Learn About The Shuttle
Welcome to Zion National Park! Zion is a big place, but it can feel quite crowded when thousands of cars, tour buses, and RVs try to squeeze into Zion Canyon each day. To help reduce congestion and help provide access to the canyon for everyone, Zion National Park introduced a free shuttle system that operates from early spring through late fall. Let’s take a quick look at how the shuttles work and how you can use them to improve your visit to Zion.
Parking is limited in Zion and parking areas are usually full by mid morning. The easiest way to avoid hassles is to park in the town of Springdale and ride the free shuttle to the park entrance. You can park along the road in town as well as in designated Park & Ride locations.
Everyday, shuttle buses make their way through the town of Springdale to the park’s pedestrian entrance. There are eight shuttle stops in town, conveniently located with easy access to most hotels, restaurants, and shops, so you are never very far from a place to board. If you are staying in Springdale, simply leave your car where it is and take the Springdale shuttle to the park entrance. Be sure to check out the shuttle schedule at each stop for the current hours of operation. Shuttles run throughout the day and the average wait time is less than 15 minutes, so there is no need to rush – another bus will be by shortly.
Be sure to bring all the things you need for the day, including your park pass or receipt, water bottles, sunscreen, snacks, extra layers, and a headlamp or flashlight.
For your convenience, each shuttle bus is wheelchair accessible and has a bike rack capable of carrying at least two bicycles. Please note that pets are not permitted on shuttle buses or on most trails in the park.
The Springdale shuttle ends at the pedestrian entrance to the park, just across the river from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and the Zion Canyon Shuttle. Pay your park entrance fee or show your valid pass or receipt to enter. Make sure to grab a copy of the park newspaper. It contains essential information that will help you have a successful visit to the park, including the shuttle schedule, maps, and trail information.
Follow the signs to the park Visitor Center – a great place to get even more information about the park. In the Visitor Center you can also obtain wilderness permits at the wilderness desk or purchase items in the park bookstore.
The Zion Canyon Shuttle starts just beyond the visitor center. The Zion Canyon Shuttle travels up the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway before turning up the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. When shuttles are operating, the six mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which ends at the Temple of Sinawava, is accessible by shuttle buses and bicycles only. If you choose to ride your bike on the road, you must stop to allow shuttles to pass.
Replacing private vehicles with propane filled buses has significantly reduced congestion, noise, and pollution in Zion Canyon. During the 80 minute round trip from the Visitor Center to the Temple of Sinawava and back, the Zion Canyon Shuttle makes eight stops. These stops provide access to the Zion Human History Museum, The Zion Lodge, and every trail along the scenic drive. Shuttles run throughout the day and should give you plenty of time to see the canyon. Buses typically run just a few minutes apart, so feel free to get on and off as frequently as you would like – you’ll never have to wait long for another bus to arrive. When you get off the shuttle, be sure to check the schedule to ensure you don’t miss the last bus of the day.
Consult your newspaper to decide which shuttle stops are of most interest to you. Many of the shuttle stops have restrooms and water bottle filling stations and we encourage you to use these resources before starting your hike. Doing so will help protect you and this fragile desert environment.
Thank you for visiting Zion National Park. We hope you enjoy your stay and your ride on the Zion Shuttle System.