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Book Southern Utah Early!

Book Southern Utah Early!

Posted in: Lodge Announcements, Travel on March 26, 2024.

Gotta Plan Ahead!

Southern Utah has become a pretty popular place. Over the last four decades, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have seen this part of the world go from relatively unknown to a world-famous travel destination. Part of that is due to the rise of social media and the prevalence of geotagging locations, and part of that is just because Southern Utah is so awesome. But the result is that you now have to plan ahead and make reservations in advance for your entire travel itinerary. So let’s talk about what you can do you to book your Southern Utah vacation!

The welcome to Utah sign at the border

Photo by Taylor Brandon via unsplash.com

Booking the Parks and Campsites

Many of the most popular parts of the national parks – think Angels Landing trail in Zion – now require online reservations. (And in some cases, like in Arches National Park, you need a reservation to enter the park at all.) Recreation.gov is the official government website that handles all the bookings for the National Park Service. So this is where you need to go to get your tickets. The site also handles all the lottery entries for places like The Wave and Vermillion Cliffs.

It is also the place you need to go to get your campsite reservations. It is next to impossible to find a spot at any of the national park campsites just by showing up and looking around. (There is one exception, which we’ll cover in a minute.) Even if you see empty spots, they are already held for people who have used recreation.gov to secure their place. All of which is to say: if you’re planning a vacation this year, head over to the site, and start making your bookings. Check on the national parks to see if you need timed entry tickets, enter the lotteries for any of the popular parts of the parks you hope to visit, and be sure to reserve any campsites you are hoping to stay at.

A couple camp in Zion National Park

Photo by Katie Musial via unsplash.com

The Only Exceptions

Some of the primitive campsite in the national parks purposefully do not allow online reservations. As an example, the Cathedral Valley Campsite in the northern section of Capitol Reef National Park is still first-come-first-served. If you messed up and didn’t book in advance (presumably because you didn’t see this blog post in time) you can try heading to one of these primitive campsites.

The exterior of the Lodge at Red River Ranch

Photo by Red River Ranch

It’s Good Advice for Hotels Too

As we might have mentioned, Southern Utah is a popular place. The national parks get booked out, but so too do the hotels that service the area. If you’re not much into camping, and you want to have a more comfortable and luxurious vacation, then you gotta get your Southern Utah hotels booked as early as possible too. Book as many months in advance as you can to avoid places being sold out. If you are interested in staying with us, you can make reservations for the Lodge at Red River Ranch here. But wherever you go, just be sure to finalize your plans, and make your reservations as soon as possible in order to have the best, and most stress-free Southern Utah trip!

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