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InDestinations, National Parks, Utah, Zion

Zion National Park Permits & Reservations in 2024: Everything You Need to Know

Are you planning a trip to Zion National Park in 2024? Hold on, because Zion has made some BIG changes to its reservations and permit systems over the last few years that can have a huge impact on your next visit.

Do you want to hike to Angel’s Landing? You’ll need to know about the new Permit Lottery. Want to explore the Narrows from the top-down or one of Zion famous canyoneering routes like the Subway? Yup, you’ll want a reservation for those too!

Navigating the increasingly confusing world of National Parks reservations, permits, and timed-entry tickets might almost make you want to throw in the quick-drying towel and stay home.

Thankfully, I’ve been navigating National Parks permits and reservations for years, including multiple trips to Zion National Park, and I’m breaking it all down in this post!

This guide includes all the information you need to know about every type of Reservation and Permit you might need in Zion National Park this year.

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission from any purchase – at no extra cost to you. This commission helps keep Brooke In Boots up and running. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

Zion National Park Reservations 2024: The Quick and Dirty

Let’s jump right into it! If you want to visit Zion National Park in 2024, you might need one of the following Reservations/Permits:

  • Angel’s Landing Permit
  • Canyoneering Permits, including the Zion Narrows (Top-down) and The Subway (Left Fork of the Virgin River)
  • Wilderness Backpacking Permits

I’ll dive into tons of details on each of these Zion permits and reservation types, how to make them, and when you need them, below.

New in 2024: Zion has made significant changes to its canyoneering and wilderness permit reservation systems. Starting January 2024, wilderness and canyoneering permits are issued on recreation.gov for both day hikers and campers, and the old Zion Reservations system will no longer be in effect. Zion National park has also changed when and how you’ll need to apply for most canyoneering and wilderness permits, including top-down trips to the Narrows, The Subway, and Mystery Canyon.

Updated information on each of these reservation requirements and dates are included below. Updated January 9, 2024.

Click here to shop Zion National Park Itinerary Guides.

Do I Need a Reservation to Enter Zion National Park?

Zion National Park does not require a reservation to enter the Park in 2024. That means you don’t need a timed-entry reservation or vehicle reservation to enter the Park at any time.

Do I Need a Reservation for the Zion Canyon Shuttle?

Reservations are no longer required for the Zion Canyon Shuttle. In 2020, Zion National Park temporarily enacted a reservation system to access the Zion Canyon Shuttle during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Reservations are no longer required, but be sure to get there early in peak season! Visitors in summer can wait over an hour to board the shuttle from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. 😬 Getting to the visitor center early in time for the first shuttles. The first shuttle leaves the Zion Canyon Visitor Center at 6 a.m. during peak season.

Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (the main road through Zion Canyon and almost all trailheads) is closed to private cars when the Zion Canyon Shuttle is running.

The shuttle typically operates daily from March through November, as well as during the December holidays. You can learn more about the Zion Canyon Shuttle & getting around Zion National park, here.

Want to learn more about planning an epic National Parks trip? Grab my free Ultimate National Parks Planning Guide, including 70+ pages of National Park packing checklists, planning tips, and everything you need to know to start planning a trip to all 63 National Parks!

Angel’s Landing Permits

Angel’s Landing: Zion’s most famous, and infamous, hike. This 4.3 mile strenuous hike is commonly called “The Most Dangerous Hike in America.” Why?

After ascending 21 steep switchbacks to Scout’s Lookout, hikers must climb the final 0.5 miles over a narrow ridge with 1000’+ cliff drops on either side. At times the trail is only a few feet wide and requires the use of anchored chains to climb up and down.

Make no mistake, this is NOT the hike for you if you have any fear of heights, and fatalities do occur. Brave hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of Zion Canyon below.

Looking for a more family-friendly hike? Check out 7 Easy Family-Friendly Hikes in Zion National Park.

In order to reduce crowding on the dangerous chains scramble section of the trail, Zion National Park started requiring permits for all hikers traveling all the way to Angel’s Landing, as of April 1, 2022.

A permit is required for all hikers traveling beyond “Scout’s Lookout” to Angel’s Landing (aka all “chains” sections). A permit is NOT required to visit Scout’s Lookout (worth the hike even if you don’t have a permit!) or the West Rim Trail.

This map from Zion National Park shows which sections of the Angel’s Landing trail require a permit:

Angel’s Landing permits are issued by 2 different lotteries.

Most lottery permits will be issued through quarterly preseason lotteries. A select number of permits will be issued in daily day-before lotteries.

Angel’s Landing Quarterly Permit Lottery

Most Angel’s Landing permits are issued by the Quarterly Permit lottery. The Quarterly lottery is held 4 times a year, meaning you’ll need to apply for these permits well in advance of your trip.

This chart shows the quarterly permit lottery dates for 2024:

Hiking DatesLottery Application DatesLottery Results Announcement
Dec 1, 2023 – Feb 29, 2024Oct 1 – Oct 20, 2023Oct 25, 2023
Mar 1 – May 31, 2024Jan 1 – Jan 20, 2024Jan 25, 2024
Jun 1 – Aug 31, 2024Apr 1 – Apr 20, 2024Apr 25, 2024
Sep 1 – Nov 31, 2024Jul 1 – Jul 20, 2024Jul 25, 2024
December 1 to February 28, 2025Oct 1 – Oct 20, 2024Oct 25, 2024

Each Quarterly lottery is open for 20 days. You can apply at any time during that window.

To apply to the Angel’s Landing Quarterly Permit Lottery, login in to recreation.gov, and search for Zion National Park. Select the open lottery that covers your hopeful hiking dates. There is a $6 fee for applying, and your application fee covers up to 6 people in your hiking party.

You will get to pick seven ranked days and times or windows of days and times you want to hike.

An email will be sent to you 5 days after the lottery closes letting you know whether or not you received a permit. Winners will be charged $3 per hiker, refundable up to 2 days before your permit date.

Zion from Scout’s Lookout before Angel’s Landing / Zion Permits and Reservations in 2024

Angel’s Landing Day-Before Lottery

Didn’t win the Quarterly Lottery? Or maybe you’re trying to plan a last minute trip to Zion? There’s still a chance to climb Angel’s Landing using the Day-Before Lottery.

Day-before lottery applicants should apply on recration.gov between 12:01AM and and 3PM the day before they intend to hike.

Applicants will be notified by email by 4PM, letting them know whether or not they received a permit.

The Narrows / Zion Permits and Reservations in 2024

Zion Narrows Permits

A permit is required if you are planning on hiking the Narrows via the strenuous “top-down” route.

If you are day hiking the Narrows from the Temple of Sinawava Shuttle stop inside Zion Canyon (aka how 90% of hikers will visit the Narrows) you do NOT need a permit.

If, however, you’re looking to hike all 16 miles of Zion National Park’s most famous canyon on your itinerary, you will need a canyoneering permit or wilderness reservation.

You can either hike the Zion Narrows Top-Down as a very long day hike, or a 2 day overnight backpacking trip. Learn more about the difference between day hiking and camping in the Narrows and decide which is right for you, here.

Day-Hike Narrows Permits

Permits for day hiking the entire 16 miles of the Narrows top-down are released in two batches.

Half of all day use permits are available to reserve in advance using Zion Canyoneering Advance Reservations . In 2024, these reservations are released 4 times per year according to the following schedule:

Narrows Hiking DatesReservations Open at 10 AM Mountain Time
January 5 – March 31, 2024January 5, 2024
April 1 – June 30, 2024March 5, 2024
July 1 – September 30, 2024June 5, 2024
October 1 – December 31, 2024September 5, 2024

Permits are released at 10AM Mountain Time on recreation.gov. You can book Zion Narrows advanced canyoneering reservations, here.

All remaining day-use permits to hike the Narrows are released in the Canyoneering Daily Lottery.

The Canyoneering Daily Lottery runs every day for all technical canyons and the Narrows Top-Down day hikes.

To enter the daily lottery, apply 2 days in advance of your desired start date. For example, if you want a permit for January 10, apply on January 8.

To enter the Lottery, you can pick up to 4 different canyons (including the Narrows top-down) to enter the lottery for, and you must rank them in your preferred order.

The lottery is open daily, from Midnight to 3pm Mountain Time. The time you apply does not change your odds of winning. Results will be emailed at 4PM.

You can enter the Zion Canyoneering Daily Lottery here.

Exploring the Narrows / Zion Permits and Reservations in 2024

Narrows Overnight Permits

If you don’t want to hike all 16 strenuous miles in one day, reserve a Narrows Overnight Wilderness backpacking permit. Single night backpacking trips are permitted in designated camping spots. Multi-night trips through the Narrows are not permitted.

Half of all Narrows Wilderness permits can be reserved in advance. In 2024, overnight Narrows reservations are released 4 times per year according to the following schedule:

Narrows Hiking DatesReservations Open at 10 AM Mountain Time
January 5 – March 31, 2024January 5, 2024
April 1 – June 30, 2024March 5, 2024
July 1 – September 30, 2024June 5, 2024
October 1 – December 31, 2024September 5, 2024

The remaining Narrows overnight wilderness permits are filled in-person on a first-come first-served basis at a Wilderness Permit Desk no more than one day before your hike starts.

Wilderness Permit Desks are located in Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons. Check Wilderness Permit desk hours and seasons, here.

You can reserve Zion Narrows Overnight permits on recreation.gov, here.

The Subway, Mystery Canyon, and Canyoneering Permits

A canyoneering permit is required for explorations of all Zion canyons requiring the use of descending gear or ropes, including the Subway (left fork of North Creek) and Mystery Canyon.

In all cases, canyoneering is an inherently dangerous activity that requires specialized equipment and skills. Do not attempt these canyons if you do not have the proper experience. Learn more about canyoneering in Zion, here.

Guiding companies offer canyoneering skills classes from half-day introductions to multi-day courses. Zion Adventures offers skills classes and guided canyon trips. Zion Guru and Rock Odysseys (women-owned and operated!) also offer family-friendly and advanced canyoneering classes and guided trips in the area.

Canyoneering Permits are released between 1 day and 3 months in advance, depending on which canyon you plan on exploring. Note that the most popular canyons, the Subway and Mystery Canyon, have their own seasonal lottery system.

All other canyons use the same Advanced Reservations and Daily Lottery systems.

I’ve included information on each of these permit processes below.

The Subway in Zion / Zion Reservations and Permits in 2024

The Subway (Left Fork North Creek)

All trips into the Left Fork of North Creek (aka The Subway) require a permit. The Subway is a technical slot canyon and one of the most popular routes in Zion National Park. You’ll follow the North Creek over and down obstacles until it narrows into a near-tunnel that looks like, well, a subway tunnel.

80 permits are issued per day for this route. 60 out of 80 permits are issued via the Subway Seasonal Lottery.

To apply to the Seasonal Lottery, login to recreation.gov and select the open Zion Left Fork North Creek (Subway) Lottery that covers your hopeful trip dates. You may select up to 4 dates to apply for during each lottery period.

You will receive an email with lottery results on the 27th, two days after the close of the lottery.

If your schedule allows, I highly suggest select the maximum number of dates for the best chance of success! There is a $6 fee for applying, and your application fee covers up to 12 people in your party.

The seasonal lottery dates for the Left Fork North Creek (Subway) Advance Lottery are:

Trip DatesLottery Application DatesLottery Results Announcement
February 1 – March 31 January 5, 2024 – January 25, 2024January 27, 2024
April 1 – June 30 February 1, 2024 – February 25, 2024February 27, 2024
July 1 – September 30 May 1, 2024 – May 25, 2024May 27, 2024
October 1 – December 31August 1, 2024 – August 25, 2024August 27, 2024
 January 1 2025 – March 31November 1, 2024 – November 25, 2024November 27, 2024

Didn’t get a Subway permit in the seasonal lottery? You can still enter the Daily Canyoneering Lottery for all canyoneering routes, including the Subway.

To enter the daily lottery, apply 2 days in advance of your desired start date. For example, if you want a permit for January 10, apply on January 8.

To enter the Lottery, you can pick up to 4 different canyons (including the Left Fork North Creek) to enter the lottery for, and you must rank them in your preferred order.

The lottery is open daily, from Midnight to 3pm Mountain Time. The time you apply does not change your odds of winning. Results will be emailed at 4PM.

You can enter the Zion Canyoneering Daily Lottery here.

One of Zion’s many slot canyons / Zion Permits and Reservations in 2024

Mystery Canyon

Mystery Canyon is a classic Zion slot canyon adventure involving 10 technical rappels up to 120 feet. Permits for this trip are issued by the Mystery Canyon Seasonal Lottery and Canyoneering Daily Lottery.

Only 12 permits are issued per day for this route. 6 permits are issued via the Seasonal Lottery.

To apply to the Seasonal Lottery, login to recreation.gov and select the open Zion Mystery Canyon Lottery that covers your hopeful trip dates. You may select up to 4 dates to apply for during each lottery period.

You will receive an email with lottery results on the 27th, two days after the close of the lottery.

If your schedule allows, I highly suggest select the maximum number of dates for the best chance of success! There is a $6 fee for applying, and your application fee covers up to 12 people in your party.

The seasonal lottery dates for the Mystery Canyon Seasonal Lottery are:

Trip DatesLottery Application DatesLottery Results Announcement
February 1 – March 31 January 5, 2024 – January 25, 2024January 27, 2024
April 1 – June 30 February 1, 2024 – February 25, 2024February 27, 2024
July 1 – September 30 May 1, 2024 – May 25, 2024May 27, 2024
October 1 – December 31August 1, 2024 – August 25, 2024August 27, 2024
 January 1 2025 – March 31November 1, 2024 – November 25, 2024November 27, 2024

Didn’t get a Subway permit in the seasonal lottery? You can still enter the Daily Canyoneering Lottery for all canyoneering routes, including the Subway.

To enter the daily lottery, apply 2 days in advance of your desired start date. For example, if you want a permit for January 10, apply on January 8.

To enter the Lottery, you can pick up to 4 different canyons (including Mystery Canyon) to enter the lottery for, and you must rank them in your preferred order.

The lottery is open daily, from Midnight to 3pm Mountain Time. The time you apply does not change your odds of winning. Results will be emailed at 4PM.

You can enter the Zion Canyoneering Daily Lottery here.

Canyoneering Advanced Reservations

For all other Canyoneering routes (that is, not Mystery Canyon, or the Subway), canyoneering permits are available two ways: Advanced Reservations and the Daily Lottery.

Advanced canyoneering permits are released 4 times per year according to the following schedule:

Trip DatesReservations Open at 10 AM Mountain Time
January 5 – March 31, 2024January 5, 2024
April 1 – June 30, 2024March 5, 2024
July 1 – September 30, 2024June 5, 2024
October 1 – December 31, 2024September 5, 2024

Permits are released at 10AM Mountain Time on recreation.gov. To make reservations, login to recreation.gov and select Zion National Park Canyoneering Advanced Reservations. Here you’ll select the Permit Type for the canyon you would like to explore.

One permit is required per group. The maximum group size in Keyhole, Pine Creek, the Narrows, Orderville, and the Left Fork (Subway) canyons is 12 people. The maximum group size for all other canyons in Zion is 6 people. 

All remaining day-use permits to hike the Narrows are released in the Canyoneering Daily Lottery.

Canyoneering Daily Lottery

For all canyoneering routes, including the Narrows Day-hikes, Subway, and Mystery Canyon, half of all permits are released in the Canyoneering Daily Lottery.

To enter the daily lottery, apply 2 days in advance of your desired start date. For example, if you want a permit for January 10, apply on January 8.

To enter the Lottery, you can pick up to 4 different canyons (including the Narrows top-down) to enter the lottery for, and you must rank them in your preferred order.

The lottery is open daily, from Midnight to 3pm Mountain Time. The time you apply does not change your odds of winning. Results will be emailed at 4PM.

You can enter the Zion Canyoneering Daily Lottery here.

Zion Permits and Reservations 2024

Backpacking Wilderness Permits in Zion

All overnight trips into the Zion wilderness require an overnight wilderness permit. Half of all wilderness campsites are available to reserve in advance, on recreation.gov. The rest are issued on a first-come first-served basis at the Wilderness Permit Desk.

Wilderness Permit Desks are located in Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons. Check Wilderness Permit desk hours and seasons, here.

In 2024, overnight wilderness permit reservations are released 4 times per year according to the following schedule:

Hiking DatesReservations Open at 10 AM Mountain Time
January 5 – March 31, 2024January 5, 2024
April 1 – June 30, 2024March 5, 2024
July 1 – September 30, 2024June 5, 2024
October 1 – December 31, 2024September 5, 2024

There are dozens of designated backcountry campsites and several at-large dispersed camping zones within Zion.

Designated campsites are located in the Hop Valley, La Verkin Creek, Narrows, Southwest Desert, and West Rim areas of the Park. At-large, dispersed camping is permitted in the East Rim Camp Area and Wildcat Canyon Camp Area.

If you plan on thru-hiking or staying at multiple campsites as part of your Zion National Park itinerary, you will need a separate reservation for each designated campsite or camping zone.

Learn more and apply for backpacking wilderness permits, here.

Click here to shop Zion National Park Itinerary Guides.

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