Have you been glamping? We’ve experienced it across the US, and let me tell you, Open Sky Zion takes it to the next level! We were fortunate enough to stay for two nights in August, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Luxury glamping at Open Sky Zion in safari tents straight from South Africa, sitting on the edge of Zion National Park, is a nature retreat you won’t forget.
Disclosure: Our stay was hosted by Open Sky Zion. As always, my opinions are my own!
Open Sky Zion is located in Virgin, Utah, about 20 minutes from Zion National Park’s south entrance. Heading toward the park on UT-9, you’ll turn off on Dalton Wash Road. A gravel and dirt road that winds up for a few miles before reaching Open Sky, it definitely feels like the back country. When we arrived, I felt like we had been transported to the African bush or Australian outback!
Open Sky Zion is a boutique experience, with just thirteen tents. They plan to add two more next year, capping it there. Currently, there are seven styles, ranging from the most luxurious Star Seekers to the smallest Cedar Springs camp.
We stayed in the Desert Rose, perfect for a couple! It’s a spacious suite, complete with a king sized bed, sitting area and dining table, plus a luxurious bathroom you may never want to leave!
The indoor bathroom features a large vanity, flushing toilet (no compost setup here!) and a dual-headed shower, while through the side door you’ll find the outdoor shower. This setup is a luxury for just about anyone, but for us as fulltime RVers accustomed to a tiny shower with limited hot water, this was heaven! I think I showered three times a day while we were here!
All the units have the dual-headed indoor shower, and all but the Cedar Spring camp also have the outdoor shower. There’s something magical about showering under the blue sky, with views of the canyon.
In front of the tent, there’s a lovely pation setup complete with a grill and gas-firepit. The grill was a surprise, it’s not even listed on Open Sky’s amenities. When you want to have fancy meal onsite, Open Sky has a great restaurant, but if you’re feeling inspired it’s a nice option to have a grill!
And keep in mind, you can always order room service too! This is the first glamping hotel we’ve stayed at where room service (and daily housekeeping service) were offered.
Open Sky provides a fantastic welcome kit upon check-in, full of trail snacks and instant oatmeal. I thought that was such a nice touch, for all the early morning hikers who leave before breakfast starts!
I also loved the smores kits they provided! We always seem to forget some part of the smores, so it was great to have it all waiting for us.
On another note, the tents also have a small refrigerator and a Keurig coffee maker. Open Sky Zion is in touch with their outdoor loving, hiker clientele, and I appreciate that! It’s all about luxury, but they still cover the practical.
Beyond your suite, there’s plenty onsite to keep you busy or help you relax in nature- your pick!
Open Sky Zion actually has several miles of trails on their property, including the Hoodoos and Lower Rim Trailheads. While you’re next to a national park, it’s nice to have some hiking options right outside your door.
The property also backs up to BLM land, more on that below!
Pond & Common Area
The pond is the perfect retreat on a hot summer day! Swimming is allowed during daylight hours, and there’s a paddleboard and small kayak for use.
The common area includes cornhole and a community firepit. It’s a great space to relax beyond your tent and potentially meet other nature lovers.
Zion National Park is a certified International Dark Sky Park, and the surrounding area is top notch too. We slipped on robes and sat on our patio for some stargazing. It was nearly a full moon, so the sky wasn’t as dark as it could’ve been, but the nights were clear.
If you stay in the Starseeker tents, they’re all about stargazing! With suspended sky lounge hammocks on the deck, indoor sky loungers with a glass roof, and telescopes, it’s celestial luxury.
Black Sage serves dinner every night but Tuesday, with some of the best food you’ll find in Utah! We absolutely loved everything we ate!
Seating is outside, under shade, with views of the red rocks. It’s the perfect setting after a day hiking. The restaurant places an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients from across Utah, and everything on the menu has a unique flair.
The chef updates the menu seasonally, so these favorites might not be available during your visit. But if they are- we can wholeheartedly recommend the pot roast and Utah trout. The trout comes with a positively delicious grit cake, I could easily eat a plate of those by themselves!
Open Sky is a destination unto itself, with its luxury and focus on nature. However, chances are if you’re here, you’re here for the national lands.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is an article (or two or three) itself, so I’ll just mention that Open Sky is about 20 minutes from the south entrance, the most popular. Here you’ll find the visitor center and access to the two most famous trails in the park, The Narrows and Angel’s Landing.
Open Sky partners with several local adventure companies, offering everything from e-bike tours of the park to guided hikes. This is a great option if you don’t want to deal with the park shuttle system. Since everything past the visitor center is only accessible by shuttle from March to November, you’ll either need to take it or book a private excursion.
Open Sky Zion actually backs up to BLM land, so if you continue up Dalton Wash Road for a few minutes, you’ll reach the top of the canyon. Here, you can access the Whole Guacamole Trail, popular with mountain bikers and hikers. It’s 5.5 miles roundtrip and will offer stunning views over the cliff edge and across the top of the mesa.
Even if you’re not looking for another hike, it’s worth the short but steep drive to the top. At times an 8% grade, it’s quite a drive, but it’s just minutes past Open Sky. The views are stellar, and it’s a great spot to watch the sunset.
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