Sometimes you get to visit a place that is so remarkably special, sometimes you get to experience a place that is so new and different, and sometimes you are lucky enough to get to sleep under the stars in that special place and get to live and breathe it like no where else. Under Canvas Zion was just that for us, we spent two nights Glamping under the stars, hiking in the Zion National Park, driving up to the highest mountain point to almost no-mans land, building log fires in our small and cosy tent, eating the most incredible Smoked pulled pork Sammie, I’ve eaten in my life. Swapping stories with other happy campers around the fire whilst making and eating far too many s’mores and falling asleep under the stars, to the cries of baby coyotes in the distance.
Not really the biggest outdoors type of girl, not much of a Brownie at school either and although it may have had the tiniest element of The Girl Guides about it, Under Canvas Zion was by far the most exciting, wondrous and peaceful in equal measures stay in all my travels. In fact so much so that even in writing this I am pulled with the want to share and the want to savour our memories, to keep them untarnished and untouched and just where they are….But that would make me a pretty poor blogger, wouldn’t it?
So onwards to Zion National Park we ventured, six hours of road ahead through four States, we left California, to Nevada, with a very quick glimpse of Vegas and our first taste of an In -N- Out Burger, amazing by the way, I’d walk back to Vegas for one of those. Through to Arizona and eventually arriving at Under Canvas Zion in Southern Utah. The landscape was overwhelming, changeable and for the most part completely jaw dropping. From the Yuca Tree and cactus lined roads and desert back drop of California to the hot and dusty Nevada, into Arizona, through canyons and flat long, long road, with the backdrop slowly changing colour as the sun changed from oranges to pinks, driving into the red sandy dunes, surrounded by the mysterious rock formations of Southern Utah.
Under Canvas is set about fifteen minutes from Virgin, in the peaceful mountains, the camp seamlessly blends into the backdrop, with incredible views of the red rock, no matter how many times you walk outside your tent you are never prepared for the wonder of the speculator views of Zion surrounding you, with clean air, a complete oasis of beauty, quiet and calm.
There are many different lodging options at Under Canvas Zion but we stayed in one of the Safari tents, no 20, right on top of the hill which overlooked the rest of the camp and had the most incredible uninterrupted view out to the mountains. (My only slight concern with the Safari tent, was not having our own private toilet, but all the facilities were super clean and pretty much perfect. It made the whole thing more of an adventure too and well, I just got used to it). The luxury tent was pretty big, with a king size bed which I slept like a baby in, I think I literally fell asleep and woke up in the exact same place, all that clean mountain air. There was no WIFI or electricity source so the ability to switch right off was easy, it was just so quiet! So quiet, so comfy, so snug and warm with the burning stove keeping us roasty toasty. In the morning I would unzip the tent to soak up the view from the bed, pretty amazing and how everyday should begin.
The guys at the camp were so, so friendly and helpful and advised us ‘new to hiking types’ a friendly, gentle route. It was also in the middle of Spring Break so we did stay clear of the more famous trails such as Emerald Pool, as it was said to be ridiculously packed and too many queues, but hey this just gives us another reason to back another time. Under Canvas Camp is a few minutes drive from Zion National Park, so off we trotted with our water and a huge stick we found, you need a stick to hike and followed the Hop Valley Trail for about 6 KM, before the rattling in the bushes actually became something in the bushes, which I think was just a Elk, but you never know! The vast expansive landscape of Zion was almost too much to take in, the sandy path amongst the red rock formations and the pinks, yellows and greens of the floral and fauna, nature working in colour at its best, it was rather breath taking.
Not quite done with the hike we decided to take a mini walk over to the other side of the road to the West Trim Trail, where the scenery seemed to dramatically change, lizards and geckos warmed on the rocks and the walks became more clambering onto and over the rocks than a flat trail, with sheer drops down, stunning and scary in one. On a mission we decided to drive up to the tallest peak to the Kolob Reservoir, and in less than a twenty-minute drive the temperature had dropped rapidly, with snow on the ground. It was odd, it was empty, quietly eerie but rather appealing, almost like space, no mans land or the other side, for the Stranger Things fans, and once again like nowhere I had been before.
Exhausted in a that way that clean, fresh air and long walks make you, we headed back to camp for the night. I took the complimentary yoga class, on the helicopter pad at sunset. There was something quite special taking that yoga class, surrounded by the mountains, the quiet sounds and the echoes, the fresh air and the calm. As I walked back to our tent I was almost choked (as cheesy as it may sound, maybe I was just tired from the long walk) to have felt and experienced what I had at that moment.
Dinner was feasting on smoked pulled pork, and smoked chicken, and red wine, before heading to the fire pit for more S’mores and chatting away to other guests and hearing about their day’s adventures. Before collapsing into a S’mores induced coma, in our roasty toasty tent, under the stars to the sounds of coyotes…..
So Under Canvas Zion, you really were like nowhere else I have ever been, and with all that comes with that, will be remembered, savoured and kept close for a very, very long time!
We flew: with Virgin Atlantic, Picked up a car: with National Car HireWe booked through Under Canvas Zion and spent two nights here. F.Y.I Utah is a Mormon State, with laws that prohibit buying alcohol with out food. It wasn’t a problem as we ate there both nights but just incase you wanted to just have a drink.
Thank you for reading x