Zion National Park discontinues shuttle ticket system

The Zion National Park shuttle fleet parked near the maintenance facility, Zion National Park, Utah, March 2, 2018 | File photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — As of Friday, the words “tickets please” will no longer be heard on the shuttles in Zion National Park.

Visitors debark the shuttle in Springdale,, Utah, July 16, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

The park announced late Thursday that it will no longer be requiring the purchase of $2 tickets to ride the shuttle that takes visitors from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center in Springdale to points throughout upper Zion Canyon and the Scenic Drive. Instead, the shuttle is returning to the first-come, first-serve system of the past.

Those who have already purchased tickets will get priority at or following the time of day indicated on the ticket.

The move is just another sign that the park is returning to its pre-pandemic state. The paid-shuttle system was implemented in the park in February 2020 as a measure to control crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, it was announced that the paid-ticket system would be in use through November 2020, but that was extended as the spread of COVID-19 continued to stretch on.

Even with the shuttle system, visitation to the national park has been anything but pre-pandemic. Zion has been seeing large crowds, including record crowds in September. The move is sure to add to the lines expected for this weekend’s Memorial Day holiday.

Visitors to Zion National Park line up to board the shuttle to take them up the Main Canyon Scenic Drive, Zion National Park, Utah, Oct. 16, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

One thing not returning back to normal yet are masks, which are still going to be required on the Zion shuttles and waiting in line for one. Visitors are also still required to wear face masks in federal buildings, including the Zion Park Store. When outdoors, face masks are required on lands managed by the park service when physical distance cannot be maintained. Visitors should follow CDC guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and recreate responsibly.

The shuttle, which runs from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., takes visitors through most of the important landmarks of the park and makes stops at such sites as  the Emerald  Pools, West Rim Trail and Angels Landing, the Riverside Walk, and the Narrows.

More information about visiting the park is available on the Zion National Park website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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