Per NPS policy, pets are not allowed on trails, shuttle buses or public buildings in Zion National Park. However, as long as they are leashed, under control and their waste is picked up, dogs are allowed in campgrounds, in campgrounds, on roadways and on the grounds of the Lodge. There is one exception. The Pa’rus trail, a 1.5-mile concrete walkway along the Virgin River and Highway 9 to the Zion Shuttle Bus entry. While I have been in other National Park campgrounds where RV’ers travel with small Shelties, spaniels, or Chihuahuas, seeing a Lab, a Weimaraner, and then a German Shepherd walking with their dog-people this afternoon was curious. As a service to the dog walkers, the park has placed pet waste bag dispensers and receptacles near the Visitor Center end of the Pa’rus Trail. Walking the trail this afternoon, the only hazards to be avoided were not pet waste but a few cyclists on knobby-tired mountain bikes. The bird-chirp bell coming up from behind only fooled me once.
I do not think I could convince my wife to spend six hours in a car with two dogs, – or for that matter, Comet, to spend that tine in a sedan with Dexter. Like most, I think I would have to choose between my wife or the dogs as travel companions. There is a solution for the ‘no-dogs’ on trail rule. Just outside the park, there are several “doggie daycare” centers in neighboring towns Rockville and Hurricane. The highest rated on one website, is listed as Better Business Bureau “A” Plus-rated and twenty years in business.