(Photo of our furry friend Maddie with her human of @Perpetual Moves fame at a beautiful red rock scenic overlook.)
Planning a Utah National Park trip and wondering can I take my dog to Zion National Park?
Absolutely, dogs are welcome at Zion but as with most national parks, there are a lot of restrictions.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about bringing your pets, specifically dogs, to Zion National Park.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is considered the jewel in the crown of Utah National Parks, aka the Mighty 5.
With over 5 million visitors in 2021, Zion was ranked #10 most visited National Park in the United States.
Are dogs allowed at Zion National Park?
Leashed dogs are allowed at Zion National Park but they are restricted to only a few areas of the park.
Zion National Park Rules for Dogs and Pets
- All pets must be kept on a leash 6’ or shorter.
- Dogs are allowed on paved park roads, parking lots and scenic overlooks, picnic areas, and the paved Par’us trail.
- Dogs are not allowed on other Zion hiking trails or in any backcountry areas.
- Owners must clean up behind their pets. Bring poop baggies.
- Dogs are allowed in all Zion National Park campgrounds. They can be left unattended if it is safe to do so without disturbing others.
- For their safety, dogs should not be left unattended in hot temperatures, whether in a car or at the campground.
Where are dogs allowed in Zion National Park?
If you are visiting Zion with your dog, you can still go to a few places in the park. Don’t skip visiting Zion because you are traveling with Fido.
But know, you won’t be able to hike the infamous Angel’s Landing or the Narrows with a dog.
Instead, you’ll be taking scenic drives, enjoying the campground, exploring alongside the park roads or hiking outside the National Park boundaries.
Areas at Zion Where Dogs are Allowed
Dogs are allowed in a few specific areas at Zion National Parks. Violators may be fined so keep reading for exclusions and recommendations.
Dogs are allowed on paved roads inside Zion National Park.
This includes the main park road that leads up to the most popular park areas such as the Narrows and Angels Landing. Traffic is restricted and an extremely limited number of private vehicles are allowed per day.
Most visitors rely on the park shuttle to visit these highlights but dogs are not allowed on park shuttles.
If you and your dog are looking for a longer walk in Zion, then consider walking the Park Road. Most of the traffic on this road is shuttle buses so you can walk along the road or on the shoulder safely.
You cannot take your dog on most of the trails in Zion. But you can walk along the paved Park Road and check out the park sites including the pet-friendly grounds of Zion Lodge.
Dogs are allowed in campgrounds at Zion National Park.
Even if you aren’t camping there, it can be a nice place to stretch your legs and let your dogs exercise. Some of the campground roads are shaded which means a cooler walk on hot Zion days than the unshaded Pa’rus Trail.
Park at the Visitor Center and walk thru the campground to save precious parking spaces for campers.
Dogs are allowed at the picnic areas within Zion National Park so pack a lunch. Pups can join the family for a break from the car at the picnic areas.
Stroll around the parking lots, sidewalks or viewpoints but do not take dogs on any trails starting at the picnic areas.
The Pa’rus Trail is the only trail in Zion National Park that allows dogs and bicycles.
It can get quite busy so it’s best to only bring well-socialized and trained dogs on the Pa’rus Trail.
The Pa’rus trail runs 3.5 miles one-way from the Visitor Center to the start of the park road. It is a paved multi-use trail frequented by cyclists, day hikers and visitors traveling with kids and dogs.
Zion Lodge grounds
Leashed pets are allowed on the grounds of Zion Lodge. However, pets are not allowed to stay at the Zion Lodge.
Zion Lodge is located along the park road and is a shuttle bus stop. However, if traveling with pets you’ll only be able to access this area by walking several miles along the park road.
If you have an active dog, walking the park road to Zion Lodge is a great way to spend the day in Zion.
Areas in Zion Where Dogs are NOT allowed
If you take your dog to an off-limits area at Zion National Park, you may be fined so know the rules before you go.
Dogs are not allowed on hiking trails in Zion National Park with one exception. The paved Pa’rus Trail from the Zion Visitor Center allows dogs. It is the only trail that allows dogs in Zion.
Dogs are not allowed in any backcountry or wilderness areas in Zion National Park.
Shuttle buses are the recommended way to get around Zion National Park due to the small parking areas and astronomical numbers of visitors each year.
Sadly, dogs are not allowed on Zion shuttle buses even if in a pet carrier.
ADA-certified service animals are allowed on shuttle buses and in all areas of Zion National Park. This does not include support animals with any other certification such as emotional support animals, therapy dogs or canine assistants.
Dogs are not allowed in any public building at Zion National Park even when in pet carriers or bags.
Public buildings include all structures open to the public at the national park including but not limited to restrooms, bathhouses, visitor centers, educational centers and ranger stations.
Dog-Friendly Activities in Zion National Park
Despite dogs not being allowed in a lot of the park. There are some dog-friendly activities in Zion National Park.
Go for a Scenic Drive
A scenic drive is one of the top activities to do with dogs at Zion. Dogs are allowed on paved park roads including scenic viewpoints which means you can walk your pup at every stop along the scenic drive.
Plus dogs are welcome at picnic areas in Zion as well. So pack a lunch and make a day of it.
Check out Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Zion National Park: What You Shouldn’t Miss the First Time You Visit for scenic drive details.
Walk the Park Road to Zion Lodge
This recommendation is only for active pet parents with dogs who love the miles. Since you cannot enjoy the hiking trails at Zion with your dog, consider walking the park road to Zion Lodge in cooler weather.
The total walk to Zion Lodge from the visitor center and back will be 10+ miles but you can stop at every shuttle stop to enjoy the shade and the surrounding red rock views.
Plus, once you arrive the Zion Lodge grounds are pet friendly and offer grassy areas perfect for a picnic or an afternoon nap before heading back.
Walk the Pa’rus Trail
The Pa’rus trail is the only dog-friendly trail in Zion National Park. It is a 3.5-mile (one-way) wide paved trail that many park visitors start from the Visitor Center. You can walk as far as you want and then turn around.
During peak times, it can be crowded with kids running amok, bicycles zooming past and big families blocking the whole sidewalk while enjoying their walk. Do not expect a peaceful park trail and you won’t be disappointed.
I recommend taking dogs along the Pa’rus trail either early morning or evening to avoid peak crowds and hot temperatures.
Explore the campgrounds
Walking your dog around the campground at Zion is a great way to get some steps in even if you aren’t staying at the campground.
Park at the Visitor Center, grab a map and go for a relaxing stroll along the less frequented campground roads.
The campgrounds are nestled in the same beautiful red rock canyon that gives the park its name. Everywhere you look there will be amazing views.
Why Can’t I Take My Dog Hiking in Zion National Park?
You cannot hike with your dog in Zion National Park for their safety and to protect the park’s wildlife.
Wildlife startled by dogs in their native habitat may alter or change their natural patterns related to hunting, foraging or migrating.
The National Park Service’s mission is to protect and preserve these beautiful locations. Altered wildlife patterns from humans (and their pets) don’t exactly live up to the preserved part of the mission.
Even though they are our loving cuddly pets, dogs carry diseases and parasites that may inadvertently infect other animals. And the other way around, wildlife might infect your dog.
I am not sure it is completely effective since dogs can hike on nearby public lands but the National Park is doing the best it can to control its jurisdiction.
What Happens If I Take My Dog Somewhere He’s Not Allowed in Zion?
If you take your dog in prohibited areas in a Zion or any other National Park, you may get a citation.
Park volunteers and rangers are a constant presence in national parks. You’ll often spot them on hiking trails picking up trash and keeping an eye out for trouble.
Fines for violating no pet rules in Zion National Park start at $100 but vary depending upon the severity of the infraction.
The Best Dog Boarding Kennel or Dog Daycare Near Zion National Park
If you are visiting Zion National Park with your pet and want to hike inside the park, then you’ll need to find a dog-sitting or boarding option nearby.
The closest and highest-rated dog boarding to Zion was Doggy Dude Ranch Rockville UT. Unfortunately, the Doggy Dude Ranch at Zion permanently closed in 2022.
The best dog kennel options near Zion National Park, Zion Canyon Canine Recreation Center and On the Spot Stay & Play, are both located in Hurricane Utah.
Hurricane Utah is located 25 miles from the Zion National Park visitor center and can be driven in about 35 minutes.
Alternatively, several other dog boarding options are available in St George but are 47 miles away from Zion National Park and nearly an hour’s drive one way.
Zion Canyon Canine Recreation Center
Zion Canyon Canine Recreation Center and Spa is located in Hurricane Utah. They offer dog boarding, doggy daycare or day camp, grooming and training. It is a small facility so be sure to book early during busy times.
As of 2022, doggie day camp at Zion Canyon Canine runs from 7 am until 7 pm on weekdays for $30 per day with half-day sessions available. Saturday and Sunday have limited drop-off and pick-up hours with higher day camp prices starting at $50/day.
Additionally, overnight boarding at Zion Canyon Canine is available. Rates include three 15-minute walks per day and start at $45 per day.
Zion Canyon Canine Recreation Center
90 E State St, Hurricane, UT 84737
On the Spot Stay & Play
On the Spot Stay and Play in Hurricane Utah also offers dog boarding, grooming and doggy daycare or day camp.
On the Spot Stay and Play offers the lowest cost dog boarding and daycare near Zion National Park.
They do not require a scheduled drop-off or pick-up time. Daycare rates are hourly. So you only pay for the hours you need doggie daycare rather than a full-day or half-day rate.
Their business hours are slightly more limited but still pretty good. On the Spot Stay and Play business hours are 8 am to 6 pm Monday thru Friday and 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday.
Overnight boarding at On the Spot Stay and Play is $40 per dog.
On the Spot Stay and Play charges $6 per hour of doggie daycare or day camp. For multiple days of doggie daycare at On the Spot, consider their 50 hours pre-paid package for $200 which drops the rate to $4 per hour.
On The Spot Play and Stay
1545 W State St, Hurricane, UT 84737
Where to Stay with a Dog near Zion
Alright, so you want to go to Zion with your dog but you are wondering where to stay.
Where to Stay Inside Zion National Park with a Dog
First, dogs are NOT allowed to stay at Zion Lodge inside the National Park.
Dogs are allowed at all campgrounds inside Zion National Park including Watchman, Lava Point and South Campground.
Watchman is the only of the three NPS campgrounds located inside the most visited canyon area of Zion. Reservations at Watchman Campground in Zion open on a six-month rolling window (i.e. May reservations are available to book in November) and book quickly.
Where to Stay Outside Zion National Park with a Dog
If you want to stay near Zion National Park with a dog, there are lodging options for every budget.
Camping with a dog near Zion National Park
You’ll need to provide your own tent, campervan or RV.
Keep in mind your dog will be really upset if you try to leave them in a tent or at your campsite unattended while you explore the park.
A campervan or RV allows you to take the pup along for the ride in comfort while exploring the park.
Escape Campervans welcomes pets from October until June which is a great option if you are dreaming of van life.
Pet-Friendly Glamping near Zion National Park
Glamping is luxury camping in a permanent structure. It is less budget friendly and can be downright luxurious.
Zion Wildflower Glamping Resort is rated 9.2 out of 10 with over 1,100 reviews. It is located in Virgin Utah.
Top accolades for Zion Wildflower include proximity to Zion National Park, great social areas and small thoughtful touches like welcome s’mores kits and loaner games for guests.
Two bathrooms and showers are shared between 6 glamping tents and 6 wagons. Zion Wildflower is open round. The tents are not air-conditioned. Additional pet charges might apply.
Under Canvas Zion offers Instagram worthy pet-friendly glamping tents near Zion National Park.
It was recognized in ‘Top 20 Resorts in the US – Pacific Northwest & West’ by Condé Nast Traveler.
The private location of Under Canvas provides dark night skies and great star gazing. They even have purpose-built star-gazing tents. Evening activities include live music, campfire s’mores and more.
Tents are not air-conditioned. Pets are welcome but cost an additional $25 per night/per pet.
The most abundant dog and pet-friendly places to stay are private vacation rentals but they book quickly.
We recommend Watchman Villas as our #1 pet-friendly vacation rental option near Zion.
Watchman Villas are condos with several rental units which makes finding availability easier. They are located within walking distance of the park entrance.
Pet-Friendly Hotels near Zion National Park
If you prefer a traditional hotel experience, don’t worry there are multiple hotel chains that allow dogs near Zion National Park. We recommend focusing on Springdale locations since they are within walking distance of the park entrance.
Hampton Inn Springdale is rated 9.1 out of 10 with over 1,500 reviews. The location near Zion National Park is rated 9.7 on average.
Rooms include a 42″ TV, refrigerator, microwave and free wi-fi.
Amenities include free breakfast, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, a market, a gift shop and a business center. Pets are allowed with prior approval.
The Springdale Holiday Inn Express is rated 9.0 out of 10. The location near Zion National Park is rated 9.6 on average.
Rooms include a work desk, refrigerator, microwave and free wi-fi.
Amenities include a very good breakfast buffet, outdoor pool, hot tub, outdoor sun terrace, a small market, and on-site laundry facilities.
Pets are allowed with prior approval. Additional charges may apply.
Best Dog-Friendly Hikes Near Zion
Even though Zion National Park only allows pets on the Pa’rus trail and isn’t very dog friendly, the surrounding area of southern Utah doesn’t follow suit.
There are numerous dog-friendly hikes near Zion including Snow Canyon State Park, Pink Sand Dunes State Park and the Dixie National Forest.
We love the free AllTrails app to find nearby hiking and biking trails.
The Red Canyon of Dixie National Forest is especially appealing because it is located on highway 12 between Zion and Bryce. Red Canyon has an updated modern visitor center, campground and several hiking trail options en route to Bryce.
Plus, Red Canyon has the same picturesque red hoodoos as Bryce with one major difference dogs are welcome on the National Forest trails at Red Canyon.
Additionally, if you are combining a road trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, be sure to add the nearby Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
Escalante is very dog-friendly and pets are allowed on all trails within the National Monument and surrounding BLM land.
Tips for Traveling Zion National Park with a Dog
Here are a few basic tips for traveling in Zion National Park with a dog.
Never Leave a dog in the car
The temperatures in Utah can get deathly hot in a car even when the outside temperature is mild. Do not ever leave an unattended dog in a car.
Walk during Offpeak Hours
Daytime temperatures in southern Utah often reach heat advisory levels from late spring to early autumn. Dogs can struggle to cool themselves in extremely hot temperatures.
Plus, pavement temperatures heat up faster than most people realize. The surface can exceed two times as hot as the air temperature when heated up by the sun. The pads on dogs’ feet can easily burn on hot pavement.
It’s best to walk dogs in offpeak hours to avoid scalding hot pavement and sweltering daytime heat.
Bring Extra Water
Always travel with extra water for yourself and your pets in Utah.
It is extremely dry and dehydration is a serious medical concern in the area. Don’t forget a collapsible bowl for your dog to drink from.
What to Pack for Zion National Park with a Dog
Your dog probably doesn’t pack their own gear, so I’ll help a little more with the dog essentials packing list for Zion.
To prevent damage to your pup’s feet, you may want to try doggy boots.
If your dogs loathe footwear as much as most dogs, a protective dog foot wax, like Musher’s Secret, might be an easier option.
Food Storage Container
Keep your pet’s food in a protective storage container to ensure pests don’t get into the kibble. Ziploc bags work but we prefer a hard-sided pet food storage container to reduce single-use plastics.
Leash 6ft or less
All National Parks, including Zion, require pets to be controlled on a 6-foot leash or shorter.
FAQs: Travel with Dogs at Zion
Just in case we haven’t answered all of your questions about bringing your dog to Zion, here is a list of common or frequently asked questions.
Are service dogs allowed at Zion National Park?
Service dogs are allowed to accompany their owners at US National Parks.
All areas of national parks including the Zion National Park shuttle, hiking trail and park buildings are open to ADA-recognized service animals.
This exception only extends to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) recognized pets. It does not apply to emotional support, therapy or comfort animals.
What If I Bring My Service Dog to Zion?
If your dog is an ADA-certified service dog, then you will have no problems if you bring them anywhere in Zion National Park.
If your dog is not ADA-certified, it will be subject to the rules and restrictions for pets.
Are dogs allowed in Zion and Bryce?
Dogs are not allowed in many parts of Zion and Bryce including hiking trails, park buildings and backcountry areas.
Are dogs allowed in national parks in Utah?
Dogs are allowed in National Parks in Utah but only in certain areas. Dogs are not allowed on most hiking trails in the National Parks in Utah.
Are dogs allowed at Angels Landing?
No, dogs are not allowed at Angels Landing in Zion National Park.
Can you hike the Narrows with a dog?
No, you cannot hike the Narrows with a dog in Zion National Park.
Summary: Can I take my dog to Zion?
In summary, you can take your dog to Zion but dogs are not welcome on most of the parks’ trails or backcountry.
There are great adventures for dogs near Zion and excellent doggie daycares in the area. We hope our guide helps you and the pup have a great time in Utah.