In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, temporary changes have be made to the Zion Wilderness Permit Operation.
Wilderness Day Hikes
Explore the many trails that access the Zion Wilderness.
The Left Fork of North Creek (The Subway) is a strenuous off-trail hike that requires permits to access a popular destination.
Plan your hike into the Virgin River Narrows. Hiking options include day hikes from the bottom-up and top-down, and overnight from top-down.
Learn about climbing rules and regulations in Zion, and reserve a permit for overnight climbs.
Learn the rules and regulations for float trips down the Virgin River. Find out when the river is floatable.
Horses and other stock animals are allowed on select Wilderness trails. Learn the rules and regulations here.
"Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit."
The Zion Wilderness is a spectacular network of colorful canyons, forested mesas, and striking deserts. In 2009, over 124,000 acres of Zion National Park was designated as wilderness. This designation will ensure that 84% of the park will continue to be a place where nature and its “community of life are untrammeled by man, a place where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
What is Wilderness?
Wilderness is a rare, wild place where one can retreat from civilization, reconnect with nature, and find healing, meaning and significance. Knowledge, respect, and understanding for these wild and undeveloped places will ensure that they remain spectacular for years to come. Learn more about the establishment of wilderness in Zion, about NPS wilderness, or about wilderness in America at the interagency site: www.wilderness.net.
Increasing Visitation and Permit Availability
As visitation to Zion has increased dramatically, so has interest in the wilderness, and demand for wilderness permits. More people are venturing into the wilderness on day hikes, and many more are attempting to obtain permits for backpacking and canyoneering. There are only so many backpacking sites, and limits are in place for the total number of people allowed per day in each canyon.
Guided Trips in the Wilderness
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).
What does "Wilderness" mean? Watch this three-minute video on American Wilderness to find out.
Last updated: December 1, 2020