East Zion Initiative - A Collaborative Partnership Model

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EAST ZION “The East Zion Initiative is founded on a shared conservation vision. A balanced approach that protects the eastern gateway to Zion National Park in perpetuity, while providing new experiences and recreational opportunities that expand the Zion experience beyond the park's traditional gateways." – Jeff Bradybaugh Zion National Park Superintendent

"Thank you for being a part of this legacy effort."


The New East Zion Bike Trail System


A CONSERVATION VISION The Last Unprotected Gateway East Zion remains as the last unprotected gateway to a National Park in the lower 48 states. With more than 4.5 million visitors each season, the urgency to find sustainable solutions to conserve the land and preserve the excellence of the guest experience have never been greater. Rooted in the need to secure essential conservation easements that protect the land, this initiative extends recreation opportunities and the visitor experience beyond the park. The sense of place created by this initiative benefits millions of Zion visitors in addition to the rural communities and local residents who call the Zion region home. This visionary collaboration is the right people, coming together at the right time, with one chance to get it right.

Mark Preiss, Director, Zion Forever Project




EAST ZION VISITOR CENTER Applecross Station Adorned with the official National Park Service Arrowhead, this multi-agency visitor center will see NPS rangers working alongside Kane County, Utah and Zion Forever Project associates to provide guests with a seamless visitor experience, one that connects them with the land, leaving a lasting impact for themselves and future guests, creating a chain of shared experiences. • Envisioned with a conservation focus, the building is designed to complement and blend into the land resource. • Serves as a launch point for new hiking and mountain biking trails. • A home base for next-generation interpretive and educational programming. • Provides a travel hub, transporting guests and residents in whisper-quiet alternative-fueled shuttles to the park and other regional destinations. • A working rural agricultural program designed to teach, connect, and feed visitors and local communities



A REGIONAL TRANSIT HUB The Zion shuttle system revolutionized park transit when it was implemented more than 20 years ago. A system based on collaboration between federal land agencies and the local gateway community, its implementation connected visitors to the destination not only within the park, but also to businesses, restaurants, and hotels in the adjacent town of Springdale. Today, partnering with non-profits, state officials, and gateways, phased pilot programs are seeing the first alternative-fueled shuttles come from Kanab directly into Zion. Future expansion will connect the East Zion Visitor Center to the park, nearby towns, and other regional recreation destination • • • •

Connects with existing and future mobility infrastructure Open to the public, transporting guests and local residents across the region Promotes a seamless visitor experience within Zion and the surrounding gateways Creates additional local economic stimulus through job and tourism investments

Electric Shuttles


A community and public gathering space, the Grand Lodge serves as the sustaining catalyst of the East Zion Initiative, ensuring meaningful access, giving guests and local residents a sense of place.


OFFERINGS A Four-Season Rotation of Programs and Exhibits More than just a park information desk, the new visitor center will provide a purposeful space for the park to highlight its geologic and cultural heritage while educating and inspiring those who experience it. • • • • • • •

Large format theater hosting park films and productions Park museum designed to host rotating art and exhibits of all types Covered outdoor space for Ranger talks and presentations Interactive exhibits that work to orient and prepare visitors Targeted youth education programs Agricultural experiences that see visitors plant and harvest rotating crops Park store that provides basic services, interpretive products, park essentials, and memorabilia



RECREATION Beyond Park Boundaries Working with trail and conservation experts like A.C.E. (American Conservation Experience) and experienced trail designers from organizations like Apex Trail Construction, we are working to develop a new network of hiking and mountain biking trails adjacent to Zion National Park. Fully accessible to the public these trails will utilize conserved land to provide new trails that utilize a network of previously disturbed land and established social paths when possible. These designated trails ensure managed access to the land further protecting the resource. • 40+ miles of hiking trail that interconnect to new and existing trails within the park • 25+ miles of mountain biking trail beyond the park, offering riders of all skills unparalleled features and flow • Uniform trailhead signage and mile markers • Interpretive wayside signage • Restroom facilities • Water refilling sites • Bike repair stations


East Zion Recreation Opportunities 34.5 Miles

40 Miles


CARING FOR OUR PARKS WILL ALWAYS BE A GROUP EFFORT An intentional effort, the East Zion Initiative brings together project stakeholders across the public and private spectrum. Engaging private landowners and existing gateway businesses, the coalition also includes the support of elected officials at the local, county, state, and federal level as well as land agency leaders from NPS, BLM, U.S. Forest Service, Utah State Parks, and Utah DNR. With continued support from new and existing partners, we are pushing forward to protect the integrity and the future of the National Park experience.

Thank you for helping to make a difference now and forever LEARN MORE AT ZIONPARK.ORG/EASTZION


"We talk a lot about the visitor, but that word is detaching. We want everyone to feel they are a part of a hopeful project that creates energy, that promotes activity, desire and hope of the future." – Kevin & Stacy McLaws, Owners, Zion Mountain Ranch