One of the biggest benefits of staying at Springdale resorts close to the entrance to Zion National Park is enjoying easy access to the Zion Canyon Shuttle System.

If you’ve never visited Zion before, the idea of a shuttle system within a national park may sound confusing. After all, many national parks only allow visitors to enter the park in their own personal vehicle, and driving through the park from one trailhead or overlook to the next is a part of the visit. This isn’t the case at Zion.

When you’re planning your first visit, after finding the best hotels Zion National Park has to offer, you’ll want to learn a little more about the shuttle system, too. Knowing what to expect, where to catch it, and where it stops can help you to better plan your trip and navigate once you arrive. Ready to hop aboard? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the Zion Canyon Shuttle System.

Why Does the Zion Canyon Shuttle System Exist?

Zion National Park isn’t the only national park to feature a public transportation system for guests to use. However, it is the only park to implement a shuttle-only option for travelers looking to access a portion of the park.

As park visitation began to swell in the 1990s, the National Park Service began to look for a way to get guests in and out of Zion’s Lower Canyon. The opening of the Lower Canyon gets more and more narrow the deeper you go. As a result, parking is limited, and the roadways in this section are narrow. This is also where most of the park’s most popular attractions are, including the Zion National Park Lodge, the Visitor Center, and many of the park’s most popular trails.

To allow more guests access to the Lower Canyon, and to prevent illegal parking alongside roadways, which can be a safety hazard and also damage plant and animal life, the Park Service launched the Zion Canyon Shuttle System in 2000. The shuttle system actually features two shuttle loops; one that runs from the entrance to Zion through the Lower Canyon, and one that operates in Springdale, and takes visitors to the entrance of the park.

When Does the Shuttle System Operate?

The Zion Canyon Shuttle System starts operating regular daily service in early March each year, and runs through mid-November. It also operates outside of those dates for busy weekends and around holidays.

When the shuttle system is in operation, shuttles run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, 7 days a week. You can only ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle into the park until 4 p.m. each day.

Where Does the Shuttle Go?

Each of the two shuttles has 9 stops. The Zion Canyon Shuttle stops at Zion Lodge, the Zion Museum, and several other stops in the Lower Canyon that provide easy access to popular hiking trails.

The Springdale Shuttle’s 9 stops are spread throughout the town of Springdale. Some of the best hotels Zion National Park has to offer are those located close to a shuttle stop. Guests of Springdale resorts on the shuttle loop can leave their cars conveniently parked at their hotel, and ride the shuttle to the entrance to the park instead. You can also use the Springdale Shuttle to ride to restaurants, art galleries, gift shops, and more in town.

Flanigan’s Inn is conveniently located on the third stop of the Springdale Shuttle. This means that resort guests can leave their cars parked at the Inn, and ride the shuttle to the entrance of the park for a day of hiking and sightseeing. When you’re done, hop back on the shuttle and ride to the resort for an evening of rest and relaxation!

Rules for Riders

You don’t need a reservation or permit to ride either of the Zion shuttles nor will you need one to enter the park. But there are a few rules that riders should be aware of.

  • Pets are not allowed on the shuttles. Service animals are permitted.
  • You can bring your bike along on the shuttle but will need to put it on the bike rack at the front of the shuttle
  • Strollers are allowed on the shuttle as long as you can put the stroller on the bike rack at the front of the shuttle.
  • After riding the Springdale Shuttle to the entrance to the park, visitors will need to deboard and use the Pedestrian Entrance to the park to ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle. At the Entrance, all guests will need to pay the entrance fee or show a National Park Pass for entry.
  • Smoking and eating are not permitted on the bus. Water is the only beverage that can be consumed on the buses.
  • Guests staying at the Zion National Park Lodge can drive their personal vehicles to the Lodge but will need to ride the shuttle if they’d like to travel within the Lower Canyon.

Choosing the Best Springdale Resorts for Your Stay

Staying in Springdale resorts close to stops on the Springdale Shuttle makes it easier to visit Zion National Park, especially during busy travel seasons when parking in the park and throughout Springdale can be scarce.

Flanigan’s Inn, one of the best hotels Zion National Park has to offer, is conveniently located on a shuttle stop, making it a breeze to get to and from the park each day. After a day of exploring, you can enjoy the resort’s many amenities, from the pools and gardens to our delicious on-site restaurant. 

Summer is almost here, which means that now is the time to start planning your next getaway. Book your stay today!

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