The Top 4 Amazing Things to Do in Zion National Park in 2024

Zion National Park Tunnel
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The beauty of the Zion National Park Tunnel is undeniable, especially for those who have an interest in civil engineering, this road tunnel of 1.1 miles in Zion National Park is an impressive structure to praise while driving in and out of Zion National Park.

The Zion–Mount Carmel Tunnel has six galleries, or openings which provide light, fresh air, and views of the fantastic scenery outside the Zion National Park Tunnel. When viewed from the outside, the galleries are a testament to the imaginative design of the Zion National Park Tunnel. During the time of construction, these galleries were used as a way of disposing of tunneling soil into the valley below. 

So, let’s have a look at more information regarding Zion National Park Tunnel:

The Top 4 Amazing Things to Do in Zion National Park in 2024

1. Construction and History of Zion National Park Tunnel:

Zion National Park Tunnel

  • The construction of the Zion National Park Tunnel commenced towards the end of the 1920s and reached its completion in the year 1930. 
  • Upon its dedication on July 4, 1930, it proudly claimed the title of being the lengthiest tunnel of its category across the entire United States. 
  • Zion National Park Tunnel plays a crucial role as a connecting pathway, facilitating direct access for travellers between Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and Zion National Park, thus serving as a link for exploration and adventure in these natural wonders.

2. Dimensions and Purpose of Zion National Park Tunnel:

Zion National Park Tunnel

  • The Zion National Park Tunnel is really long, stretching for 1.1 miles, and it’s carved right through the tough rocks of Zion. 
  • On one side of the Zion National Park Tunnel, there are six windows called “galleries” that let in sunlight and fresh air. When they were building the tunnel, they cleverly used these galleries to throw away the extra rocks and stuff into the canyon below. 
  • It was a smart way to get rid of waste while they were working. So, the galleries not only let in light and air but also helped keep the construction site clean!

3. Traffic Control for Oversize Vehicles:

Zion National Park Tunnel

  • To keep everyone safe, the National Park Service has rules for bigger vehicles using the tunnel.
  •  If your vehicle is taller than 11 feet 4 inches or wider than 7 feet 10 inches, including things like mirrors and awnings, you’ll need a special permit to go through. 
  • Rangers are stationed at both ends of the tunnel to help these larger vehicles. They switch the traffic from two lanes to just one lane to make sure big vehicles can pass safely. 
  • Getting a permit costs $15 and in 2019, they gave out permits to over 32,832 big vehicles. 
  • Regular cars can go through the tunnel anytime, day or night.
  • But for bigger vehicles, they need the rangers’ help during certain times of the day. This helps keep things running smoothly and safely for everyone.

4. Prohibited Vehicles on Zion National Park Tunnel :

Zion National Park Tunnel

  • Some vehicles can’t use the tunnel for safety reasons. These include those taller than 13 feet 1 inch, semi-trucks, and trucks carrying dangerous stuff. Also, vehicles weighing over 50,000 pounds can’t go through.
  •  Plus, single vehicles longer than 40 feet and trailers longer than 50 feet aren’t allowed either. These rules help prevent accidents and keep everyone safe on the road.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the Zion National Park Tunnel stands as a vital link connecting Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and Zion National Park. Completed in 1930, it holds the distinction of being the longest tunnel of its kind in the United States. With its strategic location and role in facilitating travel between these natural wonders, the tunnel provides adventurers with convenient access to explore and experience the beauty of these iconic landscapes. Whether it’s admiring the towering cliffs of Zion or marveling at the vastness of the Grand Canyon, the tunnel serves as a gateway to unforgettable adventures and awe-inspiring vistas.

FAQs on Zion National Park Tunnel

What is the Zion National Park Tunnel?

The Zion National Park Tunnel is a 1.1-mile-long tunnel carved through the solid rock of Zion Canyon. It provides access to the eastern portion of the park and is a popular destination for visitors.

When was the Zion National Park Tunnel built?

The tunnel was constructed between 1927 and 1930, and it was officially opened in 1930.

How long is the Zion National Park Tunnel?

The tunnel is 1.1-miles long.

What is the Zion National Park Tunnel’s clearance?

The tunnel has a clearance of 11 feet 4 inches.

Is the Tunnel open year-round?

The tunnel is generally open year-round, but it may close temporarily due to weather or maintenance.

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