Zion Shuttle Service Guide

If you have started to plan your trip to Zion National Park, you may already know that the main part of Zion Canyon, called the Scenic Drive, is closed to private vehicles for most of the year.  To venture into this part of Zion Canyon, you need to take a shuttle bus. 

There is a lot to know about the shuttle so you don’t miss out. This guide is designed to answer all your questions about the shuttle. 

TOP TOUR: Book a small group tour now
TOP HOTEL PICK: Check availability now
FIND THE CHEAPEST CAR RENTAL: Search Discover Cars for the best deals
FIND THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS: Search Skyscanner for the best deals
GET TRAVEL INSURANCE: Get insured with Travelex before you go

No time right now to read this complete Zion shuttle service guide?  Pin It and save it for later: 

How to Get Tickets for the Zion National Park Shuttle
Tips for Using the Zion Shuttle_ From a National Parks Expert

Please note this post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at zero cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full Disclosure for more information. If you have any questions, please contact me.

If you are planning to visit Zion Canyon National Park by yourself, make your planning easy and stress free with a detailed itinerary. I have 1-, 2- and 3-day itineraries for Zion National Park that include all the park highlights, give you choices based on your preferred activity level, and take all the stress out of planning your trip. 

Check out the three Zion National Park itinerary options

Additional help with your Zion trip planning:
>> The Best Time of Year to Visit Zion National Park
>> Best Vacation Rentals Near Zion National Park
>> How to Plan a Trip to Zion National Park
>> Best Hikes in Zion National Park
>> How to visit Zion Without Shuttle Tickets
>> Best Photo Spots in Zion National Park
>> How Many Days to Spend in Zion National Park
>> Best Airports for Zion National Park
>> Fascinating (and Useful) Books About Zion National Park

How does the shuttle work at Zion National Park? 

Back in the day, Zion Canyon basically turned into a traffic jammed parking lot in the busy season, so in 2000, the main part of the canyon was closed to private vehicular traffic and a free shuttle service was implemented.  

There are two different shuttles. 

(1) In Springdale.  This stops at nine different stops in Springdale starting at Majestic View Lodge and ending at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center at the south entrance to Zion National Park. The first shuttle starts at Stop 9 (Majestic View Lodge) at 8:00 am and the last shuttle leaves the Zion Canyon Village (the stop just outside the park entrance) at 6:00 pm.  

This shuttle runs when the main park shuttle is running on a full (7 days/ week) schedule. It doe not usually ruin when the park shuttle is only running on the weekends.

(2) In the park.  There are also nine stops inside the park, starting at the Visitor Center.

Subscribe to monthly updates with tips for planning, travel inspiration and trip ideas and get instant access to the free PDF of this
Guide to the Zion Shuttle

Zion shuttle stops 

There are nine stops on the park shuttle: 

Stop 1: Visitor Center This stop is just north of the park’s South Entrance and connects, via a short walk, with the town shuttle.  You can park your car here and take the shuttle from this stop unless you’re driving somewhere outside the Scenic Drive area or unless you’re staying at Zion Lodge. This is also the trailhead for the Pa’Rus Trail and the Watchman Trail. There are restrooms and a waterfill station. South Campground and Watchman Campground are here, too. 

Shuttle stop at Zion Visitor Center
Shuttle stop at Zion Visitor Center

Stop 2: Zion History Museum The museum, parking and restrooms 

Stop 3: Canyon Junction The end of the Pa’Rus Trail. 

Stop 4: Court of the Patriarchs

Stop 5: Zion Lodge It’s also the trailhead for the Emerald Pools Trails and one end of the Grotto Trail. There are restrooms. 

Stop 6: The Grotto The start of the West Rim Trail, Angels Landing Trail, Kayenta Trail (to/ from Emerald Pools) and the Grotto Trail (to Zion Lodge).  There’s a picnic area, water station and restrooms. 

Stop 7: Weeping Rock The trails here are blocked long term by a rockfall 

Stop 8: Big Bend 

Stop 9: Temple of Sinawava Start of Riverside Walk and The Narrows hike. You have to get off the shuttle when arriving from the Visitor Center and reboard. There are restrooms and water refills. 

Buses run every 10-15 minutes for most of the day.  Let the bus driver know where you get off. 

Zion Shuttle Map   


Zion Shuttle Schedule 

There are no reservations; just line up and take the free shuttle when you want to use it. The shuttle schedule can vary throughout the year. Check the NPS website for the current schedule.

If last shuttle back to the Visitor Center is full and you miss it, you will need to walk to the Zion Lodge (3.6 miles / 70 minutes) and call from there for a taxi to come and collect you! 

Zion Canyon Shuttle FAQs 

Do I have to wear a mask? 

Yes, masks are currently mandated in all national parks, and especially on the shuttle, where social distancing is impossible. 

Can I take a bicycle on the shuttle

Yes, the shuttles have bike racks at the front.  E-bikes and fat tire bikes are not allowed, however. 

Can I take a stroller on the shuttle? 

Yes, you can put it on the bike rack on the front of the shuttle bus. 

Can I take a pet on the shuttle? 

Service animals are permitted, but pets are not. Emotional support/ therapy dogs are considered pets. 

Where can I park for the Zion shuttle? 

The main Zion National Park parking is at the Visitor Center.  However, if the Zion Visitor Center parking lots are full, there are also several parking areas in Springdale.  You can take a town shuttle from there to the park entrance/ Visitor Center. 

How do I get to Zion shuttle? 

Park at the Visitor Center parking area or in Springdale and take the town free shuttle bus to the park entrance/ Visitor Center.

Can you drive your own car through Zion National Park? 

Yes, kind of. The park is open to traffic from the East gate, down the side of Echo Canyon and through part of Zion Canyon to the south gate.  This goes through a long tunnel on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway and vehicle restrictions do apply.  

After descending to the bottom of Echo Canyon, the road turns on to the main Zion Canyon road at Canyon Junction.  If are coming from the East Gate, the road to the right is the start of the Scenic Drive (the section that is closed to private vehicles and serviced by the shuttle.)  The road to the left goes to the South Gate, the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, and the town of Springdale.  The entire road from the East Gate to the South gate is open to private vehicles.  As is the Kolob Canyons and Kolob Terrace sections of the park.  

The section of the road from Canyon Junction to the Temple of Sinawava at the far end of Zion Canyon is closed to private vehicles with one exception.  If you are staying overnight at Zion Lodge or have a horse back riding reservation with Canyon Trail Rides, you can drive to the lodge and park there.  You can’t drive any further.   

There are a couple of months in winter (typically January and February) when the shuttle does not run and anyone can drive along the Scenic Drive section of the park. 

shuttle bus with red cliffs behind in Zion National Park

Zion shuttle bus tickets  

Tickets are not needed for the free Springdale town shuttle or the free Zion Canyon shuttle.

How can I get Zion National Park shuttle tickets? 

Just line up. 

How much are Zion shuttle tickets? 

The Zion shuttles are free.

How do I get on the Zion scenic drive shuttle? 

Just line up when you are ready.

Subscribe to monthly updates with tips for planning, travel inspiration and trip ideas and get instant access to the free PDF of this
Guide to the Zion Shuttle

Read my Guide to Visiting Zion Without Shuttle Tickets for more information about the private shuttles, bicycles and things to do in other sections of the park. 

Have a great trip to Zion! 

Do you have any other tips about the Zion shuttle?   Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know. 

Subscribe to monthly updates with tips for planning, travel inspiration and trip ideas and get instant access to the free PDF of this
Guide to the Zion Shuttle

If you liked this post, please share the love and Pin It to your Zion National Park board!  

How to Get Tickets for the Zion National Park Shuttle
Tips for Using the Zion Shuttle_ From a National Parks Expert

Are you just starting to think about taking a national parks trip? Get Inspiration
Are you starting to plan a trip to Zion National Park? Read my Guide to Zion National Park
Are you looking for a place to stay near Zion National Park? Find an Airbnb near Zion National Park
Are you ready to book your trip? Use these Planning and Booking Resources
Do you want to read a book about Zion National Park? Check out my Recommended Reading List for Zion National Park

If you are thinking about traveling to some other national parks, don’t miss my guides to: 

About the Author 

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.

He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks. 

Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.

As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.

Read more…

Parks Collecting is a participant in the Amazon.com Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

2 thoughts on “Zion Shuttle Service Guide”

  1. Thanks for these tips! Do you know……once you put tickets in your cart as they “saved” while you enter your credit card info…..or could they theoretically be gone in the several seconds it takes for you to enter your credit card info?? This is stressing me out. haha

    • Yes, after you click on Book Now, you have 15 minutes to enter your details. This is why some spaces can open up after 15 minutes, because some people sometimes don’t complete their booking in the 15 minutes. Have a clock open and refresh one second before they go on sale so you get in straight away. It IS stressful – and kind of ridiculous – but if you do this, you should get tickets. Good luck!

Comments are closed.