Zion National Park Travel Guide

USA  #4 in Best Places to Hike in North America
Credit

Courtesy of Johannes Wienke / EyeEm/Getty Images

Getting Around Zion National Park

The best way to get around Zion National Park is on the park's free shuttle during the nine months of the year that it runs. Between December and February, your only option is a car since the shuttle pauses service during the winter months. If you choose to drive into the park, you'll have to pay a $30 entrance fee, which is valid for seven days. If you enter as a pedestrian or bicyclist (or via the free shuttle from the neighboring town of Springdale), you'll be asked to pay $15.

The closest major airport is McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas. It's about 172 miles (or about a three-hour drive) southwest of the park. There are also two regional airports in St. George and Cedar City, Utah, but they only offer limited flights from Salt Lake City, Denver and Phoenix.

Shuttle

Not only does the shuttle save travelers the hassle of dealing with directions and parking, it also helps them enjoy the park without the concern of maneuvering the hairpin turns and steep switchbacks characteristic of the park. There are two free shuttles that shuffle travelers around Zion National Park and the gateway city of Springdale, where most of the area's hotels and accommodations are located. Between March and November, the shuttle picks up passengers in Springdale and makes drops at the top attractions and trailheads throughout the park. It also wheels passengers along the park's breathtaking portion of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which is closed to private vehicles when the shuttle is operating. The average wait time for a shuttle is 15 minutes or less.

Car

Although visitors can get around Zion National Park via a personal vehicle all year, it's the only option for traversing the park between December and February, when the shuttle has shut down for the season. You can rent vehicles from various companies at McCarran International Airport or the park's neighboring town of Springdale. Keep in mind that the park features some winding roads that have steep drop-offs. Another consideration: Most of the park's lots are completely full from 10 a.m. until about 3 p.m., especially during peak summer season, so it's best to drive in to the park early to avoid frustration. You can also leave your car in Springdale and ride the free shuttle into the park. If no speed limits are posted, the official speed limit is 35 mph.

Explore More of Zion National Park

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

Holly JohnsonJanuary 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

Lyn MettlerDecember 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019