News Release

Zion National Park looks back on record setting 2021 and forward to collaborative planning for the future

People stand in line near a parking lot with the red rock canyon wall of Zion National Park in the distance above them.
Visitors wait to board the Zion Canyon shuttle on Memorial Day Weekend in 2021 near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

NPS / Colton Johnston

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News Release Date: February 28, 2022

Contact: Jonathan Shafer, (435) 772-0145

SPRINGDALE, Utah – In 2021, Zion National Park recorded 5,039,835 visits, the most in park history. Zion is among a small group of national park areas to ever exceed 5 million annual visits. This milestone caps a decade during which the number of visits to Zion nearly doubled.

“Clearly our visitors value their parks and public lands. At the same time, intense visitation presents challenges to achieve our mission to conserve the park’s resources and provide engaging visitor experiences – experiences that lift and renew our spirits,” Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion National Park superintendent said. “More visitors are enjoying Zion than ever before. At the same time, we are straining to protect the unique resources that make Zion special and live up to our high standards for visitor service.”

Increased visitation affects Zion’s:

  • Landscapes, plants, animals and history.
  • Staff, volunteers and infrastructure.
  • Visitors’ experiences.
  • Partners and neighbors.

Zion is working with our neighbors and stakeholders in federal, state, county, and municipal governments to understand what increased visitation has meant for them, as well as the park. Looking to the future, the National Park Service (NPS) will continue to work collaboratively so that we protect the unique resources that make Zion an iconic destination. At the same time, the NPS must address increasing pressure on park resources, NPS staff, and volunteers and a significant infrastructure maintenance backlog. Planning is essential so that we continue to provide enjoyable opportunities for visiting the park.

Since 2016, the NPS has been developing a comprehensive plan to provide high quality visitor experiences and sustainably manage park resources. As part of this planning effort, the park is collecting data on visitor use and preferences and is testing potential solutions to accomplish the plan’s goals. Our recently announced Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program is part of this effort. Later in 2022, we plan to share updates on our visitor use research and planning to get feedback from visitors, our neighbors and other stakeholders.

The planning effort will leverage the NPS’s park management expertise and strengthen our collaboration with stakeholders to accomplish our shared mission of protecting Zion so that visitors can enjoy it today and forever.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube

Last updated: November 16, 2022

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Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


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