The Grotto in Zion National Park

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The Grotto

The Grotto Trail is a half-mile trek to Zion's popular Grotto Picnic Area, with space for barbeques and family fun, while offering convenient access to the Emerald Pools Trail and more.

  • Grab your picnic baskets and hike the half-mile out to the Grotto Picnic Area for a lunch on the grill.
  • Connect to the famous Emerald Pools for a three mile loop, visiting waterfalls, pools, and hanging gardens.
  • Explore nearby features, like the technical Behunin slot canyon, or parts of Kayenta or West Rim Trails.


The Grotto Trail is a short, shaded hike to the popular Grotto Picnic Area. Many tourists enjoy this route on its own, as part of the Emerald Pools Trail, or as part of a longer hike through the park.

The area is often used by the kids programs, led by park rangers to help get kids involved in the outdoors and learn about the park in a fun environment.

Location & Information

The facilities and amenities in the picnicking spot are pretty standard and strict rules are in place to keep the park safe from fire and other destructive forces. There are picnic tables, washrooms and fire grates. 

All firewood has to either be brought in from outside the park or purchased from the lodge. Wood gathering is strictly prohibited within the park boundaries.

For more information, contact the Zion National Park directly.

Zion National Park
Springdale, UT 84767
(435) 772-3256


Picnicking is one activity that almost everyone enjoys, no matter where it may be taken. However, Zion National Park, like many protected areas, has specific places, like the Grotto Picnic Area, where guests can go to enjoy picnics, barbeques, and other feeding frenzies without causing critical damage to the fragile environment. 

The Grotto Trail is the trailhead for a number of different paths. The West Rim Trail ends at the Grotto, and the Kayenta Trail also connects to it, which forms a great loop through the Emerald Pools. Use these trails to loop three miles around some of the best areas of the park.

Fun Facts

The Grotto Museum was the first museum in the park. The rehabilitation of this historic building has been proposed as part of the Centennial Challenge, celebrating 100 years since the park's founding.