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Independence Day kicks off busy season in Zion: be prepared for closures and waits

The National Park Service released information and a policy update on Wednesday, June 28, in preparation for the Independence Day weekend and following week. The press release detailed special policy for the steep ramp up in visitation; the combination of already high summer attendance and the wave of holiday visitors means heavy traffic and busy crowds for Zion National Park.

Photo courtesy of Zion National Park.

“Independence Day falls on a Tuesday this year, so we’re planning for a busy weekend,” said Jeff Bradybaugh, Superintendent of Zion National Park. “On holiday weekends, we typically see more visitors than on other busy summer days. That’s why we’re partnering with the Town of Springdale to actively manage traffic. Together we will direct visitors to available parking so that everyone can enter the park efficiently.”

The heavy visitation also promised – and delivered on - long wait times for entrance stations, visitor’s centers and restrooms, as well as heavy traffic on trails and trailheads. More pertinently to Kane County readership, the east and south vehicle entrances faced intermittent closures, resulting in increased traffic and vehicle delays in entrance communities. Communities saw extra visitation and traffic, especially on Tuesday as the Independence Day festivities - like parades - slowed traffic and drew additional attention. The NPS recommended travel via Utah 20, Utah 14 and US 89. They released the following list of responsible practices for the busy season:

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Recreate responsibly:

  • Be patient with rangers and other visitors. Busy weekends can be stressful, and we need your help to make sure everyone enjoys their national park visit.

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and watch for signs of heat stress. Eat salty snacks.

  • Avoid flash floods & lightening by checking the forecast. Your safety is your responsibility.

  • Prevent wildfires. Fireworks are not allowed in Zion National Park. Campfires are only allowed in steel campfire rings at campgrounds. Fires are never allowed in park Wilderness.

  • Park only in designated parking areas. Illegally parked vehicles can harm park plants and animals and may be ticketed or towed.

  • Pack it In – Pack it Out. Take everything you bring into the park out again. This helps protect plants, animals, and historic resources and reduces the amount of trash NPS staff need to manage.

  • Go Before You Go. Use restrooms at trailheads and shuttle stops before venturing out on trails.

  • Learn more about summer operations in Zion, check our social media, and visit our website for the latest park information.

The road from the park’s east entrance to Springdale will be closed intermittently over the course of the holiday weekend to ensure good shuttle flow and efficient movement between shuttle stops. Current conditions are updated on the NPS’ Zion page, along with trail status reports.



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