Backpacking Reservations Explained

 
A dome tent is set up in the Zion Wilderness with massive rock walls in the background.
 

The Zion Wilderness is a world-renowned destination that offers opportunities for solitude and adventure. With over 90 miles of trails, dozens of designated backpacking sites, multiple at-large camping areas, and 124,406 acres of designated wilderness, Zion National Park offers a variety of unique backpacking opportunities. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips.

Follow These Steps for an Overnight Backpacking Permit:

(Step 1) Plan Ahead and Prepare for your Zion Backpacking Trip

While preparing for your overnight trip, consider your interests, time, and the ability level of your group. There is no "one best trail." Come up with backup plans in case your first or second choices are not available. Trails and/or campsites may close at any time due to rockfalls, flashfloods, wildfires, etc. Always have a backup plan in mind. Use topographic maps and the webpage links below to plan your Zion Wilderness backpacking experience.

(Step 2) Check Availability of Online Calendar Reservations

Reservations are available online during a two-month time frame. On the 5th day of every month at 10:00am mountain time, reservations for the next month become available. If sites are still available, reservations can be made until 5:00pm mountain time, the day before your trip.

For a Backpacking Trip in...

Online Reservations are available on:

January December 5th
February January 5th
March February 5th
April March 5th
May April 5th
June May 5th
July June 5th
August July 5th
September August 5th
October September 5th
November October 5th
December November 5th


*Please be aware that most backpacking sites will become fully booked for the next month within minutes of reservations opening on the 5th of each month.

Before making a reservation, check the backpacking Online Calendar Reservations page to determine which designated campsites, at-large camp areas, and dates are available.

You will need a separate reservation for each campsite or camp area, for each night of your trip.

In the drop down menu you will be able to select backpacking sites for:

  • East Rim Camp Area (At-large, dispersed camping)
  • Hop Valley (Designated campsites)
  • La Verkin Creek (Designated campsites)
  • Narrows (Designated campsites)
  • Southwest Desert (Designated campsites)
  • West Rim (Designated campsites)
  • Wildcat Canyon Camp Area (At-large, dispersed camping)

Available dates for the selected campsite or camp area will appear in green, and you will be able to click on the date in the top right corner. Dates that have already been reserved by another party will appear in red. The number in the bottom left corner is the group size limit for that site or area.

*If you want to backpack in another area of the Zion Wilderness that is not listed above, please send an email to: zion_park_information@nps.gov with your desired itinerary. We will respond with further instructions.

(Step 3) Apply for an Online Calendar Reservation

Make a reservation for each night of your trip by going to the Zion Wilderness Reservations Login page. Click Create Account and enter your information. If you have an existing Zion Wilderness Reservations account, log in.

*Your Password should be exactly eight characters and include: an upper case letter, lower case letter, number, and special symbol (i.e. & % * ! $ #)

Once you are logged in to your account you can then Make a Backpacking Reservation for each night, for the duration of your trip. Carefully read through and complete your reservation application(s). You will be required to pay a non-refundable $5.00 fee for each reservation. An additional fee will be paid online when you obtain your Wilderness permit.

(Step 4) Obtain your Wilderness Backpacking Permit

If you have a backpacking reservation for the Narrows:

All Wilderness permits for backpacking trips through the Zion Narrows must be obtained in-person at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Wilderness Desk. This should be done the day before your trip, but may be accomplished the morning of the start of your trip, during our Hours of Operation. ⚠️ Wilderness Permits cannot be obtained at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center.

If you have a backpacking reservation for: La Verkin Creek, Hop Valley, Wildcat Canyon, West Rim, East Rim, or Southwest Desert:

The day before your trip, before 3:00pm, convert your online reservation(s) into a Wilderness Permit by sending an email to zion_park_information@nps.gov with the following trip information:
*Reservations for the Southwest Desert and the East Rim cannot be combined with any other Wilderness area. These will be issued as their own Wilderness permit.

Use “Wilderness Permit - (last name and start date of trip)” in the subject line of the email to ensure a quick response from our team.

Your reservation ID number(s):
Permit Holder: Full name & phone number
Emergency Contact: Full name & phone number (of an individual not participating in the trip)
All associated vehicles: make, color, and license plate number (include state)
Where these vehicles will be parked:
Group size:
Starting trailhead:
Campsite(s) name/number and date(s):
Ending trailhead:

*Example Email: Wilderness Permit – Anderson 3/16/2021

Reservation ID number(s): 269038, 269039, 269042
Permit Holder: Cynthia Anderson 801-123-1234
Emergency Contact: Allison James 435-234-2345
Vehicles: Pontiac G6, Silver, CA 8HBT234
Vehicle will be parked at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Group size: 4
Starting trailhead: Lee Pass
La Verkin Creek Site 9 on 3/17
Wildcat Canyon Camp Area on 3/18
West Rim Site 5 on 3/19
Ending trailhead: The Grotto

Please do not e-mail us beforehand, unless you are checking on current conditions, as we are unable to issue your Wilderness Permit any earlier.

A member of the Zion Wilderness staff will send you a detailed reply email with further information on how to pay for your Wilderness Permit, and how print your permit at home or save it to your phone.

Wilderness Permit Fee:

  • $15.00 for 1 to 2 people

  • $20.00 for 3 to 7 people

  • $25.00 for 8 to 12 people

(Step 5) Before Your Trip

  • Make sure you have a copy of your Wilderness Permit with you for the duration of your trip.

  • Share your trip itinerary with your emergency contact.

  • Write your Wilderness Permit number on a piece of paper and leave it on the dashboard of your vehilce(s).

  • As a group, review all of the information provided by the Zion Wilderness staff.

Traveling to and From the Trailheads

There are many trailheads in the park and some groups may elect to hike from one trailhead to another. The Wilderness Transportation page will help alleviate any logistical transportation questions you may have.

 
 
 
 

Last updated: April 24, 2021

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 Daylight Time. You can also send your questions to us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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