With shuttle service resuming in Zion National Park, visitors should plan ahead for camping, crowds

In this file photo, visitors in Zion National Park stand at a shuttle stop on Memorial Day Weekend 2022 at the Temple of Sinawava, Utah | Photo courtesy of National Park Service/Jonathan Shafer, St. George News

SPRINGDALE – With springtime just around the corner, the National Park Service has restarted shuttle service through Zion Canyon.

Every year, Zion National Park adjusts shuttle schedules and campground availability to reflect the seasons. Here is what you need to know to plan your visit:

Zion Shuttle Schedule 

Shuttles started running in the park and in the town of Springdale on Saturday, March 11. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to personal vehicles while the park shuttle is operating.

See the full 2023 shuttle schedule below

March 11 to May 20 May 21 to Sept. 17 Sept. 18 to Nov. 4 Nov. 5-26
Zion Canyon Line
First bus departs Zion Canyon Visitor Center to Temple of Sinawava 7 a.m. 6 a.m. 7 a.m. 7 a.m.
Last shuttle from Zion Canyon Visitor Center to Temple of Sinawava 5 p.m. 7 p.m. 5 p.m. 4 p.m.
Last bus departs the Temple of Sinawava to Zion Canyon Visitor Center 7:15 p.m. 8:15 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 6:15 p.m.
Springdale Line – The shuttle will only stop in Springdale if there is someone at a stop or a passenger requests a stop. This is referred to as flag service.
First bus into town from Majestic View Lodge 8 a.m. 7 a.m. 8 a.m. 8 a.m.
Last bus into town from Zion Canyon Village 7 p.m. 8 p.m. 7 p.m. 6 p.m.

This schedule is subject to change, and the park will post up-to-date information at the Zion National Park website. The park will share an update later this year about service between Christmas and the new year.

Zion National Park visitors fill the parking lot at the Temple of Sinawava on a busy morning, Zion National Park, Utah, June 25, 2020 | File photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

Plan for limited parking in Zion National Park. When parking inside Zion is full, the Park Service may temporarily close parking lots and roads. Visitors can park in Springdale and ride the free Springdale Line shuttle.

Visitors do not need a permit, ticket or reservation to enter the park or ride the park shuttle, but paying the park fee is mandatory.

Spring campgrounds schedule

Watchman Campground 

  • Open year-round.
  • Make reservations up to 6 months before your visit on Recreation.gov.

South Campground 

  • Closed.
  • Zion will share more information about South Campground as it develops improvement plans.

Lava Point Campground 

  • Closed until snow melts. Anticipated in late-May 2023.
  • Make reservations up to two weeks before visiting on Recreation.gov.

Plan ahead and prepare

If visitors can’t find parking or camping within the park, the Park Service encourages them to research nearby communities and public lands to learn about other recreational activities and lodging.

Learn more and make reservations online at Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Visitor Center and Wilderness Permit Desk hours

Zion Canyon Visitor Center

  • Information Desk – Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
  • Wilderness Permit Desk – Open from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day.
  • Park Store – Open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Zion Human History Museum 

  • Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

Kolob Canyons Visitor Center  

  • Information Desk – Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
  • Wilderness Permit Desk – Open from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day.

Need to know

No matter when visiting Zion, the park encourages planning ahead by checking for updates at the Zion National Park website.

Whether riding a shuttle or drive a car in Zion Canyon, the park encourages visitors to be prepared for crowds and advises the following:

  • Parking fills early year-round.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists if you are driving.
  • Stay on trails and avoid walking in the road.
  • Ride your bike on the road or the Pa’rus Trail. Bicycling is not allowed on any other trails in the park. If you are riding in the road, you must stop and place a foot on the ground to let buses pass you.
  • The NPS may temporarily close roads if traffic is congested or there is nowhere for drivers to park.
  • In general, fewer people visit Zion on weekdays than weekends. Consider arriving early or after 3 p.m. to avoid the busiest times of day.

The National Park Services asks all visitors to follow Leave No Trace practices everywhere in the park and pack out all trash.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!