Park Shuttle (ZION)
To conserve fuel and reduce traffic the park provides a free shuttle between Springdale, just outside the park’s South Entrance, and Temple of Sinawava. Due to limited parking space, visitors are encouraged to park in Springdale and enter the park aboard a free shuttle. They operate from early April until late October. Buses run two separate loops. Springdale Loop completes laps from the south entrance/Zion Canyon Theater to Springdale. Zion Canyon Loop takes roughly 90-minutes to make seven stops between the visitor center and Temple of Sinawava via Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
Scenic Drives & Zion – Mt Carmel Highway
Switchbacks of Zion – Mount Carmel Highway © Bala Sivakumar
Zion – Mount Carmel Highway and Tunnel were built to provide a shorter route to Bryce Canyon National Park. The tunnel is a feat of engineering nearly as magnificent as the surrounding geography, but it poses a significant problem to large vehicles wishing to access Zion Canyon. All vehicles 7′ 10 or wider, or 11’4 or taller (maximum of 13’1 tall) are too large to remain in a single lane through the tunnel and require an escort. They must pay a $15 escort fee at the park entrance before driving to the tunnel, good for two trips through the tunnel within seven days of purchase. Oversized vehicles are only allowed to pass through during seasonal hours when it is manned by park rangers. Typical hours are from 8am – 7pm in summer and 8am – 4:30pm in winter. It is a good idea to visit the park’s website or call the visitor center for current hours of operation. Cyclists and pedestrians are not allowed to use the tunnel.
The 10-mile Zion – Mount Carmel Highway connects the park’s East and South Entrances. The highlight of a trip for many visitors is the six-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. In winter visitors are allowed to drive this stretch of road all the way to the foot of Temple of Sinawava, which is also the mouth of the famous Zion Narrows. For the rest of the year, Zion Canyon Drive is only open to park shuttle buses and guests of Zion Lodge.