Zion National Park: Tips for Memorial Day weekend visitors

Visitors to Zion National Park can expect crowded conditions, long lines and few places to park. | nickrlake/Getty Images.

 

SPRINGDALE — Visitors to Zion National Park can expect crowds, long lines and few spots for parking this Memorial Day weekend.

The holiday has historically been the park’s busiest weekend of the year. Over 71,000 people visited Zion during the 2015 Memorial Day weekend.

Last year Zion saw its highest-ever visitation numbers and so far 2016 is on pace to set a new record, Zion National Park Spokesperson Aly Baltrus said, adding visitation is up 8 percent from 2015.

Tourists waiting to catch the shuttle buses on Thursday, June 14, 2015. | Photo courtesy Zion National Park, St. George News
Tourists waiting to catch the shuttle buses on Thursday, June 14, 2015. | Photo courtesy Zion National Park, St. George News

Despite keeping facilities open longer and increasing the number of staff working during the holiday weekend, visitors can expect crowded conditions.

Since parking typically fills quickly, Zion officials advise visitors arrive either before 9 a.m. or after 2 p.m., park in Springdale and utilize the free shuttle buses to access the park. Shuttles will be operating at full capacity, at four to five minute intervals throughout much of the day.

Both the Visitor Center information desk and wilderness permits desk will have extended hours, remaining open until 7 p.m. The Zion Nature Center will be open Saturday and will remain open through Labor Day. Hours will be from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said visitors should arrive prepared not only for crowded conditions, but also for hikes and any other activities they have planned.

“With so many people visiting, we ask that visitors show additional patience with others and respectful trail etiquette,” Bradybaugh said. “We also ask that visitors keep in mind and take responsibility for their own safety. Please avoid unsafe behaviors and risk-taking.”

During 2015, park search and rescue incidents increased by 30 percent.

Some tips to help visitors have a more enjoyable stay in Zion:

  • Visit the park website for information on shuttle buses, trails and facilities
  • Arrive before 9 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
  • If staying in local hotels, visitors should leave their vehicles where they are staying and either walk or take the shuttle buses into Zion
  • If arriving in the park between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., park in Springdale at designated parking areas and walk or take the shuttle. Park only in designated lots or paved pullouts

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1 Comment

  • fun bag May 25, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    best advice. pick a different date. Place goes over capacity and it’s disneyland from hell.

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