"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?
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.
Visitors wanting to backpack or descend a canyon should be flexible in their planning--your first, and even second, choices may be unavailable. At busy times of year, all permits may be taken, leaving none for people who show up at the Wilderness Desk without a reservation.
Download the 2019 Zion Wilderness Guide
Download Wilderness Desk Handouts
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: March 3, 2019