Over 4 million travelers visit Zion National Park each year. To ease the stress of so many visitors on the fragile ecosystem, park officials have utilized a shuttle system for quite some time. It's the only national park in Utah to have a shuttle system. Shuttle buses run from early morning to late evening and the average wait is 15 minutes or less, sometimes arriving every 7 minutes during the busy season. Buses are fully accessible for those with physical disabilities.
During the shuttle season and hours of operation, personal vehicles are not allowed on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive except for those with reservations at Zion Lodge or for trail rides.
COVID restrictions in 2020 caused the park to institute a shuttle permit system which required advance reservations. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/zion-canyon-shuttle-system.htm.
You can leave your car in the town of Springdale and ride the town shuttle to the Zion National Park South Entrance. You'll see a number of ''Shuttle Parking'' signs throughout town to guide you to one of the nine stops in Springdale closest to you. If you are staying at a lodge or motel, leave your car there and ride the shuttle to the park.
Zion Canyon Shuttle
If you plan on driving to the park, the parking lot at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center commonly fills by mid morning. For more information, you can listen to your radio on 1610 AM. Once you are in the park, the Zion Canyon Shuttle, which is free, stops at nine park locations on a loop. The transfer between loops is made at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. You can get on and off as often as you like.
The shuttle operates March through mid-November. In November, the park's shuttle service operates on the weekends with additional service on Thanksgiving Day and Friday.
There is no eating or smoking on the bus, but you can drink water. Water is the only beverage allowed on the bus. Other beverages are prohibited. Pets are not allowed on the shuttle buses.
Be sure to bring water and snacks for the day. There are water-bottle filling stations at some shuttle stops in Zion Canyon. Don't forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and your park pass or entry receipt if you are returning to the park.
The park's buses run frequently throughout the day. While the average wait is 15 minutes or less, the buses do come as often as every seven minutes during the busy season. You do not need to rush to catch one. Check out the outdoor exhibits, listen to the ranger presentations at the Zion Human History Museum and learn more at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. All of these educational opportunities will help shape your park itinerary.
Go on a Ranger-led Bus Tour
You also can go on a shuttle for a ranger-led, 90-minute tour every day (Canceled during COVID). The tour starts at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, and you can make free reservations at the information desk up to three days in advance. Group size is limited to 8 people to give others an opportunity to participate on the tours. No telephone reservations are accepted.