Plan for long lines, lengthy waits this weekend in Zion National Park

Zion Canyon Overlook is a popular destination of hikers in Zion National Park, Oct. 3, 2021 | Photo by Vin Cappiello, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — Potential visitors to Zion National Park are urged to plan ahead before heading to this popular holiday weekend destination.

Hikers make their way along Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park, Oct. 3, 2021 | Photo by Vin Cappiello, St. George News

And since summer already is the busiest season at Zion and Independence Day weekend has arrived, the National Park Service anticipates:

  • Long lines at entrance stations, visitor centers, restrooms and trailheads.
  • Lengthy waits to board park shuttles in Springdale and Zion National Park.
  • Intermittent closures at the park’s east and south vehicle entrance stations.
  • Heavy traffic in Springdale and throughout the park.

“Independence Day is on a Monday this year, so we’re planning for a busy weekend,” Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion National Park superintendent, said in a news release. “On holiday weekends, we typically see more visitors arrive at the same time than on other busy summer days.”

Staff from Zion also are working with the Town of Springdale to prepare for its Independence Day parade, which will close state Route 9 from about 8:30 a.m. until mid-morning on Monday, July 4.

According to the NPS, news release:

When we are actively managing traffic by temporarily suspending vehicle entry at gates, drivers will not be able to enter the park. Visitors can always ride the free Springdale Shuttle to the park’s pedestrian/bicycle entrance. If you need to travel to communities on either side of the park during the holiday weekend and you do not plan to visit Zion for recreation, you may avoid heavy traffic by considering alternate routes such as:

  • Utah 20.
  • Utah 14.
  • US 89 – Arizona 389 – Utah 59.

The National Park Service also reminds visitors to recreate responsibly and offers the following tips:

  • Be patient with rangers and other visitors. Busy weekends can be stressful, and we need your help to make sure everyone enjoys their national park visit.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and watch for signs of heat stress.
  • Avoid flash floods and lightning by checking the forecast. Your safety is your responsibility.
  • Prevent wildfires. Fireworks are not allowed in Zion National Park and fire restrictions are in effect. Do not build campfires in campgrounds or in park wilderness.
  • Park only in designated parking areas. Illegally parked vehicles can harm park plants and animals and may be ticketed or towed.
  • Pack it In – Pack it Out. Take everything you bring into the park out again. This helps protect plants, animals, and historic resources and reduces the amount of trash NPS staff need to manage.
  • Go before you go. Use restrooms at trailheads and shuttle stops before venturing out on trails.

To learn more about summer operations in Zion, visit the Park’s social media apps and visit the Zion website for the latest park information.

The NPS will post updates @ZionNPS on Twitter if it suspends vehicle entry at park gates. No Twitter account is required to see these free updates.

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