Whenever hiking, climbing, or driving, your safety depends on your good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant awareness. Your safety is your responsibility.
Falls from cliffs on trails have resulted in death. Loose sand or pebbles on stone are very slippery. Be careful of edges when using cameras or binoculars. Never throw or roll rocks. There may be hikers below you.
- Stay on the trail.
- Stay back from cliff edges.
- Observe posted warnings.
- Please watch children.
The desert is an extreme environment. Carry enough water, one gallon per person per day, and drink it. Water is available at visitor centers, campgrounds, Zion Lodge, and some shuttle stops. Do not drink untreated water.
Zion's roads are used by vehicles, bicycles, walkers, and even wildlife. Obey posted speed limits. Unless otherwise posted, the maximum speed limit is 35 mph
- Wear safety belts and use child safety seats. Seat belts or child safety seats are required for all occupants in a vehicle and failure to use them is a primary offense in the park.
- Don't drink and drive. For your safety rangers enforce laws against alcohol and drug-related driving offenses, including open container violations.
- To protect the park's vegetation, please park in designated or posted areas only.
Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel
The Zion Mount Carmel is one of the busiest areas in the park. Through the years there have been major and minor accidents as well as many close calls involving pedestrians, oversize vehicles, tunnel ranger staff, and regular vehicle traffic.
When approaching the tunnel from either direction be aware of your surroundings and slow down. Watch out for tunnel rangers, pedestrians and other traffic. Obey all traffic directions from the tunnel rangers. Please DO NOT STOP in the tunnel or try to turn around at either tunnel entrance.
Canyon Junction Bridge
The view of the Watchman and Virgin River from the Canyon Junction Bridge has attracted photographers for decades. However in recent years the large number of photographers standing on the bridge (and standing in the road on the bridge) combined with the increasing amount of traffic has greatly increased the chances of a pedestrian/vehicle accident. This is a major safety concern for park officials.
Please do not stand on the Canyon Junction Bridge to take pictures. Similar views of the Watchman and the Virgin River may be found throughout the Pa'rus Trail located nearby.
Heat stroke is an advanced stage of heat exhaustion. It is the body's inability to cool itself. Symptoms include confusion, disorientation, behavioral changes, and seizures. If you believe that a member of your party is suffering from heat stroke, it is imperative to cool them using any available means and obtain immediate medical assistance.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses more fluid than is taken in. Signs of heat exhaustion include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, pale appearance, stomach cramps, and cool clammy skin. If a member of your party begins to experience any of these symptoms, stop your hike immediately. Find a cool, shady area and have the victem rest with his feet up to distribute fluids throughout his body. It is important to drink fluids, but it is also important to eat. While suffering from heat exhaustion, drinking fluids without eating can lead to a potentially dangerous condition of low blood salt. If heat exhaustion symptoms persist for more than two hours, seek medical help.
Hypothermia occurs when the body is cooled to dangerous levels. It is the number one killer of out recreationists, even in warm weather, and usually happens without the victim's awareness. It is a hazard in narrow canyons because immersion in water is the quickest way to lose body heat. To prevent hypothermia, avoid cotton clothing (it provides no insulation when wet) and eat high energy food before you are chilled. The signs of hypothermia include:
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Stumbling and poor coordination
- Confusion or slurred speech
If you recognize any of these signs stop hiking and immediately replace wet clothing with dry clothing. Warm the victim with your own body and a warm drink, and shelter the individual from breezes. A pre-warmed sleeping bag will also prevent further heat loss.
Firearms are permitted in Zion National Park. As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, Utah, and local laws, to possess firearms in the park. It is the visitor's responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable Utah, local, and federal firearm laws. Federal law prohibits firearms in certain facilities in Zion National Park; those places are posted with signs. If you have questions please contact the park at 435-772-3256. The discharge of firearms and hunting within the park are prohibited. Utah State law prohibits the open carry of loaded firearms on park shuttle busses.