Zion, Springdale officials announce new shuttle hours, closure of 2 trails for maintenance

The Zion National Park shuttle fleet parked near the maintenance facility, Zion National Park, Utah, March 2, 2018 | File photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

ST. GEORGE— Officials from Zion National Park and Springdale have announced the fall shuttle schedule through Thanksgiving weekend, as well as the temporary closure of the Angels Landing trail and the West Rim Trail while the park makes preparations to replace restroom facilities.

Trail, road and climbing closures

The two evaporative toilets at Scout Lookout are being replaced with a new four-stall facility. In preparation, park staff will be emptying and removing the existing toilets, leading to trail and road closures Oct. 24-26. (See Ed. note)

The existing toilets will close Monday. The new toilets being constructed on site are projected to open at the end of November. In the meantime, visitors should use the restrooms at the Grotto shuttle stop before beginning an ascent to Scout Lookout, Angels Landing or further along the West Rim Trail.

The operation will require the use of a helicopter, so safety precautions in the form of trail and road closures will be in effect. Angels Landing and the West Rim Trail will be closed Oct.23-25 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. between the Grotto trailhead and the patio just above Scout Lookout.

Flaggers will be stationed on the scenic drive in the area of Big Bend for periodic road closures during flyovers. All traffic, including shuttle buses, will be delayed during these days of operations.

Climbing routes on Angels Landing, including the Minotaur, will be closed. Those planning through-hikes or backpacking trips from the West Rim into Zion Canyon will be permitted but should expect long delays.

This project will improve the effectiveness of the evaporative toilets. The existing toilets are designed to handle approximately 110 uses per day. Current usage indicates an average of nearly 200 uses per day, with peak days experiencing over 650 uses. New technology will also help reduce the need for the park to remove built-up waste to once every three or four years. Previously, this has been an annual project.

This project was made possible by a private donation through the Zion Forever Project.

“Replacing the evaporative toilets at Scout Lookout is not one of those glamorous projects, but it has been one of the park’s biggest needs,” Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said. “Thousands of people every year will benefit from this project.”

Shuttle schedule Oct. 1 to Nov. 25

Springdale route:

Majestic View departures

  • First bus: 8:10 a.m.
  • Arriving every 10-15 minutes: 8:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
  • Last departure: 8:15 p.m.

* Last departure from Majestic View that connects to a bus at the Visitor Center going into the Canyon: 6:05 p.m.

* To connect to buses going up the Canyon Loop Route, passengers must get off at the Zion Canyon Theatre and walk across the footbridge to the NPS Visitor Center inside the park.

Zion Canyon Theatre departures

  • First bus: 8:30 a.m.
  • Arriving every 10-15 minutes: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Last departure: 8 p.m.

Zion Canyon Loop route:

Visitor Center departures

  • First bus: 7 a.m.
  • Departing every 15 minutes: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Departing every 5 minutes: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Last bus into canyon: 6:30 p.m.

* Last departure from the Temple of Sinawava that connects to a bus going into Springdale: 7:15 p.m.

* Last departure from the Lodge that connects to a bus going into Springdale: 7:30 p.m.

Ed. note: This story has been updated to reflect a change in the maintenance operations from Oct. 23-25 to Oct. 24-26 as a result of weather.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

1 Comment

  • utahdiablo October 12, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Ahhh yes…so the so called “Off Season” shortens even more,… we used to be able to visit Zion in November during the weekdays in our own cars or trucks down the Zion canyon loop, with the mandated shuttles running on weekends, but nope, once again even less time for locals to visit….heck, just run the damn shuttles all year long, why wait? So now I guess the only “Off Season” is from December 1st through March 1st?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.