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Outdoor Recreation

Biking Inside and Nearby Zion Nationl Park

Choose the family- and pet-friendly Pa'rus Trail inside Zion, the challenging Gooseberry Mesa Trail for experienced mountain bikers, or the cool Navajo Lake.

Biking is one of the best ways to experience the variety and majesty of Zion. Street biking through the canyon and outside lets you see more within the same time frame while still stretching your muscles.

Note: Bicycles and pedestrians are prohibited through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic entering through the east entrance, heading westbound, must arrange their own shuttle service through the one-mile Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel.

Pa’rus Trail – Family and Dog-Friendly Cycling

Zion's Pa'rus Trail

Families in particular enjoy the increased access that bikes bring. Your bike can ride with you on the shuttle, making it easy to stop at Pa’rus Trail, one of the favorite places for bikes as well as strollers and wheelchairs. This easy trail moves from the Zion Human History Museum before heading to Watchman Campground.

Gooseberry Mesa – Strenuous Mountain Biking

Mountain biking on Gooseberry Mesa. Photo by BLM Iris Picat
Mountain biking on Gooseberry Mesa. Photo by BLM Iris Picat

Gooseberry Mesa offers the slickrock enthusiast 20-miles of single-track trail in which to end-over. The JEM Trail slides along a single track. Thunder Mountain weaves precariously through twisting hoodoos and ancient pines before it thunders downhill in a final whoosh. The area is gaining an international reputation as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the west.

This National Recreation Trail is located on Gooseberry Mesa in southern Utah’s red rock country southwest of Zion National Park. At an elevation of 5,200 feet, views from the mesa rims are spectacular.

Spread out below the west rim is a panorama of colorful desert mesas and water carved canyons.

The bike trails wind over the mesa, intersected by an old jeep road, White Trail. The White Trail is the easiest at 3.5 miles one way, or it can be used to join another trail at midpoint.

At the trail’s end, you reach Gooseberry Point overlooking the Virgin River.

The trail is located on public lands and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). It is designed for mountain biking. Due to the challenging terrain, this trail system is not suitable for horses.

Get there: From Hurricane City take State Route 59. Turn left on Smithsonian Butte National Backcountry Byway. At 2.8 miles, turn left and travel northwest 3.3 miles.

Navajo Lake Trail

You might prefer to look down on Zion within the cooler temperatures of the Navajo Lake Trail that winds through alpine forests and meadows in a 12-mile loop 9,000 feet in the sky.

The trail is typically free of snow from mid-June to mid-October and is part of the much more strenuous Virgin River Rim Trail, which offers some of the most breathtaking views in the area. The Navajo Trail has only a 200-feet rise throughout the single-track, packed dirt ride. Moderately active cyclists adore this scenic ride, although the alpine air can be thin. You’ll ride alongside the lake and pass by an ancient lava flow. The trail is particularly beautiful when the wildflowers are in bloom and the butterflies are everywhere.

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Need a map? Download an official Zion National Park map for basic road and attraction locations. Want a detailed topographical map of trails in the park? Buy the NatGeo Trails Illustrated Map for Zion National Park at The map includes trails, trailheads, points of interest, campgrounds, lakes and much more. Or get the complete Utah National Parks Map Pack with five topographic maps. All of the NatGeo maps are printed on waterproof, tear-resistant material.

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