by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved
Wilderness Guide 2021
The Wilderness Guide is designed to answer most of the common questions about wilderness use in the park and includes a map, Subway and Narrows information, and details about the permit system. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
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Zion National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Wilderness Guide The Official Wilderness Guide of Zion National Park Contents Page 1 Pages 2-3 Pages 4-5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Wilderness Permits Canyoneering & Climbing Zion Wilderness Map Wilderness Backpacking The Zion Narrows Safety & Flash Floods NPS Image/Avery Sloss Welcome to the Zion National Park Wilderness Zion is a spectacular network of colorful canyons, forested mesas, and striking deserts. All of the land within the park boundary is preserved by the National Park Service for the benefit of the public. In addition, a remarkable 84 percent of this extraordinary landscape is preserved as Wilderness. This designation ensures that over 124,000 acres of the park will continue to be a place where nature and its “community of life are untrammeled by man, a place where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Contact Information Traveling into the Zion Wilderness, even on short trips, can be very challenging and requires careful planning before you begin. Your safety depends on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant observation. Zion Wilderness “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” - 1964 Wilderness Act NPS Image/Rendall Seely On March 30, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 into law designating 124,406 acres of Wilderness in Zion National Park. Eighty-four percent of the acreage of Zion National Park is managed under the 1964 Wilderness Act. In addition to this designation, 153 miles of rivers and streams within Zion National Park are designated as Wild and Scenic and are managed under the requirements of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Zion Park Information 435 772-3256 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Wilderness Information 435 772-0170 Lost and Found Report at any visitor center Website www.nps.gov/zion Park Emergencies 911 or 435 772-3322 WILDERNESS PERMITS PERMIT FEES HOW TO OBTAIN A WILDERNESS PERMIT GUIDED ACTIVITIES Wilderness Permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips, overnight climbing bivouacs, all through-hikes of The Narrows and its tributaries, all canyons requiring the use of descending gear or ropes, and all trips into Left Fork of North Creek (The Subway). Advanced reservations, lottery applications, and walk-in permits are available for various areas within the Zion Wilderness. Please visit the Zion National Park webpage: www.nps.gov/zion for current reservation, lottery application, and Wilderness Permit information. Fees help cover the costs of issuing permits, patrolling wilderness areas, monitoring park resources, and repairing trails. Please visit the Zion National Park webpage: www.nps.gov/zion for current reservation, lottery application, and/or Wilderness permit fees. Structured and/or formally guided activities facilitated by educational, commercial, or like organizations are authorized to occur only on front country trails. Such activities are not authorized to take place in park Wilderness areas. (Primitive and Pristine Zones). Published 2020 Canyoneering Canyoneering combines route finding, rappelling, problem solving, hiking, and swimming. Zion National Park is one of the premier places in the country to participate in this exciting activity. With dozens of different canyons to explore, some barely wide enough for a human to squeeze through, the park offers opportunities that range from trips for beginners to experiences requiring advanced technical skills. You can help preserve and protect the canyons of Zion for future generations by following these park regulations and Leave No Trace principles. WILDERNESS PERMITS Permits are required for all technical canyoneering trips and all trips into the Left Fork of North Creek (The Subway). Permits must be carried with you and shown upon request. PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE Ensure that your group is self-reliant and aware of the risks involved with canyoneering. Know the current Flash Flood Potential rating. Flash floods in narrow slot canyons can be fatal. If bad weather threatens, do not enter a narrow canyon. Continuously evaluate the weather and adjust plans to keep you and your group safe. Always have a back-up plan. Rescue is not a certainty. Your safety is your responsibility. EXPERIENCE AND ABILITY Everyone in the group should have the proper equipment, skill level, and ability to belay, ascend, create extra friction, and evaluate anchors. Everyone should be prepared to spend additional time, travel after dark, spend the night if necessary, and survive on their own. The group should have a route description, map, compass, and the ability to use them to locate the correct route for your trip. TRAVEL ON DURABLE SURFACES Travel on well-established trails. Hike in canyon drainages and on slick-rock whenever possible. If you must leave the trail, avoid stepping on biological soil crusts. It can take decades to regrow and can be destroyed by a single step. 2 Wilderness Guide GROUP SIZE LIMITS The maximum group size for The Left Fork (Subway), Orderville, Keyhole, Pine Creek, and the Virgin River Narrows is 12 people. The maximum group size for all other canyons is 6 people. A group is any number of people sharing the same affiliation (e.g., club, scout troop, colleagues, family, friends, etc.) that enter a canyon or trail on the same day, even if they have multiple permits. Group size limits are strictly enforced. Permits will be denied and violators will be cited if limits are exceeded. Climbing BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHER VISITORS Respect other canyoneering groups and protect the quality of their experience. Prevent bottlenecks. If a faster group catches up to you, allow them to pass. Let the natural sounds of the canyon prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises. ROUTE CLOSURES Some rock formations and routes are closed to climbing from March through August each year to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Check at a Wilderness desk or visit www.nps. gov/zion/planyourvisit/climbing. htm for current closure information. GUIDED ACTIVITIES Structured and/or formally guided activities facilitated by educational, commercial, or like organizations are authorized to occur only on front country trails. MINIMUM IMPACT CLIMBING Such activities are not authorized to take place in park wilderness areas. (Primitive and Pristine Zones). DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY Be prepared to pack out human waste, toilet paper, and hygiene products. All human waste must be carried out of narrow canyons in waste disposal bags. Carry out all trash, including wrappers, apple cores, fruit peels, nut shells, and toilet paper. Dispose of all waste in a proper trash can or dumpster. Recycle when possible. Do not leave fixed ropes in canyons and pack out any abandoned ropes that you find including old and damaged materials. LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND Protect the canyon walls, trees, and rocks from graffiti and vandalism. Do not build or destroy rock cairns that are used to mark trails and routes. If placed incorrectly, they can mislead others, cause unnecessary damage, and lead to potential injuries. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them. AVOID BOLTING Bolts should only be placed as a last resort. Only use a bolt if there are no other safe options for creating an anchor. Power drill use is prohibited. If bolts are used, they should be placed so that they will last for many years and will avoid scarring on the rock caused by rope pulls. Use subdued colors for hangers and slings. Zion National Park’s 2,000-foot sandstone cliffs are world renowned for their big wall climbs. Due to their difficulty, most routes in the park are not recommended for inexperienced climbers and require significant preparation. Permits are not required for day climbs, but they are required for all overnight use. It is illegal to camp at the base of the wall or in your vehicle. Detailed route descriptions are available at wilderness desks. NPS Image Left Fork (The Subway) Many of the park’s routes are now going clean. Avoid using pitons and hammers where they are not needed. Excess bolting is discouraged and the use of power drills to place bolts is prohibited. When approaching a climb, please use established trails. Avoid climbing directly above trails where hikers may be hit by dislodged rocks. Tube or bag human waste and carry it out. Do not drop your waste. There are two ways to explore Left Fork (The Subway). Both trips involve extensive route finding. Visitors are encouraged to travel with an experienced hiker or obtain a detailed route description. Permits are always required regardless of the direction of travel. The Left Fork of North Creek is a day-use area only. Camping is not permitted. FROM THE BOTTOM AND BACK This strenuous 9-mile round-trip hike requires route finding, stream crossing, and scrambling over boulders. This route begins and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead on the Kolob Terrace Road. FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM This strenuous 9.5-mile route requires rappelling skills, 60 feet of rope, rappelling gear, harness, a helmet, and extensive route finding experience. The route also requires swimming through several deep pools of very cold debris-filled water. The route begins at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead. Both trailheads are located on the Kolob Terrace Road. NPS Image/Abi Farish Canyoneering Safety ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B There is no substitute for planning ahead, taking the proper equipment, having the right skills, and using sound judgment. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your group by resolving any difficulties that may arise. Rescue is not a certainty. If rescue is possible, it will take hours or days to remove an injured hiker from the wilderness. LOWER ECHO CANYON September 6, 2016, two males attempted to descend Middle Echo Canyon, but did not look at their route description until they descended into Lower Echo Canyon. They continued through the canyon, even though the features did not meet the route description. By the time they looked at their route description, they were already too committed to exit Lower Echo Canyon. Eventually, they emerged at the top of Weeping Rock, a drop more than 10 times higher than the largest rappel in Middle Echo (this rappel is not permitted). Luckily, they were able to call down for help. These canyoneers spent the night at the top of Weeping Rock where they were rescued the next day, after being stranded for approximately 15 hours. Even heavily traveled canyons in the park are routes, not maintained trails. Do you have a map and a route description? Are you confident in your ability to use them? When you enter a canyon and pull your rope after your first rappel, you are committed. You must complete the entire canyon whether you intended to or not. Make sure you are prepared for the canyon you are descending. THE NARROWS On the morning of September 27, 2014, two men hiked into the lower end of The Narrows. There was a 90% chance of rain that day, and the flash flood potential rating indicated that flash flooding was expected. Heavy rain began mid-morning and lasted through most of the day. The volume of the river increased to 40 times its early morning flow. The men were trapped on separate sand bars 200 feet apart. One of the men somehow survived a swim to the end of the Riverside Walk. The other man was killed by the flood. Always check the weather before your trip. If bad weather threatens, do not enter a canyon. If you observe any signs of a possible flood, climb to high ground and remain there until water levels drop. NPS Image ENGLESTEAD CANYON September 3, 2017, a male was descending Englestead Canyon with a group. The first rappel in this canyon is approximately 300 feet. On this rappel, he lost control approximately 70 feet off the ground and fell to the canyon floor where he was fatally injured. This individual was descending on a single strand of rope, using a new 8.3 mm rope. He was descending on an ATC device without a belay or a backup. He was reported to be an experienced canyoneer. Understand your system, forces, and the variables that will change your descent. Are you taking shortcuts? Will your descent system stop you if you are unable to stop yourself? Are you positive you possess and are employing the skill to safely complete the canyon you are attempting? Know how to tie a hands free backup. Make safety your number one priority. Wilderness Use Limits Do you have a backup for all party members? Can all members of your group stop mid-rappel or ascend a short distance to correct a problem? If not, consider taking a canyoneering course before heading out on your own. REFRIGERATOR CANYON On September 20, 2014, a group of eight people, including a thirteenyear-old boy, attempted the Refrigerator Canyon route. The boy attempted to rest by tying off his rappel device when he was about 40 feet off of the ground. He lost control while completing the tie off and fell 20 to 40 feet. A prussic caught him before he impacted the ground, but he still suffered back and chest injuries. The boy’s prussic backup prevented more serious injuries. Do you have a backup for all party members? Can all members of your group stop mid-rappel or ascend a short distance to correct a problem? If not, consider taking a canyoneering course before heading out on your own. PINE CREEK CANYON On November 15, 2014, a group of three was rappelling through Pine Creek Canyon. A member of the party jumped off an obstacle about five feet high into a pool of water. He believed that the pool was deep enough to cushion his fall, but landed on a hidden ledge. The 36-yearold man suffered from a significant lower leg injury. The patient was less than half a mile from a road, but the technical rope rescue necessary to extract him from the canyon required six hours and 14 rescuers. Lower leg fractures are the most common injuries suffered in the wilderness. The most common cause of lower leg injuries is jumping. Do not jump. Bring a rope and use it. Zion National Park’s wilderness is managed using standards that were developed to measure the health of natural resources and to determine the number of encounters people considered desirable and acceptable while experiencing wilderness. These two standards were combined with existing management zones to create overall use limits and group size limits. The use limits are evaluated each year, and may change as conditions warrant. Area Total Use Limit Advance Reservations Last Minute Drawing Behunin Canyon* Echo Canyon* Keyhole Canyon Left Fork (The Subway) Mystery Canyon Orderville Canyon* Pine Creek Canyon* Spry Canyon The Narrows 12 people per day 12 people per day 80 people per day 80 people per day 12 people per day 50 people per day 50 people per day 20 people per day 40 people per day 6 people per day 6 people per day 60 people per day 60 people per day 6 people per day 30 people per day 30 people per day 14 people per day 24 people per day 6 people per day 6 people per day 20 people per day 20 people per day 6 people per day 20 people per day 20 people per day 6 people per day 16 people per day Group Size Limit 6 6 12 12 6 12 12 6 12 *Total use limits are reduced from March through August for wildlife protection. Wilderness Guide 3 Zion Wilderness Map NO CAMPFIRES FOOD STORAGE All food and trash must be stored inside a secure hard sided container or interlocking wire mesh bag. For the welfare of park wildlife, your safety, and the safekeeping of your equipment, you should make your food items as unobtainable as possible. Your actions can put other people at risk of food pilfering, since animals regularly revisit areas where they easily obtained food. At worst, your behavior may lead directly to the death of a wild animal. These guidelines are meant to protect park wildlife, people, and equipment. Protect the park from all graffiti and vandalism. All graffiti, including words, drawings, and arrows, no matter how small or superficially drawn, carved, scratched, or painted, is vandalism. Do not build rock cairns. If placed incorrectly, they can mislead visitors, cause unnecessary damage, and lead to potential injuries. Help protect Zion by not leaving your mark. Make memories, take photos, and leave no trace. To Cedar City, Cedar Breaks NM, and Salt Lake City 1 Cr CA N YONS 1.8 mi 8 2 Tim b kin Cr 7 e ek 13 6 A (horse camp) ey Vehicles longer than 19 feet/5.8 meters are not allowed on Lava Point Road. Unpaved roads are impassable when wet. B i Tra l La Po va in t R West Rim Trailhead d Lava 0.1 mi Point P on Trail IL DC CA AT NY O W i N W Ko Ca n y E 11 12 UR Big Spring E No upstream travel beyond Big Spring TEA RRO THE NA PLA Potato Hollow Spring U 6 2.4 mi 5 4 2 YON F o rk 1.5 mi 0.4 mi Angels Landing CAN 3.0 mi 2.5 mi 0.3 mi AREA CLOSED 0.3 mi Cable Mountain Stave Spring The Grotto 1.8 mi ON ZI r th 5 1.9 mi 4 6 Group Size (max.) 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 12 ve r ar t C i gh w a y me l H Zion Canyon Visitor Center Water Sources Coalpits Wash Spring usually flows year round. r as W 9 Ch i n l e 2.1 mi Grafton Tra 3.2 mi Rockville (ghost town) G ra Riv er Coalpits Wash ft o n Roa d Bridge Road rk Vi rg in Ea Fo r st k V R i v er i r g in PA R U UN WE AP Area closed to all access. East Rim Trail from Weeping Rock through Echo Canyon is CLOSED indefinitely. Chinle Trailhead turn on Anasazi Way Unpaved roads are impassable when wet. May be closed in winter. CANYON East Rim At-large camping along the East Rim is limited. The maximum group size is 12. Stave Spring is typically dry by early summer, and is not a reliable water source. a kw y S 0 1 g in H ub Ri e 1.7 mi North 0 n ou To Mt. Carmel Junction and Bryce Canyon NP South Springdale 1.5 mi il Site Number -M 9 East Entrance Trailhead Watchman 9 Southwest Desert 59 South Entrance h n on 5.9 mi Tunnel s rgi F 3.5 mi C o a lp i t Vi rt h Tunnel Wa sh 1 og 3 Sc Wash s Virgin Zi Zion Human History Museum 2 1.4 mi N o r th F o ad No Ro ce ra Te r b lo il ad Ko No Tr a Ro erkin m RIM Private vehicles are not permitted beyond Canyon Junction when shuttles are running. DESERT Coalpits Spring Ri EAST 3.2 mi To La Verkin and Kolob Canyons st 1.1 mi Deertrap Mountain Vehicles pulling trailers not recommended. Narrow winding road with steep grades. The upper section is not plowed in winter. Ea Zion Lodge ek SOUTHWEST Private property of Zion Ponderosa Ranch k re Unpaved roads are impassable when wet. Closed in winter. or C oquerville Temple of Sinawava Trail 4.4 mi ON East Mesa Trail West Rim (Cabin) Spring West R 1 CANY No upstream travel 1/4mi beyond junction im 3 ORDERVILLE WS rk 9 10 ST l 8 3.0 mi Grapevine Trailhead Right Right Fork Trailhead Trailhead and trail are on private property. Please close gates. 7 8 PA i Tra eak s te P l Trai 5.9 mi ft Le Left Fork Trailhead permit parking only Unpaved roads are impassable when wet. R i v er 4-6 RIM 7 Fo Vi r g i n For k N o r th 1 2 3 WEST RS R im West hga 1.1 mi LEY 7 1.0 mi VA L B 4.1 mi LEE 12 Wildcat Canyon Trailhead Y camp) il Tra c at ld 4.8 mi LLE A (horse C o n ne ct o r VA 4 4 6 7 4 4 2 12 12 2 4 8 4 Hop Valley Trailhead lo b Sawmill Springs N or t Timber Creek typically is dry by early spring after snow-melt. La Verkin Creek flows year round, the water is muddy during spring snow-melt and after rain events. Beatty Spring, located between campsites 10 and 11 where the trail crosses the creek, typically flows year round. Due to a private cattle ranch within the park, water may be contaminated and should not be obtained from Hop Valley. C AV E 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Water Sources Ko HO lob Terrace Ro ad k ee Cr Y Group Size (max.) Beyond this point, road not plowed in winter. 0.8 mi ee k LLE n 9 Wildcat Spring Cr VA ki Chamberlain’s Ranch Trailhead Lava Point Overlook HO Site Number r Ve La Sawmill Spring can be dry by early to mid summer. Potato Hollow Spring can be dry by mid to late summer. These are not reliable water sources. Kolob Reservoir 6.5 mi Kolob Canyons Water Sources Untreated water from the 1 4 Virgin River is not safe to drink. Boil all water you 2 4 collect, or treat with a 3 6 combination of filtration 4 2 and disinfection. Do not 5 6 collect water above the 6 12 confluence with Deep 7 6 Creek. Big Spring is a 8 6 reliable source for obtaining 9 6 water. 10 6 11 4 12 12 Multi-night trips are not permitted. Overnight backpackers must start from Chamberlin’s Ranch. 12 11 ll Va La Ver Group Size (max.) Hop 3 C re e k Site Number West Rim (Cabin) Spring typically has a small flow year-round. Beatty Spring 9 10 6.4 mi 4 5 er W i l li s Kolob 0.3 mi Arch 0.6 mi eek To La Verkin, Springdale and Zion Canyon Visitor Center k Trail e La V r kin C ree Timber Creek Overlook Trail 12 2 4 12 4 6 4 6 6 S ou t h F o rk Lee Pass Trailhead KOLOB Kolob Canyons Viewpoint 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Water Sources Cre ek l Group Size (max.) Fo r k Wilderness trails have a group size limit of 12. These limits apply to all trips into the park’s wilderness, including trips that do not require a permit. Group size limits are strictly enforced. Groups that exceed these limits may not split up and visit the same route, or wilderness trail on the same day, but may split up and visit different areas. The Narrows Site Number Taylo r Cre ek T Midd ra il le F o rk C a n y o ns ad Ko ob Ro Exit 40 No r th Creek Pack out all solid human waste, toilet paper, diapers, and personal hygiene products. An environmentally friendly human waste disposal bag, complete with use and disposal instructions, is available for sale in the Zion Forever Park Store and at local outfitters. The contents of the disposal bag may then be deposited in the trash. Use of this waste disposal system is required for all Wilderness permit holders. West Rim Wildcat Canyon ek At-large camping around Wildcat Canyon is limited. The maximum group size is 12. Wildcat Spring typically has a small flow year-round. Kolob Canyons Visitor Center Taylor C re GROUP SIZE ep C am p HUMAN WASTE De Campfires are prohibited in the Zion Wilderness. Fuel stoves and lanterns may be used for camping purposes, but should only be lit on bare ground away from all vegetation. In the interest of protection of environmental and scenic values, protection of natural resources, and public safety, these restrictions on fires are necessary. Please do all you can to protect the park from human caused wildfires. LEAVE NO TRACE 2 3 1 4 2 Shuttle Information Springdale shuttle route Zion Canyon shuttle route 5 Kilometers 3 4 5 Miles Visitor Information ZION CANYON SHUTTLE The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles during most of the year. The Zion Canyon shuttle provides access to the trailheads for the Emerald Pools, the West Rim, and the Narrows. o n i a n B u t te S c e n i c B a c This map is for planning purposes only. Do not use this map for wilderness travel. Topographic maps are available for sale. Paved road open to private vehicles 2.5 mi Trail mileage Unpaved road (impassable when wet) 12 Hiking and stock trail During most of the year the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is only open to shuttle buses. Private vehicles are not permitted beyond Canyon Junction. m ith s Hiking trail only Hiking route PRIVATE VEHICLES Camping only permitted in designated Wilderness campsite (Permit required) Camping only permitted in designated At-large camping area (Permit required) Park campground (Available by online reservation) www.recreation.gov The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, Kolob Terrace Road, and Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive are open to private vehicles. Park roads are used by vehicles, bicycles, and wildlife. Obey posted speed limits. Park only in designated spaces to protect fragile vegetation. BICYCLES Water Sources The desert can be an extreme and unforgiving environment. Carry enough water, one gallon per person per day, and drink it. Never drink untreated water. Contact the Wilderness Staff at: email@example.com, for current spring flow information. Plan ahead and prepare, your safety is your responsibility. RIVERS, CREEKS, AND WASHES There are many perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral streams throughout Zion. Water obtained from these rivers, creeks, and washes should always be properly treated. Bicycles are not permitted in the Zion Wilderness. Bicycling is permitted on all park roadways and on the Pa’rus Trail. Bicyclists must ride single file and stop to let shuttle buses pass. SPRINGS AND SEEPS A spring is a place where water naturally flows out of the ground. Water flow magnitude at natural springs can vary throughout the park and may not always be reliable. Never drink untreated spring water. Springs should be used as a secondary water source, not as a primary source. Overnight camping is not permitted within a ¼ mile of any spring. HIKER SHUTTLE SERVICES Commercial shuttle services can be hired to provide point-to-point pickup and drop-off at designated parking areas within the park. All services must have a current Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) with Zion National Park. Search online for current authorized services. OTHER VEHICLES Any use of any off-highway vehicle (OHV), all-terrain vehicle (ATV), utility vehicles (UTV) or other motorized conveyance manufactured for recreational non-highway, off-road, or all-terrain travel is prohibited within Zion National Park. Wilderness Guide 4-5 Backpacking Zion National Park has a number of trails in a variety of landscapes for backpackers to explore. Backpackers in the Zion Wilderness can camp in designated campsites on Zion’s high plateaus, in the low desert shrublands, or next to a river in a narrow canyon. WILDERNESS PERMITS Permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips within the park. Permits are valid only for the campsites and dates shown; and must be carried with you and shown upon request. TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES In designated camping sites, (e.g., Kolob Canyons, West Rim, The Narrows, and Southwest Desert) camp only within the previously established site. In at-large camping areas, (e.g., Wildcat Canyon and East Rim) campsites should be 200 feet from all streams and trails, ¼ mile from natural springs, and out of sight of all trails. Camping in previously used areas or on bare ground is encouraged. Travel on well-established trails. If you must leave the trail, avoid stepping on biological soil crusts. It can take decades to regrow and can be destroyed by a single step. LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them. Protect the park from graffiti and vandalism. Do not build or destroy rock cairns that are used to mark trails and routes. If placed incorrectly, they can mislead visitors, cause unnecessary damage, and lead to potential injuries. Do not build structures including benches, tables, or shelters. Leave the park in a natural state for others to enjoy. DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY Be prepared to pack out human waste, toilet paper, and hygiene products. Backpackers must carry a minimum of one human waste disposal bag per person while in the wilderness. Pack it in, pack it out. Carry out all trash, including food wrappers, apple cores, fruit peels, nut shells, and toilet paper. Dispose of all waste in a proper trash can or dumpster. Recycle the rest. NO CAMPFIRES Extremely dry conditions exist and campfires are prohibited. Please do all you can to help us protect the Wilderness from human caused wildfires. PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE Traveling into the wilderness, even on short trips, can be challenging and risky and requires careful planning before you begin. Your safety depends on your own good judgement, adequate preparation, and constant observation. Take action to ensure that your group is self-reliant and aware of the risks involved with backpacking. It is a good idea to be prepared to spend an unexpected night in case of an emergency. Know that rescue is not a certainty. Your safety is your responsibility. Be aware of the weather and the flash flood potential rating. Continuously evaluate the weather and adjust plans to keep you and your group safe. Have a back-up plan. Have a route description, map, compass, and the ability to use them. Familiarize yourself with the water sources in Zion. Carry enough water, one gallon per person per day, and drink it. Do not drink untreated water. GROUP SIZE LIMITS The maximum group size for the Zion Wilderness is 12 people. A group is any number of people sharing the same affiliation, even if they have multiple permits. Group size limits are strictly enforced. Permits will be denied and violators will be cited if limits are exceeded. Backpacking Areas in Zion EAST RIM The trail heads up to the plateau from the East Entrance with views of sandstone cliffs all around. A hike through ponderosa forest eventually leads to the junction with Deertrap and Cable Mountain. The East Rim Trail from Weeping Rock through Echo Canyon is closed indefinitely. East Rim camping is only accessible from the eastside trailheads. WILDCAT CANYON AREA This trail starts from Wildcat Trailhead and goes past the Northgate Peaks Trail Junction offering views of the Northgate Peaks as it passes through the ponderosa pine forest. It opens into meadows before coming to the edge of Wildcat Canyon offering sweeping views down into the canyon. This area has no established campsites. At large camping is allowed near parts of the trail. A wilderness permit is required. 6 Wilderness Guide HOP VALLEY TRAIL The trail begins off the Kolob Terrace Road and wanders through the open fields with wide views of the surrounding rock formations. The valley floor of Hop Valley is breathtaking with its flat sandy bottom and vertical walls rising on both sides. It is common to see cows on this route since the trail passes through private inholdings. Please respect these property rights to help maintain access. WEST RIM TRAIL The trail starts at the West Rim trailhead near Lava Point and traverses across the high elevation rim with sweeping views into the Wildcat Canyon, Potato Hollow, and Phantom Valley. At Cabin Spring, more than 9 miles from Lava Point, hikers can either turn around and hike back, or drop down towards Zion Canyon. The hike down is a steep drop in elevation and descends 2,500 feet over 4.4 miles, ending at the Grotto Trailhead. LA VERKIN CREEK TRAIL The La Verkin Creek Trail allows hikers outstanding opportunities for solitude in a primitive area of Zion Wilderness. The trail begins at Lee Pass with stunning views of the Kolob Canyons as it crosses Timber Creek and continues to descend toward La Verkin Creek. A spur trail leads hikers to a viewpoint where they can see the Kolob Arch. SOUTHWEST DESERT The Chinle Trail travels through the low desert and connects to Coalpits Wash. The Chinle Trail crosses the flat terrain between pinyon pines and juniper trees, with spectacular views of the West Temple and Mount Kinesava. Coalpits Wash has no developed trail, but there is a well-worn path to the junction with Scoggins Wash. Wildflowers are great here during the spring. The dirt trails are very muddy when wet. The Southwest Desert has little shade and can be extremely hot in th