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Hiking In Zion With Dogs: The Do’s and Don’ts

Photo Credit: David J. West

We are constantly asked about visiting Zion National Park with dogs or pets.

Unfortunately for animal lovers, most all the trails in Zion are not open to pets, even on a leash. There are a few other nearby places you can hike with your pup, but we thought we would at least get the word out about the do’s and don’ts of hiking with dogs and visiting Zion National Park with your beloved sidekick.

White dog on leash

The one trail that is pet friendly is a beautiful path called the Pa’rus trail.  This paved out-and-back trail is an easy 3.5-mile roundtrip walk. Keep Fido on a leash and clean up after him. This trail is also popular with cyclists, so make sure to watch out for them.

Learn more at

And from the Zion National Park website:

Owners bringing their pets to Zion National Park need to be aware of conditions and policies that will affect their visit. Please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Leashed pets may be walked on the Pa’rus Trail: however, pets are not permitted on any other trails, on shuttles, in public buildings, or in the wilderness. Pets must be under physical control on a leash less than six feet long at all times.
  • Properly restrained pets are allowed along public roads and parking areas in the developed campgrounds and picnic areas, and on the grounds of the Zion Lodge.
  • Pets may be left unattended in developed campgrounds.
  • Leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle with environmental conditions that pose a health risk to the animal is prohibited.
  • No pets, other than service animals, are allowed on the park transportation shuttle buses.
  • Pet owners not adhering to regulations may be cited.

Even though Zion National Park isn’t the perfect place for your pet, there are still plenty of dog-friendly trails, activities and dog parks found in Greater Zion.

Snow Canyon State Park is often endearingly referred to as “Zion National Park’s younger brother” with equally stunning scenery in a fun-sized, lesser-known canyon – AND, they are 100% dog-friendly. 

Here is a handy set of rules to keep in mind when exploring with your favorite BARK ranger:

B. Bag (and dispose of) your pet’s waste. 

We get it. It happens, but that’s no excuse to leave a mess behind. Dog feces are not only an inconvenience to anyone unlucky enough to stumble through a log cabin; they also pose a health threat to the surrounding wildlife, who are highly sensitive to disease.

Trash cans are abundant at most outdoor recreation spaces in Greater Zion, so stash it and trash it to prevent a doggone crap show.

A. Always leash your dog. 

You’ll likely see lots of wild animals while you’re out and about in Greater Zion, but your pup isn’t one of them. As such, make sure you keep them on a leash (under six feet long) and under control – the outdoors are very exciting, for good reason. Don’t think of it as a restraint. Rather, think of it as protecting your dog from potentially dangerous encounters with wildlife and other adventurers.

R. Respect wildlife.

Speaking of wildlife, know that if (and when) you encounter any, the presence of a dog might put other animals a bit more on edge than usual. Nothing personal towards your pet, but this is just nature. Best practice is to keep as much distance between your pup and wildlife as possible to avoid any tension and unnecessary stress.

K. Know where you can go.

It’s important to plan ahead when bringing your pup along with you. Some spaces are simply not meant for pets, and those policies are in place to create the most enjoyable and safest recreation experience possible. If your pet is allowed on the trail, make sure they (and you) stick to it. Letting your pet wander is a risk to the surrounding plant life. 

Two final notes:

  1.  There are several surrounding doggy daycares if you need a place to let your dog run around and stretch, or spend the night, while in town.
  2. There are plenty of pet-washing stations in Greater Zion to clean off any red dirt residue your pup may pick up from your adventures together.