There are five National Parks in Utah, and Zion is the most visited. During the busy season you’ll experience long lines and limited parking.
Here’s everything you need to know about parking at Zion National Park: parking legally in Zion and the town of Springdale, shuttle system operating season and hours, and tips to avoid the crowds!
Also check out our Zion National Park travel guide to help you plan your vacation: what to pack, where to stay and things to do!
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National Park Packing List
When you are visiting US National Parks it is important to be prepared. This includes wearing the proper clothes and shoes to be comfortable for the climate and the terrain.
→ CHECK OUT: National park packing lists for spring, summer, fall and winter!
- Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Sun protection – sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- US National Park travel guides and maps
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
Parking at Zion National Park
Zion National Park has limited parking space. As you explore the four Zion National Park scenic drives, take note of these regulations for parking:
- Park in designated areas only. Do not park along roadways!
- Vehicles parked outside of designated stalls are subject to citation and may be towed.
- If a lot is full, do not wait for spots to open; move on and try again later.
- Never park on vegetation or in a manner that blocks traffic.
- Don’t block the flow of traffic by waiting for a parking spot.
Zion Canyon Shuttle
If you visit Zion National Park in the winter you’ll find that Zion Canyon will be open to cars UNTIL the parking lots are full, and then it closes. There are no shuttles operating in the winter except for the last week of December. Be prepared with an alternate plan during December, January, and February.
Anyone with overnight reservations at the Zion Lodge are given a code to drive to the lodge to park in designated guest parking. Lodge guests can visit Springdale by driving their private vehicle or taking the park shuttle.
From the first stop at the Zion Visitor Center to the last stop at Temple of Sinawava is approximately 7.7 miles one way and takes about 45 minutes one way.
Are Zion Shuttle Tickets Required?
Zion National Park shuttles are free. You don’t need a ticket to use the Zion Canyon or Springdale shuttle systems.
How to Use the Zion Canyon Shuttle System
The shuttle to access Zion Canyon connects the Visitor Center to all the stops along the Zion Canyon scenic drive. Shuttles leave every few minutes going to all the stops on the route in both directions.
You may get on and off at any shuttle stop going up and down Zion Canyon. The Park Information Guide will always have the latest shuttle information and rules for using the shuttle.
IMPORTANT: Plan ahead so you don’t miss the last shuttle, or find the last shuttle is full! The walk back to your vehicle can be up to 8 miles or more, and it will be dark! You can walk to the Zion Lodge, still a long walk in the dark, where the Front Desk will have a list of companies that provide after-hours shuttle van rides. These rides are variable in price and may not be available at all times. Rangers will not give you a ride back to your vehicle.
Zion Canyon Shuttle Stops
- Zion Canyon Visitor Center – Watchman Trail, Pa’rus Trail, South Campground, Watchman Campground
- Zion Human History Museum – Bridge Mountain Arch (views), Altar of Sacrifice (views), and Zion Human History Museum
- Canyon Junction – end of the Pa’rus Trail, river access
- Court of the Patriarchs – Court of the Patriarchs (views), Sandbench Loop
- Zion Lodge – Emerald Pools Trail, Zion Lodge
- The Grotto – Kayenta Trail, West Rim Trail, Angel’s Landing (bathrooms, water fountain and picnic areas)
- Weeping Rock – Deertrap Mountain, Cable Mountain, Hidden Canyon, East Rim Trail, Observation Point, Weeping Rock
- Big Bend – Angel’s Landing (views), Great White Throne (views), river access
- Temple of Sinawava – The Narrows, Riverside Walk (bathrooms, water fountain)
Parking in Springdale
When it’s shuttle season, visitors should park in the town of Springdale and ride the town shuttle to access the Park. There is a charge for parking in Springdale.
The pay stub for parking in town is not a Zion National Park entrance pass. And your National Park entrance pass is NOT a validation for parking in Springdale. The National Park pass and Springdale parking pass are separate – you’ll need both!
Paid public parking in Springdale is available in the following locations:
- Zone A – Zion National Park entrance to Shuttle Stop #4.
- Zone B – Sundance Road to Anasazi Way.
- Zone C – All of Lion Boulevard.Off-street parking at Town administered lots:
- Bit and Spur Lot (1212 Zion Park Boulevard) – until 5PM
Oversized vehicles (RV’s, vehicles towing a trailer, vehicles over eight feet in height) may not park on Zion Park Boulevard (SR9). Oversized vehicles must park on Lion Boulevard.
Parking in Springdale for shopping and dining: paid public on-street parking is available on SR-9 across from the Post Office (0.2 miles to downtown shops and restaurants). Several shops and restaurants offer free parking for their patrons.
How to Use the Springdale Shuttle System
The Springdale Shuttle runs spring, summer and fall – check the website for the most current information.
There are 9 stops at various points in Springdale between the Majestic View Lodge (south end of town) and Zion Canyon Village (near the park entrance).
To access the Zion Canyon Shuttle get off at the Zion Canyon Village stop and walk across the pedestrian entrance footbridge to the NPS Visitor Center inside the park. This is where you’ll pay the park entrance fee.
A Springdale shuttle bus should come by every 10-15 minutes. There are two buses that loop from Shuttle Stop 9 at Majestic View Lodge to Shuttle Stop 1 at the Zion Canyon Village throughout the day.
Buses only stop if there are people at that stop waiting to board. If no one waiting, the shuttle will bypass the stop. If the shuttle is full it will not stop to pick up more passengers until seats are open.
Buses don’t stop at every stop to let people off. You will need to let the bus driver know the stop you want to be dropped off at as you board or approach the stop.
IMPORTANT: From 9:00am to 1:30pm the Springdale shuttles will not stop at outbound (west side of the road) town stops. Shuttles will only carry outbound town passengers from the Zion Village only.
Zion Park and Shuttle Maps
Zion National Park Map
Use this map to see all four Zion National Park scenic drives in the park.
CLICK to get a full map of Zion National Park.
Zion Canyon Shuttle Stop Map
Use this map of Zion Canyon to see the 9 shuttle stops.
CLICK to find the most recent shuttle stop map.
Springdale Shuttle Stop Map
Use this map of Springdale to see the shuttle stops in the town.
CLICK to download the Springdale shuttle stop map.
Tips For Driving and Parking Along Zion Scenic Drives
The shuttle at Zion is only used to access Zion Canyon. You can access the other three areas of the park in your vehicle along the Zion National Park scenic drives during the shuttle season:
Zion- Mount Carmel Scenic Byway / Highway 9
Highway 9 is a paved road taking you from Springdale to the East Entrance of the park, about 11 miles in distance. You will need to pay the entrance fee since this road runs through Zion. You’ll see stunning scenery along this narrow and winding road!.
Stop at designated pullouts to take pictures or explore the trails that start at the side of the road. The Canyon Overlook trail is near the Tunnel and it’s a terrific place to see and photograph the sunrise. It’s a short Zion National Park hike with amazing views. Parking is extremely limited so get there early and only park in designated areas!
Kolob Terrace Scenic Drive
Here’s a secret to get away from the crowds: drive the Kolob Terrace road that starts near the town of Virgin. It’s a great way to experience Zion National Park without the shuttle! There is no entrance fee to drive on this road.
The Kolob Terrace road is paved to Kolob Reservoir, about 25 miles one way. It’s a high plateau area towering above an open desert with amazing views of the colorful rocks in the park. Stop at pullouts and trailheads to take photos, or walk along trails to get better views. We especially like the views at the Hop Valley trailhead.
Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive
The Kolob Canyons district of Zion National Park is located at Exit 40 on Interstate 15 about 40 miles north of Zion Canyon. It’s a five-mile scenic drive along the Kolob Canyons Road to see crimson canyons and scenic viewpoints. There is an entrance fee to access this part of Zion.
There are a few Kolob Canyons hiking trails: Timber Creek Overlook is 1 mile RT; Taylor Creek Trail is 5 miles RT; and La Verkin Creek Trail is 14 miles RT.
BUY AT AMAZON: Zion National Park Guides and Maps
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion.
- Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
- Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
- Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
- Vacation Rentals in Springdale – you’ll want to stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants.
Resources for camping near Zion:
Plan Your Vacation To Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Travel Guide
- Best Time to Visit Zion National Park
- Things to do at Zion National Park
- Zion National Park Tours