Educational Field Trips

Educational Field Trips
•Zion National Park features stunning scenery, sandstone cliffs among the highest in the world, diverse plant and animal communities, and Ancestral Puebloan, Paiute, and Mormon pioneer history. It’s a wonderful outdoor classroom for school groups.

Entrance Fees
•The entrance fee is $25 per car or $12 per bus passenger (age 15 and younger are free).

•Most groups visiting for educational activities will not be charged provided they are sponsored by accredited educational institutions. A fee waiver or fee exemption should be requested three weeks in advance. For forms and guidelines, please go to
Academic Fee Waivers.

•Student Groups 16 or older:
Fee waivers are granted to educational institutions whose curriculum relates specifically to the resources at Zion National Park. Applications and guidelines may be obtained by going to Academic Fee Waivers,
or by calling the park at 435-772-0176. Completed applications along with required documentation may be faxed to 435-772-0281, or mailed to the Fee Management Office, Attention Fee Clerk, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah 84767. All applications must be received three weeks prior to anticipated trip.
Recreational field trips do not qualify for a fee waiver.

•Student Groups 15 or younger:
Fee exemptions are granted to groups of students 16 or younger, accompanied by adult sponsors. Please send a letter on official school stationary to the Fee Management Office/Fee Clerk (address above) at least three weeks before your visit. Include the number of students and buses, and the date and time of your visit.

•Oversized vehicles are required to pay the $15 tunnel escort fee if traveling through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. This fee cannot be waived. more...

•Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Begin your visit at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours in the spring, summer, and fall. The most convenient bus parking (including school buses) is found at the Springdale shuttle stop near the Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theater. The visitor center is a short walk across the park's pedestrian bridge. If you choose to park at the visitor center, buses must use the RV section in the rear of the parking lot.

Inside the visitor center is a short video on the geology of Zion and a 3-dimensional map of Zion Canyon. If you choose to visit the bookstore, please divide large groups into small, class-sized groups.

Most of the exhibits are outdoors. They can be used to enhance your field trip experience. Exhibits are arranged in topics. For larger groups, the best way to tour the exhibits is to split up into three smaller groups and tour the exhibits individually.

The following is a list of discussion questions for students to think about or discuss:

•Water at Zion
1. What has and still is creating Zion Canyon? Discuss how.
2. Name one thing you can do to reduce erosion on the trails and have a safe visit.

Zion’s Diversity
1. Name two reasons why so many different species of plants and animals are able to live in Zion Canyon.
2. Name and/or discuss at least one plant and/or animal that lives in the different habitats of Zion (such as lower vs. higher elevations, desert vs. hanging gardens.)

•Zion as Refuge
1. What is the main characteristic that drew humans to Zion Canyon?
2. Compare and/or contrast the use of the canyon by both the Southern Paiutes and the Mormon settlers.

Zion Human History Museum
The Zion Human History Museum is located inside the park, one-half mile from the visitor center. It is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours in the spring, summer, and fall. Bus parking is available in the museum's lower parking lot. Exhibits on Native Americans, pioneers and park development, and a 22-minute Zion orientation movie are available.

•Please remind all student groups of appropriate museum etiquette. Loud or unruly behavior, touching of artifacts, or tampering with the exhibits is considered unacceptable conduct in a museum setting.

•Exhibits allow students to discover how humans have interacted with the plants, animals, water, and geology of the area, and how Zion in turn, has affected the people who have visited or settled here.

•The following is a list of discussion questions for students to think about or discuss.

1. List three individuals or groups that contributed to the development of Zion National Park.

2. Name four natural resources that drew humans to this area in the past. Discuss their interactions.

3. Compare and contrast the materials used by different cultures to capture and store water.

4. List four traditional uses of native plants by American Indians.

5. Identify four ways or routes humans have used to travel from the canyon bottom to the top.

6. Describe how Zion was named.

7. List four uses of wild animals by early inhabitants of this area.

8. Discuss what "Zion as Sanctuary" means to you. List four ways you can help protect Zion for the future.

If your group plans to hike, we recommend adequate supervision (one teacher per 10 students for younger groups). Please ensure your students stay on the trails for their own safety as well as reducing the impact on the natural or cultural resources around them.

For more information on trails in the park,
go to Self-Guided Hikes.

Be Prepared!
Any visit to Zion will include some outdoor walking and exploring. Students should wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Hats and sunscreen are recommended on sunny days and rain gear on cloudy days. Each child should carry a water bottle.

Available at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion Museum, Zion Lodge, Grotto Picnic Area, Weeping Rock, and Temple of Sinawava. Restrooms are not available along the trails. Use restrooms before hiking.

The Grotto Picnic Area, on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive has picnic tables and restrooms. Please remember to search the area for litter when finished. Use recycling bins for aluminum cans.

•Driving the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive - April to October
•The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, past Canyon Junction, is closed to private vehicles when the shuttle system is in operation. However, school groups traveling on school buses are allowed. This special consideration is for school buses only. Anyone in a van or passenger vehicle must travel on the school bus or use the shuttle system. more...

Bus Drivers
Please note the following safety regulations when driving while the shuttle system is in operation:
•Speed limit is 20 mph.
•Do not pass anywhere along the scenic drive.
•The road is narrow, so slow down when meeting a shuttle bus coming from the opposite direction.
•Do not park or stop in or along any shuttle stop. Buses may unload at trailheads, however, parking is only allowed at the following areas:
-Zion Lodge
-Weeping Rock parking area (no more than three buses at a time.)
-Grotto Picnic Area, along the river side of road only. Watch for passing shuttles as children cross the road.
-Temple of Sinawava, in parking area away from the shuttle stop. Please ensure there is plenty of room for shuttles to pass safely. -November to March
•The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open to all vehicular traffic when the shuttle system is not in operation.
•The rules for parking remain the same with two exceptions:
-Buses may park in the shuttle area at the Grotto Picnic Area
-Buses may use shuttle stops as drop off points for trailheads

Help Preserve Zion
•Zion National Park is a special place set aside to be protected and preserved for future generations. Please help take care of your national park.
Remember, everything in a national park is protected, from the rocks to the plants and animals. To ensure the protection of Zion and a memorable experience, please follow these guidelines.
Choose the Right Trail - Choose a trail that is best suited for the size, age, and ability of your group.
Stay On Established Trails - Walking off established roads and trails causes trampled plants and excessive erosion.
Do Not Feed Wildlife - Feeding wild animals is illegal and can cause injury or death to the animal or the human. Keep your distance. Keep wildlife WILD.
Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints! Enjoy rocks and flowers but leave for others to enjoy too.
•Carry Out All Trash - Zion is your park. Keep it clean and beautiful.

For addtional information
Please contact:
Education Coordinator Zion National Park Springdale, Utah 84767 (435) 772-0165

Last updated: February 24, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767


(435) 772-3256
Staffed daily from 9 am - noon. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day. If you are unable to reach someone by phone, please email us at

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