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tigertail34
LSU Fan
Mandeville, LA
Member since Jul 2004
883 posts
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Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
We are heading to Zion Easter Sunday for 3 nights. We have been unsuccessful getting shuttle tickets.

I have seen the private shuttles and ebikes as an option to get in the park, but we are a family of 6 and this becomes pretty costly.

We will have a rental car and wanted to see if there are other ways to get into the park or what some options may be?


DLauw
LSU Fan
SWLA
Member since Sep 2011
5721 posts
 Online 

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
We went in February for the first time. It was a beautiful day and busy as shite. I can’t imagine how busy it is during peak season.

I have no advice other than get there early.


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cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
27366 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
if you don’t stay at the lodge you have to take the park shuttle, once you get to that point. Private vehicles are not allowed past the lodge


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Hat Tricks
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2003
27286 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
They release tickets twice a month, the 16th and last day of the month. You need to try and get them on March 31.

Or they release them at 5 pm the day before your intended visit.

You need to have shuttle tickets to get up the scenic drive.

If you can't get shuttle tickets you can park at the visitor's center and there are a couple of trails you can access from there but nothing like what you will find with shuttle access on the scenic drive.
This post was edited on 3/19 at 5:46 am


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Codeasy87
LSU Fan
Seattle,WA
Member since Feb 2020
256 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
Renting electric bicycles are very popular and cheap. This is an option.

Although, we took the park shuttle and it was easy as well.


wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
43924 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
quote:

I have seen the private shuttles and ebikes as an option to get in the park, but we are a family of 6 and this becomes pretty costly.



We were there in June and shuttles were not running. They were allowing people to park along hwy 9 where the scenic drive begins. I don't know if this is currently allowed. Depending on the age of the kids and their hiking ability, you could possibly have one adult drop of everyone capable of hiking at the entrance to Scenic drive and then that driver go back and park the rental and take a shuttle or ebike to meet up with the group. Any young kids could take the shuttle or bike. I would say, when the Scenic drive starts, there is still a long hike to the Zion Lodge. Lots of hikes start close to the lodge and there is food and drink there.
This post was edited on 3/17 at 9:27 am


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DeltaTigerDelta
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2017
5586 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
You can hike from the visitor’s center on a paved path but it seems like you’d be fairly SOL without shuttle access.


bluestem75
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Oct 2007
1884 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
We got shuttle tickets the day before no problem last July.

We also took a day to hike the Northgate Peaks trail. Fairly easy trail with an amazing view at the end of it. The drive to the trailhead is gorgeous, too.

We wanted to go up to the Kolob Canyon trail but that section of the park was closed.

You do not need shuttle passes for either of those sections.


montana
LSU Fan
Bozeman, MT
Member since Dec 2008
1114 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
Been in Zion for the last 3 days. More rules than a high security prison. How people get bus passes I’ll never know. Plus the people on the buses look like they are going off to concentration camps. Also the lines for busses at the Lodge (inside the park) are a few hundred yards long. No one we’ve spoken to knows anything about park access. It’s like one big guessing game.

Buying parking passes is another true wonders of the world. After buying the $24 pass to park all day, the machine charged us, but failed to give us a receipt because it was out of paper. Happened at 2 parking machines. Finally at the 3rd parking machine and $72 later, we were printed a parking receipt.

We have battled it out because it truly is one of the most beautiful places in the USA.

When you don’t get your bus pass/admission to the park, you can hike Watchman’s Trail. My kids renamed the trail “No Pass Trail” because everyone hiking the trail can’t figure out how to get passes into the park.

We went mountain biking at Guacamole Trail. Then we found out we could ride bikes in the park. So we rode mountain bikes to the lodge, as most people flew past us on E-Bikes.

My recommendation is to rent an E-Bike. You can stop and hike at your own will. Call and get them reserved a few weeks in advance. I can’t imagine how poorly the park is run when it’s slammed during summer.





tigertail34
LSU Fan
Mandeville, LA
Member since Jul 2004
883 posts
 Online 

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
Was looking at the town of Oatman about 2 hours from Vegas. Looks like a cool old western themed type town kids may enjoy.

Anyone been here?


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speckledawg
Mississippi St. Fan
Somewhere Salty
Member since Nov 2016
2789 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
They release a small amount of tickets the evening before for the next day. I imagine they go very quickly, so be logged in and ready. The lines are long for the shuttles, but they go very quickly. I recommend a very early start. It's much more enjoyable.

You can rent regular bikes from the outfitters as well. It's a long way to some of the trailheads from the entrance, so I couldn't imagine walking in and then beginning your hikes.

The logistics are currently a PITA, but it's worth it. Zion is amazing. Don't skip out on Angel's Landing!


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alpinetiger
Utah Fan
Salt Lake City
Member since Apr 2017
2212 posts
 Online 

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
I might regret posting this insider tip here being a 20+ year Utahn sworn to secrecy, but anyone making a trip to Zion check out the Kolob Canyons. Its still part of Zion NP, but no one ever goes there comparably to the main park. This visitors center is off of I-15 as you drive south towards Spingdale/Zion NP main entrance. There's also a "back way" off of HW 9 as you approach Springdale. That way gives you alot more access to great trails and camping spots - many of which are still unmarked - but you'll have to figure that out yourself.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/an0XfLA.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/komQJsh.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/N4LBqQW.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/5i9Vp5t.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/p9ACkD2.jpg


This post was edited on 3/26 at 9:25 am


LSU
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Oct 2003
8163 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
quote:

anyone making a trip to Zion check out the Kolob Canyons. Its still part of Zion NP, but no one ever goes there comparably to the main park.


We're planning to stop at Kolob on the way to Zion at the end of May. Looks amazing!


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Cash
SMU Fan
Vail
Member since Feb 2005
36406 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
Can ebikes be left at the trail heads?


Grifola
Member since Aug 2017
30 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
quote:

Can ebikes be left at the trail heads?


Yes. The rental should come with a cable/lock.


vistajay
Member since Oct 2012
1585 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
Just got back from Zion. You don't have to reserve shuttle passes anymore. Shuttle lines were long at visitor center but after that were ok. Shuttles are still only vehicle day access in park, though they did let my elderly in laws drive their car to the Lodge.


deathvalley1
LSU Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Dec 2007
98 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
There are several ways to enjoy Zion without dealing with shuttles and overwhelming crowds...here’s three

1) someone earlier mentioned the Northgate Peaks trail in the Kolob Canyons section of the park...if your staying in the Springdale area, you can access it via Kolob Terrace Rd near Virgin and head north to the trailhead. This is a good alternative with amazing views not part of the main canyon.
2) for a relatively short hike with amazing views, hit up the Canyon Overlook Trail. The trailhead is immediately upon exiting the east end of the Mt Carmel Tunnel (1.0 mile out, 2 miles total)
3) finally, this is a bit of a drive to the trailhead and then about 3.5 miles out, but the Observation Point via the East Mesa Trailhead is money. It’s look down upon the main canyon and the infamous Angels Landing summit is actually below you. While it’s a 7 mile round trip, it’s easy to moderate in difficulty. Without the fears and crowds of Angels Landing.

All of the options are accessible via rental car and do not require any rides in a shuttle


iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
908 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
quote:

for a relatively short hike with amazing views, hit up the Canyon Overlook Trail. The trailhead is immediately upon exiting the east end of the Mt Carmel Tunnel (1.0 mile out, 2 miles total)


I agree, this is a great hike. Be forewarned that even though there are 2 turnouts there, parking is limited and can often be hard to find a spot.


iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
908 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
View from canyon overlook trail.


Tacktheritrix
New Orleans Saints Fan
Wonderland
Member since Jun 2013
633 posts

re: Getting around Zion w/o shuttle service
I wish we could have done Canyon Overlook. They are saying it may be closed permanently due to a large falling rock. If you have any more pictures I would love for you to post. My fiancé and I were very upset we missed that trail.

ETA: Everyone really already covered getting around, the shuttle service must have changed since we went at the end of March. We had to have a pass daily and it had to be at that exact time on your pass, there was no getting on at 8:30 if your pass was for 10:00. Once you got in the park you could not leave and re enter. Ebikes/bikes are the way to go if you want to get deep into the park. you could walk on a few trails near the welcome center.
This post was edited on 6/14 at 8:29 am


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