Zion Lodge Virtual Tour

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Birch Creek Support Buildings

When the Zion Lodge was built, support facilities that might be noisy or smelly were located a short distance down the canyon from the Lodge Complex at Birch Creek. This included the vehicle maintenance and storage areas, as well as the horse stables.

Zion Birch Creek support complex
Looking down at the Birch Creek complex from the top of a small adjacent hill. These were built between 1926 and 1929.


Birch Creek Stable building
This is the original horse stable.


Birch Creek vehicle shed
This building was originally a storage shed for the "auto-stages" used to transport guests to the lodge from the railroad depot in Cedar City. As you can see, it is now used as a horse stable. "Auto-stages" were over-sized, convertible, touring cars that carried 11 passengers each.


Vehicle shed
This five-stall shed was also originally used for vehicle storage.


Birch Creek machine shop
This is the original machine shop/ auto maintenance building.


Machine shop
Note that all of these utility buildings have exterior framing like the other Underwood-designed buildings, but the interior wall is made of corrugated steel rather than wood.


Compost bins
These bins are used to compost garbage. They are part of the Zion Lodge's extensive recycling program. The Lodge composts all of its food waste, lawn clippings, and shredded paper.


To get to the Birch Creek complex from the Lodge area, take the shuttle bus southbound and get off at the "Court of the Patriarchs" shuttle stop. After getting off the shuttle, walk down the dirt road toward the river. The Birch Creek complex is about a block from the shuttle stop. The Birch Creek complex buildings were built by the Union Pacific Railroad as support buildings for the Lodge. All of the buildings here were designed by Underwood.

The Patriarchs
The Court of the Patriarchs, above Birch Creek.


Zion Cafeteria

 Former Zion cafeteria.  Now the nature center.
The original building that housed the Zion Cafeteria is now used as the Nature Center. This building was built in 1934 and is sometimes called Zion Inn.


Zion cafeteria
View of the left side of the Zion Cafeteria building.


Zion cafeteria
The rear of the old Zion Cafeteria building.


Zion cafeteria
The right rear of the Zion Cafeteria building.


Zion cafeteria
View of the right side of the old Zion Cafeteria.


The old Zion Cafeteria (Zion Inn) is now called the Nature Center and is adjacent to the South Campground. If driving, turn off highway 9 at the entrance to South Campground. The campground entrance is just north of the new park Visitor Center. Follow the Nature Center directional signs. There is a parking lot next to the Nature Center. If you are taking the shuttle bus, get off at either the Visitor Center, or the Zion Human History Museum shuttle stops. From there you will need to hike to South Campground, then follow the trail signs to the Nature Center. Here is the Park Service's Map of Zion Canyon.


Zion Park Trip. Jess & Julie's trip to Zion National Park. Lots of pictures of the park, and our personal review of Zion Lodge.


Xanterra Parks & Resorts
Central Reservations
6312 South Fiddlers Green Circle, Suite 600N
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Phone: Toll-free within the U.S. 888.29.PARKS (888.297.2757) or
Outside the U.S. 303.29.PARKS (303.297.2757)
Website: Zion Lodge Reservations

On-Line References:

Zion National Park, Written Historical and Descriptive Data, Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), National Park Service, Denver, CO. A very good, detailed report on the historical structures in Zion, including building, trails, and bridges. Much of the information here came from this report.

Zion National Park, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey. Search results for "Zion National Park", primarily photos of the buildings taken in 1984 for the survey. From Library of Congress records.

If you have Google Earth on your computer, search for "Zion Lodge, Utah". Adjust the tilt to near horizontal. Google Earth has good resolution images of Zion Park and it is a fun way to explore the canyon in 3D.



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Unless noted, all photos above were taken on approximately April 16-18, 2007. Click on photo for a better quality image. Photos may have been digitally altered to enhance details and blur faces.



Historic Hotels & Lodges

All text and images by Jess Stryker, unless noted. Copyright © Jess Stryker, 2007-2011. Last updated June 30, 2011. All rights reserved.