Biking Zion National Park - Par 'us Trail zion National Park Canyoneering

The trail name, Pa'rus is from a Paiute word meaning "bubbling, tumbling water." Both Oak Creek and Pine Creek cross this relaxing path that winds along the Virgin River. For those that bring their pets and bikes on vacation, this is an ideal trail. It is the best path in the park for wheelchairs and wonderful for a nice family walk along the water with views of the Watchman, the Sentinel and the highest point in Zion's main section, the West Temple.  It is ideal for those who want to bike, push a stroller or use a wheelchair. One of the many Zion Canyon Shuttle pick-ups is at Canyon Junction but there is a limited amount of parking on both sides of the road. This is not an ideal place to unload bikes, but the parking area just outside the South Campground has a large spot that could be used for that purpose. Turn off the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway to the South Campground, but continue straight to the parking area instead of entering the camping area.  From here locate the sidewalk and walk past the amphitheater, taking the path to the left. The Pa'rus Trail is behind this path, toward the river.

Pa'rus Trail at a Glance Zion Biking:  Scott Nelson biking on the JEM Trail near Zion taken by Justin
Photo Album:
Pa'rus Trail pictures
Trail Map:
Pa'rus Trail Map
Backcountry Map - Overview Map
Day Hike:
Trail Distance: 3.4 miles round-trip. 1.7 miles one-way from the Watchman Campground to Canyon Junction where you can catch a shuttle ride.
Average Hiking Time: 2 hours round-trip.
Accessible Trail: Yes, this is a great trail for wheelchairs and strollers.
Bike Trail: Yes. This trail is a paved, car-free alternative for bicyclists. Zion National Park is among the most bike-friendly National Parks in the USA.
Pets: Unlike most areas in Zion, pets are allowed on this trail, but only if they are on a leash.
Difficulty: Easy and you can get off the trail at different spots to make it a shorter hike if desired.
Sun Exposure: The low elevation (4000') and full sun hitting the trail makes this a hot path to take on the mid-days of summer, but the trail is suitable for summer biking. Hikers can go down into the river to cool off or hike early or late in the day.
Permits: Not needed
Trail Conditions: This is a well maintained, wide sidewalk. There are several bridges along the path with old planks. If you are underneath the bridge, at the river, and bikes pass over the top, be aware there will be a lot of noise.
Trailhead: Canyon Junction - The spur where the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and the Zion Canyon Road intersect.
Trailend: This trail can end at the South Campground, the Watchman Campground or even the Zion Human History Museum.
Trail Access: The Pa'rus Trail is the first shuttle stop after the museum. This is a nice trail for parents to walk while kids are in the Junior Ranger Explorer program.
Best Season: Year-round as long as the trail is free from snow and ice.
Elevation Gain: 50'
Restrooms: Handicap accessible restrooms are at the Zion Human History Museum, but the narrow dirt path (off the main trail) over to the museum is not wide enough for a wheelchair.
Water availability: You can fill up water bottles at the Zion Human History Museum, South Campground or Watchman Campground. This hike is in full sun, do not go without plenty of water.

Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Pa'rus Trail - This is a very easy paved trail, that begins (or ends) at Canyon Junction and travels past the Zion Human History Museum. There is a narrow, sandy path that spurs off the main trail heading to the museum if you want to get off the path and hop on the shuttle or visit the museum. The trail continues behind the South Campground where the Zion Nature Center and Junior Ranger Explorer Program is located and then heads to the Watchman Campground.

Avid BikersBike the Pa'rus Trail, then head up Zion Canyon and add the 6 mile scenic road to your ride.  This will offer a long ride with an elevation gain of  only 450'.  You can park in Springdale and take the dirt path located on the north end of the parking lot by the south toll booth.  This .25 mile path will take you into the South Campground, then make your way down to the river to find the paved Pa'rus Trail.

Directions to Zion National Park

From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's

Zion National Park Maps
Zion Biking:  Justin Mc Farland on the JEM Trail near Zion taken by Scott

Zion Photo: Scott Nelson and Justin Mc Farland are avid bikers in the Zion National Park area and maintain an outdoor online community for bikers and outdoor enthusiast. Bikers in Zion often travel both the 6-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and the 12 mile incredible Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. This photo is on the nearby Jem Trail.


Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.


Trail Runners - The Pa'rus Trail makes a wonderful path for a short trail run early in the morning or late in the evening.  In the middle of the day it is lacking shade.

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