I’m a little obsessed about making sure I get enough exercise. Sometimes I “miss-out” on beautiful trails because I dismiss them as too easy. After our wonderful hike to Observation Point in Zion National Park, Mike and I hopped onto the park shuttle bus to take us back to our car at the visitor center. It was such a gorgeous day we decided to get off a couple of stops early, at Canyon Junction, and walk the rest of the way along the Pa’rus Trail. Great decision! The late day lighting was stunning and it was the perfect, peaceful, cool-down walk. We enjoyed it so much we did it twice more during our stay at Zion.
The Pa’rus Trail is named after the Paiute word for “rushing water”. It meanders along the Virgin River with glorious mountain views in all directions, and it’s as easy as trails come. The flat, paved path is accessible for the mobility impaired, and open to bike riders and dog walkers. The 1.7 mile (2.7 km) trail (one way) runs between the Zion Visitor Center and Canyon Junction shuttle bus stop. This walk is best done early in the morning and late afternoon.
After our Observation Point hike, our timing on the Pa’rus Trail coincided perfectly with the most dramatic illumination as the sun was setting over the mountains. It looked like the peaks were on fire and contrasted spectacularly with the grey sky and rising moon.
It was soon too dark for more photography (at least for our skill level) so we simply enjoyed watching twilight fall over Zion National Park as we strolled back to our car. Mike and I both decided we wanted to return the next day.
The next morning, the Pa’rus Trail provided us with amazing views of some of Zion’s most iconic peaks. The photo above and below look toward the Tower of the Virgin peaks, with the distinctive West Temple on the left side and the ominously named Altar of Sacrifice on the right side.
After our morning walk, we explored the Kolob Terrace Road section of the park (my next post) but returned in time to do another walk on the Pa’rus Trail, capturing images of a perfect November day in Zion National Park. It was one of our most serene experiences during our trip. Next time, I won’t be so quick to dismiss trails with easy ratings.
Other Favourite Easy/Short Trail in Zion National Park
- The Canyon Overlook Trail, along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, is only 1 mile (1.6 km) and has spectacular views across Zion Canyon. It has steep drop-offs, but it is mostly fenced. Definitely stop here, especially if you are approaching the park from the east. We had camera issues, so my photos are not blog-worthy, but check out this post on The Canyon Overlook Trail by fellow blogger Meghan.
Next post will feature the gorgeous roadside scenery and a few short hikes along Zion National Park’s Kolob Terrace Road.