LOCAL NEWS

Zion National Park prepares for a busy Memorial Day weekend

May 23, 2024, 1:56 PM | Updated: 1:56 pm

Hikers climb up the chained section of the hike to Angels Landing at Zion National Park on March 26...

Hikers climb up the chained section of the hike to Angels Landing at Zion National Park on March 26. The park's Angels Landing permit lottery pilot program will remain in place through at least February 2024, following a "successful" debut, park officials say. (Kira Hoffelmeyer, KSL NewsRadio)

(Kira Hoffelmeyer, KSL NewsRadio)

SPRINGDALE – With the long weekend, many Utahns are planning to travel and AAA said it could be the busiest Memorial Day weekend in 20 years.

Zion National Park said they are preparing for the crowds. In 2023, Zion recorded over 96,000 visits over Memorial Day weekend. To put that in perspective, over half of all national park sites, recorded fewer than 96,000 visits for the entire year of 2023.

Here’s what you should know if you’re planning to visit the park.

The NPS anticipates:

  • Long lines at entrance stations, visitor centers, restrooms, and at trailheads.
  • Lengthy waits to board park shuttles in Springdale and Zion National Park.
  • Intermittent, temporary closures at the park’s east and south vehicle entrance stations.
  • Heavy traffic in Springdale and throughout the park.

“Pack your patience,” Jonathan Shafer, park spokesperson said. “We want you to enjoy your visit, and we want to be realistic about what to expect. Be prepared to see lots of other people, and be aware that parking usually fills early in the day. We may temporarily limit vehicle entry to reduce crowding and traffic congestion, and the park pedestrian and bicycle entrance will remain open throughout the weekend.”

Trail access

Currently, the trail bridge over the Virgin River at Zion Lodge, which is Shuttle Stop 5, is closed. Hikers can access Emerald Pools from the Grotto, Shuttle Stop 6.

The park reminded visitors to check the forecast before hiking the Narrows. You can check the flow rate here.

For those interested in hiking Angels Landing, you must apply for a permit the day before. Every hiker needs a permit. You will be asked to show your permit and ID to a ranger on the trail.

Traffic

The Zion Canyon Shuttle System will take you to trailheads throughout the park. Take advantage of the shuttle by parking in Springdale and entering through the pedestrian and bicycle entrance.

Heavy traffic is expected in the area throughout the weekend.

“For non-recreational drivers, the best way through the park is to go around the park. There will likely be heavy traffic all weekend, and there may be times when through-travel is delayed for long periods of time,” a release from the park stated. “If you need to travel through the area during the holiday weekend and you do not plan to recreate in the park, consider alternate routes such as: Utah 20, Utah 14, US 89 – Arizona 389 – Utah 59.

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Zion National Park prepares for a busy Memorial Day weekend