The Pa’rus trail is a scenic, paved trail that is great for bikes, strollers, wheelchairs, and is the only trail in Zion National Park that allows dogs and then only on a leash.
“Pa’rus” is a Piute word meaning “bubbling water”. The trail follows the Virgin River from Canyon Junction and Zion Visitor’s Center.
It is also a convenient spot for night sky photography.
The Pa’rus Trail goes between shuttle stops #1, #2, and #3. On the way up the canyon, the Zion shuttle stops at #1, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #9.
Canyon Junction Access
The most scenic view is from Canyon Junction #3 heading towards the Zion Visitor’s Center (#1).
The trail access there is just south of the shuttle stop.
The trail heads down under the road. It then follows the river crossing back and forth over it.
It is from the bridges you can get the iconic Zion view of The Watchman and the Virgin River.
The Watchman got its name from its position at the entrance of Zion, immediately east of Springdale. Here are more views of The Watchman along the Pa’rus Trail.
There are other views along the trail.
You are likely to see mule deer on the Pa’rus Trail, especially close to sunrise or sunset.
The wildflowers along the trail are beautiful!
Pa’Rus Trail Access
Stop #2, the Zion Human History Museum is across the road from the Virgin River and Pa’rus Trail. If you want to access the trail from the Museum you have to head down the path in the south corner of the lot. Across the stream you can see a paved service road. It looks like you it’s a dead end, but head to the left under the road. There is a path that goes about 100 feet to connect with the Pa’rus Trail. This access isn’t paved or wheelchair accessible, but it is fine for most. In the map below, the Pa’rus Trail is green and the access from the Zion Human History Museum is blue.
Visitor’s Center Access
The entrance to the Pa’rus trail is just north of the parking lot to the left of the Virgin River. This section isn’t quite as scenic as it winds through campground, but is still nice.
Here is a map of the whole 1.7 miles one way of the trail. Once again, the green is the Pa’Rus trail and the blue are the access points.
Stats: Distance – 1.7 miles one way (3.4 round trip)
Approximate hiking time – 1-2 hours
Elevation gain – 134 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – paved
Bathrooms – At Visitor’s Center and Zion Human History Museum (closed in 2023 for construction)
Seasons to hike – Year-Round
Permits needed – $35/vehicle Stats: Distance – 0.5 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 15-40 minutes
Elevation gain – 98 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – paved with a few stairs
Bathrooms – At trailhead
Seasons to hike – Year-Round (use micro-spikes in winter)
Permits needed – $35/vehicle for 7-day pass or National Parks Pass
Pets allowed – Yes