Government Shutdown Closes Zion National Park

Article Written By Laura Dahl

Dateline: October 7, Springdale, UT

National Parks around the country closed their gates to visitors on October 1, 2013 as a result of the Federal Government Shutdown.

Government Shutdown…what does that mean for Zion?

Zion National Park is closed to all recreation and visitation for the duration of the government shutdown. All services, including the shuttle system, visitors center, human history museum, bathrooms, parking lots and campgrounds have been suspended during this time as well. Zion Lodge is also closed. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive from Canyon Junction to Zion Lodge is also closed.

How long will the Shutdown last?

There is really no way to know how long this round of government shutdown will last. Historically, shutdowns have lasted anywhere from hours to days, with the longest federal government shutdown lasting 21 days in 1995.

Can I drive through Zion National Park?

Utah State Route 9 (Mount Carmel Highway) will remain open to automobiles and motorcycles driving through the Park. This route is closed to large vehicles including recreational vehicles, large trailers, and buses. Enjoy the scenery as you drive through the Park. Please be respectful of closure rules. Do not use pullouts, or stop to take pictures. Stay on the road without stopping or recreating inside of the National Park.

Should I cancel my vacation to Zion?

Not necessarily. The Good news is that there are TONS of recreations opportunities in the “Greater Zion Area”. These recreation opportunities range from beautiful hikes in canyons, rivers, state Parks, to guided trips, mountain biking and photo tours. The best way to find out about good hiking options OUTSIDE Zion National Park is to come visit us at the Zion Adventure Company store in Springdale. We have many maps and detailed handouts for many recreation opportunities in the areas.

Is my guided trip with Zion Adventure Company still going to run?

Yes, we are still running all of our guided canyoneering, rock climbing, hiking, biking, and overland tours, with the exception of our guided Zion Narrows tour.

We are hoping that our federal government will get this figured out quickly so that National Parks around the country can reopen. Whether the Park is open, or not, we would like to help you have an amazing visit to the area. Stop by our shop in Springdale to gather more information, we would love to assist you in enjoying the beautiful area around Zion National Park. Plan for the worst and hope for the best!!!


Call Zion National Park for the latest updates on park closures, 435-772-3256.


About Laura

Laura has been a guide and outfitter with Zion Adventure Company since the spring of 2012. She is a lover of adventure, learning, and black coffee. When Laura is not interacting with Zion visitors you may find her running through Zion, playing at the swimming hole, or hanging out at the local coffee shop.
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