Zion National Park Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best U.S. National Parks
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

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

America's 15 Coolest Ghost Towns to Visit

From Kentucky to California, the U.S. is filled with eerie abandoned cities.

Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019

The 7 Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Learn about the Big Easy's history through one of these daytrips.

Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Beautiful Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019