In the latest development in the “crowding of America,” Utah’s Zion National Park is now proposing requiring reservations to visit the park. No reservation? Then you don’t get in, or at least you can’t stay and explore. It would still be okay to drive through: Just don’t stop to hike or picnic!
Under the proposal, a reservation would be required to enter Zion Canyon, the most scenic area of the park and where popular trails are located. Vehicle traffic was banned during the tourist season years ago: Shuttles now transport visitors in and out of the six-mile canyon. Waiting times standing in line for a ride can be hours during the busiest times.
After a series of public meetings, Zion rangers are proposing an online reservation system, similar to the way campsites are reserved now. While certain hikes and activities require permits or reservations, the new system would apply to the entire main corridor of the park.
Zion welcomed 4.3 million people last year, and is the fifth most visited National Park.
Other National Parks are also considering measures to throttle visitors, which in some instances are becoming unmanageable.