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The Best Hikes In Zion National Park, Utah


Article Categories: Hiking Tips | Travel
Article Tags: Hiking | Utah | Zion

Below we have a list of the best hikes in Zion National Park. Each hike has a link to a complete trail guide with all of the info you need to get on the trails. We’ve also got pictures, and the hikes organized by difficulty down below. Here are some quick links to each section:

Quick Navigation:
The Best Hikes List
Best Beginner Hikes
Best Hikes With Views
Most Challenging Hikes
Best Overnight Hikes
What to know before visiting Zion
What to pack for Zion


1. Canyon Overlook

Best Hikes In Zion National Park The Canyon Overlook Trail is a short, fun, and scenic hike located in Zion National Park. It’s a great option for families with young children or anyone looking for a quick and easy hike without sacrificing the views. The stretch of Zion Canyon is open before the Overlook, with monumental formations visible on each side of the canyon. East Temple towers directly above the Overlook, roughly 2,200 feet above the canyon floor. Great Arch carves its way through the eons into the sandstone below the Outlook.

Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 1 mile round trip (1.61 km)
Duration – 1 hour
Seasons – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Highway 9 (East of the Mount Carmel Tunnel)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Canyon Overlook Trail – Zion National Park


2. Weeping Rock

Best Hikes In Zion National ParkThe trail to Weeping Rock is the shortest hike in all of Zion National Park. Follow the trail that leads to a large overhang of a rock that drips water. It s a short, but steep paved trail and a great family friendly option.

Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 0.4 miles round trip (0.64 km)
Duration – 30 minutes or less
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Shuttle stop #7 (Weeping Rock)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Weeping Rock – Zion National Park, Utah


3. Angel’s Landing

The Best Hikes In Zion National Park, UtahAngels Landing is the #1 most popular hike in Zion National Park by far. The final push to the summit involves scaling a ridge high above the valley floor. The trail offers chain-assisted rock scrambling sections, along with incredible views, only to be attempted for experienced hikers. The last 0.5 walk on top of the ridge features  outstanding views of the surrounding canyon 500′ below. The hype is real, and this hike is well worth every difficult step and steep climb.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance –  5.4 miles round trip (8.69 km)
Duration – 5 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Shuttle stop #6 (The Grotto)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Angel’s Landing – Hiking Guide: Everything You Need


4. Riverside Walk

Best Hikes In Zion National ParkThis is a flat, paved trail that follows along the Virgin River, ending at the point where the Narrows begins. This is a great hike for families and all ability levels. This is a extremely well known and popular hike in Zion, with nearly 3,000 visitors per day in the summer months.

Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 2.2 miles round trip (3.54 km)
Duration – 1 to 2 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Shuttle stop #8 (Temple of Sinawava)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Riverside Walk – Zion National Park


5. The Narrows

The Narrows, Zion National Park, UtahThe Narrows is a classic Zion hike. It is challenging, with breathtaking scenery that makes every step well worth the climb. Hikers can tackle the Narrows as a short day hike by hiking up the river, or you may opt for a longer approach by hiking the entire length of the Narrows top-down, making a long, tiring day hike or a multi-day backpacking adventure.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 9 miles round trip (14.48 km)
Duration – 12 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Shuttle stop #9 (Temple of Sinawava)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: The Narrows – Zion National Park – Everything You Need To Know


6. Observation Point

Observation Point In Zion National ParkThis is a challenging and rewarding hike in Zion National Park. 8 miles in length, with over 2k feet of climbing and scrambling, the final viewpoint is well worth the effort required. Prepare to ascend some seriously steep switchbacks. The trail works its way to the edge of the canyon rim with a panorama view right in front of you, which also includes Angels Landing to the southwest.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 8 miles round trip (12.88 km)
Duration  – 5 to 6 hours
Season – Summer, fall, spring
Trailhead –  Shuttle stop #7 (Weeping Rock)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Observation Point – Zion National Park


7. Emerald Pools

Emerald Pools In Zion National Park, Utah

This is one of the most popular hikes in all of Zion National Park. The trail starts off easy and gradually becomes more strenuous the farther you go. Getting to the lower pools is easy, while the upper pools require a bit more effort. Hikers can choose to extend their hike even longer by linking onto the Kayenta Trail, which follows the path along the Virgin River and over a bridge to reach the next shuttle stop.

Difficulty – Easy to moderate
Distance – 1.5 to 3 miles (2.41 km to 4.83 km), depending which pool you go to
Duration – 2 to 4 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Shuttle stop #5 (Zion Lodge) or Shuttle Stop #6 (The Grotto)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Emerald Pools Trail – Zion National Park


8. The Subway

The SubwayHiking the Subway in Zion national park is an incredible experience. A permit is required from the park in order to hike this trail, as only 80 hikers are allowed to hike it per day. It’s a unique and incredible hike for those who get the chance to experience it. The most common way to hike the Subway is top-down, but requires canyoneering skills as well as exposure to frigid water. The Subway can be hiked from the bottom, eliminating the technical climb and cold water. Similar to the Narrows, hikers will be wading through waist deep water. You can hike from the bottom up or top down, both making an epic adventure.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 9 miles (top down) (14.48 km)
Duration – 5 to 8 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead –  For bottom up use the Left Fork Trailhead and for top down, use the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead.
Full trail guide, pictures and maps: The Subway – Zion National Park 


9. Hidden Canyon

Hidden Canyon In Zion National Park This is a fun scenic trail that hangs to the side of a cliff. Parts of this hike are somewhat similar to Angels Landing, involving narrow trails with chains provided to help you keep your balance. The trail features small sandstone caves and a 20-foot natural arch with excellent views of the canyons.  Don’t let the short distance fool you, this is a very challenging hike with long drop offs. Hidden Canyon is a great way to see a part of Zion that many others miss out on, due to it being more secluded and “secretive” than other hikes in the area.

Difficulty – Moderate to strenuous
Distance – 3 miles round trip (4.83 km)
Elevation gain – 1,000 feet roughly
Duration –  3 to 5 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead –  Shuttle stop #7 (Weeping Rock)
Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Hidden Canyon – Zion National Park


10. West Rim Trail

West Rim In Zion National ParkA lesser traveled Zion classic, the West Rim Trail has amazing views and gives you the chance to hike the entire length of Zion National Park. The West Rim Trail can be hiked either as a long day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 17 miles round trip (27.36 km)
Elevation gain – 3,600 feet (heading North)
Duration – 10 to 12 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Lava Point or West Rim Trailhead

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: West Rim Trail – Zion National Park


11. Kolob Arch

Kolob Arch In Zion National ParkKolob Arch is located deep in the backcountry of Zion National Park. It is one of the largest freestanding arches in the world. Kolob Arch spans roughly 287 feet, only a couple feet shorter than Landscape Arch in Arches National Park. The arch itself is off-limit to hikers, but the trail leads to an incredible viewpoint of the arch.

There are two ways to reach the arch. The most popular route for hikers is to descend from the Kolob Canyons Road parking lot at Lee Pass into Timber Creek. This trail runs along the Kolob Canyons, Timber Top Mountain, Gregory Butte, Nagunt Mesa, and Paria and Beatty Points. Another option for hikers is to begin at the Hop Valley Trailhead. This is a much more direct route. Both routes are seven-mile treks (one way). The Hop Valley Trail heads north from the Kolob Reservoir Road and is fairly straight forward and easy to navigate after the initial curve.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 14 miles round trip (22.53 km)
Duration – 5 to 9 hours
Season – Spring, summer, fall
Trailhead – Lee Pass Trailhead or Hop Valley Trailhead

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Hiking Kolob Arch | La Verkin Creek & Hop Valley Trail | Zion National Park


12. Cable Mountain

Cable Mountain - Zion National ParkIf you are looking for a slightly more challenging trek with less crowds, Cable Mountain is a great option. , and to avoid the crowds, Cable Mountain could be a great choice. Pictures of this gorgeous hike are available at the very bottom of this article.

There are two ways to reach Cable Mountain. The most direct route is from Weeping Rock Trailhead, stop number 7 along the Zion Canyon Shuttle route. The second route is located nearby the park’s East Entrance. This makes for a longer hike, nine miles (one way) but offers a slightly more gradual approach as the elevation gain is more spread out.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 15 miles round trip (24.14 km)
Elevation Gain – 2,400 feet
Duration – 7 to 12 hours
Season – Summer, spring, fall
Trailhead – Shuttle stop #7 (Weeping Rock)

Full trail guide, pictures and maps: Hiking Cable Mountain – Zion National Park’s Best Less Traveled Hike


Zion’s Best Beginner Hikes


Zion’s Best Hikes With Views


Zion’s Best Challenging Hikes


Zion’s Best Overnight Hikes


Things To Know Before Visiting Zion National Park

The National Park Service runs regular, free shuttle busses throughout the entire park, as well as into the town of Springdale, Utah. There are sections of the park that are closed for vehicle traffic and can only be accessed via shuttle or by foot (or bike). Depending on which season you visit, the shuttle will run at different times of day. Be sure to check out the NPS official guide for more information on the park’s shuttle service.

A permit is required for all technical canyoneering trips in Zion National Park. This includes: The Narrows, The Subway, and Orderville Canyon. Permits can be obtained at the Zion National Park Visitor Center along with the latest weather and flash flood forecasts.


What To Bring On A Hike In Zion National Park

  • Navigation – There’s a chance your phone won’t get good cell reception, which can become an issue if you venture off the trail by accident. Carry both a compass and paper map on any hike you go on.
  • Hydration – Do not skimp on water, especially if you’re planning to visit the park between May and September, when it is exceptionally hot. Many parts of the park do not have reliable water sources along the trails, so make sure to be prepared.
  • Calorie-Dense Food –  Bring calorie-dense snacks while hiking, even for just a short hike, in case of the event that your hike goes longer than originally planned. Choose food that contain a good mix of complex carbs, fats, protein, and electrolytes. Jerky, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, trail mix, and power bars are good options for trail snacks.
  • Headlamp – Even when you are just planning on a day hike, it’s important to be prepared in case your hike lasts longer than originally planned. Always carry extra lithium batteries as well.
  • First Aid Supplies– Your first aid kit should have the basics: bandaids (assorted sizes), alcohol wipes, waterproof matches, burn care, tweezers, etc.)
  • Proper Footwear – Hiking requires you to be on your feet all day, so the right footwear is essential on any given hike. Some people opt for hiking boots, with more support around the ankle, while others go with a pair of trail runners. Whichever you choose, be sure that they fit properly and have good support.
  • Proper Clothing – Depending on the season, you will always want to carry extra layers of clothing in case the weather changes unexpectedly or your first layer gets damp. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics and be sure to ditch the cotton at all costs.  Even when the forecast calls for a day of sunshine, always be prepared. A hard shell jacket and pair of rain pants will keep you dry and warm in case unexpected weather hits.

Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis

Andrea is a writer, hiker, and adventurer from New England. She enjoys snowboarding, sunrise hikes, winter, night hiking, traveling, and photography.