Evem nefore 2020, visitation numbers in many of the country’s most popular national parks were already on the rise. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused an unexpected surge. After a long year of lockdowns and restrictions, many people found themselves eager to travel again in 2021. But a need to continue practicing social distancing, as well as a desire to spend time outside after so much time trapped inside, meant that many people opted to visit national parks.
In May, Yellowstone National Park saw an 11 percent increase in the number of visitors it had in the same month in 2019. Grand Tetons National Park saw a 30 percent increase in visitor numbers compared to May 2019.
Zion National Park saw a similar surge. In March of 2021, nearly 430,000 people visited the park, marking one of the highest numbers of March visitors the park had ever seen. But by May, the monthly visitor count topped 600,000 and continued to climb.
While the COVID-19 attendance surge has ended, visitor numbers in national parks continue to rise. To help reduce crowding and the issues that it causes, several national parks across the country have begun requiring reservations in order to visit. Will Zion National Park reservations become a requirement in 2023? Keep reading to find out.
Will Zion National Park Reservations Be Required in 2023?
So, are Zion National Park reservations required in 2023? The answer is no. There have been no announcements about plans to implement a reservation or permit system for Zion National Park at this time.
However, while you might not need Zion National Park reservations to get into the park, the National Park Service is doing other things to help mitigate crowds. First, if you want to explore Zion’s Lower Canyon, where many of the park’s most popular trailheads are, as well as the Zion Lodge, you’ll need to hop on a Zion Canyon Shuttle.
Except for a brief period during the winter season, no personal vehicles are allowed into the Lower Canyon. Instead, guests hop on shuttle buses that run throughout the Lower Canyon. No reservations or tickets are required to ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle.
While this is designed to help alleviate traffic and a lack of parking, it can make getting around a little tricky, especially on busy days in the park. You might find yourself waiting in line to catch a shuttle bus multiple times throughout the day. Luckily, there’s a simple solution; a Zion ebike rental from Greater Zion E-Bikes.
The only reservations that are required in Zion are for those looking to hike Angels Landing. In 2021, the National Park Service began issuing permits to hikers to reduce crowding on this popular hiking trail. Guests can enter one of two lotteries to try to get a permit for this hike.
Other National Parks Requiring Reservations in 2023
While Zion National Park reservations won’t be required in 2023, several other national parks are beginning to require them this year.
Some national parks requiring reservations in 2023 include:
- Arches National Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Muir Woods National Monument
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Planning Your Zion National Park Adventure
Unlike several other popular national parks, no Zion National Park reservations are required to enter the park in 2023. Unless you’re hoping to hike to the top of Angels Landing during your visit, you can come and go from Zion whenever you’d like and as often as you’d like.
However, for most of the year, you will need to hop on a shuttle bus in order to explore Zion’s Lower Canyon. Because this is where many of the park’s most popular trailheads and attractions are located, and personal vehicles are only allowed in this section for a short period during the winter season, most guests think that the shuttle ride is inevitable. On good days, this just means taking a little more time to get to and from the park. But on busy days, this can mean standing in line for the shuttle each time you need to ride it from one point to another.
Luckily, there is a simple, fun solution. A Zion ebike rental from Greater Zion E-Bikes is great for zipping into and out of the park with ease. Ride from one trailhead to the next, without having to wait around for a bus. Plus, this is a fun way to experience a whole different side of Zion that few guests get to see!
Ready to see for yourself why a Zion ebike rental is the best way to navigate the park in 2023? Reserve an e-bike for your next visit today!