January 31, 2024

What You Need to Know to Cycle Zion National Park

In most national parks, the majority of visitors make their way through the entrance gates on four wheels. In Zion National Park, things are a little different.

For more than two decades, the Zion Canyon Shuttles have ferried guests into the park’s popular Lower Canyon. This measure was taken to reduce crowding and alleviate the issue of limited parking throughout the park. It also means that a large portion of visitors enter the park via the shuttle for most of the year.

But the shuttle bus isn’t the only way to get around the Lower Canyon—even when they are in operation and personal vehicles are prohibited. In fact, there are two more options for getting around. The first is to enter on foot. In fact, when you book a stay at Cliffrose Lodge, you’ll be close enough to the park’s South Entrance to walk there. Then, you can hop on the shuttle or continue into the park on foot.

The other option is to cycle in. 

What to Know to Cycle Zion

Cycling is a great way to get around Zion National Park. If you prefer not to ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle, a bicycle is a great alternative to walking. On busy days, you can easily ride between trailheads and other attractions throughout the Lower Canyon without having to wait for a bus each time. When you’re done for the day or want to head back to Springdale for lunch, you can do so with ease. It’s also a great chance to see the park from an entirely new angle.

But if you want to cycle Zion during your stay at Cliffrose Lodge, there are a few things that you should know.

Where Can You Ride in the Park?

The most important thing to learn before you cycle Zion during your Cliffrose Lodge stay is where you can and can’t go on two wheels.

While bicycling is allowed on all park roadways, it’s not allowed on any trails in Zion — except for one. The Pa’rus Trail is a paved 3.5-mile out-and-back, paved trail that follows the Virgin River from the Zion Human History Museum into the Lower Canyon. The trail is relatively flat, making it a great choice for cyclists of all ages and experience levels. 

You’ll need to stay off other hiking trails. However, there are places to lock up your bike throughout the park. That way, you can ride your bike into the park and hike as many trails as you’d like before cycling back out.

Rules for Cycling Zion

If you want to cycle Zion during your stay, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the park’s rules for bikes before you hop on. These rules and regulations are designed to keep cyclists, motorists, and other park guests safe along the park’s roadways and trails.

In addition to sticking to roadways or Pa’rus Trail, these are some other rules to follow while you cycle Zion.

  • Because shuttle buses will not pass cyclists, cyclists must pull off on the side of the road and allow buses to pass.
  • If you’re riding in a group, always ride in a single-file line on the right side of all park roads. The same is true on the Pa’rus Trail
  • When riding on roadways, ride in groups of 6 bikes or less to avoid creating traffic jams on the trail or roadways. Groups of more than 6 can divide into smaller groups.
  • While regular bicycles (not e-bikes) are allowed on Zion Canyon and Springdale Shuttle buses, guests will need to be able to lift their own bike onto the shuttle’s front racks.
  • Cyclists must follow all traffic signs, including stop signs when riding on roadways.
  • Bicycles are not allowed to ride through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Hitchhiking is a common way of getting from one side of the tunnel to the other on a bike but should be done with caution. Rangers cannot help arrange for transport for cyclists.

Where to Rent a Bike to Cycle Zion

If you’re driving to Cliffrose Lodge for your stay, you can bring your own bike with you for your visit. However, if you’re flying in, or if you just prefer not to bring your own gear, you can rent a bike from one of several outfitters located in Springdale.

Some companies in Springdale that offer bike rentals include:

  • Zion Cycles
  • Greater Zion EBikes
  • Outta Here eBikes
  • Zion Peddler
  • Utah eBike Adventures

Some outfitters offer traditional bikes, while others offer e-bikes. 

E-Bikes versus Traditional Bicycles

Traditional biking can be a great way to explore the park. However, the park’s hilly landscapes, the distance between different trailheads and viewpoints, and the often challenging weather can make this a challenging activity for most casual cyclists.

An e-bike rental is a great alternative. Electric bikes help make getting up hills or traveling long distances a breeze. If you can ride a traditional bike, you can ride an e-bike, and many outfitters offer seats for carrying small children, making them a great option for families.

Cycle Zion During Your Cliffrose Lodge Stay

If you’re hoping to cycle Zion during your stay at Cliffrose Lodge, this guide can help you learn the rules and find an outfitter to rent your gear.

Ready to start planning your next Zion adventure? Book your stay at our Springdale resort today!

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