Leave No Trace

Wilderness Campsite

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a national program that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The seven principles of Leave No Trace promote responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships. Leave No Trace is dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and most of all, respect for our public lands.

Read each principle below, and follow the tips to help protect Zion National Park during your visit.

Take the Zion Pledge!

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Rangers and Volunteers in Zion have been spending hours cleaning unnecessary vandalism in the park such as rock carvings and scratches, stickers, permanent markers, and in this case, spray paint. Vandalism like this not only greatly impacts the visitor experience in the park, but it is also extremely difficult to remove. This piece covered 150 square feet and took a total of 35 hours of work. Remember to always Leave No Trace!


Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace in Zion National Park

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Zion National Park is protected as a sanctuary of natural and cultural resources. Steep cliffs, narrow canyons, and unpredictable weather add to the challenge and adventure of a visit. It is important to plan carefully and be familiar with the information and regulations listed in the park newspaper and Wilderness Guide.

  • Zion is one of the most visited National Parks in the nation. Prepare well in advance for all lodging, camping, and wilderness permits. Check the park website for current information on road and trail closures. Be prepared for long lines and full parking lots.

  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. Whether hiking, camping, or driving, your safety depends on your good judgement, adequate preparation, and constant awareness. Your safety is your responsibility.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Please stay on established trails to protect vegetation and fragile cryptobiotic soils. Hiking off trail can lead to soil compaction, erosion, and unsightly scars on the landscape.

  • Staying on the trail is also important for safety. Many of our trails are near long drop-offs. People have died falling from cliffs in the park.

  • If you must leave the trail, travel in canyon bottoms, in river or stream courses, or on slickrock whenever possible. When hiking in the Zion Narrows or in other riparian areas of the park, please stay in the watercourse.

  • Wilderness camping is limited to designated sites in much of Zion. In areas where at-large camping is permitted, camp at least 200 feet from water and out of view of trails. Camp one-quarter mile from springs. Good campsites are found, not made.

  • Leave your camp cleaner than you found it. If you find any trash at your site, pack it out, even if you were not the one to leave it behind.

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Carry out all trash, including food wrappers, apple cores, fruit peels, nut shells, and toilet paper. Dispose of all waste in a proper trash can or dumpster. Recycle the rest.

  • Use the restroom before hiking. Be prepared to pack out human waste, toilet paper, diapers, and hygiene products. Human waste disposal bags are highly recommended to transport solid waste. All human waste must be carried out of the Virgin River Narrows in waste disposal bags.

Leave What You Find

  • Million of visitors come to Zion Canyon each year, with over 60,000 people receiving permits to visit the Zion Wilderness. Please show respect for your National Park, fellow visitors, and future generations by leaving rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them. Take photos of things that you find interesting, then leave them for others to discover and enjoy.

  • Protect the canyon walls, trees, and rocks from graffiti and vandalism. Do not build or destroy rock cairns that are used to mark trails and routes. If placed incorrectly, they can mislead visitors, cause unnecessary damage, and lead to potential injuries. Leave the park in a natural state for others to enjoy.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • When fire danger is high, all campfires may be prohibited. When permitted, fires are only allowed in established fire rings in the campgrounds. Collecting any type of wood in the park is prohibited. Pack out any campfire litter. Trash should never be burned in a campfire, especially plastic items and foil-lined wrappers.

  • Campfires are not allowed anywhere in the Zion Wilderness. Please use a small gas stove for boiling water and cooking food.

Respect Wildlife

  • Zion National Park is home to many wild animals. Commonly seen animals include mule deer, squirrels, lizards, and many species of birds. Please keep all animals wild and healthy by viewing them from a safe distance. Do not feed or touch wildlife. Store food and trash responsibly.

  • Be aware that wild animals can be unpredictable. Do not approach animals or attempt to move sick or injured wildlife. Please report any sick or injured animals to a park ranger.

  • Leashed pets may be walked on the Pa’rus Trail. Pets are not permitted on any other trails, on shuttles, in public buildings, or in the wilderness. Pets must be under physical control on a leash less than six feet long at all times.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Like you, many other people are here to explore and enjoy Zion National Park. Respect other visitors and help protect the quality of their experience.

  • Be courteous while waiting in line, riding the shuttle, and hiking the trails. Be observant of other hikers around you and communicate as needed on trails with steep drop-offs.

  • Let the natural sounds of Zion prevail. Avoid using loud voices and making unnecessary noise, especially in narrow canyons. Use headphones when listening to music.

  • Use of remote controlled equipment, including but not limited to helicopters, drones, and electronic toys, is prohibited in Zion National Park.

To learn more, visit the Leave No Trace: Center For Outdoor Ethics website.

Last updated: April 4, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


If you have questions, please email zion_park_information@nps.gov. Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

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