Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
FILE - People ride a full shuttle through Zion National Park on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Park officials, the town of Springdale and the Utah Department of Transportation are asking vacationers with flexible plans to consider visiting Zion sometime other than Presidents Day weekend.

ZION NATIONAL PARK — Park officials, the town of Springdale and the Utah Department of Transportation are asking vacationers with flexible plans to consider visiting Zion sometime other than Presidents Day weekend.

“We need the public’s help to manage these high volumes,” Springdale Mayor Stanley J. Smith said in a statement. “Limited parking and roadway congestion are always issues in the Zion Canyon during holiday weekends, and this weekend is no exception. If they are coming to Zion for the holiday, we want visitors to understand the situation before they arrive.”

According to the National Park Service, nearly 4.2 million people visited the park through the end of October 2017.

UDOT’s project to reconstruct state Route 9 through Springdale is also expected to exacerbate overcrowding. According to park officials, recent high-visitation weekends during the construction project have generated traffic stoppages of 90 minutes or longer.

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To help ease the congestion, in-park shuttle service will resume on weekends only on Saturday, Feb. 17. Shuttle buses will depart the park’s Zion Canyon Visitor Center at 7 a.m. heading up the canyon, with the last bus of the evening returning from the Temple of Sinawava at 6:45 p.m.. The same schedule will operate on Sunday, Feb. 18, and then again on the weekends of Feb. 24 and 25 and March 3 and 4.

The town shuttle will not be running those weekends. Full season daily shuttle services in the park and in Springdale, pending road construction, will begin March 10 and run through late fall.