Transportation to and around Zion National Park will look a lot different in a few years. Thanks to a $10.8 million grant approved by the Utah Department of Transportation, there will soon be an 18-mile paved trail connecting St. George to the national park.
At 12 feet wide, the Zion Corridor Trail will run from La Verkin to the park entrance in Springdale and will be perfect for runners, hikers, and bikers making the trek to the national park. Construction will begin in two years and is expected to take five to six years to complete. This trail is a part of a years-long goal to connect Washington County to Zion National Park.
This trail is expected to be along State Route 9, with parking lots, bathrooms, benches, kiosks, and interpretive signs. According to the UDOT press release, the trail is also meant to improve guest experience “by providing an alternative form of approach for commuting, sightseeing, etc. [and creating] a safe, non-motorized access to amenities along SR-9 as well as Zion National Park.”
The park is soon offering greener transportation inside the park, too. The U.S. Department of Transportation approved a $33 million grant to replace Zion’s fleet of propane-powered buses with zero-emission electric buses. Zion will receive 26 buses and install 27 charging stations incrementally throughout the next several years.
The trail isn’t the only attempt to ease access to the park. For years local and county officials in Washington County have been trying to implement a new bus route from St. George to Springdale. This new route would be an extension of St. George’s SunTran bus service, and mayors within the county say that locals and tourists alike would benefit.
Throughout the past few years, Zion has become the fourth most popular park in the United States. In 2019, the park welcomed a record 4,488,268 visitors.