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Two young park visitors working on a junior ranger book with their mother
A family working together on their Junior Ranger handbooks.

Visiting Zion with Kids

A trip to Zion offers many opportunities for families to explore, learn, and connect with the park. Whether hiking on a trail, having a picnic, or attending a ranger-led program you will find something that is great for your family. To help in your trip planning here are a few things to keep in mind:

Trails – Several of the trails in Zion Canyon are rated as Easy and a good fit for families. The Pa’rus Trail, Lower Emerald Pools Trail, Weeping Rock Trail, and Riverside Walk Trail provide short hikes along a paved surface that will give hikers a good overview of the canyon. Some of these trail have minor drop-offs and may have steep sections.

Shuttles – During much of the year, the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is only accessible by shuttle bus. Eating is not permitted on the buses, but drinking water is allowed. Please remember to stay hydrated on your visit to the park. The buses are able to carry up to three bicycles as well as strollers. Large strollers may need to be folded and placed on the front bike rack. While in Zion Canyon you may get on and off the shuttle as often as you like.

Food and Picnic Areas – Food is available for purchase in the park at Zion Lodge. The town of Springdale offers many opportunities for the purchase of food at restaurants or grocery stores. While in the park picnic areas with tables, benches, or lawns are available at the Nature Center, Zion Lodge and the Grotto. Please dispose of your recycling or trash properly and remember to never feed wildlife.

More information to plan your visit is available in the Map & Guide. Remember, your safety is your responsibility.

 

Become a Junior Ranger

Zion offers a self-guided Junior Ranger experience for families visiting the park! Children aged four and older can complete pages in the booklet and attend a ranger-led program to earn their Junior Ranger badge for Zion National Park. Please visit our Junior Ranger page to learn more!

Unable to visit the park? Visit our Virtual Ranger page to complete activities and print off your own Junior Ranger certificate and badge.

 
A young child pressing a button to listen to animal sounds
There are many interactive exhibits in the Zion Nature Center.

Visit the Zion Nature Center

Closed for the season. The Nature Center may re-open Summer 2020.
The Zion Nature Center, located north of South Campground, has a variety of exhibits, activities, books, and games for children and families to explore. The Nature Center is open from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday-Friday, and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays during the summer. Daily ranger-led youth programs are held in the Nature Center at 3:00 PM and 4:30 PM. The Nature Center is not on the shuttle system, but can be accessed from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center (shuttle stop 1) or Human History Museum (shuttle stop 2) via the Pa'rus Trail. Limited parking is available near the Nature Center. Directions and map to the Zion Nature Center are available.

 

Attend a Ranger-led Youth Program


Youth programs are designed specifically for families and children. Children must be accompanied by an adult while attending the programs.

South Campground Amphitheater Programs: Learn all about Zion's cliffs, animals and more in these engaging and interactive programs!

  • When: Daily at 9:00 MT and 9:45 MT
  • Where: South Campground Amphitheater, located between the Visitor Center and Museum. Access the amphitheater by walking or biking the Pa'rus Trail. Limited parking available.
  • What: Programs last approximately 20 minutes, and will cover a topic relating to Zion's majestic canyon walls, or smallest inhabitants! Topics vary each day.
 
Every Kid Outdoors logo

Every Kid Outdoors

The Every Kid Outdoors initiative is aimed at providing an opportunity for each fourth grade student across the country to experience federal lands and water in person. Students logon onto the Every Kid Outdoors website to complete an on-line activity and earn a voucher that can be exchanged for a plastic pass at park entrance stations. The Every Kid Outdoors Pass gives students free access to public lands during their fourth-grade school year and up through August 31.

 

School Programs

Curriculum based education programs are offered throughout the school year and on request when staffing allows.

 
Image of river with mountain in background, inset image of rangers

Summer Distance Learning Programs

Unable to attend a ranger-led program? Join us for our Distance Learning Jr. Ranger programs on Sundays and Wednesdays at 1:00pm MT and 2:00pm MT to learn all about the canyon, wildlife – and more! Junior Rangers ages pre-K and up are invited to interact with a ranger in real time through video programs to learn more about the park. More information about these free programs can be found on our Distance Learning page.

Programs are appropriate for Junior Rangers of all ages. We can’t wait to meet you soon!

 
 

Last updated: July 9, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767

Phone:

(435) 772-3256
Recorded park information available 24 hours a day. Phones are answered 9 am to 4 pm Mountain Time. If no one answers, please send your questions to us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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