Large RVs Will Soon Be Banned From Historic Zion Highway

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      Tory Jon
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          Heads up, starting summer 2026, Zion National Park will prohibit certain RVs and other large vehicles from using the historic Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. This decision aims to reduce crashes, protect bridges, and prevent lane-crossing incidents due to vehicles being too large for the road’s tight turns.

          Key Changes

          The park will reroute vehicles that exceed the following dimensions:

          • Height: 11 feet 4 inches
          • Width: 7 feet 10 inches
          • Length: 35 feet 9 inches
          • Weight: 50,000 pounds

          Reasons for the Ban

          The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, built in the 1920s and 1930s, features tight turns, steep grades, switchbacks, narrow lanes, and two low tunnels. These design elements, suited to the landscape, are incompatible with today’s larger and heavier vehicles.

          Studies show that large vehicles cross the highway’s center lines at 18 points due to the inadequate turning radius. Additionally, wide vehicles already require escorts through the narrow Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel to avoid collisions.

          Alternatives and Impacts

          Vehicles restricted from the highway can still travel around Zion on existing roads, though this may add up to 40 minutes of travel time. Expanding the roadway is not feasible due to the park’s terrain, wildlife, and high costs.

          Stakeholder Discussions

          The decision followed extensive discussions with transportation departments, local communities, business owners, and elected officials. The aim is to enhance driver safety, maintain the historic road’s integrity, and continue offering scenic drives through the park.

          Source

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