Heading to Zion this weekend? Expect roadwork, traffic delays along the way

This March 2016 file photo illustrates increasing tourism at Zion National Park where a long line of visitors wait for a shuttle, Utah, March 19, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News.com

ST. GEORGE – Planning to see one of the nation’s most visited nation parks during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Make sure you come ready for road construction, traffic delays, limited shuttle service and parking issues.

State Route 9, the road through Springdale to Zion National Park is in the middle of a much-needed rebuild. While ultimately good for the road, for the moment it’s making getting into the park a little more complicated.

Read more: Work on SR-9 through Springdale set to begin

What can you expect heading to Zion National Park this weekend

  • One-way traffic and flaggers are being used to help vehicles negotiate the construction. Visitors should expect to be stopped up to 25 minutes or longer.
  • Due to the construction, many of the roadside parking spaces will no longer be accessible, and in-town shuttle service will not be running.
  • Parking inside the park usually fills up by 10 a.m. on most days during busy weekends, so visitors are encouraged to arrive early or later in the afternoon. Please park in designated parking spaces only.

Having dinner in the park?

Those who have made arrangements to eat Thanksgiving dinner at the Zion Lodge, and are on the reservation list, can get their red pass upon entrance to the park, from the fee-station rangers.

Remember to add travel time to the park due to road construction delays.

Hours of operation for the shuttle and in-park facilities

  • The Zion Canyon shuttle service will be operating from the Visitor Center from Nov. 23-25.
  • The first shuttle will leave the Visitor Center at 7 a.m. and run every eight minutes.
  • The last shuttle bus will leave the Temple of Sinawava (stop 9) at 6:44 p.m.
  • The Zion Human History Museum will open at 10 a.m. daily and close at 5 p.m.
  • The Visitor Center and the Zion Forever Project bookstore will open at 8 a.m. daily and close at 5 p.m.

Zion National Park was the fifth-most visited national park in 2016 with an estimated 4.3 million visitors, according to the National Park Service. An estimated 4.16 million people have visited Zion as of October and is expected to top 2016’s visitation record by the end of the year.

Read more: Zion National Park traffic jam: A look at ideas for limiting number of visitors

The SR-9 reconstruction project started in January from Rockville to Springdale, with the first phase of the project ending in April. The second phase running through Springdale began in October and is set to be completed by mid-April. The purpose of the project is to produce a new roadway as the original has worn down over years of use and is in need of restoration.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • Not_So_Much November 21, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    How about those who will show proof of US citizenship have one rate, all others a much higher one. Enough in fees to cover the cost to maintain the park properly. Also no more discounts, deals, group rate, etc.

  • utahdiablo November 22, 2017 at 9:17 am

    “Heading to Zion this weekend? Expect roadwork, traffic delays along the way”….and plenty of smelly tourists butts in you face on the standing room only mandated shuttles! …….Enjoy!

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