Recently-completed upgrades to the Highway 9 thoroughfare through Springdale, Utah feature major sidewalk improvements and wider bike lanes, which means biking Zion National Park just got a whole lot better—not that it wasn’t already great to start with!
Zion National Park is one of the few “bike-friendly” National Parks in the United States. Located less than a 5-hour drive from Salt Lake City and 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas by car, this nature preserve in southwest Utah is within a comfortable driving range for many, and its many bike-able roadways make it ideal for experiencing Mother Nature from the seat of a bicycle.
Zion is a massive collection of numerous canyons and coulees that range from widths too narrow for a person to fit through, to depths of more than 2,000 feet.
People flock to Zion from all around the world to catch glimpses of its thousand-foot vertical cliffs of multi-colored sandstone; and many rock climbers go there to scale its dizzying heights and angles.
Experience It With OYAMA
Exploring the many nooks and crannies of Zion National Park by bicycle allows you to move at your own pace and enjoy many of the sights, sounds, and smells that would go otherwise unnoticed from behind the wheel of your automobile.
A folding bike from OYAMA is the perfect take-along companion for your getaway to Zion: just fold up your OYAMA, load it into the trunk of your car, the bed of your pickup, or the back of your SUV, then unfold it once you arrive at Zion to begin exploring the park’s scenic beauty free of the hassles of traffic snarls and finding and paying for parking.
You can either drive your car into the park and pay $30, which is good for a week, or park in nearby Springdale or at the park Visitor’s Center and obtain a walk-in pass for $15. From there, you can simply bike into the park.
The best place for biking in the park is along the Pa’rus Trail, which is at about 4,000 feet in elevation. This 1.7-mile stretch (3.4 miles roundtrip) gets its name from Pa’rus, a Paiute word meaning “bubbling, tumbling water,” so named because the trail runs along the Virgin River and is crisscrossed by both Oak Creek and Pine Creek.
The trail is well-maintained and paved, with several bridges along the way made of planks. It’s car-free, and with only gradual inclines its degree of difficulty is considered “easy,” which makes it ideal for bikers of all abilities, as well as pedestrians, families with strollers, and even wheelchair-bound guests.
The chances for seeing wildlife along the trail, especially early in the morning, is high, and more than likely you will encounter dogs, which are allowed on the trail as long as they are leashed.
The trail is considered year-round, so long as it is free of ice and snow. At 4,000 feet, the trail can get hot in the summertime, so cyclists will want to stay well-hydrated.
Biking is allowed on most other park roadways, too. But be aware that these other roadways are NOT car-free. They tend to have considerable traffic, so you will want to exercise caution. Should you venture out onto the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, consider cycling earlier or later in the day, when the shuttles are running less often and there is not as much traffic.
Also note that the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, which runs through the park and is steep and narrow in places, has a one-mile tunnel in which bicycles are NOT permitted (cyclists often hitchhike through the tunnel). This highway runs along a 10-mile stretch from the Zion entrance to Mt. Carmel. It offers sweeping views of the canyons and seasonal waterfalls. While the views alone are well worth the effort, biking this stretch can be a challenge, even for more experienced cyclists.
All other park hiking trails are off-limits to cycling.
Biking Dos and Don’ts
The park requires that cyclists:
- Under the age of 18 wear helmets (recommended for all)
- Always ride on the right side of the road and in single file
- Stop out of the roadway to let shuttle buses pass
- Never pass moving shuttles
- Be mindful of the many areas that have limited sightlines
- Warn pedestrians when passing
- Remember that pedestrians always have the right of way.
Make More of the Experience with OYAMA
If you’re looking for a truly relaxing yet invigorating way to enjoy one of the USA’s scenic wonders, biking Zion National Park is difficult to beat . . . and taking your OYAMA folder along for the ride can truly enhance the experience.
OYAMA folding bikes are compact utility bikes. They fold up small enough to go wherever you want to go and are big enough to offer the kind of safe and comfortable ride you’d expect from a bigger bike. They’re also easy to fold and unfold, getting you from the curb and onto the trail (and back again) in just minutes.
All models come with a set of rear racks, so you can bike that special memento back to where you’re staying, plus handle-bar-mounted courtesy bells, which are perfect for alerting others when on narrow bike trails.
Models range from electric ones (such as the OYAMA CX E8D and CX E8D Version II) that provide a pedal assist for spanning that extra mile and/or for going up hills, to people-powered models (such as OYAMA Skyline 1, Skyline 7, and LX7) that cost about the same as full-sized road bicycles.
Check an OYAMA bike out today . . . and let your dreams unfold!