Zion National Park EV Travel Guide

Zion National Park is one of the busiest parks, often rivaling the Grand Canyon for the #2 spot for park visitors. Looking at the scenery, it’s not hard to believe. With red rocks, green vegetation, and a river at the bottom, the park has some epic scenery and some of the most epic hikes around to get there.

Another thing Zion has going for it is that it’s close to other Utah parks, and is one of the “Big 5” red rock parks in southern Utah. It’s also not that far from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Within easy reach of I-15, it attracts visitors from all over the United States and all over the world, but being within more ready reach of the west coast population centers gives it an edge over the other Big 5.

Most people visit Zion Canyon, and that’s the scenery you usually see in YouTube videos and TV shows about the park. But, there are two other parts of the park (Kolob Terrace and Kolob Canyons, named for a faraway planet in Mormon lore) that give it some more obscure areas with less visitors.

The whole park is popular year round, but experienced visitors recommend coming in the fall, as the summer can be very hot and the popular Narrows trail is usually closed during spring runoff.

Getting There In An EV

Quick Facts and Tips:

  • Getting to the most popular part of the park itself (Zion Canyon) is fairly easy.
    • It’s about 45 miles from St. George, Utah, which has both Superchargers (V3, open to NACS vehicles) and other CCS providers like Electrify America.
    • It’s about 42 miles from Kanab, which has a 62 kW Chargepoint station that helps you get from the North Rim or Page with a lot less hassle.
  • Getting around once you get there is more difficult, as there are no Level 3 (DCFC fast chargers) in the park or in Springdale (a small town in the canyon with the park).
  • Because the park is so busy, it makes sense to stay in the park if at all possible to avoid waiting in line.
    • The best place to stay is the Zion Lodge, which has one working J-1772 charging station. You’re already half way up the canyon that only guests are allowed to drive to, so you get a head start every day over people coming from Springdale or elsewhere to get on the park shuttles and get to the best places with little no no wait.
    • The South and Watchman campgrounds are in the park, but most campsites do not have 50-amp 240v hookups that would be needed for Level 2 charging with your own cord. But, if you don’t need range to get back out to the interstate, these are a better option because you don’t need to wait in line to enter the park.
    • Springdale has a number of RV parks with hookups, cabins, and hotels with Level 2 charging. You’d need to wait in line to enter the park, but it may make sense to go in on foot over the pedestrian entrance bridge and hop on the shuttles.
    • E-Bikes are another great option for the park, as you can take them on roads usually only open to shuttles.
  • The other parts of the park (Kolob Terrace and Kolob Canyons) do not have much charging available, so be sure to do some trip planning if you want to visit those.
    • Do not count on the L2 charger at the Kolob Canyons visitor center, as it’s got bad reviews.
    • Being able to start your day with a full charge puts Kolob Terrace and Kolob Canyons within easy reach of most EVs if you start in Zion Canyon, Hurricane, or St. George. Getting a hotel or RV park with charging available makes these side trips (and many others) a lot easier.
  • Going on to Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks will require overnight charging at hotels or RV parks, but Tesla has a station coming up in Bryce Canyon City that should make that trip a lot easier. Be sure to use trip planning software if you head out that way to avoid getting stranded.
  • Going on to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is fairly easy as long as you go through Kanab, but make sure to follow the tips on that page.

All in all, this is a very reachable park as long as you have charging available where you’re sleeping, and you should be either in the park or as close as you can get to beat the crowds.

Links For Further Park and Nearby Information

Here are a couple of very informative videos about visiting Zion National Park:

Featured image by Christopher Gezon, NPS (Public Domain).