks, this first come, first served site is one of Moab’s most popular campgrounds. Operating from mid-April through October, the campsite provides toilets, picnic tables, and unparalleled views of the Colorado River and Arches National Park in the distance.

Day 7: Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Continue immersing yourself in southern Utah’s ethereal desert landscape as you move on to Capitol Reef National Park, located about two hours away from Moab. Get an early start so that you can fully enjoy the incredibly scenic drive along Highway 24, which weaves straight into Capitol Reef. 

Escape Camper Van driving in Capitol Reef Utah

Once you arrive, you’ll be mesmerized by the extraordinary landscape that surrounds the Waterpocket Fold, a long wrinkle in the earth which traverses through the park. This unique geological formation extends for nearly one hundred miles, and is surrounded by rugged cliffs, dramatic canyons, and jaw-dropping viewpoints.

Things to do in Capitol Reef National Park, UT

Hike Grand Wash Trail: Just over four miles roundtrip, this relatively easy trail weaves along the canyon floor, rewarding hikers with incredible views of the imposing sandstone canyon walls. This is considered a great option for anyone traveling with kids, as there aren’t any steep inclines. 

Hike to Cassidy Arch: From the Grand Wash Trail, you have the option to continue further to this enormous arch. This steep hike is considered quite strenuous, though it’s well worth the effort for the spectacular views that you’ll be rewarded with once you reach the impressive arch.

See the Petroglyphs: In addition to awe-inspiring canyons and geological formations, Capitol Reef is also home to a large number of ancient petroglyphs. A well marked pull-out off of Highway 24 is where you’ll find one of the most impressive petroglyph panels in the park, along with a second panel in Capitol Gorge.

Places to Eat near Capitol Reef National Park, UT

The Wild Rabbit Cafe: Decorated in vintage decor, this rustic eatery prides itself in using farm-fresh ingredients, and offers a plethora of vegetarian and vegan dishes. For healthy breakfast and lunch options that aren’t lacking in any flavor, this charming cafe is one of the best spots in town.

Rim Rock Restaurant: Situated just outside of the park, this popular establishment offers an extensive menu, along with phenomenal views of the surrounding landscape. For a more casual experience, opt for their outdoor patio location, which features a variety of pizzas and sandwiches to choose from.

Campgrounds near Capitol Reef National Park, UT

Fruita Campground: This year-round site is the only developed campground inside the park, and reservations are necessary from March through October. The campsite amenities include restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, and a dump station.

Cedar Mesa Campground: Also situated inside the park, this primitive campground contains only five sites, all of which are first come, first served. While the site is open all year, you’ll need to check with the visitors center about road conditions before settling in for the night. Amenities are quite minimal, though there is a pit toilet, along with a picnic table and fire grate at each site.

Upper Pleasant Creek Campground: Outside of the park, this scenic campground runs from May through September and all sites are first come, first served. Although this is quite a basic facility, the campground does offer potable water, vault toilets, and trout fishing access.

Day 8: Escalante, Utah

About an hour south of Capitol Reef, you’ll find the striking town of Escalante, which is situated along the magnificent Scenic Byway 12. Nestled in the heart of Utah’s rugged terrain, Escalante is a perfect base for exploring Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument

From off-the-beaten path slot canyons to striking geological formations, you’ll be left speechless as you take a break from the crowds of the national parks to explore this underrated area of southern Utah.

National Parks in Utah. Grand staircase national monument, Escalante, Utah

Things to do in Escalante, UT

Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail: This lovely 6-mile hike leads to a jaw-dropping, 130-feet high waterfall that cascades into a refreshing pool. Once you arrive, cool off by feeling the powerful mist of the falls, or take a well-deserved dip in the water.

Devils Garden: This protected area in Grand Staircase-Escalante is made up of countless hoodoos, arches, domes, and other geological formations. Reached by a short hike off of Hole-in-the-Rock road, this sandstone oasis is perfect if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure without the crowds.

Explore the Slot Canyons: Grand Staircase-Escalante is brimming with breathtaking slot canyons, with two of the most popular being Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch. Reached by the same 6-mile loop trail, you’ll first come across Peek-a-Boo, followed by Spooky Gulch a short while later. Spooky Gulch is the more narrow canyon of the two, and may not be a good fit for anyone who’s claustrophobic. 

Places to Eat in Escalante, UT

Kiva Koffeehouse: Enjoy your morning coffee with a view at this perfectly situated cafe, which overlooks Grand Staircase-Escalante’s spectacular terrain. Grab a seat on their spacious patio, or stay cozy inside as you admire the view through expansive glass windows. In addition to freshly brewed coffee, the cafe also offers a wide menu of filling breakfast and lunch dishes.

Circle D Restaurant: This laid-back eatery is open for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and serves a varied selection of American dishes. In addition to a charming interior, guests can choose to dine out on their spacious patio or warm up by an inviting outdoor fire pit.

Campgrounds in Escalante, UT

Calf Creek Campground: This incredibly scenic campground is conveniently located beside the Calf Creek Falls trailhead, and only contains thirteen campsites. All sites are first come, first served at this year round site, and facilities include fire rings, picnic tables, and restrooms.

Wide Hollow Campground: Showers, picnic tables, lake access, and some full hookup sites are the top amenities at this year-round campground, located within the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. Sites tend to fill up quickly, and can be reserved up to four months in advance.

Day 9: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Today, hop back on the breathtaking Scenic Byway 12 for about one hour before arriving in Bryce Canyon National Park. Known for its towering red hoodoos and extraordinary geological formations, a visit to Bryce is a truly unique experience. Hike among imposing sandstone spires, drive to jaw-dropping viewpoints, and walk along the Rim Trail for unparalleled views of the park’s most impressive landmarks.

Overlooking Bryce canyon national park, one of Utah's Might Five.

Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Navajo Loop Trail: Although only 1.3-miles long, this steep hike is surprisingly strenuous. The trail traverses down the canyon rim, meandering past some of the park’s most iconic sites and impressive hoodoos. It’s no surprise that this is the most popular hike in Bryce- which also means it’s among the most crowded during the peak season.

Hike the Fairyland Loop: This challenging, 8-mile trail begins along the canyon rim, before weaving through the hoodoo-filled canyon. Known for being a far less crowded trail, this is a wonderful hike if you’re looking for outstanding views with minimal crowds. 

Southern Scenic Drive: Beginning near the Bryce Amphitheatre, this 18-mile scenic drive passes by nine jaw-dropping overlooks, including several of the park’s more underrated view points. If you’ve just arrived and aren’t ready to dive into a challenging hike, this stunning drive is a perfect way to begin getting acquainted with the park.

Places to Eat near Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon Restaurant: For a hearty meal inside Bryce Canyon, The Lodge is your best option. Take a seat by their cozy fireplace, or grab a table by one of their expansive windows to take in the view while you eat.

Showdowns: This lively eatery features a beautiful outdoor patio setting and is only open for dinner. The atmosphere is known for always being lively, and most nights feature outdoor music performances to enjoy as you dine.

Campgrounds near Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

North Campground: Situated by Bryce Canyon’s Visitor Center, this year-round site requires reservations during the high season, but is first come, first served the rest of the year. The campground features a dump station, potable water, fire grates, and a seasonal laundry facility.

Sunset Campground: Also located inside the park, this campground is open from April through October and only requires reservations during the peak summer months. The site offers a seasonal laundry facility, potable water, and a camp store.

 

Kings Creek Campground: If both of the sites inside the park are full, head to this scenic nearby campground. Sitting at an elevation of 8,000 feet on the Colorado Plateau, campers are able to enjoy spectacular views, along with lake access, drinking water, grills, and picnic tables. The campground operates from May through September and all sites are first come, first served.

Day 10-11: Zion National Park, Utah

As you near the end of your epic road trip, you still have one national park left to explore! Zion National Park is located about one and a half hours south of Bryce Canyon, and is one of Utah’s most visited national parks. With a diverse mix of towering sandstone cliffs, picturesque canyons, and verdant forests, this massive park calls for at least two days to make the most of your time here. 

Zion National Park

Things to do in Zion National Park, UT

Hike Angel’s Landing: This strenuous hike is one of Zion’s most famous, and requires obtaining a permit in advance. If you’re brave enough to trek along the canyon’s edge, you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled views over Zion’s dramatic cliffs. 

The Narrows: Weaving through an imposing slot canyon, this hike passes through the narrowest section of the park, and requires wading through the Virgin River. While you don’t need a permit if you begin your hike from the Temple of Sinawava, you will need to obtain one if you plan to hike in the opposite direction.

Kolob Canyons: Get away from the crowds at this often overlooked section of the park, located less than an hour north of Zion Canyon. Here you’ll find an abundance of wildlife, tranquil hikes, and just as many jaw-dropping overlooks as the rest of the park.

Emerald Pools Trail: Hike to cascading waterfalls and refreshing pools on this magnificent hike. There are three different pools you can access, with the lower pool being reached by an easy, 1.2-mile round trip hike. To reach the upper pool, the journey is about 3-miles round trip and a bit more challenging. 

Lava Point Overlook: For an unforgettable sunset over Zion, head straight to this popular overlook near Kolob Terrace Road. Easily reached by car, here you’ll find one of the most spectacular panoramic views of Zion’s dramatic landscape.

Places to Eat near Zion National Park, UT

Red Rock Grill: Situated inside the park, this restaurant’s large windows make it an ideal spot for enjoying your meal with a view. When the weather’s warm enough, sit out on their inviting patio, while enjoying a filling meal from their varied breakfast, lunch, or dinner menu.

Porter’s: This casual eatery features magnificent views of Zion’s towering cliffs from a charming patio. While taking in the view, choose from a wide selection of menu items, including several vegetarian dishes.

Camp Outpost: This outdoor locale focuses on rotisserie-cooked comfort food, along with a large fire pit and expansive patio. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their menu features a wide range of rotisserie-made plates, along with several salads and bowls. 

Campgrounds near Zion National Park, UT

Watchman Campground: This year-round site is Zion’s most popular, and reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Conveniently situated by the Visitor Center, this campground features fire rings, picnic tables, a dump station, and potable water.

Kolob Campground: Located near the Kolob Reservoir, this nearby site offers fire pits, vault toilets, and potable water. The campground is open year-round, and reservations must be made through their website.

Red Cliffs Campground: Wake up to stunning crimson cliffs at this scenic campground outside of Zion. Operating all year, this site includes picnic tables, grills, drinking water, and vault toilets. Reservations are mandatory and can be made up to six months before your stay.

Day 12: Drop off Your Camper Van 

After nearly two weeks of traversing from the verdant surroundings of the Pacific Northwest to the enchanting desert landscapes of southern Utah, it’s time for your adventure to come to an end. From Zion National Park, you have the option to drop your camper van off in Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. Escape Camper Vans’ Las Vegas hub is the slightly closer option, located about 162 miles from Zion. 

Regardless of where you choose to end your road trip, be sure to bring your camper van back by your predetermined drop off time.

Why Rent a Camper Van for a Seattle to Southern Utah Road Trip?

With twelve days on the road and a variety of terrain to cover, it’s imperative that you have the right kind of vehicle for your Seattle to Utah road trip! Below are just a few of the reasons why a compact camper van could be a better fit than a traditional RV for your journey to southern Utah: 

Mobility: Since this itinerary will lead you through both rugged landscapes and bustling cities, you’ll need a vehicle that can handle various kinds of terrain. Compared to a large RV, a compact camper van makes it much easier to cruise through urban streets, winding mountain roads, and more remote trails in the desert. 

One Way Rentals: Escape Camper Vans’ easy one way rental option allows you to spend more time enjoying your trip, rather than having to circle back to your original pick up point. Plus, with convenient locations in both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, you have even more freedom to design your ideal itinerary. 

Ease of Use: Driving from Seattle to southern Utah requires a ton of time spent on the road, so your comfort behind the wheel is paramount. While a traditional RV can be pretty intimidating to drive, our compact camper vans are far easier to maneuver, especially for anyone who isn’t used to driving large vehicles.

No Sewer or Electric Hookups: Not many of the campgrounds on this itinerary provide hookups, which would be a big inconvenience for a traditional RV. However, our camper vans are designed to be fully self-contained, and therefore do not need any hookups. Instead, you’re free to camp wherever you’d like- whether that’s a popular national park campground or under the stars in a dispersed camping site.

Flexibility: Escape Camper Vans ensure that your kitchenettes and beds are already set up, leaving you with far less stress throughout your trip. Rather than setting up and breaking down tents or dealing with the logistics that come with an RV, you can easily move from one campsite to the next. 

Between added freedom, comfort, and mobility, there are several reasons why renting a camper van in Seattle is the best way to kick off your road trip to southern Utah!

Reserve with Escape Camper Vans for your Southern Utah Road Trip

Get ready to float down the rivers of the Pacific Northwest, hike along spellbinding lava fields in Idaho, and explore all five of Utah’s national parks! With nearly two weeks on the road, this epic adventure is guaranteed to be unforgettable. Now that we’ve laid out the perfect itinerary, all that’s left is to click the button below and book your Escape Camper Van today for an unforgettable Seattle to southern Utah road trip!

Book Your Escape!

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