SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) — While this Memorial Day weekend will see travelers making their way to destinations across Utah, the most popular attraction in the state will likely be Zion National Park.
In anticipation of its heavy turnout, the National Park Service (NPS) shared some important tips and information for those who plan to visit Zion National Park this weekend.
According to a news release from NPS, the park recorded more than 82,000 visits over Memorial Day weekend in 2022. This is significant as about one-third of all national parks — more than 150 — saw fewer than 82,000 visitors during the entire 2022 season.
“Pack your patience,” remarks Jonathan Shafer, park spokesperson. “We want you to enjoy your visit, and we want to be realistic about what you can expect this year. Be prepared to see lots of other people and be aware that parking usually fills early in the day…”
This year, NPS says to anticipate:
- Long lines at entrance stations, visitor centers, restrooms, and at trailheads.
- Lengthy waits to board park shuttles in Springdale and Zion National Park.
- Intermittent, temporary closures at the park’s east and south vehicle entrance stations.
- Heavy traffic in Springdale and throughout the park.
Ahead of the expected rush at Zion, here’s some important info for Memorial Day weekend courtesy of NPS:
Trail bridge at Zion Lodge closed: The trail bridge over the Virgin River at Zion Lodge (Shuttle Stop #5) is closed. Hikers can still visit Emerald Pools from the Grotto (Shuttle Stop #6). Check a map before you start your hike to plan accordingly. Keep in mind that you will not be able to cross the river at Zion Lodge (Shuttle Stop #5).
Narrows and other routes closed: Due to high water, the Narrows have been closed since mid-April. Hikers should not enter the Virgin River.
Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program: Remember to apply the day before for a permit to hike to Angels Landing. Everyone needs to have a permit, and you need to bring ID to show a ranger with it. You may encounter a ranger anywhere on the trail or the route with chains. Arrive early so that you do not miss the hike start time on your permit.
Take advantage of the park shuttle: The Zion Canyon Shuttle System recently moved to its full, summer schedule. Take advantage of the free, Springdale Line Shuttle to avoid traffic inside Zion and enter through the pedestrian and bicycle entrance.
Getting around: For non-recreational drivers, the best way through the park is to go around the park. There will likely be heavy traffic all weekend, and there may be times that through-travel is not possible.
If you need to travel through the park during the holiday weekend and you do not plan to stop for recreation, consider alternate routes such as:
- Utah 20
- Utah 14
- US 89 – Arizona 389 – Utah 59
For more on summer operations in Zion, check out their social media and website to get the latest information.