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Zion National Park News

 

Zion National Park Limited Operations

On May 13, 2020, Zion National Park began providing Day Use recreational access to select areas within the park. This action supported the White House guidelines for Opening Up America Again, and our continued coordination with the State of Utah, southwest Utah elected leaders, park partners, and local businesses. As we move forward, the health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners will guide our operational approach to examine each facility function and service and ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance. Visitor access will be limited to available parking in some areas.

 

Zion Canyon Shuttle Tickets

Zion National Park Timed Shuttle Ticket System
Starting July 1, 2020, you will need a ticket to ride the park shuttle into Zion Canyon. The shuttle provides access along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to areas including Emerald Pools, West Rim Trail, the Riverside Walk, and the Narrows. Even without a shuttle ticket, you can hike on the Kolob Terrace, recreate along and drive through the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Route 9, Vehicle size restrictions apply), and park and hike trails near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, among other opportunities.

The National Park is implementing a shuttle ticket system to enable visitor access to upper Zion Canyon and the Scenic Drive while meeting COVID-19 public health guidelines. Use of the shuttle ticket system is temporary, designed to operate through December 2020. Zion National Park will re-evaluate the need for the system based on emerging conditions and public health guidance after December 2020.

How the Shuttle Works

Who needs a ticket?

Do I need a ticket every day I want to ride the shuttle?
Yes. You will need the Shuttle Ticket at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center shuttle stop, paying attention to the date and your boarding time printed on the ticket. Once you are in Zion Canyon, you will be able to get on and off the shuttle using the same ticket as many times as you want. If you choose to walk or bike into Zion Canyon, you will still need a ticket if you want to take the shuttle that day.

How much does it cost to get a ticket?
The non-refundable ticket fee is $1 USD.

Do I need a ticket to ride the shuttle if I have an annual pass, Senior Pass, Access Pass, Military Pass, Volunteer Pass, or 4the Grade Pass?
Yes. You must have a shuttle ticket to ride the shuttle. Annual passes are for the payment of entrance fees, so in this case an annual pass holder will only need to pay the $1 USD ticket fee.

Do I need a ticket to use the shuttle if I have a reservation for a campground or lodging accommodation located outside of Zion National Park?
Yes. You must have a shuttle ticket to ride the shuttle.

Do I need a ticket to ride the shuttle if I am staying at the Zion Lodge?
If you wish to ride the shuttle, you will need a ticket. The Lodge provides limited parking for Lodge guests only, and guests are not allowed to take their cars farther up the Scenic Drive. A shuttle ticket will allow you to board the shuttle at the Zion Lodge to access the upper portion of Zion Canyon (including the Temple of Sinawava trailhead, for access to The Narrows).

Do I need a ticket to ride the shuttle if I have a campground reservation?
Yes.

If I am visiting the park for more than 1 day, do I need a ticket for each day separately?
Yes. You will need to have a ticket for each separate day you wish to ride the shuttle.

What if I walk or bike up the canyon? Do I still need a ticket if I want to ride the shuttle in the canyon or back to the Visitor Center?
Yes, you will need to have a ticket.

How does this apply to Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs)?
Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) holders would be allowed to drop off and pick up hikers but would not be allowed to park in Zion Canyon. Visitors transported by CUA holders must exit Zion Canyon with the CUA service or have a shuttle ticket.


Do I need a Shuttle Ticket to take a horseback ride with Canyon Trail Rides?
Canyon Trail Rides provides a limited number of parking spaces you can use during your horseback ride without acquiring a shuttle ticket. You will have to move your car off the Scenic Drive after your ride has finished. If you wish to hike in the canyon before or after your ride, you will need to park your car at the Visitor Center or in Springdale and obtain a Shuttle Ticket to ride the shuttle.

Obtaining a Shuttle Ticket

How do I get a Shuttle Ticket?
Once you set up an account in Recreation.gov , you will select the day of your visit and your preferred time, add it to your cart, and make the payment. Visit the Recreation.gov Help Center article for more details on purchasing a ticket. You will receive an email confirmation with an attached ticket showing your ticket time. With limited internet and cell coverage at Zion National Park, make sure to print out a copy of your ticket and bring it with you.


How do I create an account in Recreation.gov?
It’s easy! Go to Recreation.gov and click on “Sign Up” in the top right corner. From there, follow the prompts to create an account. You must have an account to purchase a ticket and we recommend creating your account well in advance of purchasing your ticket.

How far in advance can I obtain my ticket?

  • Tickets will go on sale through Recreation.gov on June 30th for the month of July, at 9 am MDT.

  • Tickets for the month of August will be released July 16th, 9 am MDT.

  • Tickets are also available one day in advance, at 9 am MDT, on a rolling daily window. Example: On July 1st , tickets will be available for July 2; On July 2 tickets will be available for July 3.


How flexible is the ticket system? Is there any possibility of getting a ticket at the last minute?
The ticket system has a limited number of tickets available one day in advance at 9 a.m., on a rolling daily window. For example: On July 1, tickets will available for July 2; on July 2 tickets will be available for July 3. Tickets will be available until sold out, or until one hour prior to the shuttle boarding window.

How many shuttle tickets can I purchase?
Each Recreation.gov user can obtain up to 8 Shuttle Tickets per day. Each individual in the party must have an individual ticket.

What times are the Shuttle Tickets available for?
The shuttles will aim to depart the Zion Canyon Visitor Center approximately every five minutes from 6:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. daily. Tickets to board the shuttle are purchased in 1-hour blocks of time, giving you the opportunity to board the shuttle at any time within that ticket's range. For example, you can select the 7:00 am to 8:00 am ticket. This would be good for any shuttle departing the Zion Canyon Visitor Center between 7:00 am and 8:00 am. Once in Zion Canyon, you can stay as long as you like that day. (But make sure to catch a shuttle out before they are done for the day--don't wait for the last bus or you may be out of luck!)

I don't have a computer and/or smart phone. Can I pick this ticket up and/or purchase this in person?
All shuttle tickets must be purchased in advance through Recreation.gov, either online, through the Recreation.Gov mobile app, or by calling 877-444-6777. Shuttle tickets are not available either for purchase or pick-up (will call) at the park. The Washington County Library System, Springdale Branch provides limited computer access (M-Th 10 am-7 pm, F 10 am-5 pm, Sa 12 pm-5 pm) to purchase tickets through Recreation.gov or print out tickets. Printing at the library is cash only and the library cannot print off of cell phones.

Using Your Shuttle Ticket

I have a Shuttle Ticket and I am at the Visitor Center. How do I get on the shuttle?
Follow the signs for the Zion Canyon Line shuttle stop, located at the far end of the visitor center plaza. There will be staff located near the end of the line to check your ticket(s). Do not attempt to enter the line more than 15 minutes prior to your boarding window.

Tickets, either print or digital copy, must be presented when entering the shuttle line. The ticket purchaser must be present with photo ID for anyone using the ticket(s) they purchased to board the shuttle.

If you are more than 15 minutes before your ticket time, please do not wait in the shuttle loading area. Consider using the extra time to explore the area around the Visitor Center and prepare for your day. Make sure you have all the supplies you will need for the day while in Zion Canyon (as you will not be able to board again later at the Visitor Center if you forget items in your car or campsite).

What if I miss my Shuttle Ticket time window?
Please attempt to be at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center shuttle stop within your ticketed time. Allow enough time to walk from your camping spot, lodging, or parked vehicle. While staff at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center shuttle stop will try and find you space on the shuttle, priority will be given to those who have their tickets and are present at the shuttle stop during their time. Once you have missed your Shuttle Ticket time window, there is no guarantee you will have a space on the shuttle that day.

What if some of my group miss the Shuttle Ticket time window?
Please attempt to have your entire group at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center shuttle stop within your ticket window. Allow enough time to walk from your camping spot, lodging, or parked vehicle. While staff at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center stop will try and find your group space on the shuttle, priority will be given to those who have their tickets and are present at the shuttle stop during their timed shuttle ticket window. Once you or your group members have missed your Shuttle Ticket time, there is no guarantee that you or your group members will have a space on the shuttle that day.

Can I give or sell my Shuttle Ticket to someone else?
No. Tickets are non-transferable. Tickets are only valid for the person who made the ticket and up to 7 additional people in a party.

What if I lose my Shuttle Ticket?
You must have your ticket to board the shuttle at the at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center shuttle stop. You will also need your Shuttle Ticket to board the shuttle in Zion Canyon. Staff at some of the shuttle stops in Zion Canyon will have a list of those who purchased tickets for the day. They will be able to verify if you have a ticket for the day.

What if my ticket isn’t readable by the scanner?
Staff at some of the shuttle stops will have a list of those who purchased tickets for the day. They will be able to verify if you have a ticket for the day.

Can I get a refund?
You may cancel your Shuttle Ticket up to 72 hours prior to your visit. The $1 USD fee is non-refundable.

With a Shuttle Ticket, am I guaranteed parking?
No. Zion National Park often experiences parking limitations and traffic congestion. Please plan accordingly and allow time to walk from your parking spot to the Visitor Center. Paid parking options are available in Springdale, UT.

Open Park Roads:

  • The collection of entrance fees has been temporarily suspended at Zion National Park. This is being done to help limit the exposure of park staff and visitors to COVID-19.

  • Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open to private vehicles until parking is full. After parking is full, the road will be open only if there is available space. No vehicles over 23 feet long. Last entry to the Scenic Drive is 6pm.

  • The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Route 9) is open. It may be temporarily closed to vehicles in the event of severe traffic congestion.

  • Mount Carmel Tunnel – One-way Traffic Control for large vehicles from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Open Trails:

  • Pa'rus Trail - A great hike from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center where there is usually plenty of parking.

  • Archeology Trail - Hike from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

  • Grotto Trail - A great way to hike from the parking at the Zion Lodge to the Grotto Trailhead.

  • Riverside Walk - The closest thing to the Narrows until the river level goes down.

  • Watchman Trail - A great hike from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center where there is usually plenty of parking.

  • Sand Bench Trail - a longer moderate hike that can be started from the Court of the Patriarchs.

  • Upper Emerald Pools and the Kayenta Trail - the only access to Upper Emerald Pools is from the Grotto Trailhead and the Kayenta Trail. Lower Emerald Pools remains closed.

  • The West Rim Trail to Scout Lookout - The Angels Landing Chains Section remains closed.

Operations Open:

  • Rangers are patrolling park land and roads.

  • Zion Forever bookstore is open 9am - 5pm.

  • Outdoor visitor orientation and information services will be in designated areas near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

  • Zion Lodge is open with limited services.

  • Canyon Trail Rides is open.

Hiking During Limited Operations

  • In and out day hiking from all trailheads only.

  • Hikers must remain on established trails.

  • No cross-country travel or off-trail travel.

  • Hop Valley trail can not be used to access Kolob Canyons area.

What Remains Closed?

Closed Areas and Activities:

  • Kolob Canyons

  • South Campground

  • Museum and Theater

  • Angels Landing Chains Section

  • Canyon Overlook Trail

  • Wilderness and Recreation Permits (this includes the Subway and top-down Narrows)

  • Climbing and Canyoneering

  • Overnight Backpacking or any through hiking

  • Lower Emerald Pools Trail (due to trail construction)

  • Weeping Rock area, including Observation Point (via East Rim Trail from Weeping Rock), Hidden Canyon, and Weeping Rock Trails (due to rockfall)

OVID-19 Health Guidance:

  • Maintain six-foot social distancing.
  • Do not exceed group size limits.
  • Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Hand sanitizer available near restrooms.

Zion is Busy
As services are limited, the National Park Service urges visitors to:

  • Pack out everything you bring into the park
  • Plan a visit at times other than busiest of the day
  • Maintain 6 ft (2 m) social distance from other visitors
  • Park only in designated areas
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles


We are closely monitoring COVID-19 with the federal, state, and local authorities. The National Park Service encourages people who choose to visit open park areas during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors, employees, and more vulnerable populations.

Information courtesy of NPS   

https://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm