All you need to know to walk the Pa’rus Trail, one of the easiest hiking paths is Zion offering stunning views of Zion Canyon.
The Pa’rus Trail is one of the easiest hiking paths in Zion, yet a surprisingly scenic one.
Unlike other trails in the park, this one is flat, wide and paved and while this might make it sound less than exciting that others and indeed won’t get your adrenaling rushing, it is a trail that shows some of the most amazing views of Zion you can ask for!
If you have kids with you, you cannot or do not want to go on a strenuous hike in Zion, this path is simply perfect.
Without any strain, it will give you the chance to take in the scenery of Zion Canyon and allow you to visit the Zion museum, which is pleasant and very interesting.
We walked it with the kids and this was on of our favorite family hikes in Zion. This is all you need to know about it.
Pa’rus Trail info
|Starting point||Visitor Center / Zion Canyon Shuttle Stop|
|Length/ Duration||3.5mi (5.6Km) / 2h|
|Difficulty||Easy, this is a paved trail|
|Wheelchair accessible||Yes but may need assistance|
|Suitable for kids||Yes, the path is kif-friendly|
|Pet Friendly||Yes, it is the only Zion path open to dogs|
|Bikes allowed||Yes, be careful as walkers and bikers share the path|
What the Pa’Rus trail in Zion is like
The Pa’rus trail starts near the Visitor’s center and main parking space in Zion and follows the Virgin river along the lower park of Zion Canyon.
At the start, the trails bring you through the South campground and then it keeps going along the Velley floor, leaving campers and building behind.
As soon as you pass the last tents, the scenery opens up and will leave speechless: the stunning and expansive view of the Zion Canyon is right in front of you, with Zion’s fabulous red peaks framing a yellow and green valley floor, as pretty and colorful as a painting!
Walking on the trail towards the mountains in the distance, you soon see to your left the Museum of Muman History, which I highly recommend you go see.
Here you can see an orientation film, learn about the park though exhibits and you have the chance to listen to a ranger talk.
Talks are scheduled at regular intervals during the day and they cover different topics that span from the history of the park to animals you may see.
We participated in one that talks about mountain lions and it was informative and very enjoyable for the us and the kids.
Top tips if visiting with kids: the ranger talks are one of the activities you need to do to get your junior ranger program. The program is super fun for kids and I highly recommend you participate or at least take the booklet available at the visitors center. It is packed with activities ideas for kids, many of which you can fo while walking the Pa’rus Trail!
The Human History museum is also a handy stop for facilities since it has restrooms, a bookstore and a water filling station.
The path finishes at Canyon Junction and from here you can take the shuttle and regain the park entrance or any other location that takes your fancy (I recommend the River Walk, see below!)
Things to do along the Pa’rus trail with kids
The Pa’rus trail is a pleasant, easy walk for kids.
The path is wide and paved and you can easily do it even with a stroller (find all terrain strollers we like here). It has no drop offs nor significant elevation gain and has plenty to keep them interested.
With the help of the junior ranger booklet our kids engaged into a plants and animal bingo, learned to identify animals trails and they even learned the meaning of the word Pa’rus which means ‘place of bubbling water’ a name that is appropriate for this trail and its many access to water.
The museum is also interesting for them and, if they prefer, you can even cycle this path. Find info about cycling in Zion here.
What to pack for a day one the Pa’rus Trail
The Par’us trail is a short and easy hike and you don’t need much to enjoy it.
While you do not need hiking shoes for it, I highly recommend you have good walking shoes or runners and, if coming in summer, also a good sunhat, sunshades and sunscreen.
The path is entirely in the sun and it get very hot!
If walking it with kids, you may find useful out list of day hike essentials for children.
My Pa’rus trail essentials are:
- Walking shoes (find good hiking shoes for kids here)
- Water – use a reusable bottle and fill it at one of the several water station in the par. If you don’t have a bottle, you can buy a Zion one at the visitors’ center at the start of the trail: we did and it makes for a lovely souvenir!
- Sun hat
- Sun shades
- Sun screen
- A picnic if you want to eat on the trail
- Hiking carrier if hiking with a baby or toddler on your shoulders
Other things you can do after hiking the Pa’rus Trail
The Par’us trail is a short hike and it is easy to combine some time here with other activities in the park. Some ideas are:
- Riverside Walk Trail – the fab, easy walk leading you to the entrance of the famous Narrows
- Lunch at Zion Lodge – perfect if you prefer a hot meal rather than a picnic
- Take the shuttle and listen the excellent explanations on the PA System. Get off at any shuttle stop that picks your fancy and hop back on when the next one is due in!
- Shop for souvenirs ad the Zion National Park Visitors center
- Use your water shoes to step into the Virgin River
I hope you enjoyed this quick overview about the Pa’rus Trail and it helped you decide if this is a trail you may enjoy. Safe travel planning!
Looking for accommodation in and near Zion? Find our Zion Accommodation Guide here.