Pa'rus River Trail
This wonderfully peaceful and exquisitely beautiful trail leads along the Virgin River from the campground beside the visitors centre all the way to Canyon Junction. As it stays relatively flat, this route is great for the whole family.
Enter Zion National Park from the town of Springdale. If possible, park near the visitors centre just past the park gates. If that lot is full, park in the town of Springdale and get the free shuttle bus to the visitors centre.
|When to do|
Spring and Fall, avoid summer heat
At Visitors Centre, museum and Canyon Junction
You can either start this hike at the visitors centre and head into the canyon, or go from the canyon out towards the visitors centre. We prefer doing this flat hike at the end of a day exploring the canyon, so this page will describe the route leading from Canyon Junction back to your car.
As your taking the bus out of the canyon, get off at Canyon Junction and find the wide paved trail on your right hand side, accompanied by large signs. Initially the path will dip slightly down to the river then go under the vehicle bridge.
After roughly five minutes, you will feel completely separated from the road, and the sounds of cars and tour buses will fade into the distance. Only the gurgle of the Virgin River will fill your ears, and the scenery above you will envelop your eyes. Up to your left you can see Bridge Mountain, and on your right the Beehive. This section of the trail from Canyon Junction to the museum is our favourite, as it feels the most remote from the bustling road.
Along the path there are many places to divert and head down to the riverbank. Many people swim in the cold, snowmelt-fed river on hot days. As you near the end of the trail you will get a fantastic view of the Court of the Patriarchs and the West Temple on your right hand side. From the very bottom of the canyon — after all you are walking beside the river that is, to this day, carving deeper and deeper — you get a true sense for the magnitude and grandeur of the park.
Watch out for speedy bicycles on the trail!
We prefer, at the end of a day, starting at Canyon Junction and heading back towards your car at the visitors centre. If you choose to do the trail first thing in the morning, you are effectively wasting prime ‘early morning hours’ which could be spent doing some of the popular hikes in the area.
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