Zion's Pa'rus Trail, with the mission of relieving traffic congestion on the park's busy roads, offers hikers and cyclists easy and vehicle-free access to the park's Human History Museum and Zion Canyon Road.
From the Visitor's Center and the South Campground, the Pa'rus Trail heads north, crisscrossing the Virgin River and bypassing several river-access points and short, foot-soak worthy detours. Near mile 0.7, a left-hand side trail leads 0.25-mile to the Human History Museum and a bus stop for canyon- and Visitor's Center-bound shuttles.
To continue to Canyon Junction, bypass the spur trail and stick to the wide pavement of Pa'rus Trail. The trail gains less than 100 feet of elevation and the barely-noticeable climb is lined by cacti and offers unobstructed views of the Watchman, the West Temple and Bridge Mountain. Near trail-end, you'll traverse a short section of hard-packed dirt between bridges and turn uphill briefly, crossing under the park road before climbing to road level at Canyon Junction.
-Mapped by Kristy Holland
- Distance: 5.2
Location: 37.2005437, -112.9867941
The Visitor's Center near the park's south entrance is the epicenter of park activities year-round. There is a gift shop, ranger services, park information and restroom facilities here as well as easy access to the grocery store and movie theater just outside the park.
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Stay on the left side of the road to cross the river (there's no sidewalk on the right-hand side) and use the crosswalk on it's north side to join the trail.
Location: 37.2022732, -112.985047
This is the first of several river-access trails. Use established routes to access the water and stay on trail to protect vegetation and help reduce human-affected erosion in this popular park.
Location: 37.2041903, -112.9807168
Near the north end of the campground, you can step into campground restroom facilities and access drinking water.
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Check for traffic before crossing this service road and continuing north over the first of 5 pedestrian bridges on this section of the Virgin River.
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The Pa'rus Trail continues straight at this 3-way junction, but an easy, 0.5-mile round-trip will take you to the Human History Museum. Note: The museum-bound trail is unpaved and has several wooden steps that make it inaccessible to wheelchairs.
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Near the trail's halfway point, the northern edge of this bridge s flanked by benches.
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This diversion dam directs water to the town of Springdale and provides an ideal rest stop for those looking to extend their trail adventure. Take the right-hand access path to the river's edge and picnic or nap on the large, flat rocks that line the dam.
Location: 37.2159416, -112.9748583
The short, hard-packed section of trail between the two final bridges is the only unpaved section. The trail surface is smooth and easily navigable by bike, wheelchair, or with a stroller in tow.
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After passing beneath the park road, the trail turns briefly uphill before ending at the Canyon Junction shuttle stop. Hop on the shuttle (each equipped to carry two bicycles) or continue north by bike or on foot toward the canyon trailheads.
Location: 37.2004411, -112.9866922
There are interpretive signs, map displays, informative rangers, a gift shop, water, and toilet facilities at the Zion Canyon Visitor's Center, sitting below The Watchman's red-sandstone face. © Kristy Holland
Location: 37.2007146, -112.9867995
Between March and November, the Zion Canyon Shuttle is the only motorized way to access many of the canyon's viewpoints and trailheads and transports over 3 million people annually. The shuttle leaves as often as every 6 minutes during peak summer hours but shuts down in the winter when private vehicle access is allowed. © Kristy Holland
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This map kiosk shows the Pa'rus Trail, but the actual trail begins on the north side of the bridge. © Kristy Holland
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Pick up the trail after crossing the bridge and the park road. The entire trail winds alongside the Virgin River, but this first stretch also skirts sites in the South Campground. �� Kristy Holland
Location: 37.2067477, -112.9792786
This unpaved path leads 0.25 mile to the Human History Museum and Park Headquarters, and another shuttle-bus stop. © Kristy Holland
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The interpretive sign and access path to the trailside Virgin River diversion dam. © Kristy Holland
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The Pa'rus Trail includes 5 river-spanning bridges. © Kristy Holland
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The trail ends (or begins!) at the well-signed shuttle bus stop at Canyon Junction. © Kristy Holland
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The Pa'rus Trail is the only one in the park that allows cyclists. This trail ends at Zion Canyon Road, a popular in-park cycling route.