Are you planning a trip to Utah and wondering if Zion National Park is dog-friendly? You’re probably excited to bring your dog along on your adventures, so let’s talk about your options in Zion.
Zion National Park is not a dog-friendly national park if you want to hike the trails. However, if you plan on only seeing the park from the car, you’ll be able to bring your dog along for the ride.
My name is Ash, and I’m a former park ranger. I’m from Utah, and you can find me in Zion often. I’m excited to help you plan your upcoming trip to this majestic national park.
Let’s talk about the best places to take your dog in Zion National Park!
Where Can I Go With My Dog in Zion?
Dogs are allowed in the following areas:
Zion has three campgrounds, and these campgrounds do allow dogs. If you want to camp with your dog, please be aware that:
- Dogs are required to be on a 6-foot leash at all times
- Dogs cannot make excessive noise
- You must pick up after your dog
- Your dog can be left unattended while you’re out exploring the park as long as they are properly secured, the weather/environment is safe (it gets EXTREMELY hot in Zion), and they aren’t barking too loud.
Parking Lots and Roads
Your leashed dog can be with you in any of the parking lots in Zion. However, they can’t be left in the car while you hike (it gets SO hot in Zion), and idling and generator use is not permitted in the parking lots. So yes, your dog can come to the parking lot with you, but unless you’re at a viewpoint, there’s not going to be much you can do together.
Zion has a couple of beautiful scenic drives you can enjoy with your dog. I recommend taking a drive along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (Highway 9) to the east side of the park, the Kolob Terrace Road (near Virgin, UT), or the Kolob Canyons Road (near Cedar City, UT).
If you want to enjoy a picnic lunch with your dog, you can do so at The Grotto Picnic Area, the Kolob Canyons Viewpoint, or on the grounds of the Zion Lodge.
Pets must be on a 6-foot leash at all times.
The Pa’rus Trail
The Pa’rus Trail is the only dog-friendly trail in Zion National Park. It’s a paved 3.4-mile roundtrip that travels along the valley floor, providing beautiful views of the Virgin River and the surrounding red rock cliffs.
This trail has little shade and can get hot, so you’ll want to hike during the cooler parts of the day or bring booties to protect your dog’s feet from the hot pavement. Your dog must be leashed at all times.
The Pa’rus Trail starts just across the street from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
Always clean up after your dog so that this trail continues to be dog-friendly!
Dogs are not allowed in the following areas:
Trails and Wilderness Areas
Dogs are not allowed on any trails and wilderness areas in Zion National Park except for the Pa’rus Trail. Simply put, if you’re not on the Pa’rus Trail, you cannot take your dog hiking with you in the park.
If you head out of Zion via the East Entrance, you’ll find a bunch of dog-friendly trails near Kanab. I recommend hiking to the Red Hollow Slot Canyon, Squaw Hill, or in the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Be sure to stop by the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary while you’re in the area.
Dogs are not allowed in Zion’s visitor centers, the Human History Museum, the Zion Lodge, and any other public buildings in the national park.
Zion Canyon Shuttle
Dogs cannot ride on Zion’s free park shuttle, even if you carry them or hold them in your lap.
Why Can’t I Take My Dog Hiking in Zion National Park?
The most important reason that a national park is established is to preserve and protect the most beautiful places in America. An important part of fulfilling this charge is by keeping the native wildlife safe and healthy and to avoid altering their natural habitat and behaviors.
Pets can transmit diseases to the wildlife in Zion National Park, which can lead to sickness and death of the animals that live here naturally. And vice versa….your dog can also get sick from the wildlife in the park!
Dogs are also known to chase or scare the animals that call this park home, which can alter their behaviors and cause them to become stressed or aggressive. Pets leave behind “predator scents” that can change the behavior of the local wildlife.
Please join with the NPS in their efforts to take better care of the outdoor spaces, including the local wildlife, by following the pet regulations.
Traffic and crowding in Zion can be terrible.
Did you know that there it’s common to wait an hour or more to enter the park or ride the shuttle?
Are you hoping to see the best sights without getting stuck in traffic, circling parking lots, or being surrounded by people?
Stay ahead of the crowds with this Zion Itinerary. You will see all of the can’t-miss spots, plus get lodging and dining guides, driving directions, and insider tips!
Where Can I Find the Best Kennel Near Zion?
You can find a few fantastic kennels near Zion National Park. The nearest kennel to the park is the Doggy Dude Ranch. It’s located in Rockville, UT, just a short 10-minute drive from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
If you don’t mind traveling a little further out of the park, you’ll find On the Spot Play and Stay in Hurricane (about 30 minutes from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center).
What Are Some Dog-Friendly Hotels Near Zion?
You can find several pet-friendly hotels in Springdale, UT, just outside of the main entrance to Zion National Park. A few good options are:
AirBnB and VRBO also have some options in Springdale, Rockville, and Hurricane, which is no more than about 30 minutes from the park entrance. As a reminder, campgrounds in Zion are dog-friendly as well if you’re hoping to stay inside the park!
What Happens If I Take My Dog Somewhere He’s Not Allowed in Zion?
You will receive a citation for no less than $75, but it could be more depending on the infraction.
Park rangers and park volunteers patrol the hiking trails, roads, and viewpoints in Zion National Park regularly.
What If I Bring My Service Dog to Zion?
Service dogs that are recognized by the ADA are allowed to accompany their owners throughout the entire park. A service dog must be specifically trained to perform tasks related to the owner’s disability.
Emotional support, therapy, or comfort animals do not qualify as service animals in Zion National Park and will be required to follow all pet regulations.
Thanks for being here — I absolutely can’t wait for you to explore Zion National park with your favorite furry friend!
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