Zion National Park remains open during government shutdown but with limited services
Because of the partial federal government shutdown, Zion National Park remains open but with very limited services.
The visitors centers in Zion and all of the national parks in the state of Utah are currently closed — one exception being Bryce Canyon’s visitor center, which is currently open limited hours — as are nearly all facilities that require employees or service. This also includes public bathrooms as well at the park entrance stations, so no fees are currently being collected at the park gates. Latrines, commonly referred to as portable toilets, are not locked; however, they are not being serviced, and trash is not being picked up.
Rangers are still currently manning both entrances to the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel for safety reasons, as large vehicles need to be controlled going through the tunnel during the normal hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Large vehicles going through the tunnel are currently being given forms to mail in to pay fees.
Because park employees are not able to update their websites or social feeds, the governor’s office has set up a webpage to help visitors know the current state of services in Utah’s national parks. Here’s an excerpt from the site with the information on Zion National Park:
—Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, and Human History Museum: closed.
—Zion Lodge: open.
—Campgrounds: Watchman campground will remain open in the short term, but will close Sunday.
—Most roads will be open, weather permitting.
—The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway may close temporarily for plowing and sanding.
—The Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel will be open to large vehicles (11’4” tall or taller, or 7’10” wide or wider) 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. only. Vehicles over 13’1” tall and commercial vehicles prohibited.
—Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will be open. Weather conditions may cause the road to be closed above Zion Canyon Lodge. Traffic congestion may also cause the road to be closed if it impedes emergency response.
—Due to snow, Kolob Canyons Road is closed at this time.
—Kolob Terrace is already partially closed.
—Trails will open as usual unless there are health and safety concerns in a particular area. Falling ice and slippery conditions are common during the winter. Visitors need to be responsible for their own safety. Traction devices are recommended on most trails.