Fall operations begin for Zion National Park shuttle, campgrounds

File photo of large lines of people await the shuttles inside Utah's Zion National Park. June 3, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The following provides an overview of fall operations for Zion National Park that will occur in September, October and November.

State Route 9 winds through Zion National Park, Utah. Undated photo | Photo by robertcicchetti/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

According to a press release issued by the National Park Service, the park always recommends that visitors plan ahead and check the park website before their visit to see what activities are currently available, what facilities may be open or closed and park alerts on current park conditions.

Visitors are required to wear face masks in federal buildings including the Zion Park Store, on shuttle buses and in queue lines. Visitors should follow Centers for Disease Control guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and recreate responsibly.

During much of the year, the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is only accessible by shuttle bus. Masks are required on all shuttles. The park operates a free shuttle in Springdale. Leave your vehicle at your hotel or park in one of the approved parking areas in Springdale and catch the shuttle in town. Enter the park at the pedestrian bridge at Zion Canyon Village.

The following table provides an update for the Zion Canyon Shuttle starting Monday.

Shuttle Schedule Sept. 20 to Nov. 7 Nov. 8 to Nov.28 Nov. 29 to Dec. 22 Dec. 23 to Jan. 1
First bus into the canyon from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center 7 a.m. 7 a.m. Shuttle not in service 8 a.m.
Last bus out of the canyon from the Temple of Sinawava 7:15 p.m. 6:15 p.m. Shuttle not in service 5:45 p.m.

The Town Shuttle starts at 8 a.m. beginning Monday and runs through Nov. 28. The last shuttle out of Zion Canyon will link with the last shuttle from Zion Canyon Village into Springdale. To comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines, shuttle drivers are not allowed to assist riders with wheelchairs. During this time when wheelchairs cannot be allowed on shuttles, visit the Zion Canyon visitor center information desk for assistance.

The following provides the hours of operations for the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Wilderness Desk, and Zion Park Store.

  • Kolob Canyons Visitor Center (Outside Information Desk), 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Zion Canyon Visitor Center (Outside Information Desk), 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Zion Canyon Wilderness Desk, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Zion Canyon Park Store, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., hours will change Oct. 3, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to check with the staff at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to learn about the available Ranger led programs.

One of the shuttles moves through Utah’s Zion National Park. June 3, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Currently South Campground, Watchman Campground and Lava Point Campground are open at Zion National Park, according to the release. The South Campground will close on Oct. 18 for the season. The park is closing the campground two weeks earlier this year in order to complete intermediate steps in the design process for the South Campground rehabilitation project.

This information will help to support the planning process for anticipated implementation of construction in 2023. Reservations for campsites at Watchman Campground are strongly suggested – the campground is typically full every night during the reservation season. The Lava Point Campground is open through September, as weather allows. This campground is first come, first serve. Camping is permitted in designated campsites, but not in pullouts or parking lots.

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel connects Zion Canyon to the east side of the park.

The following table provides the daily schedule of when large vehicles, including tour buses, motor homes and trailers, may travel through the tunnel.

Date Aug. 29 to Sept. 25 Sept. 26 to Nov. 6 Nov. 7 to Feb. 26
Tunnel Hours 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, visit the park website.

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

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