News Release

Share your comments about the future of Zion Campgrounds and Wilderness Recreation Permits

A tent stands on bare ground surrounded by green plants with red rocks rising high in the distance.
Campsite at Zion National Park

National Park Service

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News Release Date: August 1, 2023

Contact: Zion News Desk, (435) 772-0162

SPRINGDALE, Utah – The National Park Service wants your input on proposed changes to campground fees and Wilderness Recreation Permits in Zion National Park.

“Fee dollars do great things for visitors at Zion” Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion Superintendent said. “These funds help us maintain essential facilities like restrooms and drinking water systems, rehabilitate campsites, and ensure rangers are available to patrol trails, canyoneering routes, and other Wilderness areas.”

We count on your comments
Please share your feedback through our Park Planning and Environmental Compliance (PEPC) website by August 31, 2023.

Campgrounds
The proposal would apply to all park campgrounds. These are:

  • South Campground

    • Non-electrified campsites.

    • RV dump station.

  • Watchman Campground

    • Non-electrified campsites.

    • Electrified campsites.

    • RV dump station.

  • Lava Point Campground

    • Non-electrified campsites.

Zion Campgrounds

Location

Amenity

Current

Proposed

Watchman Campground

Standard, Electric Campsite

$30 per night

$45 per night

Watchman and South Campground

Standard, Non-Electric Campsite

$20 per night

$35 per night

Lava Point Campground

Standard, Non-Electric Campsite

$20 per night

$25 per night

Watchman and South Campground

Dump Station fee for non-campers only

No fee

$5


Visitors will continue to make park campground reservations using recreation.gov.

Wilderness Recreation Permits

Zion currently relies on a third-party contractor to service our digital Wilderness Recreation Permit interface. Zion proposes to migrate its Wilderness Recreation Permit system to recreation.gov to benefit visitors by:

  • Streamlining the permit application process.

  • Simplifying access to trip planning information.

  • Providing an experience consistent with other parks, recreation areas, and other Federal Lands across the United States.

The change will also ensure Zion complies with Federal regulations related to online data security.

Types of Permitted Wilderness Recreation Activities at Zion
In general, there are two kinds of activities that require Wilderness Recreation Permits. These are:

  • Day Use

  • Overnight Use

Day Use

Permits are for a day long activity such as canyoneering trips to the Left Fork – Subway, and the Virgin River Narrows trip from the top-down.

Day use applications and reservations

Activity Current Proposed
Seasonal Lottery

(up to months in advance)
$5 per application $6 per application/reservation

(applies to every application/reservation)
Advance Day Use Reservation

(up to months in advance)
$5 per reservation
Daily Lottery

(more than one day before)
$5 per application
Walk Up Permit

(first-come, first-served, the day of or day before trips)
No fee



Day Use permit fees

Group Size Current Proposed
Up to 2 people $15 per group $10 per person per day

(applies to every day use permit)
3 to 7 people $20 per group
8 to 12 people $25 per group

 

Overnight Use

Permits are for overnight activity such as camping in designated Wilderness campsites, bivouac (bivy) camping on climbs, and at-large camping in authorized areas.

Overnight use applications and reservations

Activity Current Proposed
Advance Reservation

(up to months in advance)
$5 per reservation $20 per reservation

(applies to every reservation)
Walk-up Permits 

(first-come, first served, the day of or day before trips)
No fee $20 per booking

(applies to every applicant)


Overnight use permit fees

Group Size Current Proposed
Up to 2 people $15 per group $7 per person per night

(applies to every overnight permit)
3 to 7 people $20 per group
8 to 12 people $25 per group

A Legacy of Benefits to Visitors

Fees benefit visitors to Zion. The last time campground fees in Zion changed was in 2015, and we have not changed Wilderness Recreation Permit fees since 2016. In that year, the park recorded about 3.6 million visits. In 2021, Zion recorded more than 5 million visits – the most in its history. Rising visitation has correlated with increased demand for campsites and increased need for facility maintenance services such as cleaning restrooms, removing recyclables and trash, and servicing roads and campsites. Rising visitation has also resulted in increased stress on the plants, animals, and historic sites in Zion Wilderness. Rangers who issue Wilderness permits provide guidance so that visitors are able to complete their trips safely and use techniques to conserve these areas. That guidance is essential to ensuring the park’s least developed areas remain wild. The proposed changes will ensure Zion is able to continue to steward public health and provide enjoyable experiences for visitors who stay in campgrounds and who recreate in Wilderness.

Future improvements

Zion is in the process of developing a plan to improve South Campground and the entire South Entrance Area. We are using the public comments on design concepts from 2022 to finalize construction plans. We anticipate sharing these plans later in 2023.

None of these proposed changes will affect the Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program.



Last updated: August 1, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767

Phone:

435-772-3256
If you have questions, please email zion_park_information@nps.gov. Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

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