Post Summary: Zion Shuttle

Zion Canyon is a spectacular narrow river gorge in southern Utah. This canyon is the magnificent centerpiece of Zion National Park. This narrow canyon is accessed via the Zion Scenic Drive. It is both a blessing and a curse that this narrow canyon doesn’t have space to put in a large amount of public parking. To help alleviate congestion in Zion Canyon, access to the Zion Canyon is limited to the Zion Shuttle for most of the year.

This free shuttle system (mostly free) gives significantly more people the opportunity to spend time in the main canyon of Zion National Park. It can be a little bit confusing figuring out the Zion Canyon shuttles especially with the changes to the current system.

Please note: Masks are REQUIRED when ridging all Zion Shuttles both public and private. If you don’t want to wear a mask that is your choice but don’t expect to ride the shuttles.

This information is accurate as of March 19, 2021 and is subject to change.

Confused about the Zion National Park Shuttle? Click HERE to learn about the Zion Shuttle and everything you need to know about using the Zion Canyon Shuttle. 

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What is the Zion Shuttle?

The Zion Shuttle provides access to Scenic Canyon Drive from the Zion National Park Visitor Center to the Temple of Sinawava.

In the late 1990’s, the National Park Service realized that park visitation was increase in Zion, and traffic problems were increasing. In 2000, the Zion Shuttle system was established to help the increase in visitors access the Scenic Canyon Drive. It is estimated that the shuttle system transported more than 6.3 million people in 2017.

When does the Zion National Park Shuttle Run?

The Zion Shuttle typically operates from early March to mid-November along with select holidays and weekends for the rest of the year. The Shuttle started operations daily operations on March 2, 2021.

The shuttles run from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm seven days a week. Boarding to head into the canyon is from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. The last shuttle leaves the Temple of Sinawava at 7:15 pm and arrives at the visitor center at 8:00 pm. Shuttles depart the visitor center every 6-10 mintures.

How do you get Zion Shuttle Tickets?

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Zion Shuttle was made the decision to reduce capacity of the shuttle buses and implemented a timed reservation system. This means that when the shuttle system is operating all everyone over the age of two years old needs a shuttle ticket.

Shuttle capacity is currently capped at 33 riders and standing isn’t allowed.

Zion Shuttle stopped at the Zion Shuttle Stop look out on the towering cliff walls.

Important things to know about Zion Shuttle Tickets

  • Tickets typically sell out within a minute or two of being released. So you need to be ready to purchase at the time they are released.
  • The tickets themselves are free but there is a $1 service fee.
  • Each member of your party over 2 years old needs a ticket.
  • You will need a Zion Shuttle ticket for each day you wish to ride the shuttle.
  • Tickets must be printed or downloaded.
  • Tickets are good for ONE boarding at the Visitor Center. Once in the canyon, you can get on and off the shuttle all you want. You can head back to the visitor center at any time.
  • A shuttle ticket is required for EACH DAY you wish to ride the shuttle
  • The Zion Shuttle only stops at the Visitor Center, Zion Lodge, The Grotto, and The Narrows.
  • Park visitors staying at the Zion park grounds and the Zion Lodge NEED a shuttle ticket to use the shuttle.
  • Do not miss your Shuttle Ticket window. There is NO guarantee there will be space on a later shuttle.
  • Shuttle Tickets does NOT guarantee parking at the visitor center. Please plan accordingly.
  • Pets are NOT allowed on the shuttle. Only service animals meeting the ADA definition of “service animal” will be allowed on the shuttles. Emotional support animals are considered pets

Advanced Zion Shuttle Tickets

Advanced tickets are released twice a month. Tickets for the first half of a month (1-15) are released on the 16th of the proceeding month. Tickets for the second half of a month (16-30) are released on the last day of the proceeding month. Reservations can be made at Recrecation.gov. You can reserve up to 8 tickets at one time.

  • April 16 – 30, 2021, advance tickets are released on March 31, at 9:00 a.m. MT
  • May 1 – 15, 2021, advance tickets are released on April 16, at 9:00 a.m. MT
  • May 16 – 31, 2021, advance tickets are released on April 30, at 9:00 a.m. MT
  • June 1 – 15, 2021, advance tickets are released on May 16, at 9:00 a.m. MT
  • June 16 – 30, 2021, advance tickets are released on May 31, at 9:00 a.m. MT

Get Email Reminders for Shuttle Ticket Releases

One Day in Advance Shuttle Tickets

A second block of shuttle tickets is released at 5:00 pm MT every day for the following day. Such as tickets for April 3 are released on April 2. These ticket reservations can be made at Recrecation.gov.

These tickets will be shown as “Not Yet Released” on the Recreation.gov website or app until they become available.

Afternoon Walk-up Zion Shuttle Tickets

There is a limited number of space available, first-come, first serve ticket for visitors arriving at the visitor center between 2 pm and 4 pm. These tickets will allow you to board the Zion shuttle IF THERE IS SPACE.

These tickets will give you a minimal amount of time to go into the canyon and hike a shorter trail like Emerald Pools or out to where the Narrow trail takes to the river but not much else.

These Zion Shuttle tickets are NOT recommend if you wish to hike the Narrows or Angel’s Landing.

Zion Shuttle driving down the road surrounded by Zion's towering orange cliffs.

ADA Accessibility on Zion National Park Shuttle

Due to COVID-19 public health guidelines, shuttle drivers are not allowed to assist riders with wheelchairs. Persons who use wheelchairs should visit the Zion Visitor Center Information Desk to obtain a special permit for their personal vehicle. This permit will allow them to use their personal vehicle on Zion Canyon drive.

All Zion shuttle buses have a wheelchair lift and are accessible to persons with a wheelchair or other supported medical devices. These lifts have a weight limit of 600 lbs. and chairs must be no more than 45″ long or 25″ wide. Wheelchairs exceeding these requirements should see the Zion Visitor Center Information Desk for a special permit.

Parking for the Zion Shuttle

The primary parking lot of the Zion Canyon Shuttle is located at the visitor center. This lot is typically full by mid-morning and spaces don’t begin to open up until mid-afternoon.

If the visitor center lot is full, you will have to find parking in the town of Springdale. If you are staying at a Springdale Hotel or vacation rental with parking, leave your car and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park entrance.

Otherwise, you will have to find parking in Springdale. Parking regulations are strictly enforced and most of the free parking is reserved for guests of said business. There are paid parking lots or roadside parking. Click here for a parking map of Springdale. If you park in these spaces you will likely need to take the Springdale Shuttle to the visitor center. Make sure you leave enough time to park and take the Springdale Shuttle to the visitor center. I’d plan on at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Zion Shuttle Map

Map of the Zion Shuttle Route

Zion Shuttle Stops

Stop # 1: Visitor Center

Located just North of the park entrance at the Visitor Center, it is the starting point for visitors entering the park from Springdale. This stop is near Watchman and South Campground.

There are restrooms, picnic area, water, and recycling available here.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • Pa’rus Trail
  • Archeology Trail
  • Watchman Trail
Stop # 2: Zion Human History Museum

This stop is currently closed due to COVID.

The previous Visitor Center has been converted into the Human History Museum. Visitors will be treated to views of the Altar of Sacrifice and additional parking options.

There are restrooms, picnic area, water, and trash/recycling available here.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • N/A
Stop # 3: Canyon Junction

This stop is currently closed due to COVID.

This is the point at which Route 9 and Zion Canyon Scenic Drive intersect. There is access to the Virgin River here.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • Pa’rus Trail
Stop # 4: Court of the Patriarchs

This stop is currently closed due to COVID.

This shuttle stop provides great view of the Court of Patriarchs.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • Sandbench Trail
Stop # 5: Zion Lodge

Park visitors can check out this historic National Park Lodge. The restaurant and snack bar provides lunch, dinner, snacks, and ice cream and is the only place to refuel in the park.

There are restrooms, picnic area, water, and trash/recycling available here.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • Lower Emerald Pool Trail
  • Grotto Trail
  • Sandbench Trail
  • Middle Emerald Pools Trail
Stop # 6: The Grotto

The Angels Landing and West Rim Trail hikes orignate from here.

There are restrooms, picnic area, water, and trash/recycling available here.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • Grotto Trail
  • Kayenta Trail
  • Upper Emerald Pool Trail
  • Angels Landing
Stop # 7: Weeping Rock

This stop is currently closed due to COVID and a rockfall. All trails starting from this point are inaccessible due to the rockfall. East Rim and Observation Point can be accessed from the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway.

The trails to Weeping Rock, Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, Cable Mountain, and the East Rim Trail originate from here.

There are restrooms, and trash/recycling available here.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • Weeping Rock Trail
  • Hidden Canyon Trail
  • Observation Point
  • East Rim Trail
Stop # 8: Big Bend

This stop is currently closed due to COVID.

Views of Angels Landing and Great White Throne are provided at this stop along with access to the river.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • N/A
Stop # 9: Temple of Sinawava

The final stop on the shuttle system provides access to The Narrows and Riverside Walk. During the peak seasons, the return lines can experience lengthy waits.

There are restrooms, water, and trash/recycling available here.

Trailhead at this shuttle stop:

  • Riverside Walk
  • The Narrows

Springdale Shuttle to the Zion Visitor Center

The Springdale Shuttle is a shuttle service provided by the town of Springdale. This free shuttle runs from the Majestic View Lodge to the Zion Theater (a short walk from the visitor center). The Springdale shuttle runs from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm seven days a week. The first shuttle leaves the Majestic View Lodge at 8:00 am and the last shuttle leaves the Zion Canyon Theater at 6:00 pm. Shuttles run every 15-30 min depending on traffic and time of year.

The Springdale Shuttle Stops are (Northbound/Southbound)

  1. Majestic View Lodge
  2. Silver Bear Enterprises / Park House Cafe
  3. Driftwood Lodge / Quality Inn & Suites
  4. Zion Park Inn / Bit & Spur
  5. Bumbleberry Inn / Pizza & Noodle
  6. Desert Pearl / Canyon Ranch
  7. Zion Clothing Store / Flanigans
  8. Cliffrose
  9. Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theater (Zion Canyon Village)
Map of the Springdale Shuttle route

Private Shuttle into Zion Canyon

Several local businesses have been authorized to provide shuttle service on the Zion Scenic Canyon Drive. These private shuttles can drop you off at the trailhead and will pick you up when done.

These prices and shuttle offerings are accurate as of March 18, 2021 and are subject to change.

Red Rock Shuttle

This shuttle services offers departures every 30 mins from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm. The last shuttle departs the Narrows at 6:00 pm.

Cost: $35 a person for parties less than 5; $30 a person for parties over 6.

> Book the Red Rock Shuttle Here

Zion Adventure Company

This shuttle mostly focuses on taking hikers to the Narrows but drop off and pick-up at other destinations can be arranged. Departures every 30 mins from 7:00 am to 11:30 am and from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Save 10% off Narrow gear packages if using the Zion Adventure Company shuttle.

Cost: $40 a person

> Book the Zion Adventure Company Shuttle Here

Zion Guide Hub

Departures at 7:00, 8:00m, and 9:30 am. Pick-up times are 2:00 or 4:00 pm.

Cost: $50 a person

>> Book the Zion Guide Hub Here

Zion Guru

Zion Guru offers both a commercial shuttle and a private shuttle. Drop off and pick-up time based on customer’s needs.

Commercial Cost: $45 a person

Private Shuttle Cost: $60 a person / $300 minimum

> Book the Zion Guru Shuttle Here

Zion Jeep Tour

Take an open air jeep into the park with Zion Jeep tours. Shuttles depart every hour and half starting at 7:30 am. Pick up is every five hours. So the 7:30 am shuttle’s pick-up is at 1:30 pm and the 10:30 am shuttle’s pick-up is at 4:30 pm. These are strick pick-up times to ensure everyone has a ride out of the canyon.

Cost: $30 a person

>> Book the Zion Jeep Tour Shuttle Here

Alternates to the Zion Shuttle

Walking the Zion Canyon

It is possible to walk down Scenic Canyon Drive but it isn’t very practical. It is 5 miles from the Park entrance to the Grotto Stop and 8 mile to the Temple of Sinawava.

Biking Zion Scenic Drive

Almost every stop and trailhead along the Scenic Canyon Drive has a bicycle rack. So you can bring a bike and bike into the park. eBikes are allowed anywhere a bike or car is allowed. If you are flying or don’t want to bring your bikes, rentals are available in Springdale. Most rentals are 1/2 day or day rentals.

Outta Here eBikes

Outta Here eBikes offers eBikes.

Bike Rental Cost: $75 half day; $95 full day rental

eBike Rental Cost: $75 half day; $95 full day rental

Zion Cycles

Zion Cycles offers a range of bikes, mountain bikes and eBikes.

Bike Rental Cost: $40 half day; $50 full day rental

eBike Rental Cost: $100 half day; $120 full day rental

Zion Outfitters

Zion Outfitters offers a range of bikes, and eBikes. They accept reservations and have walk-up bikes available.

Bike Rental Cost: $25 half day; $35 full day rental

eBike Rental Cost: $79 half day; $89 full day rental (I think their site is a little unclear.)

Zion Rock & Mountain Guides

Zion Rock & Mountain Guides offers a range of bikes.

Bike Rental Cost: $50 half day; $75 full day rental

Final Thoughts on the Zion Shuttle

I hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any questions or comments let me know in the comments below.

Pin for Later: Zion Shuttle: What you need to know about Zion National Park Shuttles

Confused about the Zion National Park Shuttle? Click HERE to learn about the Zion Shuttle and everything you need to know about using the Zion Canyon Shuttle. 

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Jennifer is a long time national park blogger and the founder of National Park Obsessed. She is a dedicated National Park lover who is working on visiting all 62 US National Parks. She has currently been to 53 of the National Parks. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge of the Parks with others and helping them learn to love the parks as much as she does.

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