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On our January Zion trip we weren’t prepared for so much snow and ice on the east side of the park so we ended up doing most of the main canyon hikes, including the easy Pa’rus Trail from the visitor center.
We were running out of main canyon hikes after already having done the Sand Bench Trail and Lower Pine Creek Waterfall hike this trip but not wanting to do something hard, we decided to hike the Pa’rus Trail one afternoon.
This is one of those trails I was always like oh, that looks boring and too easy, why would I do that? which is silly, I know, but I got over it and we gave it a shot.
Travel Services I Recommend:
AllTrails – This is my favorite hike tracking app.
America the Beautiful – The national park pass is essential.
Booking.com – This is great for finding and booking hotels.
Get Your Guide – I recommend Get Your Guide for booking tours.
National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is great for finding and booking flights.
Enterprise – This is my rental car recommendation.
See all my resources here.
My goal for this trip was to do as many hikes as possible and, after all, the Pa’rus Trail does in fact count as a hike in Zion so off we went. We parked at the visitor center and hit the pavement. Literally because the Pa’rus Trail is paved.
It’s a really nice walk along the Virgin River. It’s really straightforward, connecting the visitor center to the main canyon junction where you need the shuttle to go beyond (most of the year.)
There are benches along the way to rest and a few spots where you can easily walk down to sandy patches along the river’s shore. I suppose you could call them beaches but they’re pretty small. They would be nice to stop at to cool off on a hot summer day.
This definitely isn’t the most popular trail in the park but it is still fairly busy since it’s so easy and leaves from the visitor center. It’s also popular for biking, so if you’re walking, keep an eye out for bikes and if you’re biking, watch out for walkers.
We took our time walking the trail, enjoying the surprisingly warm weather and sun. After making it to the end of the trail, which doesn’t really end, it just keeps going along the river, on the other side of the main canyon junction we turned around to head back.
The trail is fairly uneventful but it is beautiful, and that was in the winter without leaves on the trees. I would imagine with the trees all green in the summer it’s even better and with them glowing yellow in the fall is even better than that.
Overall, this easy paved trail pleasantly surprised me and I’m glad we took the time to do it. While it may not be the reason most people come to Zion, it’s a great choice if you want something easy to do with limited time.
It’s also a great choice if you hike the Watchman Trail, which leaves from the same spot, and want to hike more after that but don’t want another moderate-difficult hike. I ended up being a big fan of the Pa’rus Trail and would definitely recommend it if you have a spare two hours.
National Park Goodies
- If you’re planning to visit three or more national parks within a year from your trip, definitely get the America the Beautiful pass. It will save you money in the long run if you’re going to more than three parks in a year. Buy the pass here.
- If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking on your trip, or even at home, check out AllTrails! This is my favorite app to find, keep track of, and track my hiking activity. And it’s FREE! Sign up here.
- This Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is a must-have. You get two ebooks and a planner, saving 50% by getting them as a bundle! If you want all the details, this is the bundle for you. Buy the Ultimate bundle here.
- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a National Park journal for all of the NPS sites (400+!) to keep track of your travels!
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
Where is the Pa’rus Trail in Zion?
The Pa’rus Trail leaves from the Zion National Park visitor center. You can park there and just head out but if that parking is full, you can park in Springdale and catch the shuttle to the visitor center.
How long is the Pa’rus Trail?
The Pa’rus Trail in Zion is 3.4 miles round-trip but you can keep going on the path along the river if you want a longer, but still easy, walk. This is a great option if you want to bike in Zion.
Is the Pa’rus Trail hard?
Nope! While the trail is a couple of miles long, it’s a nice easy walk. It’s flat and paved the whole way so it’s perfect if you just want an easy hike in Zion. It’s really more of a casual walk.
Is the Pa’rus Trail in Zion worth it?
Yes! But if you just have one day in Zion, I would choose other things over the Pa’rus Trail, unless you did a tough hike and want a nice casual stroll after. You also get the famous Watchman view from here so it would be a great sunset stroll. It would also be particularly beautiful in the fall.
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Have you hiked Zion’s Pa’rus Trail? What did you think of it? What is your favorite hike in Zion?