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Shuttle Stops at Zion National Park

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For most of the year, visiting the main canyon of Zion National Park requires taking a free shuttle bus. It’s not as bad as it sounds. The shuttles run the eight mile road every 5 -10 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes for the full journey from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to the Temple of Sinawava. 

In this post, we discuss the Zion Canyon shuttle stops, specifically the facilities and hiking trails you can reach from each stop. Hikes are quoted for round trips. Plus, at the end of the post we answer some common questions.

For more detailed information on the shuttle, or driving and parking for Zion Canyon, see our post: Getting Around Zion National Park.

Zion Shuttle Stop 1 - Visitor Center

Shuttle Map of Zion National Park

The shuttle bus starts at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, just north of the Springdale entrance pay station. Here you’ll find a large free parking area; however, be aware that it often fills up by 8 to 9 am. 

To reach the Springdale shuttles, you need to leave the park via the pedestrian exit.

Key Facilities:

  • Gift Shop / NP Passport Stamp
  • Restrooms
  • Water Bottle Refill
  • Picnic Area

Hiking:

  • Start of Pa’rus Trail – Easy 2 hours
  • Watchman Trail – Moderate 2 hours

Zion Shuttle Stop 2 - Museum

Sunset view of Bridge Mountain and museum, Zion National Park, Utah

The Zion Human History Museum is typically open between March and November.

The museum is a popular spot for views of the Alter of Sacrifice and the East Temple at sunset. At night, the museum’s patio is the park’s official night sky viewing area.

In 2021, the museum closed for refurbishment, it is expected to reopen by March 2022.
 

Key Facilities:

  • Gift Shop
  • Restrooms
  • Water Bottle Refill

Hiking:

  • Mid-point of Pa’rus Trail – Easy, 2 hours (full trail)

Zion Shuttle Stop 3 - Canyon Junction

Canyon Junction is where the main road through the canyon forks. There’s not much here, except the end of the Pa’rus trail and access to the Virgin River.

Hiking:

  • Pa’rus Trail – Easy, 2 hours

Zion Shuttle Stop 4 - Court of the Patriarchs

A quick stop with a short path to the Court of the Patriarchs viewpoint with five mountain peaks: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, The Sentinel, and Mount Moroni. 

Hiking:

  • Sand Beach Trail – Moderate, 4 hour loop

Zion Shuttle Stop 5 - Zion Lodge

View from bridge at the Emerald Pool Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

Definitely the busiest shuttle stop is Stop 5 – Zion Lodge.

There’s a lot going on at this stop. Not only is it the one place to grab hot food, it’s also the kick off point for a lot of trails. Plus, it is a really pretty place to sit in the shade of the Lodge’s giant cottonwood tree and rest for a bit.

Tip: Though the Emerald Pool trails are listed separately, they all connect.

Key Facilities:

  • Gift Shop
  • Restrooms
  • Water Bottle Refill
  • Hot Food and Drinks

Hiking:

  • Lower Emerald Pool Trail – Easy, 1 hour
  • Middle Emerald Pool Trail –  Moderate, 1.5 hours
  • Upper Emerald Pool Trail – Moderate, 1 hour
  • Sand Beach Trail – Moderate, 4 hour loop
  • Grotto Trail – Easy, 0.5 hour

Zion Shuttle Stop 6 - The Grotto

Don’t waste your time looking for a grotto, as you won’t find one here. I know, it’s super disappointing. However, what you will find is the starting place for one of the park’s famous hikes, Angels Landing.

Key Facilities:

  • Restrooms
  • Water Bottle Refill
  • Picnic Area

Hiking:

  • Angels Landing via West Rim Trail – Strenuous, 4 hours
  • Scout Lookout via West Rim Trail – Moderate to strenuous, 2.5 hours round trip
  • Keyenta Trail – Moderate, 1.5 hours (Leads to Emerald Pool trails)
  • Grotto Trail – Easy, 0.5 hour

Zion Shuttle Stop 7 - Weeping Rock

Unfortunately, due to a very large rock slide in August 2019, Weeping Rock and its hiking trails are closed indefinitely. According to one of the shuttle bus drivers, it’s not expected to reopen for years. 

Zion Shuttle Stop 8 - Big Bend

The Great White Throne, Zion National Park, Utah

There are not really any notable hikes from this station. However, there is a good view of the Great White Throne, and you can usually see climbers making their way to Angels Landing.

Note that the shuttles usually only stop here on the way back to the visitor center.

Zion Shuttle Stop 9 - Temple of Sinawava

Start of The Narrows hiking trail, Zion National Park, Utah

The last shuttle stop in Zion is number 9, and where you’ll find the park’s most famous hike, The Narrows.

Though hiking The Narrows is not for everyone, to reach this infamous hike you must use the Riverside Walk, which is one of the easiest hikes in the park. 

Key Facilities:

  • Restrooms
  • Water Bottle Refill

Hiking:

  • Riverside Walk – Easy, 1.5 hours
  • The Narrows – Strenuous, Up to 8 hours

Can I walk between Zion Canyon Shuttle Stops?

Though you will definitely need to take the shuttle buses while you are in the park, there are a few hikes between stations you can use to avoid the shuttles.

  • Pa’rus Trail follows the river between Stops 1 and 3. It’s an easy walk and takes about an hour one way.
  • The Grotto Trail is a quick 15 – 20 minute easy walk between Stop 5 and 6. However, it is a little boring, but usually a quiet, so you may see some animals.
  • If you are going from Stop 6 to Stop 5 because you want to hike the Emerald Pool trails, then you can use the Kayenta trail instead of taking the shuttle.

Can I Bring a Bike on the Shuttles?

There is a bike rack on the front of the shuttle buses. The park does not allow e-bikes or fat tire bikes on the shuttles.

Are There Other Shuttle Services in Zion National Park?

This is the only shuttle service that operates in the park. Everywhere else is self-drive or you can hire an outfitter to take you to other areas of the park. 

There is also a Springdale Shuttle, but this only operates in the town of Springdale to help visitors get to and from the main canyon at Zion. 

Continue with our First Time Visitor’s Guide to Zion National Park.

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