Utah

Zion National Park sets new record with over 5 million visits in 2021

SPRINGDALE, Utah — Zion National Park had 5,039,835 visitors in 2021, the most in park history. The milestone caps a decade in which the visitation at Zion has nearly doubled.

Zion is among a small group of national park areas to exceed 5 million annual visits.

“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,” said Jeff Bradybaugh, the superintendent at Zion National Park.

“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.”

The park recently announced a pilot permit program for the famous Angels Landing Trail. It will go into effect on April 1. It’s an attempt to fix this:

“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,” the National Park Service (NPS) said in a statement.

“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.”

Like many other tourist destinations in Utah, Springdale, the town at the mouth of the park, is dealing with its own housing crisis.

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