Wilderness Information and Permits


"Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit."
- Edward Abbey

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. To learn more visit www.wilderness.net.

The purpose of the Wilderness Permit is to manage Wilderness resources, visitor encounter rates, and campsite use within guidelines established in the Zion Wilderness Stewardship Plan (Nov 2007), which was formerly titled the Backcountry Management Plan. Wilderness Permits do not provide a safety net for Park Visitors. Park Visitors are responsible for their personal safety, making informed decisions and managing individual and group behavior in the Wilderness environment. Permit holders will be educated and advised on current conditions, safety concerns, and reminded that their safety is their responsibility.

From the Nov 2007 Wilderness Stewardship Plan: (page 33-36 on the permit system)
Wilderness Permit and Reservation System
ZION’s Wilderness Permit System allows the park to maintain levels of wilderness use consistent with a high quality visitor experience, safety, and resource protection by:

  • regulating use through a quota system,
  • providing education concerning resource protection and other Leave No Trace (Appendix B) techniques,
  • providing education concerning safety issues,
  • providing a means to track visitor use, and
  • identifying a starting point for search and rescue efforts. Please remember that safety is the visitor's responsibility and that search and rescue is not a guarantee.

What does "Wilderness" mean? Watch this three-minute video on American Wilderness to find out.

Last updated: August 12, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767


(435) 772-3256
Staffed daily from 9 am - 4 pm. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day. If you are unable to reach someone by phone, please email us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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