The Southwest trip included plans to camp at two parks. The first was at Zion, where we managed to get the last available spot that you could reserve online, site A001 in the Watchman campground.
This site is really designed for an RV. We set up our tent in the driveway area, but some negative attributes of the site quickly emerged. It’s located between the parking lot for the Visitor Center and a restroom building (seen to the right in the picture above), so we had a fair amount of pedestrian traffic coming through the site. And then there’s that close restroom proximity; in general, it could be an issue. Finally, there was no shade relief in the site. Our travelling companions were staying in nearby Springdale, so we decamped and stayed at the Driftwood Lodge instead. They had just opened a new building, and we were the first people to stay in one of these new rooms. Here’s the view from your window.
Highly recommended. Our next stop included camping as well, and this worked out much better. We had reservations at the Devils Garden campground in Arches NP for two nights.
The comments on Tripadvisor recommended site 46, and I had reserved that way back in January. These sites go fast – the next opportunity to reserve that site for two nights is sometime next October. I was a bit concerned ahead of time, because this site is right next to one of the two group sites in the campground, but with the sandstone fins on either side of the campsite, it’s one of the more secluded sites in the campground. The group next door were early risers, but otherwise very mellow. It was a team of Sierra Club volunteers, working on trail building and other maintenance projects in the park.
We stayed here just a few days after the “supermoon” event in May. The Resident Expert came back to the tent from a midnight stroll to encourage me to go out and see the landscape under the moonlight. She said it was like something from “Beetlejuice”. High praise, indeed.