Zion National Park Managers Expect Huge Crowds July 4th Weekend

Jul 4, 2019, 9:16 PM

SPRINGDALE, Utah – With good weather and, for some, a long holiday weekend, managers at Zion National Park expect crowds to be bigger than normal for the Fourth of July.

Zion is the third most visited park in the United States, so crowds are usually pretty big.

The park had over 4.5 million visitors in 2017 – that’s roughly 12,300 per day. Park managers expect the number of visitors to double that over the holiday weekend.

It’s a good thing Tex Ostvig is the youngest of nine children. With all the visitors at Zion National Park during his visit, all his patience training is going to pay off.

“Patience is something you learn along the way, right?” he said with a smile.

Ostvig and his family are from Minnesota, and visiting Zion for the first time. They have already noticed the crowds.

“It is crazy,” said Ostvig. “It was a little bit hard to think of all the cars, but then we had to think of the fact that, yeah, this is probably one of the most beautiful places in America.”

Especially on a holiday weekend, there are a lot of people who want to see this beautiful place.

“Yesterday, we had to do the shuttle system,” said Yvette Kapelka, who is visiting Zion from Florida. “There are a lot of crowds.”

It’s only going to get busier.

Roughly 25,000 visitors are expected at Zion every day this July 4th weekend.

“We really become and transform into a small little city,” said Eugenne Moisa, a park ranger at Zion National Park. “With that, we expect our shuttle stops to get crowded and congested, as well as our trails.”

That’s why, beginning Wednesday, a new shuttle stop for the park began running at the visitor center.

It features bathrooms, water fountains, and maybe most importantly this time of year, plenty of shade.

“Because waiting in line in 90° weather you can become impatient pretty quickly,” said Moisa.

That’s also why a queue will be implemented this weekend for hikers who want to go up to Angels Landing. Only so many up at a time.

Hikers will have to wait at the Grotto area near the trail head. Park managers said it’ll make the steep trail safer and more enjoyable.

“It’ll really manage it and allow for a remote feel,” said Moisa.

Even with all the congestion measures, those we spoke with say it’s worth it.

If looking at constant lines and people start getting on your nerves, you can always look up at the amazing red rock.

“Enduring with the parking and the traffic and the tourism, we accept that because now we’re here and I’ll tell you, it’s absolutely amazing,” said Ostvig.

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Zion National Park Managers Expect Huge Crowds July 4th Weekend