Visiting Zion with Kids
A trip to Zion offers many opportunities for families to explore, learn, and connect with the park. Whether hiking on a trail, having a picnic, or attending a ranger-led program you will find something that is great for your family. To help in your trip planning here are a few things to keep in mind:
Trails – Several of the trails in Zion Canyon are rated as Easy and a good fit for families. The Pa’rus Trail, Lower Emerald Pools Trail, Weeping Rock Trail, and Riverside Walk Trail provide short hikes along a paved surface that will give hikers a good overview of the canyon. Some of these trail have minor drop-offs and may have steep sections.
More information to plan your visit is available in the Map & Guide. Remember, your safety is your responsibility.
Become a Junior Ranger
Zion offers a guided and self-guided Junior Ranger experience. Self-guided activity booklets are available for free at park visitor centers, the Zion Human History Museum, and the Nature Center. While the booklet needs to be completed and reviewed in-park to receive a badge, you can download the Junior Ranger booklet [PDF 7.88 MB] online prior to your trip. As part of completing the booklet, all Zion Junior Rangers must choose a Ranger-led Program to attend.
Visit the Zion Nature Center
Closed for the season. The Nature Center will re-open on May 23, 2020.
Attend a Ranger-led Youth Program
Summer youth programs have concluded for the 2019 season. Check back in May 2020 for next summer's schedule.
Everyday inside the Nature Center at 3:00 PM and 4:30 PM
These programs are 30 to 45 minutes long and designed for children ages 4 to 12. One or two of the following programs will be presented each day.
Rockin’ Rocks - Marvel at the forces that shaped Zion’s giant cliffs.
Canyon Connections - Hear the wild stories of living and non-living things.
Amazing Animals - Discover Zion’s incredible animals and their adaptations.
Dino Discovery - Meet the fascinating creatures that roamed Zion long ago.
Saturday Guided Family Walk (Program ends August 17th)
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Saturdays only.
Meet at the Zion Human History Museum.
Join a ranger for this hour-long family walk to the Nature Center. Explore a range of topics, from history and geology to the plants and animals that live in Zion. The hike is designed with kids in mind, and involves interactive elements. The trail is easy but does include stairs and uneven surfaces.
Drop-in Programs (Program ends August 30th)
Stop by and chat with a ranger!
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM, location changes each day
Park rangers are available for 1.5 hours from the start of the program. Stop by anytime and stay for a minute or stay for an hour.
Emerald Explorers Emerald Pools Trailhead
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
Discover the animals, plants, rocks, weather, and people of Zion’s canyons.
Weeping Rock Wonders Weeping Rock Trailhead
Sunday and Thursday
Uncover the forces of water and geology, and enjoy stories of early settlers.
Riverside Rangers Temple of Sinawava Shuttle Stop
Tuesday and Friday
Learn how you can protect the beauty of Zion and become a steward for all natural places.
Zion Lodge Lawn Programs (Program ends August 17th)
1:00 PM daily.
Nature Games, Music, or Storytelling.
The program is 30 to 45 minutes long and designed for children 8 and younger. One of the following programs will be presented each day. Meet on the lawn near the large cottonwood tree.
Storytellers - Listen to stories of the people and plants that call Zion home.
Music Makers - Experience the music and sounds of Zion.
Nature Games - Join the fun while discovering the natural world of Zion.
Every Kid Outdoors
The Every Kid Outdoors initiative is aimed at providing an opportunity for each fourth grade student across the country to experience federal lands and water in person. Students logon onto the Every Kid Outdoors website to complete an on-line activity and earn a voucher that can be exchanged for a plastic pass at park entrance stations. The Every Kid Outdoors Pass gives students free access to public lands during their fourth-grade school year and up through August 31.
Curriculum based education programs are offered throughout the school year and on request when staffing allows.
Last updated: October 23, 2019