The first thing to remember about glamping is that you’re not meant to spend too much time in your tent. While you might be able to enjoy a private bathroom complete with flush toilet and hot shower delivered by chain, the principal amenity is the proximity to nature.
Such is the case with Under Canvas Zion, which puts guests right on the doorstep of the 229 square miles of arches, plateaus and slot canyons that make up Zion National Park. Layers of red and white sandstone form walls around the camp that links the dome of the earth with the dome of the heavens.
The brown of the scrub and the green of the tree line form the barrier between earth and heaven, but there is always a blending. Day and night mix too, as the moon hangs white in the cloudless sky well into the afternoon, as if inviting its celestial friends to join the party. They do one by one as the sun goes down, reddening the cliffs even more, and day melts into night. Before you know it, the nearly empty sky is full of stars and your focus goes upward. The light show has moved to the upper dome.
One area where there is a clear line of demarcation is activities. You can greet the day with yoga, getting limbered up for a hike in an alpine meadow or canyoneering down the faces of narrow slot canyons carved by ancient rivers over countless years. Ride horses, UTVs or Jeeps over solid rocks and those that have been pounded into sand, or rise above it all with a helicopter ride that unveils the entirety of the park as it stretches out for miles in any direction. Those seeking adventure on the water can fly-fish, paddle board or kayak depending on the desire for exertion.
By night, there are sing-alongs by the campfire and all the S’mores you can eat. The intensity of the fire dulls your ability to see the stars, so you’ll need to close your eyes to readjust. Once you have, you’re blown away all over again by the sheer number of them. Those of us who spend most of our time in cities might be forgiven for not even realizing how many stars there are in the night sky.
Once you’ve had your fill of stars and S’mores, at last you can retire to your wood-floored tent to build a fire in the en suite stove and swaddle yourself in for a night’s rest before doing it all again tomorrow.
WHERE TO STAY: Under Canvas Zion offers an extraordinary lodging experience just as fabulous as the park itself. This glamping camp in America’s gorgeous Southwest is located on 196 acres bordering Zion National Park in Utah and is moments away from incredible trails, off-the-beaten-path adventures, and soaring views of the majestic red rocks that make Zion famous. The camp seamlessly blends into its dramatic surroundings and our luxury tents offer guests the opportunity to enjoy Utah’s spectacular desert without giving up the comforts of home.