Busy Presidents Day weekend expected at Zion National Park

Waterfalls at Zion National Park

SPRINGDALE, Utah — Thousands of people are expected to visit Zion National Park over Presidents Day weekend, and local authorities are asking those with flexible plans to consider visiting another time.

The Utah Department of Transportation is working on a reconstruction project through Zion Canyon, and they’re warning visitors of related delays. Due to the reconstruction, there will be areas with one-way traffic, traffic stoppages and flagging leading into and out of Zion National Park’s South Entrance.

According to a statement issued jointly by UDOT, the National Parks Service and the Town of Springdale, people driving through Springdale have experienced recent traffic stoppages of 90 minutes or longer due to construction.

“We know that this is an extremely popular area to visit. That’s why it’s so important we get this project done,” said UDOT Project Manager Chris Hall in a statement sent to FOX 13. “If you can’t shift your travel to lower volume dates, plan ahead and know that traffic is expected to back up at several locations in the town and when entering and exiting the park.”

The State Route 9 reconstruction project, which will improve utilities and drainage, add wider sidewalks and add bicycle lanes, is scheduled to be finished in mid-April.

Another factor visitors need to consider is the extremely limited parking availability. The park will have in-park shuttle service available beginning Saturday, February 17, with additional parking available for early arrivals. Additional parking is also available in Springdale.

Shuttle buses will leave the Zion’s Canyon Visitor Center beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. The buses will go up the canyon to designated trailhead stops, and the last one will return from the Temple of Sinawava at 6:45 p.m. The buses will operate on the same schedule on Sunday, and again on February 24, February 25, March 3 and March 4. Springdale’s town shuttle will not be running those weekends.