Fact checked

Are Dogs Allowed in Zion National Park?

Author
April Brightman
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at
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February 21, 2024
June 19, 2023
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5 minutes
Updated By
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Expert Reviewed By:
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June 19, 2023
August 29, 2023
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5 minutes
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Dogs are typically allowed into national parks but usually with restrictions in order to protect the local wildlife. Find out more about where your furry friend is allowed in Zion National Park.

The National Park System is quoted as “America’s best idea,” but are dogs allowed in places like Zion National Park? This gem of southwestern Utah draws nearly five million visitors every year, and those are just the ones visiting on two legs. So can your dog explore the magic of Zion with you? We’ve got the rules for how and where dogs are allowed in Zion National Park.

Are Dogs Allowed in Zion National Park?

Yes, dogs are allowed in Zion National Park, but with some restrictions. They are permitted only in certain areas of the park, such as campgrounds and developed areas. However, they must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed on most trails. It's important to plan accordingly and ensure your furry friend's safety and compliance with park regulations while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Zion.

Rules for Dogs in Zion National Park

When visiting national parks with dogs, remember to follow the rules of B.A.R.K. — Bag all dog poop, Always wear a leash, Respect wildlife, and Know where your dog can go.

The following rules apply specifically to all dogs visiting Zion National Park:

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times
  • Dogs must be prevented from harassing wildlife or destroying any plant life in the park
  • Dog owners are responsible for removing all waste 
  • Dogs are only allowed on designated trails within the park 

Are Service Dogs Allowed in Zion National Park?

Service animals in Zion National Park are allowed to accompany their handlers in all park locations including visitors centers and park shuttles, but they must meet the requirements of being a service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that service dogs in Zion National Park have to be individually trained to do work or perform tasks specifically related to a person’s disability.

Emotional support animals (ESAs) don’t qualify as service animals under the ADA since they don’t perform specific disability-related tasks for their handlers, but rather provide comfort or emotional support with their presence. This means ESAs are subject to the same rules as pets in Zion National Park.

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) are a certain type of service animal that support individuals with mental health or other psychiatric conditions. Some conditions that PSDs can support include autism, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychiatric service dogs may not support a physical disability, but they still perform essential tasks for their handlers and fully qualify as service animals.

Where are Dogs Allowed in Zion National Park?

The areas where dogs are allowed in Zion National Park include most developed areas and exclude all unpaved trails and backcountry areas. Dogs are allowed in campgrounds, parking lots, picnic areas, roads, and designated pet-friendly trails. They’re also allowed on the ground at Zion Lodge, but rules about leashing and waste removal still have to be followed.

The only trail in Zion National Park that allows dogs that aren’t service animals is the paved Pa’rus Trail beginning at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Many other trails in the park aren’t safe for dogs, or would otherwise be subject to disturbance of the natural environment by allowing dogs on them.

Are Dogs Allowed in Zion National Park Campgrounds?

Dogs are allowed in campgrounds in Zion National Park provided they continue to follow the general park rules. Unless your dog is a service dog, they’re not allowed in campground buildings like bathrooms or visitor centers. Dogs staying in Zion National Park campgrounds have to be leashed and under control at all times.

Why Bring a Dog to Zion National Park?

Bringing a dog to Zion National Park may be a bit of a challenge since there are limitations on where they’re able to go. Enjoying the beauty of Zion with your pup by your side is worth following the rules to bring them.

Take in the sights with your dog as you drive the winding roads of Zion’s Mount Carmel Highway. Stop for lunch and a little leash walking at either the Grotto Picnic Area or the Zion Canyon Picnic Area with your four-legged best friend.

Be sure to take advantage of the dog-friendly Pa’rus Trail, accessible for wheelchairs and bicycles as well as strolling past gorgeous vistas of rolling meadows and towering sandstone structures. Book a campsite at one of Zion’s three campgrounds for a night under some of the most beautiful starry-sky views in the Southwest. Your choices include the Watchman Campground, Lava Point Campground, or South Campground.

How to Get an ESA Letter

Getting an emotional support animal (ESA) letter for housing or travel is easy with Pettable’s concise approach. Our 94% approval rate means you’re more than likely to qualify for an ESA. Start by taking our 3-minute assessment and get matched with a health professional to book your consultation today. Pettable’s 100% satisfaction guarantee promises our ESA letter will meet your needs or your money back.

Meet the author:
April Brightman
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April Brightman is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for traveling and hiking with her rescue pup, Marley. She's written for pet-centered sites like Outward Hound, as well as outdoorsy adventure brands like BearVault, Hipcamp, and Explorer Chick.

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