General Hiking Tips
When hiking in Zion National Park, remember that it is a desert environment and can experience sudden weather changes and extreme summertime heat. The following are tips that will help you enjoy your desert hiking experience in Zion:
• Check the forecast before hiking to ensure conditions will be favorable for your trip.
• Carry plenty of water. The recommended amount of water for desert hiking is one gallon per person per day.
• Lather on sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat to avoid sunburn.
• Pack snacks to provide you energy along the trail.
• Pack a first-aid kit to be prepared for any cuts, bruises or sprains.
• Tell someone where you are going and when you will return, then stick to your itinerary.
• Stay on the trail. Desert soils, such as Cryptogamic soil, are fragile. If disturbed, these soils take a long time to recover. Cryptogamic soil is a mixture of moss, lichens and bacteria that form a crust that helps prevent erosion.
• Pick a route that best suits your abilities and do not push yourself too hard to avoid heat exhaustion and other serious conditions.
• Take appropriate maps of the area and a compass if you are hiking in the backcountry for extra guidance if you need it.
• Obtain the proper backcountry permit if you are hiking the Zion Narrows, the Subway, or in any canyon requiring the use of rope. You also need a permit for any overnight trips into the backcountry.
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