By the River.
In Paiute, Pa' rus means "by the river." This single word aptly describes this trail, which follows the Virgin River with a wide, well-paved path, accentuated by some very attractive bridges that take you back and forth across the river. The Pa'rus is the easiest stroll in the Park, and the only trail that allows dogs (on a leash) and bicycles. It connects the Visitor Center with South Campground and Canyon Junction, providing easy access to a morning or evening stroll from either campground.
The Pa' Rus offers exquisite views of lower Zion Canyon, and its expansive tree-dotted pastures offer fantastic foreground for photographers capturing the grand peaks along either side of the canyon. Early risers can earn fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities along the Pa' Rus, as the river corridor is a highway for traveling mule deer, coyote, fox, ringtail cat. Even mountain lions are occasionally spotted from the Pa' Rus. Those seeking swimming holes may find fine ones along the Pa' Rus trail... ask a ranger or a local Springdalean for a point in the right direction.
1.5 hours, roundtrip
Year-round, though midday in summer will be HOT
3.5 miles (5.6 km) roundtrip or 1.3 each way
Point to point trail with two shuttle access points: Canyon Junction and the Visitor Center. The free shuttle makes it easy to start at either one and ride back to where you started once you reach the other end. OR hike the trail roundtrip.
Most of the hike is in the full sun during the day, though there is some shade in the early morning and evening.
Sturdy hiking shoes, ample water and food for a hike.
Drinking water is available at the Visitor's Center, South Campground, and the Nature Center.
The Pa'rus is enjoyable year-round. Generally, the summer is HOT and in winter, there are sometimes icy spots on the pavement.
Start from the Visitor Center, South Campground, or the Zion Nature Center, as fits your itinerary. April through October, you can catch the shuttle back to the Visitor Center from Canyon Junction, or continue further up Zion Canyon to hike another trail. The route can be reversed as well, starting at Canyon Junction and finishing at the Visitor Center.
Enjoy the sounds, sights, and smell of the Zion Canyon floor. Highlights include views of Bridge Mountain, the Watchman, The Sentinel, the Streaked Wall and East Temple. A sharp eye may be able to find Bridge Mountain Arch, a long, thin natural arch on the left flank of Bridge Mountain (binoculars will help).
Along the trail, you'll find various spurs granting river access for swimming and wading.
The Pa' Rus is a great bike path for families, but take care to look out for zippy cyclists, who sometime roll down the twisting, rolling Pa' Rus a little too quickly. If you'd like to tour the Pa' Rus on wheels yourself, visit Zion Adventures for quality rentals and fantastic service.