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I'm reading about the Shuttle System in Zion. As far as I understand, there are two types of shuttles. The first one gets you from Springdale to Zion Park Fee Collection Office, and the second operates within the Zion Park. Cars are not allowed to enter the park when the shuttle is operating (correct me if I'm wrong * [see an addition below]).

The fees page mentions the $20 per person entrance fee. And it doesn't mention anything about America the Beautiful Pass. If a group of 5 people is travelling in one car (and is normally admitted to national parks without additional fees), are they required to pay $20*5 additionally to enter Zion (since they will not be entering Zion in one car)?

* Even if my understanding is incorrect and the cars are allowed to enter the territory of Zion, the parking near the visitor center is known to be always filled up, in which case, I assume, the only option is to park in Springdale and take the shuttle to Zion Park Fee Collection Office.

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    I've never been to Zion and can't really answer this question, but I can point you toward one detail of the pass system: "Each Annual Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas; and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free)." So the pass should cover one non-commercial vehicle (however many people are inside) if you can drive in or 4 people if you need to pay per-person. – Zach Lipton Nov 28 at 0:26
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    The America the Beautiful Pass actually is on that page, by its official name the Interagency Annual Pass. It is good here. – Michael Hampton Nov 28 at 0:44
  • Also remember that people 15 and younger are admitted free. Perhaps you don't need to worry about this at all? – Michael Hampton Nov 28 at 1:03
  • @MichaelHampton There are no people 15 or younger in the group. I guess the best option would be to go early by car to the parking lot near the visitor center (after some additional research I assume that cars are admitted to the parking lot). – user77409 Nov 28 at 1:34
  • I suppose you could drive in with your annual pass, drop everyone off, drive back out and park the car somewhere, and then go back in on the shuttle yourself. – Michael Hampton Nov 28 at 3:21
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Cars are always allowed into the park up at least until the tunnel (people staying at the lodge can go farther to park there), because highway 9 runs through the park. This allows parking at the visitor's center and the museum, as well as some of the campgrounds, I believe. As you say, these spots will fill up very early, depending on time of year. If you attempt to find parking there, you will enter as a single vehicle and your annual pass should permit you free entry.

The Springdale shuttle takes you to near the edge of the park, where there is a pedestrian bridge that takes you to a ticket office. In theory there your pass entitles you to enter with 3 other people, in which case you'd have to pay $20 for the remaining person. In practice I would expect that it's quite likely that the agent there would allow your group in on one pass, but that would be dependent on the particular agent.

(In actual practice, I've accidentally entered the park without showing a pass before by taking the wrong trail in when walking from Springdale, although this is hard to do on accident from the shuttle stop. In addition, I've also walked in when nobody was manning the ticket booth.)

  • As an aside, I'd highly recommend staying in Springdale near the park border if possible to avoid mucking about with the additional shuttle and/or parking as much as possible. Zion is wildly overcrowded these days and it's a huge pain to get around during the busy season. Another option is to spend a lot of money to stay at the lodge in the park, which puts you within walking distance of the more popular trailheads and gives you easy parking. – ex-user3761894 Dec 2 at 21:09

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