Shuttle Route; Springdale, Utah Summer, In-Town Shuttle Route to and from Zion National Park, Shops, and Restaurants

*Update – the shuttle system is running on the regular Summer Schedule

summer shuttle schedule

On Easter weekend, the transportation department, which manages the shuttle system for Springdale and Zion National Park, decided to test whether they can run the Springdale town shuttles on their normal route (from the Visitor Center to the Majestic View Lodge).

The conclusion was that, until the construction on State Route 9 through town is completed, the shuttle route will remain “fluid” on a daily basis. Each morning, the transportation department coordinates with the construction crew in charge of the highway project to determine how the day’s construction events will impact the shuttle route.

Because of this, the transportation department is making daily announcements on each of their shuttle runs through town to inform passengers of the plan. This will occasionally mean that the shuttle driver will announce that anyone staying at a hotel south of the Hampton Inn will want to plan to be back to their hotel prior to 6pm (as the majority of the roadwork happening this week is going on between the hours of 7pm and 7am).

In any event, the road construction schedule is on-time and will be completed by April 15th. The shuttle route should return to normal before this time, most likely by April 8th, but is guaranteed to be on the regular schedule by April 16th.

Use the link below to access the 2018 Shuttle Schedule for Zion National Park and Springdale, Utah [courtesy of the National Park Service website] –

Shuttle Schedule

SR-9 Construction Update

The following information is a direct copy from UDOT’s SR-9 Renewed Project email [sharing for your information]:

“Project Wide: ROADWAY

  • Nightly beginning Monday, April 2 through the first week of April, crews will lay the final layer of asphalt to seal the roadway, provide a smoother ride and more durability.
    • This activity will occur over the course of five or six nights, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. but moves faster than the paving on the project to date because it is a thinner layer.
    • Expect night noise, vibration and an increase in construction equipment. Stoppage times may be longer than usual due to this work, despite there being less traffic overall.
  • Permanent roadway striping is scheduled to begin April 5, with crosswalks and pavement message installation as early as April 12.
  • The week of April 9, crews plan to raise utility manholes and covers, and pour concrete rings (collars) around them to secure them in the roadway.
    • Metal plates will cover these collars for up to 5 days, or until the concrete reaches strength. Metal plates can clank or rattle when traffic drives over them. They will be removed as soon as the concrete reaches strength.

Red Rock Inn to LDS Ward – Southbound

  • Remaining curb, gutter, driveway and sidewalk placement is scheduled in this area through mid-April.
    • Expect access closures for a few hours while crews place concrete, allow it to set-up, and then build temporary ramps to reopen the access.

Project Wide: OFF-ROADWAY

  • Landscape restoration activities are scheduled to begin next week and occur through April.
    • Crews will focus on restoring sprinklers and irrigation so that property owners can begin watering landscaping.
  • Tie-ins between paths and the new sidewalk will be addressed on a one-on-one basis as needed and are planned through the month of April.
  • Asphalt driveway tie-ins are scheduled for early April.
    • Anticipate crews working in the closure areas or on the shoulder in various locations throughout town.
  • Throughout the month of April, crews will remove and replace sections of new sidewalk that were vandalized during construction. We apologize for any inconvenience this re-work may cause and ask for the community’s help in ensuring that any replacement concrete work is allowed to cure without interference.
    • Please call the police if you see anyone tampering with new concrete work. 
  • Sign installation is ongoing through mid-April on both sides of SR-9.

*All concrete work is dry weather dependent*”

Cliffs in Zion National Park Closed to Climbing – update: Most OPEN as of 8/1/18

Rock-Climbing Closures Zion National Park – last updated 8/1/18

*Update: Most Cliffs are now OPEN to Climbing -Except- Angel’s Landing*

Zion National Park has closed the following cliffs to rock-climbing in an effort to protect the nesting sites of the peregrine falcon – all other cliffs will remain open to climbing (cliffs with a strike through have been reopened to climbing):

  • Angels Landing – Angels Landing climbing route to remain closed until the trail at Refrigerator Canyon is reopened (following damage from floods in July)
  • Cable Mountain
  • The Great White Throne (beyond single and double-pitched climbs)
  • Isaac (in Court of the Patriarchs)
  • The Sentinel
  • Mountain of the Sun
  • North Twin Brother
  • Tunnel Wall
  • The East Temple
  • Mount Spry
  • The Streaked Wall
  • Mount Kinesava
  • Middle Fork of Taylor Creek

(*If there is a strike through, the route is no longer closed)

Information courtesy of Zion National Park dispatch

(Image source: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/perfal/introduction)

Kolob Canyons Access Closed for 7 Months

Kolob Canyons Closed for 7 Months

Starting on May 1, 2018:

Access to the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park will be limited to only those who have acquired an overnight permit to hike from the Hop Valley Trail to the La Verkin Creek Trail and to the Kolob Arch.

According to the National Park Service’s Zion National Park website:

The project involves:

  • reconstructing sections of the road
  • repaving the entire road
  • adding accessible parking
  • adding accessible sidewalk
  • adding accessible toilet facilities

During the seven-month project, the following areas will be closed:

  • all of Kolob Canyons Road
  • the Visitor Center
  • parking lot off of Interstate 15
  • the Taylor Creek Trail
  • the Timber Creek Overlook Trail
  • Lee Pass Trailhead
  • all other areas served via the Kolob Canyons Road

For more information, check herekolob canyons

Shuttle Schedule for Spring 2018

*Note – The updated post for the Shuttle Schedule can be found here

Today is the day that the Zion Canyon shuttle in Zion National Park is scheduled to resume operations for the season.

The first shuttle of the day will leave the Visitor Center at 7:00am, daily. The last shuttle pick up from the Temple of Sinewava is at 8:15pm.

The Springdale town shuttle will also resume, but on a modified route. The first Springdale town shuttle will begin at 8:05am and run until 9:15pm, seven days a week.

(Springdale town.com)

(Nps.gov)

Shuttle Schedule

Starting on Saturday, February 17, 2018, the Zion Canyon Shuttle will begin running on weekends until the full Zion Canyon shuttle service begins for the season on March 10, 2018.

The Springdale town shuttle is not expected to begin operating until the construction on SR-9 is closer to completion.

During the times that the Zion Canyon shuttle is in operation, the main canyon in Zion National Park will be closed to cars. This shuttle will run throughout the day from the visitor center to the Temple of Sinawava, making stops at various trailheads every 7-10 minutes.

Parking is available at the visitor center, though it is limited. There is occasionally a private shuttle van that operates throughout Springdale for a small fee, to take you to and from the park entrance. As soon as I can confirm that they will be operating, I will post information about this service.

Source: https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/shuttle-system.htm

The Ghosts of Grafton

The Grafton ghost town, located west of Rockville, Utah, is like a still life scene from an old western movie.

In fact, it has seen previous life as just that, having been utilized as a film set for movies such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Red Fury, and more.

Prior to earning its film credentials, Grafton was an inhabited community of families who moved there from Virgin to begin a simple life of service and faith.

It wasn’t long after Grafton was initially settled that the old muddy Virgin River raged and flooded the town. Settlers in Virgin wrote of homes floating down from Grafton in the floodwaters.

The residents of Grafton also had a fair amount of ‘Indian troubles’, so they packed up and abandoned the town for a few years. In 1945 the town was abandoned for good after experiencing more flooding than was bearable.

Fast-forward to today and the buildings of Grafton still stand. They are hauntingly beautiful with the backdrop of Mount Kinesava and the cliffs of Zion National Park.

Many believe that the spirits of the former residents still reside in the homes that remain.

Now, if you do decide to take a drive to the Grafton ghost town for whatever purpose, please remember that it is on private property. Be respectful of the buildings, of the landowners, of the road, and of any spirits that may remain.

*Information source: http://graftonheritage.org/history-settlement/

Government Shutdown

The government has shutdown again [at least it’s slow season this time!]

Until it reopens, Zion National Park will be impacted in the following ways: (source: Visit Utah)

Zion National Park

Facilities:

• Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Kolob Canyons Visitor Center and Human History Museum: Closed

• Zion Lodge: Open

• Restrooms: Closed

• Campgrounds: Watchman campground will remain open in the short term, but will close Sunday.

Road Conditions:

• 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) 8:00 am to 4:00 pm 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.

• Kolob Canyons Road will be open, weather permitting.

• Kolob Terrace is already partially closed.

Other:

•  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.

https://www.visitutah.com/plan-your-trip/federal-government-shutdown-information#zion

National Park Fee-Free Days – 2018

This land is your land and this land is my land. … This land was made for you and me. [Woody Guthrie]

We are still waiting to learn if the entrance fee to Zion National Park will increase to the proposed $70. The public comment period was extended to December 22, 2017. I hope you all had the opportunity to make your voices heard. 📢

This increase would potentially affect the following Utah national parks: Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, and Zion National Park. It would apply specifically to the busiest 5 months in the year: May through September.

These fee increases are intended to be only for the 7-day passes, which will in turn help to keep more of the money generated from the sales of these passes in the national park from which they were purchased.

There is no doubt that there is a need for more money to remain in Zion National Park, as they are struggling to find funding for continued operations. In no way is this post intended to be political, but with recent budget cuts, and increased visitation, Zion has been hit hard. Additionally, a large percentage of money generated by entrance fees goes directly to keeping the shuttle system operating. We have seen how important our shuttle system is to the efficiency of visitation to the Park, most recently over the Christmas/New Year week!

Anyhow, enough about that. I shared my opinion during the open comment period, so now we wait to see what will happen next.

The National Park Service has announced four entrance fee-free days in 2018:

  • January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • April 21: First day of National Park Week
  • September 22: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

Let’s get out there and respectfully and safely enjoy our beautiful land!

*Sources: < em>https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-10-25/national-park-service-proposes-70-entrance-fee-into-some-parks< em>https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

It Was Fun While It Lasted

We have been making a trip up to Kolob Mountain every weekend since Christmas to take pictures of the birds of prey that winter there.

Up until now we have enjoyed clear roads and relatively warm weather, along with some incredible views and bird-watching opportunities.

But now it’s snowing up there… 🌨❄️

Snow is definitely needed, so I’m not complaining, but it was definitely fun while it lasted!

I guess it’s time to find a new weekend hangout spot. Maybe Kolob Canyons?