How To Minimize Your Impact At Zion National Park

Jun 23, 2018

Posted In: News

How To Minimize Your Impact At Zion National Park

Considering the huge influx of visitors to Zion National Park in recent years, we want to remind everyone of the importance of minimizing your impact when you visit. Minimizing your impact refers to the personal ecological footprint that you leave behind when spending time with Mother Nature. While inside Zion, it is imperative to the longevity and sustainability of the park that visitors remember to not alter or damage anything, to remain respectful to the park and everything in it. Reckless human activity can cause a lot of damage to this wonderful ecosystem. National park etiquette can largely be summed up with the common phrase “leave no trace”. Here are some more specific explanations of how to minimize your impact the next time you visit Zion National Park.

-Throughout the park there are many signs that say “Do Not Hike Here” or “No Hiking Beyond This Point” or “No Public Access” – you get the idea. Please obey these signs. Do not scale fences that you are clearly not supposed to cross. When making your way down to streams and rivers, please do so using the designated access points. Do not recklessly walk through vegetation as if you own the place. Do not pick flowers, break off tree branches, alter rock formations, etc. This is all part of minimizing your impact.

-Do not litter. Please prepare for your Zion experience by packing plastic ziplock bags to hold your trash in while your in the park and then pack it out afterward, disposing of it in trash receptacles that are located all around. Being careless with your garbage is extremely disrespectful and is very harmful to the landscape and wildlife.

-Graffiti of any kind in the park is expressly prohibited and will result in fines and further in legal action in some cases. This is the polar opposite of minimizing your impact. Do not use knives, rocks, sticks, etc and carve your name, initials, and messages into rock formations, tree trunks, etc. This continues to be an unfortunate issue in the park, particularly in the Narrows and at the Angel’s Landing viewpoint. This is vandalism. Please report acts of vandalism the you happen to witness during your time in Zion. Have the courage to tell people in the act to stop immediately.

-Another form of vandalism that has become an issue in Zion is mud vandalism. Irresponsible park visitors often take mud and press their handprints against rock faces and trees, creating “artwork”. This is a large burden on park representatives as they have to spend time cleaning these off. Spreading mud is not harmless. It causes damage and certainly wastes time for others.

-Do not engage wildlife. Please leave the animals alone. Feeding them snacks that you’ve brought with you into the park can be harmful to their health. It is against park regulations to feed animals. You’ll have a better chance of seeing wildlife while in the park the more respectful you are by keeping your distance and minimizing your impact.

-Don’t build cairns. A cairn is a small stack or tower of rocks that hikers construct to notify other hikers that they’re heading the correct way. This is not necessary in Zion National Park and is against the principle of minimizing your impact as all trails have been clearly marked and designated.

-When your hiking in the park, do your very best not to step on and disturb what is called cryptobiotic soil. This healthy, organic soil is found all throughout the park and is vital to its continual growth. Minimizing your impact by staying on the solid surfaces that clearly represent the official trail will help maintain the integrity of the landscape. Don’t wander off and damage the ecosystem with your feet.

For more information on minimizing your impact in Zion National Park, stop in at the Springdale & Zion Canyon Visitor Center in the middle of town and ask the representatives there.

How To Minimize Your Impact At Zion National Park


Article by Clear Content Marketing


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