Visitor Use Management Plan and EA
Visitation to Zion National Park has been increasing for decades, but especially significant increases have been experienced in the last few years. In 2015, 3,662,220 people visited the park, which was 450,624 more visitors than in 2014 which was also a record year. The peak season in the park has now extended into early spring and late fall. During the height of the summer season it is now common for visitors to wait in long lines to enter the park and board the park shuttle. Parking is routinely full in the park by 9:30 a.m. daily which adds to the parking congestion in Springdale. This increase in visitation stresses park infrastructure, can degrade natural and cultural resources, and adversely affects the visitors' park experience.
In order to address these issues the park is beginning a Visitor Use Management (VUM) planning process. Through the VUM process, park managers will devise measures to be taken that provide an enjoyable and safe visitor experience while protecting the park's fundamental resources and values. Various measures will be tested and important information collected during the planning process to help inform the Plan.
The plan will focus on areas where the issues are most acute, principally the park's front country areas, especially in Zion Canyon. However, due to the influence of any changes in the management of front country areas, the plan will need to analyze impacts associated with gateway communities and the park's wilderness areas.
This collaborative process will include park partners; visitors; local, state, and federal agencies and governments; and the public. Continue to check this site throughout the process for planning updates for updates and how you can be involved.