Zion National Park Has a Hectic Monday as South Entrance Closes to Vehicle Traffic

by Craig Garrett
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

An entrance to Zion National Park is closed, causing mayhem as confused visitors attempted to enter to no avail. At 10:30 on Monday morning, officials announced that the park was at full capacity and no more cars would be able to enter. They released this statement after seeing a camera feed of the south entrance. The footage showed a long line of cars that were turned away.

Zion National Park spokesperson Jonathan Shafer weighed in on the matter. “At this point, if visitors are coming up they may experience intermittent closures and long lines,” Shafer said. Of course, fall is peak season at the park. The south entrance to the park is currently closed to vehicles. However, it remains open to bikes, pedestrians, and free shuttles coming from Springdale. “We encourage folks to park in Springdale and take the pedestrian and bicycle entrance,” Shafer said. Visitors can also use the free Springdale shuttle.

Over the weekend, the park was shuttered in the same way. On Monday, Shafer said he didn’t know why there were still so many people at the park. In the past, competitors and visitors for the St. George Marathon have used the occasion for a short stay in Zion National Park. The marathon is in five days, the St. George News reports.

Zion National Park’s roads were shut down last week

It was just last week that a climber had to be rescued, causing roads to Zion National Park to be closed. Zion National Park spokesman, Jonathon Shafer, said the canyoner needed to be raised from a gallery located in Pine Creek canyon. Mt. Carmel Highway was shut down for around an hour. Meanwhile, the canyoner was assisted by Zion Park Search & Rescue teams. Shafer wasn’t sure why the climber needed to be rescued or how badly they were hurt.

Zion National Park is a stunning American national park found in southwestern Utah near Springdale. The park is 229-square miles and includes the well-known Zion Canyon. This canyon is 15 miles long and up to depths of 2,640 ft. The unique colors of the canyon walls are from the erosion of Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.

The park’s lowest elevation is 3,666 feet (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and its highest point is 8,726 feet (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain. The park has distinct geology and several life zones allowing for uncommon plant and animal variety because it straddles the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions.

The park is home to many different types of plants and animals. This includes 289 species of birds, 75 mammals, and 32 reptiles. The various habitats in the park include desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Zion National Park also features mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas monoliths rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.