Though the sprawling Zion National Park covers 229 square miles, the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is the most popular section of the park. In fact, this winding drive up Zion Canyon is so popular that from March 15 until mid-October, the nine-mile drive is only accessible by riding the Zion Park Shuttle. Along the way, there are stopping points for major sights—from Zion Lodge and the Court of the Patriarchs to the trailhead for Emerald Pools—and the scenic drive reaches its terminus at the Temple of Sinawava. While visitors must ride the shuttle in summer, the road is open to private vehicles during the late-fall and winter. There is a decent amount of parking at most of the stops, although during the holiday visiting season the road can be congested and parking can be a bit tough. Nevertheless, this is the main vein that leads through canyon and offers accessible day hiking and views, and takes an entire day to explore properly from the south end of the canyon to the top.
The cost of the shuttle system is included in the park entrance fee, and shuttles run every six minutes during the busiest times of the year. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive has eight different shuttle stops, and winter visitors will find numerous pullouts for pulling over to take photos.