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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zion Park Seeks Input On Backcountry Permit System

Permits are needed before people can say overnight in the Zion National Park backcountry, and permits are also needed for day hikes through most slot canyons.

The demand for permits continues to grow year after year and the park is now considering ways to improve the permit allocation system. The park issued the news release below. See the park website for more specific information.

Seeking Comment on Wilderness Pemtitting Procedures

Zion National Park is seeking public comment on the park's wilderness permitting procedures (formerly called backcountry permitting) and the demands placed on the public by the current system. The park is exploring possible adjustments to the permitting procedures to improve visitor services and experiences. Public comments will be considered during the development of an updated permitting plan scheduled for release on February 1, 2012.

Areas and activities within the park that require wilderness permits continue to grow in popularity. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight trips, as well as day trips into many of the park's slot canyons. As the demand for the limited number of wilderness permits increases, so has the competition. Many visitors wait for hours or, in some cases, overnight to obtain wilderness permits for activities within Zion National Park. The current wilderness permitting system allows visitors to secure permits through a reservation system for roughly 75% of all areas. Reservations for permits in the most popular sections of the park are often booked two to three months in advance. The remaining permits are issued up to one day in advance on a first come-first served basis at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. The demand for the first come-first served permits may result in long lines and significant waits. The park is seeking to resolve these issues and improve operations.

Contact Information
Ray O'Neil
Zion National Park
Wilderness Permits
Springdale, UT 84767

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