Traffic & Travel Tips

Traffic backed up at the entrance to Zion National Park.
A line of cars waits to enter Zion, but the canyon parking is full.


The park established a seasonal shuttle system to reduce traffic and parking problems. However, during high visitation there can be long lines at entrance gates and limited parking inside the park. In 2021, Zion recorded more than 5 million visits.

During non-shuttle season, when drivers are allowed on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, it is often still busy at Zion. When the shuttle is not running, Zion Canyon Scenic Drive closes when there are no more legal parking spaces. This is to:

  • Reduce illegal parking that can hurt plants and animals.
  • Avoid gridlock that can slow medical responders, search and rescue team members, and law enforcement rangers responding to emergency call.

The road often closes in December, January, and February.

Where the People Are

From early February through late November, Zion can be very busy. There may be a wait at park entrance stations, and parking often fills by early- or mid-morning. You can avoid delays if you park in Springdale and ride the free shuttle to the park.

The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is also very busy with lines that regularly stretch to the visitor center doors. Avoid long lines at by planning your trip ahead of time and downloading our current Information Guide.

Other destinations

If it is too busy to go to Zion Canyon, consider visiting Kolob Canyons, the Kolob Terrace Road, and the east side of the park.

If you visit between February and November, expect to see a lot of other people on trails and the park shuttle. It is not uncommon for hundreds of people a day to hike on the Emerald Pools Trail or to The Narrows. Remember, everyone who goes to Angels Landing needs to have a permit.

Holiday weekends are especially busy

When you plan your trip, remember that Zion is a very popular place to visit on holidays. Some of the most popular weekends to come here include:

  1. Easter week (date varies - usually in April)
  2. Memorial Day Weekend (last Monday in May)
  3. Independence Day (July 4)
  4. Pioneer Day (July 24)
  5. Labor Day Weekend (first Monday in September)


Please park legally and responsibly in Zion National Park and the Town of Springdale
Zion National Park has limited parking space in Zion Canyon. There are lots at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion Human History Museum, and near the Zion Nature Center. Please park only in designated spaces. Vehicles parked outside of designated spaces are subject to citation and may be towed. Once all designated parking in Zion is full, you should park in the town of Springdale and ride the town shuttle to access the Park. Check the Town of Springdale's website to learn what they charge for parking. Receipts for parking in town are not a park entrance pass. Similarly, a park entrance pass does not pay for parking in the Town of Springdale. Thank you for parking responsibly during your visit.

When parking in Zion is full, please remember:

  • Park in designated areas only. Do not park on roads.
  • If a lot is full, do not wait for spots to open. Move on and try again later.
  • Never park on vegetation or block traffic.
  • Don't block the flow of traffic by waiting for a parking spot.
  • Consider parking in the Town of Springdale, and ride to the park on the free shuttle.
Visitors waiting in line for the shuttle.
Millions of people ride the park shuttle every year. During busy times, the wait can be more than an hour.

How to Avoid the Crowds

  • Remember that weekends are usually busier than weekdays, and holidays can be especially busy.

  • Park in Springdale and ride the free shuttle to Zion.

  • Consider visiting in December (except around the holidays) or in January (except Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend).

  • Visit less crowded areas of the park.

  • Avoid long lines at visitor centers by planning your trip ahead and downloading the Information Guide.

  • Ride your bicycle to avoid shuttles, but remember that bike riders must yield to bus traffic.

Last updated: May 31, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


If you have questions, please email Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

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