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 article was published on March 19, 2021 and it is updated on June 12, 2021.

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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 6:00 am to 8:00 pm seven days a week. Boarding to head into the canyon is from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm. The last shuttle leaves the Temple of Sinawava at 8:15 pm and arrives at the visitor center at 9:00 pm. Shuttles depart the visitor center every 6-10 minutes.

How do you get Zion Shuttle Tickets?

On Friday, May 28, 2021, Zion National Park announced that they have discontinued the Zion Shuttle tickets. Previously issued tickets will be given priority access.

Mask are still required when riding the shuttle or waiting the shuttle queue.

Shuttle capacity has returned to the pre-COVID levels. People in a wheelchair should review the ADA policy below.

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

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.

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

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

Private Shuttles into Zion Canyon have been discontinued. The Zion Shuttle has returned to normal operations.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about the Zion Shuttle

Can I bring my pet on the Zion Shuttle?

Pets are not allowed on the Zion Shuttle. Service animals are permitted. Per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a “service animal” as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability such as those to provide comfort or emotional support (“therapy animals”), are considered pets.

Can I drive up the Scenic Drive when the shuttle is running?

No, you cannot drive up the Scenic Drive when the shuttle is running. Guests with Zion Lodge and Canyon Trail Rides reservations (individuals will receive passes or codes when making reservations) are allowed up the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to designated parking areas. Private vehicles are only allowed to drive the Scenic Drive during the non-shuttle season..

I’m staying at the Zion Lodge, do I need to ride the Zion Shuttle?

Yes and No. You will be provided a pass to allow you to drive up Scenic Canyon Drive to the Zion Lodge parking area. You cannot drive further into the canyon if the shuttle buses are running. You will need to ride the shuttle to access stops further in the canyon.

How often do the Zion Shuttle buses run?

The Zion Shuttle buses run every 6-10 minutes.

How do I pay my Zion National Park entrance fee?

The park entrance fee can be paid at any park entrance station. Visitors walking in from Springdale should pay at the Pedestrian Entrance.

Zion National Park entrance fees are $35 for a private vehicle or $20 per person for 7 days. If you have an America the Beautiful Pass, this will cover your vehicle entrance fee or the per person entrance fee for 4 adults.

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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