Carry out everything you carry in. The Virgin River is the water source for your campground or hotel, the restaurants you eat at, and all the homes in Springdale. Do not throw cigarette butts, feminine products, diapers, or ANYTHING else ANYWHERE but into appropriate trash cans. Bring a plastic bag with you to carry garbage while you hike.
Stay within 10 feet of the River’s edge to protect the fragile vegetation and soft hillsides. Wet shoes carry sand and slowly destroy the canyon ecology by eroding precious soils from the stream banks.
Carry out all human waste. Do not leave piles of poop or toilet paper on the shoreline. Stop by the Zion Backcountry desk or Zion Adventure Company to pick up a carry out bag for your waste. Pee directly into (or close to) flowing water to quickly dilute your urine and avoid accumlulating odors on the rocks and sand.
Obtain a walking stick before entering the river from Zion Adventure Company or the rack at the end of the Riverside Walk. Do not break trees or branches because you did not plan appropriately.
Please be reasonable during your visit. Restrain yourself and party members from chasing or feeding animals, catching fish, frogs, or lizards, or forging new trails.
Hypothermia is a risk any time of year. Prepare for cold water with dry gear and warm footwear. Stay hydrated and well fed throughout your hike.
Be aware. Be open minded. Thousands hike the canyon every year, and YOU are one of “them.”
Learn as much as possible before your trip so you can have a positive impact on the canyon environment.
Zion National Park Backcountry Division offers FREE Leave No Trace programs to groups visiting the park. The program offers a hands-on approach to LNT and leaves participants with a chance for stewardship with the land. They play games, have skits, and work with the Ranger to learn techniques and tools for the backcountry. The programs typically last for one hour and are done at your campsite. A free night of camping is also offered with the program when sites are available. The programs cover all of the seven LNT principles as well as a few practices that are unique to this area. When planning your visit, you can call to schedule your personal Leave No Trace program for the date and time that works for you. Generally a few weeks notice helps with planning. Contact the Backcountry desk to schedule a time - (435) 772-0170.