For the 50+ Traveler

Orderville, Utah, is about to get busy -- really busy. That’s according to Airbnb, which just released a list of the U.S. locations that have received the most reservations for this spring and summer.

A look at Airbnb’s research shows that the most popular destinations are places with -- or near -- outdoor attractions such as state and national parks. Presumably, that’s because people want to vacation in places where they can be outdoors and practice social distancing while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Orderville, which has a population of 600 people and was established under the direction of LDS Church President Brigham Young, is about 200 miles northeast of Las Vegas. So why is the town sixth on Airbnb’s list of most popular destinations? Simple: Utah is home to five national parks, and Orderville is a terrific place to use as a home base while visiting two of them.

Whether you want to brave the potential crowds and go sooner or plan a visit down the line, let’s take a look at the places you can easily visit while staying in Orderville.

Zion National Park

Of all the national parks in Utah, Orderville is closest to Zion National Park. In fact, it’s only about a 20-minute drive from Orderville to Zion, which is known for its bicycling, backpacking, river trips, canyoneering, rock climbing, and fantastic hiking.

Zion Canyon is the most visited part of the park, where you can take easy, moderate, and strenuous hikes. You can even visit the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, called The Narrows, which is a gorge with walls a thousand feet tall.

Editor’s Note: Heading to Orderville so you can brave The Narrows? Read up on these 9 Things You Must Know Before Hiking The Narrows In Zion.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Orderville is just under an hour away from Bryce Canyon National Park, which is also known for its scenic views and fantastic hiking. The park has an 18-mile road running through it from north to south. Along the way, you’ll find four of the park’s most popular scenic overlooks: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. Conveniently, these points also serve as trailheads for some of the most popular hiking trails.

For a different way to see the trails, Bryce also offers guided horseback rides. Alternatively, you can bring your own horse, mule, or even llama!

Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim.

North Rim At Grand Canyon National Park

Orderville is about 100 miles from the Grand Canyon’s North Rim -- roughly a two-hour drive. The North Rim, known as the Grand Canyon’s “other side,” is only visited by about 10 percent of all the people traveling to the canyon, so the crowds are significantly smaller.

From the Grand Canyon Lodge’s patio, you can walk on a paved -- but steep -- trail with steps out to Bright Angel Point for panoramic views that must be seen to be believed. Pictures don’t do it justice.

Know Before You Go

Some other fantastic places to visit that are within a 2-hour drive from Orderville include; Cedar Breaks National Monument, Kolob Canyons, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Dixie National Forest, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Cottonwood Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah, and Page, Arizona.

Face masks are required on National Park Service-administered lands when it’s not possible to maintain social distancing. Face masks are also required in all of the parks’ buildings and facilities. For more on enjoying the area, check out Sage Scott’s tips for how to plan a trip to Utah’s national parks here.