There are backpacking opportunities galore here, and several of the day hikes discussed above can be more comfortably done in 2 or more days. In addition to the park's established trails and the famous Narrows, there are a number of off-trail routes for those experienced in the use of compasses and topographic maps -- get information at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight hikes in the park as well as for slot canyon hikes. Permits cost $10 for one or two people, $15 for three to seven, and $20 for 8 to 12 people. You can purchase a backcountry permit at the visitor center the day before or the day of your trip, and reservations for permits can be made in advance through the park's website, www.nps.gov/zion, although they must still be picked up in person at the visitor centers. You can get permits at Zion Canyon Visitor Center, near the south entrance to the park, or at Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, in the northwest corner of the park off I-15. There are also two areas -- the Subway and Mystery Canyon -- where permits are issued though an online lottery, with a deadline of three months before your planned trip. See the park's Backcountry Planner at www.nps.gov/zion. Backcountry camping is not permitted within 1 mile of a road or trail head.
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