Ranger Programs (ZION)

From April to November park rangers administer a series of walks, talks, and interpretive programs. These activities explore the lives of resident plants and animals or discuss the difficulty of life in the desert. Walks range from a leisurely ramble along Riverside Walk to a strenuous hike up the Narrows. Evening discussions are held regularly at Watchman Campground’s Amphitheater and Zion Lodge’s Auditorium A list of discussion topics is usually displayed on bulletin boards at the visitor centers, museum, and campgrounds. Many tours accept reservations up to three days in advance. To make a reservation, stop in at Zion Canyon Visitor Center. If you have the time and the opportunity to join a ranger guided tour, don’t think twice, just go.

Bighorn sheep

Zion sits at the convergence of three geographic regions: the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert. Geologic variance coupled with more than 4,000 feet of elevation change makes for an environment filled with incredible biodiversity. Zion is home to more than 78 species of mammals, 290 species of birds, 44 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 8 species of fish. Most notable are bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, peregrine falcons, and Mexican spotted owls. The park also supports more than 900 species of plants, ranging from cacti and desert succulents to riparian trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.

Pets are allowed in the park but are not permitted on the shuttle, in the backcountry, on trails, or in public buildings. These restrictions make travelling with a pet challenging. Pets are allowed in developed campgrounds, along park roads, in parking areas, and on Pa’rus Trail near Zion Canyon Visitor Center, but must be kept on a leash no more than six feet in length at all times. Doggy Dude Ranch (435.772.3105) is a nearby kennel where you can keep your pet while exploring the park.

Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion Human History Museum, and Kolob Canyons Visitor Center are fully accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. All shuttle buses are accessible and equipped with a wheelchair lift. Zion Lodge has two accessible rooms, and there are a total of five accessible campsites at Watchman and South Campgrounds. Riverside Walk and Pa’rus Trail are paved and accessible to wheelchair users with assistance.

The weather is most comfortable between March and May, and September and November. These periods are marked by daytime highs in the low 60s to low 80s°F. Overnight temperatures drop into the 40s°F. Summer days are hot, with an average daily high of 100°F in July. It’s not unheard of for the mercury to reach 110°F on the hottest days of the year. No matter how hot it gets during the day, summer nights remain comfortable with temperatures usually below 70°F. Winters are generally mild, but visitors arriving between November and March should be prepared for snowy conditions. January is the coldest month of the year with an average daily high of 52°F and a daily low of 29°F. This region of the United States does not receive much precipitation, but short thunderstorms are common throughout the year.


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