Frequently Asked Questions about the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and Tunnel

Zion-Mount Carmel Highway
Switchbacks on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway

NPS/Mike Large

Zion-Mount Carmel Highway:

Q. When was the road built?
A. The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, including the tunnel, was constructed from 1927 to 1930 at a cost of $1,896,000.

Q. Do I have to pay the entrance fee if I'm "just passing through" Zion National Park on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway?
A. Yes. The US Congress has designated Zion National Park as a US Fee Area. You are required to pay the entrance fee to enter the park. Fee exemptions are made for locals in surrounding communities who must meet certain criteria.


Q. Why do I have to pay a tunnel one-way traffic control fee?
A. Zion National Park charges $15 for oversized vehicles for the one-way traffic control service through the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Tunnel. The purpose of the fee is to offset the cost of ensuring safe passage for oversized vehicles. The Zion Tunnel has been the site of numerous vehicle accidents through the years. With the tunnel one-way traffic control system in place, safety for all vehicles has improved greatly.

Q. How many times can I go through the tunnel in my oversized vehicle for the $15 fee?
A. The fee is good for two trips through the tunnel with the same vehicle in a seven day period.

Q. Do I get a discount on the tunnel fee if I have a Senior Pass or Access Pass?
A. No. There is no discount for Senior Pass or Access Pass holders.

Q. What are the size limits for an oversized vehicle?
A. Any vehicle that is 11 feet 4 inches high or higher and 7 feet 10 inches wide or wider needs the one-way traffic control service. Any vehicle 13 feet 1 inch high or higher cannot pass through the tunnel.
Length restrictions are 40 feet for a single vehicle and 50 feet for any vehicle combination.
This information is also listed on the back page of the Park Newspaper. Visitors must pay for the one-way traffic control service at any Zion entrance station - not at the tunnel.

Q. Will I be following an "escort vehicle" through the tunnel?
A. No. Park rangers are stationed at both ends of the tunnel and will convert traffic flow to a one way direction. When it is safe for you to drive your oversize vehicles down the middle of the tunnel, rangers will allow you to proceed.

Q. How long is the tunnel?
A. 1.1-miles. It was completed in 1930 by the Nevada Construction Co. The project, including building the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, took 3-years to complete and cost $1,896,000.

Q. What is the elevation gain up to the tunnel and how far is it from the Visitor Center?
A. The elevation gain is 800 ft. and approximately five miles from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

Last updated: August 9, 2018

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Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767


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