Zion National Park is Expecting Over 100,000 Visitors This Memorial Day Weekend

by Jon D. B.

The National Park Service welcomes all to Zion National Park this Memorial Day Weekend, but want visitors to know what to expect, too.

As the park offers ahead of the holiday, “There is never a bad time to visit Zion.” Visiting during Memorial Day Weekend, however, will come with it’s challenges.

In 2021, Zion saw in excess of 100,000 visits from Friday to Monday of the holiday weekend. That’s a staggering amount of people for one park, regardless of size. Zion National Park is expecting the same for 2022.

“If you visit this weekend, pack your patience,” Jonathan Shafer, park spokesperson says in the park’s media release. “We want you to enjoy your visit, and we want to be realistic about what you can expect during your time in the park.”

To help prepare for a busy Memorial Day Weekend visit, NPS says to anticipate:

  • Long lines at entrance stations, visitor centers, restrooms, and at trailheads
  • Lengthy waits to board park shuttles in Springdale and Zion National Park
  • Intermittent closures at the park’s east and south vehicle entrance stations
  • Heavy traffic in Springdale and throughout the park
Vehicles line up to enter Zion National Park. Expect long entrance lines and steady congestion this Memorial Day Weekend. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

“Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is about seven miles long and has about a dozen well-known hikes to offer. Be prepared to see lots of other people,” Shafer adds. “Be aware that parking usually fills early in the day and remember that we may close vehicle entrance gates to reduce crowding and congestion.”

Please also be aware that when these intermittent closures happen, drivers will not be able to enter the park. If you need to travel through the park during the holiday weekend without stopping for recreation, however, consider alternate routes such as:

  • Utah 20.
  • Utah 14. 
  • US 89 – Arizona 389 – Utah 59. 

Always Recreate Responsibly in Zion National Park

And remember, if you plan to stay and enjoy this remarkable landscape, always recreate responsibly in Zion. For the busy holiday weekend, this includes a few extra tips:

  • Be patient with rangers and other visitors. Busy weekends can be stressful, and we need your help to make sure everyone enjoys their national park. 
  • Be careful with fire in campgrounds or picnic areas due to hot and dry conditions. 
  • Drink plenty of waterand watch for signs of heat stress. 
  • Park only in designated parking areas. Illegally parked vehicles can harm park plants and animals and may be ticketed or towed. 
  • Pack it In – Pack it Out. Take everything you bring into the park out again. This helps protect plants, animals, and history and reduces the amount of trash NPS staff need to manage. 
  • Go Before You Go. Use restrooms at trailheads and shuttle stops before venturing out on trails.

Before each visit, be sure to check summer operations in Zion on NPS’s website here. And as always, Outsider has you covered to plan the ultimate Zion National Park trip: