Zion National Park Implements Shuttle Ticketing System for 2021

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Shuttle tickets are no longer required in Zion National Park.

If you’re thinking about visiting Zion National Park this year, you’ll need to plan ahead, as a new shuttle ticketing system has been implemented in the park. Private vehicles are not permitted in Zion Canyon, and in normal years a free on-demand shuttle bus runs from the visitor center to trailheads and viewpoints in the canyon. Of course this is not a normal year, and due to COVID-19 shuttle capacity has been reduced in 2021, and a timed shuttle bus ticketing system has been implemented.

Shuttle Tickets

Shuttle tickets must be purchased in advance for $1 at www.recreation.gov. Everyone must have a ticket, for each time they board the shuttle at the visitor center. You must use the ticket within the one-hour time increment on the ticket, but once you are in Zion Canyon you are free to stay as long as you like. A new ticket is required for every day you ride the shuttle.

Tickets are released at 9:00 am MDT on the 16th and the last days of the month. Tickets for the 1-15 of the month will be release on the 16th of the previous month. Tickets for the 16 -31 of the month will be released on the last day of the previous month.

Additional tickets will be  released the prior day at 5:00 pm; however be forewarned that Wi-Fi in the area is limited. And if the tickets are not sold out, they will be available free after 2:00 pm at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

Lodge Guests and Wheelchair-Users

Visitors that stay at Zion Lodge will still receive a pass to drive to the lodge and park there; however they will need a ticket to ride the shuttle. Hotel guests are not allowed to drive their cars past Zion Lodge, or to stop at any of the trailheads and viewpoints in Zion Canyon.

People who physically cannot ride the shuttle, because of a large mobility device or extra medical equipment can get a yellow pass at the visitor center. This pass will allow them to drive their personal car in Zion Canyon and stop at the viewpoints and trailheads along the way.

It should be noted that all shuttle buses are lift equipped and can accommodate wheelchairs up to 30 inches wide and 46 inches long. The lifts have a 600 pound weight limit. Additionally,  masks must be worn on all shuttle buses and when standing in line for the shuttle buses.

Visitors are required to have a shuttle ticket even if they have a national park access pass.

Zion Canyon Alternatives

And finally, if you are not able to score a shuttle ticket, there are a few other ways you can enjoy Zion National Park. First, you can take a hike on the 1.8-mile wheelchair-accessible Pa’rus Trail. The trail starts near the visitor center and crosses the Virgin River in several places. Once you reach the end at Canyon Junction, you’ll need to double back though, as you won’t be able to board the shuttle without a ticket.

You might also consider a visit to the Kolob Canyons section of the park, which is located in the northwest corner, 17 miles south of Cedar City. There’s no shuttle ticket required there, and the five-mile Kolob Canyons Scenic Byway climbs 1,000 feet in elevation and offers great views of the red Navajo sandstone canyon walls along the way.

Not to be confused with Kolob Canyons, Kolob Terrace Road offers an equally impressive view of the canyons. This 20-mile scenic drive begins just east of Virgin, between milepost 19 and milepost 20 on Highway 9. The road winds through the canyons and offers a scenic drive with an elevation gain of about 4,000 feet by the time you get to the top. There’s no shortage of spectacular windshield views on this scenic drive, and it’s a great option if no shuttle tickets are available.

Either way, it’s a beautiful park, but plan ahead to avoid disappointment.

 

More National Park Access Resources

Zion Lodge Boasts Wheelchair Accessible Cabin with a View

 

 

Tips for Exploring a National Park in a Wheelchair

 

Utah National Parks Access Guide

www.barrierfreeutah.com

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