If you’re planning a stay in one of our Zion vacation rentals this summer, you’ll likely find yourself riding a Zion Canyon Shuttle bus at least once or twice.

For all but a few short months, the Zion Canyon Shuttles are the only way for visitors to get around the popular Lower Canyon. This is where you’ll find the historic Zion Lodge and many of the park’s most famous trailheads. 

Riding the shuttle, as well as the accompanying Springdale Shuttle, for the first time can be a little confusing. That’s why the team at Copper Rock Vacation Rentals has compiled this guide. We’re breaking down what you’ll need to know to ride the shuttle like a pro during your stay in our Zion National Park vacation rentals.

Springdale Shuttle Loop

Before we cover what you need to know to ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle system within the park, we need to cover how you’ll get there. The best vacation rentals Utah has to offer are located in St. George, Utah, a short drive away from the main entrance to Zion. If you get to the park early in the day or are visiting during the week or a less busy time of year, you’ll likely be able to park right inside the park, in the lot adjacent to the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

But if you get there a little later, or are visiting during a busy time of year, you’ll need to park in a public lot in Springdale instead. Luckily, a second shuttle system ferries guests from nine stops in the town to the entrance to Zion.

The Springdale Shuttle Loop is designed to help reduce traffic entering Zion National Park. With parking spots in the park filling up early each day, this shuttle also allows visitors to park elsewhere in Springdale or even leave their vehicle at the hotel or campground they’re staying at.

The shuttle makes 9 stops in Springdale:

  • Zion Canyon Village
  • Cafe Soleil/Thai Sapa/Cliffrose Lodge
  • Flanigan’s Inn/Whiptail Grill
  • Desert Pearl Inn
  • Zion Pizza & Noodle/Bumbleberry Inn
  • Bit & Spur/Hampton Inn/Holiday Inn Express
  • Quality Inn & Suites Montclair/Driftwood Lodge
  • Park House Cafe/Silver Bear Enterprises
  • Majestic View Lodge

Zion Canyon Shuttle System

While the Springdale shuttle loop is mainly for convenience and to help alleviate some parking issues within the park, the Zion Canyon Scenic Loop is a bit more vital. You can get to the park without taking the in-town shuttle, but you can’t drive the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive in your own vehicle. 

From March to late in November, and a few weeks around the December holidays, the shuttle is the only way to enjoy the beauty of this drive or to access the many stops along its path. Depending on how busy the park is and traffic conditions, shuttles leave from the visitors center every 7 to 10 minutes on average. It then travels through the park, making 8 stops along the way. 

Zion Canyon Shuttle Stops

Knowing the stops you plan to visit ahead of time can help you be better prepared to make the most of your time in the park during your stay in our Zion vacation rentals. Here’s where you can hop off the shuttle and check out the park’s trails, overlooks, museums, and more:

  • Zion Human History Museum:  The museum features exhibits and artifacts that tell the tale of the region’s people, starting with the early Native American settlers and including pioneer settlements and railroad workers. 
  • Canyon Junction: While this stop doesn’t offer the wealth of trails or other activities that other stops have, it does feature a stunning 360 degree view of Zion.
  • Court of the Patriarchs: The stop’s namesake refers to the set of sandstone cliffs that are an iconic photo spot. You’ll also find the trailhead for Sand Bench Loop.
  • Zion Lodge: Whether you’re staying there or not, the Zion Lodge is a must-see. You can check out the famous lodge, do some shopping in the gift shop, and even dine at one of the restaurants on-site. This is also where you’ll find the trailhead for the popular Emerald Pools Trail.
  • The Grotto: This is one of the most popular stops on the shuttle loop for hikers. Here you can find the trailheads for Kayenta Trail, West Rim Trail, and Angel’s Landing. 
  • Weeping Rock: Trailheads for Deertrap Mountain, Cable Mountain, East Rim Trail, Weeping Rock, Hidden Canyon, and Observation Point can all be found here.
  • Big Bend: Like Canyon Junction, this is another great spot to stop and take some photos. You’ll have great views of both Angel’s Landing and Great White Throne.
  • Temple of Sinawava: The stop provides access to The Narrows trail as well as the Riverside Walk. 

Planning Your First Stay in Our Zion Vacation Rentals

Zion National Park is a bucket-list destination for many individuals. With so many people flocking to the park, the National Park Service has implemented a number of measures over the years to manage the crowds and allow everyone to have an enjoyable, relaxing time in the park. This includes the Zion Canyon Shuttle and Springdale Shuttle.

Riding the shuttle for the first time during your stay in our Zion vacation rentals can be a little confusing. But with this guide, you can better plan your route on both the Springdale and Zion Canyon Shuttles. The operating hours for both shuttles are updated seasonally by the National Park Service. Be sure to check the NPS website ahead of your arrival at your Copper Rock Vacation Rental so that you’ll know when you can catch a shuttle during your stay.

Ready to start planning your next stay in the best vacation rentals Utah has to offer? Check out our guide to visiting Zion National Park today to start planning your trip!