Planning your first visit to Zion National Park? Many first-time guests are surprised to learn that for much of the year, you can’t drive your personal vehicle into Zion’s Lower Canyon, where many of the park’s most popular trails, overlooks, and other attractions are located. Instead, you’ll need to hop aboard the Zion Canyon Shuttle. This shuttle ferries guests to a number of stops in the Lower Canyon, starting at the entrance to the park. But first, you’ll need to get to the entrance—and staying at the Bungalows at Zion makes this a breeze.
Parking at the entrance to Zion National Park and elsewhere in Springdale can be a challenge, especially on busy days. To help alleviate traffic and parking concerns, an additional shuttle, called the Springdale Shuttle, allows visitors to stay parked at their hotel or vacation rental and ride to the entrance to the park. The shuttle is also great for hopping around Springdale to visit various restaurants and shops.
Bungalows is conveniently located in Springdale, just a short walk away from two different stops on the Springdale Shuttle loop. This means that guests can leave their vehicle parked at their Bungalow, as they conveniently hop in and out of the park throughout the day.
Ready to take full advantage of this amazing amenity? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the Zion Shuttle System.
When Did the Zion Canyon Shuttle Start?
In 2000, the National park Service began operating shuttle buses in Zion National Park to help reduce traffic and parking issues in the narrow Lower Canyon. The growing popularity of the park, and the lack of parking at popular trailheads, had led visitors to park on the sides of roadways, which destroyed vegetation and threatened the park’s wildlife.
When Do the Shuttles Operate?
Today, the Zion Canyon Shuttle ferries more than 6 million annual riders into the park! The shuttle buses run for most of the year, including throughout the busy summer season. However, there are a few times of the year when visitors are permitted to drive their own vehicles into the Lower Canyon.
The shuttle runs daily from March to November each year. In December, the shuttle buses only operate around the holiday season at the end of the month. The shuttles are not in operation in January, or through the week in February and the beginning of March. During this time, they operate only on the weekends.
Where Does the Shuttle Stop in the Park?
The Zion Canyon Line of the shuttle has 9 stops:
- The Zion Canyon Visitor Center: The Zion Canyon Shuttle starts here, at the entrance to the park. There is some limited parking available here, though it often fills up quickly each day.
- Zion Human History Museum: This museum features a number of displays of artifacts and other materials related to the park and its rich human history.
- Canyon Junction: This is a great spot to enjoy views of Zion’s peaks, and is where you’ll access the Pa’rus Trail.
- Court of the Patriarchs: Another popular overlook, this stop is also home to the trailhead for the Court of Patriarchs Trail.
- Zion Lodge: In addition to the Lodge, this stop has a number of trailheads, including the popular Emerald Pools Trails.
- The Grotto: Access to more popular trailheads, including the famous Angels Landing trail.
- Weeping Rock: This stop provides access to the Weeping Rock Trail, Hidden Canyon Trail, and several other trails.
- Big Bend: Named for the bend in the Virgin River, this stop offers stunning views of the river and the Great White Throne, a beautiful, iconic peak.
- Temple of Sinawava: This is the last stop before the shuttle buses turn around to head back to the entrance to the park. This stop provides access to the Riverside Walk, the trail that leads to The Narrows, the trail that meanders up the Virgin River through Zion Canyon’s narrowest point.
Where Does the Springdale Shuttle Stop?
The Springdale Line also has 9 stops. The first is at Zion Canyon Village, where guests can walk into the park. The other 8 are located throughout Springdale, providing access to hotels, resorts, restaurants, shops, and more.
Guests staying at Bungalows at Zion are closest to Shuttle Stop 7, located near the Driftwood Lodge and Quality Inn & Suites-Montclair. Shuttle Stop 6 is only slightly further away, offering another option for guests looking to get around Springdale or to Zion.
Rules for Riding the Shuttles
Both the Zion Canyon Line and Springdale Line are free to ride and do not require reservations or tickets. However, there are a few rules that guests should keep in mind.
No smoking or eating is permitted on the shuttle buses. You can have water with you, as long as it’s in a bottle with a lid. Pets are not permitted on the buses. You can bring traditional bikes (not e-bikes) on the shuttle buses, as long as you are able to lift it onto the bike rack on the front of the bus on your own.
Guests have to disembark the Springdale Line and walk into Zion to get on the Zion Canyon Line. In order to do so, you will need to pay the park’s entrance fee or present a valid National Park Pass.
Planning Your First Stay at Bungalows at Zion
The Zion Canyon and Springdale Shuttles make it easier to get around Springdale and into the park. And when you stay at Bungalows at Zion, you won’t have to worry about finding parking or fighting traffic to get to the entrance to Zion.
Ready to start planning your next visit? Check out our Bungalows today to choose the right one for your stay.