Zion National Park Fees & Reservations

Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park

Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park

You do have to pay for a recreational pass before you can visit Zion National Park, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s money well spent. A full 80% of the money you pay actually stays at Zion, the remainder goes towards the upkeep of national parks which don’t charge on entry, so you see, by visiting Zion National Park and paying just a little, it really helps a lot towards keeping these national treasures safe and sound for future generations. Okay, enough of that, what will it cost ya!

Zion National Park Entrance Fees

  • $25 will buy you a 7 day pass for a private vehicle, including all of the passengers, just so long as it’s a private vehicle carrying a total of 14 passengers or less. They must be consecutive days mind you, so don’t try any funny business.
  • $12 will buy you a 7 day pass if you visit Zion National Park on a motorcycle, passengers also pay $12 each, just so long as the price doesn’t exceed the price of a private vehicle (i.e. $25). Now, call me dumb here . . . okay, stop it . . . but isn’t there usually a limit to 2 riders on a motorcycle! Maybe that’s for one of those trike jobbies with a double back seat.
  • $12 will buy a 7 day pass if you visit Zion National Park by bicycle, hiking or pedestrian. That’s $12 each, but anyone under the age of 15 will be admitted free of charge.

Commercial groups and non-commercial organized groups do have a different rate of fees for entry into Zion National Park.

  • Commercial vehicles carrying 1 -6 passengers are charged at $35 plus $12 per person, this is valid for the following six days, just so long as the vehicle is carrying the same passengers – this price is topped out at $70.
  • Commercial vehicles carrying between 7 and 15 passengers will be charged at $70.
  • Commercial vehicles carrying between 16 and 25 passengers will have to pay $80 for entry into Zion National Park.
  • Commercial vehicles carrying more than 25 passengers will be charged $190.

Zion National Park for Free

There are some days when you can visit Zion National Park for no charge at all, they’re called “Fee Free Days” and are designed to encourage more Americans to experience the beauty and rich culture of their national parks. Of course, you can expect the national parks to be a little bit more crowded on these days, what some people will do just to save a few bucks. Anyway, you need to check out the “Fee Free Days” yourself ‘cos they change from year to year, but in 2012 the dates are January 14 through 16 (Martin Luther King Jnr Weekend),  April 21 through 29, which is National Park Week, June 9 which is the designated “get outdoors day”, September 29 which is called “National Public Lands Day” and November 10 through 12, which you may know is the Veterans Day Weekend, well, you may not know but now you do!

You see, it happens all over America, not just at Zion National Park.

Large Vehicle Permit – Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel Fees

You need a permit to travel though the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel if your vehicle is 11′ 4″ or taller, or 7′ 10″ wide or wider . . . including all of the extra sticky out bits and pieces – awnings, mirrors, jacks etc. If this is you (and your vehicle will be checked at the entrance station) you’ll have to pay an extra $15 for a tunnel permit which will allow you both ways through the tunnel within seven days . . . what happens is that the tunnel traffic is stopped from time to time to allow the larger vehicles to pass through without anything coming in the opposite direction.

Zion National Park Campgrounds

There are three campgrounds at Zion National Park, (plus a few private ones close by but we won’t go into all that just now). Watchman and South Campground are located in Zion Canyon, the third, the Lava Point Campground is on the Kolob Terrace Road. No campgrounds are located within Kolob Canyons. You are permitted to camp within the designated campgrounds only, and not on any parking lots or pull ins. Some camping spaces can be reserved, some are available on a first come, first served basis . . . remember that during the holidays and on weekends many of the campgrounds fill up quick and are completely full by early in the afternoon.

Watchman Campground – located ony 1/4 mile from the south entrance, the Watchman Campground at Zion National Park has year round tent and electric campsites. Some reservations are available between March and early in November, apart from that it’s first come, first served. There are 162 regular sites at Watchman Campground, plus 2 sites which are wheelchair accessible and a total of 7 group sites.

  • 95 of the campsites have electric hook-ups
  • no generators are permitted at the campground
  • a dump station is available for campers
  • 69 campsites are suitable for tents only
  • 9 of the tent only are walk-in sites, situated a short distance from the vehicle parking lots . . . popular with cyclists
  • electric campsites are charged at $18 per night
  • riverside electric campsites are charged at $20 per night
  • tent only campsites are only $16 per night


South Campground – opens for the season, generally from early in March. It’s located around 1/2 mile from the soutn entrance to Zion National Park, and has 127 campsites (three of which are wheelchair accessible) and are all available as first come, first served.

  • there are no electric hook-ups
  • there is a dump station for campers
  • generators are permitted at South Campground, between the hours of 8am – 10am and 6pm – 8pm only – well, you are permitted to have a generator between those hours, but you’re not permitted to use it.
  • campsites are charged at $16 per night

Lava Point Campground – is only open between June and October, weather permitting. It’s almost 8000 feet above sea level off the Kolob Terrace Road, around 25 miles to the north of Virgin (the town, that is). There are only 6 campsites available at Lava Point Campground, and if I say that they are “primitive” you’ll get some idea of the facilities, or lack of;

  • pit toilets only
  • trash cans
  • there is no water at the campground
  • first come, first served
  • Vehicles which exceed 19′ long are not permitted on the campground road
  • camping at Lava Point Campground is free of charge
  • weather conditions can change here very quickly, especially through the spring and fall

I couldn’t find any videos about the Lava Point Campground, but this is Lava Point so it can’t be far away . . . ain’t it beautiful!