Biker along side of Zion Canyon Scenic Road with red rocks in background

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Essential Guide To Biking In Zion National Park

Welcome to the essential guide to biking in Zion National Park! Nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, Zion National Park beckons adventurers with its towering sandstone cliffs and winding canyons. While hiking is a popular way to explore this stunning landscape, biking offers a great way to immerse yourself in the park’s natural wonders from a completely unique perspective. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable biking adventure in Zion, from scenic routes and trail options to equipment recommendations and seasonal considerations. Whether you’re a novice cyclist or a seasoned rider seeking challenges, Zion National Park promises an exhilarating experience for all who take to the roads of Zion on a bike. So saddle up, and let’s embark on a journey through one of America’s most iconic national parks on two wheels.

Biking in Zion National Park, stopped along the scenic drive with red rocks in the background.

Tips For A Visit To Zion

For first-time and repeat visitors alike, here’s some basic information to help you plan your trip:

  • Location: Zion National Park is in southwestern Utah, near Springdale. It is approximately 2.5 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada, and 4 hours from Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Entrance Fees: Zion National Park charges a per-vehicle entrance fee valid for seven consecutive days. There are also options for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Check the official National Park Service website for current fee information and updates. If you haven’t done so, consider getting an America The Beautiful Pass. It includes entrance to all the national parks. And if you are over 62 years of age, you can get a lifetime pass for only $80. It’s the best bargain in travel!
  • Visitor Centers: Zion National Park has two main visitor centers: the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center. These centers provide information about the park, exhibits, maps, restrooms, and ranger-led programs. Upon arrival, it’s a good idea to stop by one of these centers to get oriented and gather essential information for your visit.
  • Shuttle System: During certain times of the year, Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles due to limited parking and traffic congestion. Instead, visitors must park in designated areas outside the park and use the park’s shuttle system to access Zion Canyon and popular trailheads. The shuttle service operates regularly and is free for park visitors.
  • Accommodations: Zion National Park offers various lodging options, including campgrounds, lodges, and nearby hotels in Springdale. Camping within the park is popular but requires reservations, especially during peak season. Lodging in Springdale tends to fill up quickly, so book accommodations well before your visit, especially during the summer months.
  • Weather and Climate: Zion National Park experiences a high desert climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Spring and fall are the most pleasant times to visit, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. Summer can be very hot, while winter brings colder temperatures and occasional snowfall, particularly at higher elevations.
  • Safety Tips: Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and dress appropriately for the weather and activities you plan to do. Stay on designated trails, follow park regulations, and be aware of wildlife, especially when hiking or biking in the park.
  • Popular Attractions: Zion National Park offers a variety of attractions and activities, including hiking, biking, rock climbing, wildlife viewing, and scenic drives. Some must-see spots include Angels Landing, The Narrows, Emerald Pools, and Observation Point. Before embarking on any hikes or outdoor adventures, be sure to check trail conditions and difficulty levels. Be aware that hiking Angels Landing requires a special permit, and it is not for the faint of heart. Before setting off on The Narrows hike, be sure to check weather conditions. Recently a number of trails have experienced closures due to rock slides, so some of the more famous hikes have been detoured. Also, recently, the NPS has issued a warning for the water in the Narrows and toxic cyanobacteria bloom, so be sure to check on conditions during your visit.
View of canyon in Zion Park from Observation Point

5 Day Utah National Park Itinerary

If you’re planning to visit Utah’s Mighty-5 National Parks, allocate around 7-10 days to make the most of your trip. However, if you have limited time off or are in Las Vegas for work or leisure, you can still explore the parks with this 5-day itinerary.  5-Day Itinerary of Utah National Parks From Las Vegas.

Zion Nationa Park Shuttle

How To Skip The Shuttle In Zion

One of the easiest ways to get around Zion National Park is to ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle. It helps limit vehicular traffic and makes the park more enjoyable during peak season. But there are ways to visit Zion National Park without riding the shuttle. How to Visit Zion National Park Without Riding the Shuttle.

Horse path on Sand Bench Trail in Zion park with red rocks in background

Thing To Do In Zion Besides Hiking

On a recent road trip of the Mighty 5 National Parks in Utah, we found ourselves in Zion, the final stop on a fantastic trip with three days of heavy rain. And that is when I learned all there is to do in Zion National Park and Springdale besides hiking. Here is a list of the best things to do in Zion National Park besides hiking. Best Things To Do Besides Hiking On Visit To Zion National Park.

Where To Rent Bikes

You will find several outfitters in Springdale. From most locations, it’s a short ride to the park. As part of this guide to biking in Zion, here are a few to check out:

Zion Peddler

Offering e-bike rentals only. Daily rentals run $95, with options for overnight rentals that allow you to start riding in the morning if you want. All rentals require a short class on operating the bikes and where you can ride them.

Zion Cycles

This company offers e-bikes and regular bicycles. The road (hybrid) bikes offered are Trek FX3, and rates run $40 for a half-day,  and $50 for a full-day rental. E-bikes are $110 for an 8-hour rental.

Zion Gurus

Zion Gurus offers both e-bike rentals and tours. Prices range from $49 for a 2.5-hour rental to $99 for a full day. A two-person tour starts at $204.58 per person and includes the tour and the bike rental.

Zion Outfitters

Zion Outfitters offers both e-bikes and cruiser 3-speed bikes. Prices for e-bikes start at $79, and cruiser bikes start at $29. If you plan on renting a pedal-powered bike, I suggest you opt for one with more than three gears to make it easier to cycle the hills.

Zion Adventures

With both e-bikes and standard pedal bikes, you will find something for everyone in your group. E-bikes cost $95 per day, and standard bikes run $49 per day. All bikes are Specialized brand bikes.

Should You Go E-Bike or a Standard Bike?

Choosing the correct type of bike is a personal preference and based on fitness level. Do you bike regularly? If you don’t, pedal-assist e-bikes will be the most enjoyable option. We chose regular bicycles for both of our rides in the canyon, but I am a regular biker who rides several times a week. So, I enjoyed the challenge of the incline along the road. The scenic drive is a short road, about 20 miles round trip, depending on where you start in Springdale. But you will encounter an elevation gain along the route, so that is something to keep in mind when choosing a style of bike.

Two beers on table with bike helmet in Zion Park
Biking & Beer The Perfect Comb

Top Places To Ride In Zion

Biking in Zion National Park offers an exhilarating and unique experience, allowing visitors to explore the park’s stunning landscapes and natural wonders at their own pace. Here are some highlights of biking in Zion National Park:

Scenic Routes: The park offers several scenic routes for biking, including the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which is closed to private vehicles during certain times of the year, providing cyclists with a peaceful and car-free environment to enjoy the majestic views of towering sandstone cliffs, lush forests, and the meandering Virgin River. Start at the visitor center and ride to the Temple of Sinawava at the other end of the park. Along the scenic ride, you will cross many of the most famous hikes; it’s easy to park and enjoy some of these walks as part of your day biking the canyon. The Zion Lodge is a great rest spot along the route. 

Pa’rus Trail: This paved, multi-use trail is one of the most popular biking routes in the park. It stretches for 3.5 miles along the Virgin River, offering stunning views of the canyon walls and surrounding scenery. The trail is relatively flat and suitable for cyclists of all skill levels.

Spectacular Views: Biking in Zion National Park allows you to access viewpoints and scenic overlooks that the shuttle alone may not easily reach. Cyclists can enjoy breathtaking views of iconic landmarks such as the Court of the Patriarchs, Angels Landing, and the Great White Throne.

Wildlife Viewing: Biking through the park provides opportunities for wildlife viewing, including sightings of bighorn sheep, mule deer, and various bird species. Cyclists should remain alert and respectful of wildlife and adhere to park regulations regarding wildlife encounters.

Skip The Shuttle: Biking is one of the few ways to enter the park without riding the shuttle. So rent your bike in Springdale, hop on the Pa’rus Trail, and skip the lines.

Overall, biking in Zion National Park is a fantastic way to experience the park’s natural beauty and iconic landmarks while enjoying outdoor recreation and adventure. Whether you’re a casual cyclist looking for a leisurely ride or an experienced rider seeking thrilling challenges, Zion National Park offers something for everyone to enjoy on two wheels.

Biking Rules In Zion 

When biking in Zion National Park, adhering to park regulations and safety guidelines is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for yourself and others. Here are some rules and guidelines for biking in Zion National Park:

Stay on Designated Trails: Biking is only permitted on paved roads within the park, such as the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and the Pa’rus Trail. To protect the park’s fragile ecosystems, riding off-trail or on hiking trails is prohibited.

Zion Canyon Shuttle: The park shuttle buses will not pass bicycle riders on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Cyclists must pull over to the side of the road and come to a complete stop so shuttles can safely pass them. Loading a bike onto a shuttle bus is permitted, but you must be able to lift the bike onto the bike rack yourself.

Observe Speed Limits: Maintain a safe and reasonable speed while biking within the park. Speed limits may vary in different areas, so pay attention to posted signs and be prepared to slow down in congested areas or around pedestrians.

Yield to Pedestrians & Shuttles: Pedestrians have the right of way on shared-use paths such as the Pa’rus Trail. When approaching walkers or runners, slow down, announce your presence, and pass cautiously, giving them plenty of space.

Be Prepared: Carry essential supplies such as water, snacks, a map, and a first-aid kit while biking in the park. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so dress in layers and be prepared for sun exposure, especially during warmer months.

Follow Park Regulations: Before biking, familiarize yourself with Zion National Park’s rules and regulations. Stay informed about any trail closures, restrictions, or special rules that may occur due to seasonal conditions or conservation efforts. The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel is ALWAYS closed to bikes.

By following these rules and guidelines, you can enjoy a safe and responsible biking experience in Zion National Park while minimizing impact to the environment and other park visitors. Remember to respect the park’s natural beauty and leave it as you found it for future generations to enjoy.

Man on bike along road in Zion Park

Best Time to Visit and Bike Zion

Biking in Zion is an excellent option at just about any time of year, but it’s best during the spring, summer, and fall. Since riding is confined to the Scenic Drive, it’s enjoyable even during busy months. Vehicular traffic is limited; you must only contend with shuttle traffic while riding. 

A few things to remember:

  1. Bring what you need for a day in the park: water, food, etc.
  2. Start early, especially in the summer, since the temperature can soar midday.
  3. Pace yourself; there is much to see, so take your time. 

Pedalling Zion Is A Great Way To See The Park

Biking in Zion National Park offers a thrilling and immersive way to experience the breathtaking beauty of this iconic destination. From the towering sandstone cliffs to the winding canyons and lush forests, every turn of the pedal reveals a new marvel of nature. 

In this essential guide to biking in Zion, we’ve covered everything you need to know to plan your bike ride, from tips for first-time visitors to recommendations for bike rentals and top places to ride. Whether you’re a novice cyclist looking for a leisurely ride along the scenic park roadways or an experienced rider seeking a challenge, Zion National Park has something for everyone.

Remember to follow the park’s biking rules and guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for yourself and others. Respect wildlife, yield to pedestrians, and stay informed about trail conditions and regulations. By doing so, you’ll have an unforgettable biking experience and help preserve Zion’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.

So saddle up, pack your gear, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Zion National Park on two wheels. Whether you explore the park’s iconic landmarks or simply soak in the stunning scenery, biking in Zion is the best way to see this National Park.

Below are links and resources to help you plan The perfect trip

Travel Resources

  • HOTELS
    Booking.com and Expedia.com are great resources for accommodations around the world. Book almost any hotel directly from these links.
  • TOURS
    The best places to book tours and activities are Viator or Get Your Guide . From great food tours to guided hiking adventures to local walking tours, you will find great experiences to add to your travels here.
  • FOOD EXPERIENCES
    EatWith is a great resource for authentic culinary experiences with passionate locals worldwide. Connecting travelers with hosts in over 130 countries, providing unique, intimate, and immersive experiences in private homes and exclusive venues.
  • TRAINS
    Trainline is Europe’s leading train and coach app. They work with over 210 rail and coach companies to help their customers travel to thousands of destinations across 45 countries. 

The links above contain product affiliate links. We may receive a commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links. But your support of Fork & Wander is greatly appreciated!

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