The Canyon Overlook Trail is one of Zion’s classic easy hikes with outstanding views. The trail begins by ascending beautiful sandstone steps, climbing up above the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. This short trek brings hikers to a cliff’s edge, boasting insanely beautiful views of lower Zion Canyon, including Zion’s most beloved Switchbacks. This hike is a perfect option for those looking for a high elevation viewpoint, without tackling a grueling trail such as Observation Point.
Elevation gain – 163 feet
Difficulty rating – Easy short family hike.
Trailhead (The Starting Location) – The trailhead for this hike is located just outside the east end of the 1.1 mile Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel close by the ranger booth.
Duration (book time) – 30 minutes to 1 hour
Distance – 1 mile round-trip
Seasons – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week granted visitor access makes this a popular place to be year-round.
Bathrooms – Vault restrooms are located at the trailhead across the highway from the ranger booth.
Follow the steps up the Canyon Overlook Trail located on the east side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel near the ranger booth. The Canyon Overlook Trail continues along a dirt path to an alcove with a recessed rock just beyond the alcove. The trail begins to climb among slick rock hoodoos, along cliff sections where you should proceed with extra caution.
Well maintained path made of mostly sandstone with some packed dirt sections.
The trailhead for this hike is located just outside the east end of the 1.1 mile Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel close by the ranger booth. Park here.
Getting to Zion National Park:
From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion’s east entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.
For those looking for a longer and more challenging adventure, there’s plenty of other trails nearby to extend your hiking day. Be sure to check out Observation Point, Angel’s Landing, or The Narrows.
Before You Go
Be sure to stay on established trails to protect yourself and the fragile desert environment. Never approach the edge of a cliff, and remember that sandstone can be slippery.
*NOTE* Do not hike this trail if it is wet, raining or lightening.
Current Weather Conditions
Haze. Sunny, with a high near 88. West wind around 9 mph.
Haze. Clear. Low around 58, with temperatures rising to around 62 overnight. North northwest wind 2 to 7 mph.
Haze. Sunny, with a high near 88. Northeast wind 5 to 13 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 59. North wind 2 to 12 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 85. South southeast wind 5 to 12 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 56.
Sunny, with a high near 86.
Andrea is a writer, hiker, and adventurer from New England. She enjoys snowboarding, sunrise hikes, winter, night hiking, traveling, and photography.