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 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)

Wilderness Permit Fees

Fees help cover the costs of issuing permits, Wilderness patrols, resource monitoring, and trail repairs. Fees are non-refundable and based on group size. There is an additional $5 non-refundable fee for each online reservation or lottery application.

  • $15.00 for 1 to 2 people
  • $20.00 for 3 to 7 people
  • $25.00 for 8 to 12 people

Obtain a Zion Wilderness Permit

Calendar Reservations: 2 months in advance

All visitors can reserve a wide variety of canyoneering, camping, and climbing trips using the online reservation system. Please note that calendar reservations are not permits.

Making a Calendar Reservation

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

For a trip in... calendar reservations are available on....

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
January... December 5th
February... January 5th

There is a $5.00 non-refundable fee for each online calendar reservation, and there is an additional charge for a permit that is determined by the size of your group. Backpackers that intend to camp in multiple locations must make a separate reservation for each location.

Many of the permits for The Subway (Left Fork) and Mystery Canyon are secured through the Advance Lottery system prior to calendar reservations becoming available.


Advance Lottery Reservations: 2 months prior

The Advance Lottery is for trips through The Subway (Left Fork) and Mystery Canyon. Due to the popularity of these areas, the park created an online lottery for reservations. The Advance Lottery does not run from November through March due to a low demand for permits.

Advance Lottery applications are completed online. Entries must be submitted two months prior to your planned trip. Entries are limited to one request per individual per canyon per month. Entrants can request three prioritized dates. The non-refundable lottery application fee is $5.00.

Applicants will be sent a notification email on the fifth day of the following month with information about the status of their request. If a reservation is awarded, the permit must be obtained before the trip at a park visitor center.

Occasionally, a few spaces remain after the Advance Lottery has been held. These spaces can be reserved through the Calendar Reservations system.


Last Minute Drawing Reservations: 7 to 2 days in advance

All visitors can apply for the Last Minute Drawing for canyoneering day trips.The Last Minute Drawing eliminates the need to wait in long lines for last minute permits.

When a slot canyon day trip is fully booked online through the Calendar Reservations system or the Advance Lottery, the Last Minute Drawing becomes an option. Individuals can submit an application for the Last Minute Drawing to obtain any remaining reservations for permits. The Last Minute Drawing is limited to one request per individual per canyon.

Last Minute Drawing applications are completed online. Entries can be submitted as early as one week prior to a trip date until two days before at noon MT. The drawing is held at 1:00 pm MT, two days before a trip date. Any spaces not taken through the drawing will be available as Walk-in Permits the day before a trip date.

Applicants will be sent a notification email with information about the status of their request.


Walk-In Permits

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, temporary changes have been made to the Zion Wilderness permit operations. Currently most backpacking sites are available for online reservation only. A few walk-in permits are only available for campsites in the Narrows. All backpacking permits for La Verkin Creek, Wildcat Canyon, West Rim, East Rim, and the Southwest Desert will be issued via the Zion Wilderness permit system website. The day before the trip, backpackers may convert their online reservation(s) into a permit by contacting the Wilderness staff via e-mail to provide trip details and receive any updated messages in order to obtain their permit.

All Narrows backpacking permits and top-down hiking permits for the Narrows MUST be picked up the day before your trip at the Zion Canyon Wilderness Window during normal Hours of Operation.


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 10, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767


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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