Zion National Park east entrance sign

Hitting the trails at Zion National Park can be an awe-inspiring experience. There are many things to see, such as beautiful landscapes and unique wildlife. You can go hiking, backpacking, bicycling, bird watching, camping, horseback riding, or even mountain climbing. With so many exciting places to explore and things to do, it would be a shame to leave your adventurous dog at home.

The thought of taking your pooch to Zion National Park for a day of adventure might spark your interest, but before you start packing, you should know what the park’s pet policies are. While dogs are allowed in certain spots at Zion National Park, many areas are off-limits to pooches of any size or breed. Where dogs are allowed, there are a few rules that you’ll have to follow if you don’t want to get yourself and your dog kicked out of the park. Here’s what you should know.

Where Dogs Are and Aren’t Allowed at Zion National Park

Dogs are welcome to stroll with their owners on the Pa’rus Trail, which is easily accessible from the visitor center. It’s the only trail where dogs (and bicycles) are allowed to be. The trail is wide and paved and winds around the Virgin River before ending at the Canyon Junction. You and your pooch can expect to travel over multiple bridges over waterways, smell and see wildflowers, and watch beautiful deer darting about.

The trail is 1.7 miles long each way, so expect to travel more than 3 miles before getting back to your vehicle. The trail is mostly level, so it should take only 2 hours to complete the route. Spring is the best time of year to walk the trail, as the weather is nice and the wildflowers are in bloom. If you’re hiking the trail during the summer months, it’s important to bring plenty of sunblock and water because it gets hot out there.

Although the Pa’rus Trail is the only trail that you can take your dog on, there are a few other areas where your pooch can hang out. These areas include public roadways, visitor parking lots, designated campgrounds, picnic areas, and the Zion Lodge’s grounds. Any other places and trails in the park are strictly off-limits to dogs of all sizes.

Zion National Park
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The Rules That Dog Owners Must Follow

There are a few rules to follow while on the Pa’rus Trail or in any other places in the park (campgrounds, picnic areas, roadways, etc.) that you should be aware of. Disregarding the rules can get you cited for more than $100 and kicked out of the park. The rules are as follows:

  • Always pick up after your dog when they relieve themselves.
  • Your dog must be on a leash of no more than 6 feet in length.
  • Your pooch should never be left alone at a campground or in a vehicle.
  • Never let your dog bark excessively or scare wildlife out of their natural habitats.

These rules are simple and should be easy for any responsible dog owner to follow. Be prepared to keep up with your pooch, though, because you’ll be holding onto a leash during all your adventures. The good news is that after walking the Pa’rus Trail, they should be well-exercised and stimulated, so they should stay calm for the rest of your park visit.

A Note About Service Animals

It is important to note that service animals are not restricted from any locations in Zion National Park. If your service dog meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, they can accompany you on all the park’s trails and in all the public spaces within the park grounds. Make sure that your paperwork is in order and that it’s on you when you’re with your service dog so you can prove their status if necessary.

Final Thoughts

Zion National Park is beautiful and exciting, but you’ll be limited to where you can go when you bring your dog along with you. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time, though! Camp out with your dog, and hit the Pa’rus Trail once during sunset and once during sunrise. Your experiences are sure to be completely different.

Featured Image Credit: Zion National Park east entrance sign, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.5 Generic