Pa'rus Trail, Pa'rus Trailhead - Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion National Park, Utah

Pa'rus Trail - 3.6 miles

Pa'rus Trailhead - Zion Canyon Visitor Center

The west wall of Zion Canyon along the Pa'rus Trail

The west wall of Zion Canyon along the Pa'rus Trail

Round-Trip Length: 3.6 miles
Start-End Elevation: 3,940' - 4,045' (4,045' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +105' net elevation gain (+153' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Pa'rus Trail - 3.6 Miles Round-Trip

Pa'rus is a Paiute word loosely translated as 'bubbling, tumbling stream', a nod to the perennial, life-sustaining waters of the Virgin River. The Pa'rus Trail traces a 1.8 mile section of the river from the Visitor Center to the Canyon Junction - Mount Carmel Highway intersection.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Pa'rus Trail was developed when Zion National Park introduced the shuttle system to eliminate congestion and pollution in the canyon. 

This paved, family-friendly path is the only trail in Zion Canyon where dogs and bikes are permitted. The Pa'rus Trail is ideal for families, runners or those with limited time. Visitors will enjoy mild grades, multiple river access points and stunning views across lower-Zion Canyon:

The trail begins on the north side of the Zion Canyon Visitor Center at the Watchman Campground (the trail heads north between the campground and river).

Mount Kinesava (7,285'), The Three Marys (6,298'), West Temple (7,800'), Towers of the Virgin and Meridian Tower (7,340') stand south-north atop the canyon's west wall; The Watchman (6,545'), Bridge Mountain (6,803'), East Temple (7,709') and Mount Spry (5,823') along the east wall. Morning light favors the west wall, and late afternoon the east.

Despite its tranquil appearance the Virgin River is actively transforming the landscape, carrying out up to 5000 tons of rock fragments daily and ever widening and deepening the canyon.

Cottonwood, willow, maple, oak, pinyon, juniper, yucca, cacti, grasses and wildflowers line the river bank. Wildlife is drawn to this lush riparian corridor including mule deer, rabbit, turkey, skunk, coyote, snakes and mountain lion.

The trail crosses the river several times and designated points offer safe river access. The Pa'rus Trail reaches its terminus at Canyon Junction (1.8 miles : 4,045'), where you can pick up the shuttle or return the way you came.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N37 12.110 W112 59.202 — Pa'rus Trailhead

Worth Noting

  • The Virgin River is not completely free-flowing. Along the way interpretive signs point to irrigation ditches and dams first built by Mormon settlers to sustain orchards and crops, maintained today for water supply control to the Springdale and Rockville communities.

Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs are permitted on the Pa'rus trail but must be leashed at all times.
  • Bicycles are permitted on the Pa'rus Trail.
  • There's a $30 fee per vehicle to enter Zion National Park (defined as private passenger cars with 15 people or less). Passes are good for 7 consecutive days.
  • $25 per motorcycle.
  • $15 per person (walk or bike).

Directions to Trailhead

The Pa'rus Trail begins on the north side of the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Cross the Visitor Center access road north to the Watchman Campground and Pa'rus Trailhead.

Contact Information

Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Open: Daily
Closed: December 25
Spring: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Summer: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Fall: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Winter: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Backcountry Info, Camping & Permits Desk (including camping in the Narrows)

Trip Reports

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