As winter closes in, here’s what to know about visiting Zion National Park

Fall colors on display in Zion National Park, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service/Ally O'Rullian, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The seasons are changing in Zion National Park. Every year, the National Park Service adjusts shuttle schedules and campground availability to reflect the seasons. Here is what you need to know to plan your visit as winter closes in, according to a press release released by the park.

Fall shuttle hours Nov. 5-26 

Zion Canyon Line shuttle schedule 

  • 7 a.m. First shuttle leaves the Zion Canyon Visitor Center (Stop 1)
  • 4 p.m. Last shuttle leaves the Visitor Center to the Temple of Sinawava (Stop 9)
  • 6:15 p.m. Last shuttle out of the canyon from the Temple of Sinawava (Stop 9)

Springdale Line shuttle schedule 

  • 8 a.m. First shuttle leaves the Majestic View Lodge (Stop 9)
  • 6 p.m. Last shuttle leaves Zion Canyon Village (Stop 1)

Fall personal vehicle access in Zion Canyon starts Nov. 27 

  • The last day of fall shuttle service in Zion Canyon and Springdale is Nov. 26.
  • Visitors can drive personal vehicles on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive starting Nov. 27.
  • Plan for limited parking; when parking in Zion Canyon is full, the park service may temporarily close the road.
  • Shuttle service will resume in Zion Canyon and Springdale starting on Dec. 22 for 10 days.
  • During these 10 days, visitors cannot drive personal vehicles on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.

Shuttle service resumes Dec. 22-31

One of Zion’s shuttles moves through Utah’s Zion National Park. June 3, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Winter personal vehicle access in Zion Canyon starts Jan. 2, 2024 

  • The last day of winter shuttle service in Zion Canyon and Springdale is Dec. 31.
  • Visitors can drive personal vehicles on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive starting on Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Plan for limited parking; when parking in Zion Canyon is full, the park service may temporarily close the road.

Shuttle service resumes in spring

The park service will resume shuttle service in spring. We will share specific dates in 2024.

Fall and winter camping

Watchman Campground is open year-round, and you can make a reservation up to six months before your visit at www.recreation.gov or by calling l-877-444-6777. Plan ahead and make arrangements for where you will stay before you get to the park.

South Campground and Lava Point Campground are closed for the season.

Visitor Center and Wilderness Permit Desk hours

Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons Visitor Centers 

  • Open 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. every day through the fall and winter.

Wilderness Permit Desks 

  • Zion Canyon Wilderness Desk: Open 8-10 a.m. and from 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Kolob Canyons Wilderness Desk: 8:30 a.m. to noon.

We post changes on the park’s operating hours and seasons webpage when hours change.

Need to know

No matter when you visit Zion, plan ahead by checking for updates on this website.

Big Bend (shuttle stop 8) will be temporarily closed due to construction.  

Earlier this year park staff observed significant cracking in concrete on the edges of the paved area at Big Bend. National Park Service facilities management staff determined the area needs repairs or these may worsen. Depending on the availability of materials and winter weather, the park plans to reopen Big Bend in Spring 2024.

Long lines of people await the shuttles inside Zion National Park, Utah, June 3, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Whether you ride a shuttle or drive your own car in Zion Canyon, be prepared for crowds. 

  • Parking fills early year-round.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists if you are driving.
  • Stay on trails and avoid walking in the road.
  • Ride your bike on the road or the Pa’Rus Trail. Bicycling is not allowed on any other trails in the park. If you are riding in the road, you must stop to let buses pass you.
  • The park service may temporarily close roads if traffic is congested or there is nowhere for drivers to park.
  • In general, fewer people visit Zion on weekdays than on weekends. Consider arriving early or after 3 p.m. to avoid the busiest times of day.

Plan ahead and prepare

If you cannot park in Zion or if all of our campsites are full, research nearby communities and public lands to learn about other recreational activities and lodging.  Always recreate responsibly and respect private owners’ property and facilities.

Follow Leave No Trace practices everywhere in the park and beyond; be sure to pack out all your trash.

National Park Service

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at this site, and on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube.

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