If you haven’t been there yet, there’s a long tunnel at the eastern entrance to Zion National Park. Known as the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, it was built long before the behemoth vehicles of today were a glimmer in the eyes of traveling retirees. In fact, back in 1930 it was the longest tunnel of its kind in the U.S. Due to the tunnel just not being big enough to accommodate big ole things like RVs and buses, drivers of large vehicle have long been charged fees to drive through. Hey, someone’s gotta pay for the nice rangers who stand there all day long and direct traffic.
Tunnel construction has been going on since August, probably much to the frayed nerves of many hurrying travelers. But hooray, it’s all done Monday! Note, however, that means the fees are back in place.
“The park charges a $15 fee to vehicles 7 feet 10 inches wide or wider and/or 11 feet 4 inches tall or taller for two trips through the tunnel in a seven day period. Vehicles over these dimensions, including most motor homes, trailers, buses and dual wheeled pickup trucks, do not have enough room to safely pass oncoming traffic….Starting October 4th, tunnel hours for large vehicles will be 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day. Between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. every day, large vehicles cannot pass through Zion National Park on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and must use an alternate route.”
[Photo courtesy of quinnanya]