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Zion National Park warns of traffic delays, road closures for holiday

Updated July 1, 2022 - 3:12 pm

Nevada residents looking to escape to Zion National Park this Fourth of July weekend should expect traffic delays getting to the park and accessing park entrances.

The National Park Service warns visitors to expect long lines and lengthy wait times for shuttles at Zion over the holiday weekend. Visitor centers, restrooms and trails are expected to be crowded as people flood the park, according to a release.

The park service is partnering with the town of Springdale to manage traffic. A park spokesperson said that part of this management plan might mean intermittent closures to vehicle traffic at the park’s entrances. Even if drivers can’t enter, though, visitors will be able to ride the free Springdale Line Shuttle to the park’s pedestrian and bike entrance.

Utah State Route 9 — the primary road into Zion — will also be closed Monday, July 4 from about 8:30 a.m. until mid-morning for the nearby town of Springdale’s Independence Day parade. People in the area during the parade should expect delays when trying to leave on Monday morning.

There are also construction delays on northbound I-15 near Mesquite, which are expected to worsen as holiday traffic increases.

The park service advises people traveling through the area this weekend who wish to avoid park traffic to take alternate routes like Utah State Route 14, Utah 59 — Arizona 389 — U.S. 89, and Utah State Route 20.

According to the park service, it’s common to encounter hundreds of people on popular trails during the summer, the busiest time of the year for the park.

Holiday weekends in particular see many park visitors arriving at the same time, leading to long lines and maybe even intermittent closures at the park’s east and south entrances.

Visitors hoping to hike Angels Landing, one of the park’s most popular destinations, must also make sure they apply for a permit through a lottery system the day before they wish to hike.

To keep up-to-date on park closures and to plan your visit, head over to the NPS website.

Colton Poore is a 2022 Mass Media reporting fellow through the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Email him at cpoore@reviewjournal.com or follow him on Twitter @coltonlpoore.

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