Changes to Zion Wilderness Permit System
Contact: Ray O'Neil, 435-772-7823
Contact: Backcountry Desk, 435-772-0170
Zion National Park has changed its wilderness permit system to allow visitors to reserve last minute slot canyon day use permits via an online reservation system. This new system will eliminate the need for visitors to wait in line at the visitor center for permits. Reservations for popular day trips such as the Subway (Left Fork), Mystery Canyon and The Narrows are now available at www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/backcountry-reservations-and-permits.htm.
In late fall of 2011, the park requested comments from visitors about possible options for upgrading the wilderness permit procedures. Over 150 comments were received and the vast majority of respondents indicated a preference for an online system to replace the current system. The previous system required visitors to arrive early in the morning and wait in long lines to assure access to the limited number of available last minute permits.
The last minute drawing is held at 1:00 pm MT, two days prior to the requested date of the trip. Entries for the last minute drawing are available seven days prior to the drawing until noon MST two days before a trip date. Applicants are immediately notified of the status of their request via email. Procedures for advance reservations have not changed. Visitors are most likely to secure their desired reservation if they use the advance reservation system up to three months prior to their trip. The process for obtaining overnight permits has not changed. Half of all backcountry campsites are available online, the remaining sites are offered as walk-in permits that become available the day before the beginning of a trip. Please visit www.nps.gov/zion for more information.