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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zion Park Moves To Off-Season Schedule

Lava Point Campground Area
As the season progresses, Zion NationalPark is adjusting by moving to its off-season schedule.

The park's Lava Point Campground closes today. It is located at a high elevation in the Kolob Terrace area where snow will soon start to accumulate. It won't be long before the Kolob Terrace Road closes because of snow pack.

The area is spectacular during winter but access is very difficult. Some people own cabins on private land in the Kolob Reservoir area above the park. Those folks are allowed to drive snowmobiles up the Kolob Terrace Road to their property. The road crosses into the park in a couple areas. Snowmobile use is not allowed in any other area in the park. People who want to explore the Kolob Terrace area during winter need to use cross country skis and snowshoes.

The park's shuttle system will end after this weekend. Most park visitors are required to ride the shuttle into Zion Canyon during the busy tourist season. Now, as the warm weather season ends, private vehicles will be allowed to drive into Zion Canyon and park in parking lots at major attractions.

The shuttle system is efficient and convenient, with shuttles running every few minutes. You can board the shuttle at many stops in Springdale and inside the park. With the number of people visiting the park, the shuttle is absolutely necessary during the spring, summer and early fall.

Still, I always enjoy visiting the park during winter when I can drive right up to attractions and trailheads. Even in winter, on weekends some parking lots will be full and some trails will have good numbers of people. But there will also be plenty of spots where I can get away from the crowds and enjoy solitude.

- Dave Webb

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