Wilderness Permit Descriptions


When Do You Need a Permit?

Wilderness Permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips, overnight climbing bivouacs, all through-hikes of The Virgin River Narrows and its tributaries, all canyons requiring the use of descending gear or ropes, and all trips into Left Fork of North Creek (The Subway). Depending on the type of activity that you are participating in, and the location of your trip, there are various ways to obtain a reservation prior to your trip date.

Wilderness Permit Fees

Fees help cover the costs of issuing permits, Wilderness patrols, resource monitoring, and trail repairs.

Day Use / Canyoneering Permit Fees

Lottery Application Fee or Advanced Reservation Fee: $6 lottery application / reservation fee (non-refundable)
Per Person Fee: $10 per person (refundable)
The reservation fee (in lieu of the lottery application fee) and per person fee are also charged for first-come, first-served permits that are issued in person.

Overnight Permit Fees

Permit Fee: $20 per permit (non-refundable)
Per Person Fee: $7 per person per night (refundable)
The same fees are charged for reservations as well as first-come, first-served permits that are issued in person.


First-Come, First-Serve, Walk-In Permits

  • Walk-in spaces are available for Wilderness trips not already filled by Advanced Reservation or Lotteries.
  • Permits must be obtained at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center Wilderness Desk the day before, or the day of the trip.
  • Come prepared with your trip itinerary and vehicle(s) information: Make and model, color, state, license plate number.

Obtain Your Wilderness Permit

  • Plan your trip itinerary to allow sufficient time to obtain your permit the day of, or the day before your trip during our Hours of Operation.
  • Allow for at least 20 minutes to obtain a permit. Come prepared with all vehicle(s) information: make, model, and license plate(s).
  • All Wilderness permits must be obtained in-person at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center Wilderness Desk.
  • The individual listed as the reservation holder must be the one to obtain the permit, please plan accordingly.


Wilderness Permits are Non-Transferable

Traveling in the Zion Wilderness requires careful planning and preparation. Permit holders assume the responsibility of ensuring that their group is aware of the risks involved, is self-reliant, has developed a back-up plan, and will follow park regulations. Because these are such important aspects of trip planning and resource protection, permits for trips into the Zion Wilderness are non-transferable.

If you cannot participate in your trip, please cancel your reservation to provide opportunities for others. If other members of your group still wish to participate in a planned trip, you may coordinate with a new prospective permit holder for them to immediately reserve the available spaces or sites, as soon as your reservation has been cancelled.

You may cancel your reservation online by logging in to your recreation.gov account. As soon as your reservation is cancelled, those spaces or sites will immediately be available for someone else to obtain through the calendar reservations page. New permit holders will need a recreation.gov account prior to creating a calendar reservation.

Plan your trip itinerary to allow sufficient time to obtain your permit the day of, or day before the trip during Zion Wilderness Desk Hours of Operation. The individual listed on reservation must be the one to obtain the permit, please plan accordingly.


Zion Express Membership

  • Zion Express Membership allows visitors who regularly visit the park, and are familiar with the park resources to obtain a login account to create online reservations and convert them into Wilderness Permits from home.

  • To become a member, applicants must watch three orientation films at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center Wilderness Desk. (Membership cannot be obtained in the Kolob Canyons.)

  • After watching the films, applicants will sign a Zion Express Program Agreement form and obtain a username and password for their member account.

  • There is no cost for enrollment. Membership is valid for the remainder of the current year and for the next two calendar years. Memberships may be cancelled if any regulations are violated.

Last updated: March 15, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


If you have questions, please email zion_park_information@nps.gov. Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

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