How to Visit Zion National Park During the Government Shutdown

Is Zion National Park Open During Government Shutdown? – How to Visit

With the ongoing federal government shutdown, many national parks across the country are understaffed, if staffed at all. Thanks to generous donations from the Utah Tourism Office, the Zion Forever Project, Washington County, the city of St. George and private donors, Zion National Park has been able to remain open. The park is currently funded through January 21, 2019 and is staffed at about 15% of the workforce. Ranger programs, hiking permits and shuttle services have been paused. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open, unless parking lots are full or snowfall prevents clearing the road.

Zion National Park available services during the government shutdown:

  • Visitor center
  • Restrooms
  • Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
  • Trails (weather permitting)


  • Shuttle services
  • Ranger programs
  • Wilderness, canyoneering, backpacking and climbing permits
  • Kolob Canyons (for road maintenance)

Hiking along Virgin River in Zion in Winter
Keep Zion Beautiful

As much as we love this beautiful region, we are grateful that visitors to Zion National Park during the shutdown have been doing their part to keep the park clean. We would like to remind all visitors to all national parks and monuments, government shutdown or not, to please exercise Leave No Trace practices. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Stay on designated trails and roads. And always respect and protect the beautiful landscape, natural resources and wildlife habitats.

Mule deer in winter Zion Ponderosa

Visit Zion Ponderosa

Take in the beauty of our unique landscape from the top. For guests headed to Zion over the upcoming long weekend, we encourage you to visit Zion Ponderosa and enjoy the east side of Zion. Our vacation homes and cozy cabin suites are available for booking, and we are operating many of our adventures, activities and recreation (weather permitting). Visitors wishing to experience Zion without stretching the park’s limited resources during the shutdown can hike across Zion Ponderosa property to Observation Point for a spectacular look into Zion Canyon, or if there’s a lot of snow on the ground try snowshoeing to Cable Mountain. Horseback riding and Jeep tours are just two of the fun winter activities we offer. Dress warm and come ready for adventure! Click here for deals on East Zion Jeep Tour adventures (limited time offer for advance reservations).

jeep winter Zion ponderosa

Take the Pledge – Protect Zion National Park

The Zion National Park Pledge is a personal promise you can make to protect yourself and the park. For more information about the government shutdown or to take the Zion Pledge, visit

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