The vibe at South Campground
Drop some South Campground knowledge on us.
The South Campground can be a bit chaotic. Vehicles will drive around and around hoping to scope out someone leaving. During the middle of the week in March, all campsites were filled by roughly 8am. Get there early if you want a campsite.
Zion has become super popular and the South Campgrounds are the best way to go - it makes Zion so easy! We watched everyone else who was coming in for the day struggle finding parking. Not so when camping. The visitor center is close by with access to the shuttle that can get you anywhere you need to go in the park. The visitor center also has a grocery store and showers available. The campground has restrooms and clean water pumps. The cherry on top staying here - one evening as we were preparing dinner, half a dozen deer walked into our campsite, started grazing on grass, and then laid down in the grass. They hung out with us for several hours. It was amazing. According to the park ranger, this is common.
This campground was totally worth the hour an a half wait to get our spot. We stayed at the end of September and totally underestimated the amount of people who be in the park at this time. We would recommend getting in line before 8 am to secure a spot. (We stayed Friday - Saturday) The morning while new guests are coming in and old guests are leaving is a bit hectic but after about 2 pm things calmed down and it made for a really enjoyable stay. The campground was at capacity but did not feel over filled at all. The camp hosts did a great job managing the chaos.
Pros: Beautiful! Great access to the bus and very large sites.
Cons: Hard to get into.
We went in late January early February and, since most campgrounds are closed due to snow and ice you need to book a reservation well in advance. Bring plenty of firewood and a great camera for capturing the beautiful starscapes at night with the contrasting canyon walls. Most bathrooms are closed at this time too so be sure and go before you go to bed at night to prevent a late-night, cold walk to the restrooms. The scenery was amazing and we were by a partially frozen stream that would be babbling in the background.
We got in at about 10am on a Monday morning in July, and there were plenty of spots open at the time. On the bad side, it was over 100 degrees that day and didn't go below 99 until at least 2am - we got to sleep only by being very tired.