3 cozy Springdale staycation ways to get your awesome on in the off-seasons of Zion National Park

Outdoor patio view from the Hummingbird Villa in Springdale, gateway to Zion National Park, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Tenth Muse courtesy of zionnationalpark.com, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — Imagine soaking in a bubbly hot tub surrounded by the towering Navajo sandstone cliffs that form what was once called Mukuntuweap, meaning “straight canyon.” It is peaceful and your mind is unfettered from worldly cares as you enjoy the crisp air and serene sky. A host of adventures, culinary delights and unique shops are just steps away … that is, if you ever decide to get out of the hot tub.

The balcony of the Aspen floor plan in the Watchman Villas vacation rentals, Springdale, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Breck Dockstader, St. George News

This is the vacation experience that awaits guests of the Watchman Villas, Hummingbird Villa and Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens during the late fall and winter seasons in Springdale, Zion National Park’s eclectic and welcoming gateway town.

Springdale is less than an hour’s drive from St. George Regional Airport with flights from Salt Lake City; Denver, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; and Los Angeles, California. It offers an ideal locale for a fall or winter staycation where guests can tour the town and view Zion like a local free of the bustling crowds that spring and summer bring.

Fall and winter in Springdale

St. George and the surrounding areas boast over 300 days of sunshine per year and experience relatively mild winter temperatures, making outdoor activities – incuding hiking in Zion National Park – enjoyable almost year-round.

Views of late fall from the Riverside Walk in Zion National Park, Utah, date not specified | Photo by RJ Hooper, St. George News

Breck Dockstader, is a longtime town resident and president and CEO of the Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens and its associated properties; these include Watchman Villas, Hummingbird Villa, the Springdale and Zion Canyon Adventure CenterBistro H and, coming soon, Barefoot Taqueria. Winter, he said, is his preferred season for hiking Zion Canyon.

“There is this big misconception that we are buried in snow and that you can’t access Springdale in the winter months,” Dockstader said. “The weather in Springdale is very similar to St. George during the winter.”

Many of Springdale’s shops and restaurants stay open throughout the winter months, he said, giving guests the opportunity to partake of all the town has to offer without the heavy crowds of high tourist season.

Cody Adent, CFO of Cliffrose and its associated entities, compared it to other tourist destinations that are popular but crowded during summer months.

“It’s like, if you could go to Disneyland and not have anybody there, that’s when you would go,” Adent said. “And that’s Springdale in the off-season.”

The kitchen of the Aspen floor plan in the Watchman Villas vacation rentals, Springdale, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Breck Dockstader, St. George News

The Villas

There are a lot of different options to experience Springdale in the winter. One really great way to do so is through their vacation homes, Dockstader said, referring to the Watchman Villas and Hummingbird Villa, luxurious and modern vacation rentals designed to give guests a “home away from home,” feeling.

The villas literally represent an extension of a dream – first his father’s in the 1980s and now his own – of providing quality accommodations on the doorstep of Zion where visitors can enjoy both the national park and the unique vibe of the town.

Read more: This hippy’s dream turned reality will make you want a new Zion experience

“You can experience Springdale and Zion Canyon in the winter months and just have this really great staycation,” he said. “And if it does happen to snow, then you get to wake up in this incredible vacation villa and experience Zion with snow on it. It’s an incredible experience.”

This 2015 file photo shows the the Great White Throne seen within a mist and light dusting of snow in Zion National Park, Utah, Jan. 1, 2015 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

Villa guests have access to the Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens hot tubs, Dockstader said, so they can relax in a soothing jaccuzi after a fun-filled day.

Plan your Springdale staycation

Planning a winter vacation in Springdale and Zion Canyon is easier than ever with two great hubs to learn everything from the best winter hikes and available activities to where to eat, stay and purchase the best gear for your adventure.

Dockstader and his team operate zionnationalpark.com which is a one-stop online guide to the very best lodging, dining, shopping and adventuring in Springdale and the greater Southern Utah area.

From the online hub, visitors can book their hotel or vacation rental, make dinner reservations, plan a hike or rent a Polaris Slingshot – the ultimate vehicle to take a drive through the famous Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and take in the surrounding splendor.

Guests at the Watchman Villas can step outside their doors and visit the the Springdale and Zion Canyon Adventure Center where they can purchase gear, book an adventure and get area tips from the highly knowledgeable and passionate staff.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •


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  • utahdiablo October 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Yeah let’s screw over the Locals for the only remaining time without the pain in the … tourists from Mid March until December with their smelly butts in your face as your all crammed into the mandatory shuttle thanks to the over crowding caused by the endless Mighty 5 campaign…the only peace we get is when the temps are below 32 or raining….Zion is runied because of your endless greed
    Ed. ellipsis

  • yikes October 15, 2017 at 9:24 am

    it’s ALL about greed now in Springdale. There are still some residents of Springdale who truly care about what the Mission Statement of a National Park really is and strives to abide by it and they are deeply disturbed by the direction the town is taking. Is it OK to allow a hotel developer to violate it’s permit by bulldozing the natural spring & bird sanctuary for which Springdale is named for? The Town of Springdale seems to think it is. Dockstader does not hike nor did he ever. His father Dale at least heavily landscaped his properties, creating more green space than building footprint. Breck does not. Does Breck tell his guests that they’ll have a 30 minute wait to even access their luxury villa , if at all, due to road construction this winter? After the shuttle bus stops running for the winter there are still too many cars for the parking areas & pullouts in the Park to accomadate. Cars park off road causing vegetation damage. Toilet paper & trash all over the sides of the road. STOP MARKETING ZION. There is enough business during the summer to make the business owners rich. Not the staff working so hard though, they are still getting paid $9/hour.

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