Starting Friday, Zion National Park will increase the ticket price for a ride on one of its very popular shuttles from $ 1 to $ 2 per person per day.
After receiving public feedback, the park is moving forward with the increase to help cover personnel and operating costs associated with the ticketing system.
As the pandemic raged last summer, the national park used a ticketing system through Recreation.gov to control crowds and maintain social distancing.
The ticketing system provides predictable access to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which covers the main canyon of the park and handles the vast majority of the 4 million visitors who come to the park each year.
Officials say they expect the ticketing system to stay in place throughout the summer and possibly into the fall, and that staff are needed in several locations to take tickets, answer questions. , keep queues short and maintain social distancing and other pandemic guidelines, according to an April press release from the NPS.
“Attendance has increased significantly from the initial levels of the pandemic, necessitating the reestablishment of visitor services and work can no longer be delayed on critical park projects, and therefore it is no longer financially possible to absorb the operational costs associated with the ticketing system, “the statement said. .
Previously, shuttle tickets to Zion were free, and buses still adorn the “free” decals.
However, free tickets can still be obtained during opening hours from 3 p.m. at the Visitor Center, although this is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Alternatively, tickets can be purchased in advance twice a month or 5 p.m. the day before the ticket date.
The ticket release schedule is as follows:
- From June 1 to 15, 2021, advance tickets are released on May 16 at 9:00 a.m. PST
- From June 16 to 30, 2021, advance tickets are released on May 31 at 9:00 a.m. PST
- From July 1 to July 15, 2021, advance tickets are released on June 16 at 9:00 a.m. PST
- From July 16 to 31, 2021, advance tickets are released on June 30 at 9:00 a.m. PST
- From August 1 to 15, 2021, advance tickets are released on July 16 at 9:00 a.m. PST
- From August 16 to 31, 2021, advance tickets are released on July 30 at 9:00 a.m. PST
This shuttle system will continue to operate until September 19 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Elsewhere in the park, all services and trails are now open with more information on specific services available on the NPS website.
Previous coverage: Zion National Park receives $ 33 million for electric shuttles
The park encourages visitors to leave no traces, to visit respectfully, and to adhere to pandemic precautions with face masks required in all buildings and lines.
A press release encouraged visitors to make the Zion Pledge, “a personal pledge you can make to protect yourself and the park. Please share your #ZionPledge story on social media and encourage your family and friends to do the same.”
K. Sophie Will is the National Parks reporter for The Spectrum & Daily News through the GroundTruth Project’s Report for America initiative. Follow her on Twitter at @ksophiewill or email him at [email protected] Donate to Report for America here.