Self-Guided Field Trips

School bus parked in Zion with a large mountain peak behind it

Bringing your students to Zion for a field trip with you as the guide, is a great way to build on lesson material covered in your classroom. When planning your school trip there are several things to keep in mind to help you and your students have an enjoyable and safe experience.

 

Logistics for Your Visit to the Park

Park Entrance Fees

Some groups visiting for educational activities will not be charged park entrance fees, provided they are sponsored by accredited educational institutions. A fee waiver or fee exemption should be requested three weeks in advance. For forms and guidelines, visit the Academic Fee Waivers page.

Hiking

There are many easy trails suitable for larger groups in Zion National Park. For a map and trail descriptions, download the park newspaper.

To allow for meaningful connections to the park resources, we recommend no more than one class of students (20 - 30) on the same part of a trail at a time. One adult chaperone for at least every 10 students is highly recommended. Maximum group size limits for specific trails and park areas are listed on the Academic Fee Waiver.

Be Prepared

Any visit to Zion will include some outdoor walking and exploring. Students should wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Hats and sunscreen are recommended on sunny days and rain gear on cloudy days. Each child should carry a water bottle.

Restrooms

Several of the shuttle stop in Zion Canyon have restrooms to use throughout your trip. They are available at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion Museum, Zion Lodge, Grotto Picnic Area, Weeping Rock, and Temple of Sinawava. Restrooms are not available along the trails. Please use the restrooms before hiking.

Picnicking

The Grotto Picnic Area, on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive has picnic tables and restrooms. Please remember to search the area for litter when finished and to keep food away from wildlife. Use recycling bins for aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

Zion Canyon Shuttle System

The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, past Canyon Junction, is closed to private vehicles from March through late November when the shuttle system is in operation. However, school groups traveling on traditional school buses are allowed. Please refer to the Academic Fee Waiver page for additional information and parking restrictions. This special consideration is for school buses only. Anyone in a van or passenger vehicle must travel on the school bus or use the shuttle system.

 

Help Preserve Zion

Everything in a national park is protected, from the rocks to the plants and animals. To ensure the protection of Zion and a make this trip a memorable experience, please follow these guidelines.

  • Choose the Right Trail – Choose a trail that is best suited for the size, age, and ability of your group.
  • Stay On Established Trails – Walking off established roads and trails causes damage to the park, such as trampled plants and excessive erosion.
  • Wilderness Trail Use – Structured and/or formally guided activities facilitated by educational, commercial, or like organizations are authorized to occur on frontcountry trails. Such activities are not authorized to take place in park wilderness/back-country areas (Primitive and Pristine Zones).
  • Do Not Feed Wildlife – Feeding wild animals is illegal and can cause injury or death to the animal or the human. Keep your distance. Keep wildlife WILD.
  • Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints – Enjoy rocks and flowers but leave them for others to enjoy too. Do not carve or write on rocks.
  • Carry Out All Trash – Zion is your park. Help keep it clean and beautiful.

Learn more about how you and your students can protect Zion National Park by taking the Zion Pledge.

 

Guest Speakers

If your class is planning a self-guided field trip to Zion, rangers may be available, based on staffing, to present an orientation or topic-based presentation to your group before you explore the park. Talks are usually 20 to 30 minutes long and typically held at the South Campground Amphitheater. Topics include human and park history, plant and animal adaptations, hydrology, geology, and ecology. For more information on any of these programs, please call (435) 772-3256 or email us.

Last updated: June 24, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767

Phone:

(435) 772-3256
Recorded park information available 24 hours a day. Phones are answered 9 am to 4 pm Mountain Time. If no one answers, please send your questions to us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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