Expanding Recreational Opportunities for All Abilities on the Pa’rus Trail
The Pa’rus Trail is a 3.5 mile paved route that follows the Virgin River from the South Campground to Canyon Junction in Zion National Park. In a canyon renowned for its towering cliffs and challenging vertical trails, much of Zion’s trail network is out of reach for visitors with limited mobility. During 2018, the Pa’rus Trail became Zion’s first fully accessible trail as the park reduced slopes and added benches and shade structures. In making these important trail improvements, Zion expanded access to all visitors seeking a recreational opportunity.
In 2019, park leadership hopes to cultivate an enriched experience for the Pa’rus Trail. This project funds the development of a Pa’rus Trail podcast, the first produced for a trail in Zion National Park. Zion’s team wants to “tell the story” of the natural and cultural history along the Pa’rus Trail by also creating two educational learning displays that pull visitors off the trail at specific waypoints. Using techniques to assist hearing and visually-impaired visitors with maps and other tactile and sound displays, visitors will learn how rock, water, and time created features unique to Zion Canyon. These educational enhancements will connect visitors of all abilities to the Pa’rus Trail.