Article •  Zion National Park, Utah, USA, North America

Everything You Need To Know About Catching The Zion National Park Shuttle In Summer 2021

Last Updated On: June 7, 2021


For the majority of the year (mid-February – late November), you can only access the cars are not allowed to drive along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which is the main route that leads to the most desired hikes and viewpoints. This route is only accessible by the Zion National Park shuttle. However, visitors are allowed to drive from the Visitor Center to the east entrance year-round.

The Zion National Park shuttle transports visitors from one hiking trailhead to the other during the busy months of the park. To catch the shuttle bus you can either park your car at the Visitor Center or catch the Springdale shuttle, which leaves from several hotels in Springdale and drops visitors off at the main entrance of Zion National Park. From there you will have to pay the entrance fee and then take a short walk to the Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center is where the main shuttle route starts. It follows along the scenic Zion Canyon Drive all the way to Sinawava, the stop you would want to get out of if you are planning on hiking through the Narrows from the bottom-up.

I recommend getting a map from the visitor center so you don’t miss your stops to the hikes you are interested in. Knowing the name of your stop is necessary to reach the trailhead, so make sure to inform yourself beforehand. This article will tell you Everything You Need To Know About Catching The Zion National Park Shuttle In Summer 2021.

How To Catch The Shuttle Bus In Zion National Park | Bare Escape
How To Catch The Shuttle Bus In Zion National Park | Bare Escape

In order to get to any hiking trails along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, you used to be required to purchase a shuttle ticket in advance. However, that changed on the 28th of May 2021. Now you only have to show up and stand in line. The shuttle buses run every 6 – 10 minutes and fit around 65 people.

Zion is the busiest of the Mighty 5 National Parks. On a typical summer day, the Zion National Park shuttle transports around 9,000 visitors through the park. So if you decide to visit Zion National Park during the busy summer months, then either be prepared to stand in line or get up really early to catch the first shuttle. The first shuttle in the spring leaves the Visitor Center at 7.00 am and in the summer it leaves already at 6.00 am. Make sure to double-check the shuttle bus times prior to your visit.

When we visited Zion National Park to hike Angels Landing at the end of May 2021, we got up at 4:00 am in order to get to the Visitor Center by 5:30 am since the first shuttle starts at 6:00 am and we still didn’t even make it on the first shuttle. That’s how many people had the same idea.

Just to give you a better understanding of how packed the park gets in the summer months. By noon, there was a long line to get into the park, there was a long line to get onto the shuttle, and then there was a line to hike Angels Landing. So if getting up early isn’t your strong suit, then it might be worth checking out one of the other Mighty 5 National Parks of Utah.

For more detailed information about the shuttle bus service in Zion National Park click here.

Best time to visit Zion National Park

Zion is one of those places that can be explored all year round. While every season has its pros and cons, I recommend visiting either during the Spring or Fall when the temperatures are comfortable and the crowds less overwhelming.

  • Spring is a great time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and summer heat.
  • Summer provides the perfect temperatures for early morning hikes but can get quite hot during the day. Make sure to bring enough water and sun protection, and be prepared to battle the crowds. The Narrows are best to explore during the hot summer months since the trail leads up a river and the water is surprisingly cold. Just note that July, August & September are monsoon season, which can lead to flash floods. Be sure to check the weather before exploring any narrow canyons in the park.
  • Autumn might be one of my favorite times to be anywhere in nature. I just love all the fall colors, the vibrant foliage only adds to the images.
  • Winter in Utah can be quite cold. While the park is much quieter than during all the other seasons, hiking in the cold is often not as fun. I personally don’t enjoy being cold.

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How To Catch The Shuttle Bus In Zion National Park | Bare Escape
How To Catch The Shuttle Bus In Zion National Park | Bare Escape
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