Zion National Park

• Hiking in Zion NP Photos and Video NPS Website  Trail Map

 

East Rim    
      
Canyon Overlook (P.O.I.)   Easy 1 mile
Synopsis: An easy half-mile walk to a beautiful overlook. This East Rim hike gives you a different, but still enchanting, view of Zion from what you can expect in the main canyon. 
     
Checkerboard Mesa Easy  0.7 miles 
Synopsis: Checkerboard Mesa is a wonderland of possible on and off-trail experiences. But like many high-desert areas, there is plenty of opportunity to get lost. However, for those who are good with a compass and a map, confident in their orienteering skills, and enticed by the spectacular colors and formations of these amazing surroundings, even a short drive through this area will be hard to accomplish without pulling off the road, picking a canyon, and heading out.   
     
Kolob Canyons    
     
 Timber Creek Overlook (P.O.I.) Easy 1.2 miles
Synopsis: A short, easy, scenic walk to a point with great views all around, but especially to the east toward the red-rock buttresses of Kolob Canyons. This area of Zion is beautiful, much less crowded and well worth the extra effort and time. There is a bit of climbing and some rocky trail, but it's fine for kids.
     
Main Canyon    
     
Angels Landing (dayhike)   Difficult-Strenuous 5.6 miles
Synopsis: Iconic. That is perhaps the best way to sum up this trail. It's on the National Register of Historic Places. It's a challenging and daunting outing that still manages to be the most popular hike in the park. And it is topped off by some of the best views available anywhere. As signs along the way will confirm, this can be a dangerous hike - especially when conditions are inclement. But if you're sensible, in good shape and not given to vertigo you will find the payoff for your efforts exhilarating.
     
Archeology Walk (P.O.I.) Easy 0.5 miles
Synopsis: A fun half-mile or so diversion on a nice day. There don't really seem to be any actual items of archeological interest (at least as far as we could determine) but the vantage does offer a nice view over the Visitor Center and to the east.
     
Court of the Patriarchs (P.O.I.) Easy 0.1 miles
Synopsis: A fun little stop for lunch or a break with great views of the section of the west side of the canyon that includes some historic, named peaks.
     
Hidden Canyon (dayhike)   Moderate-Difficult 2.7 miles
Synopsis: This is a wonderfully diverse and entertaining hike. There is some challenge - in the climb as well as the cliff exposure, there is interest - in the botany as well as the geology, and there is the delight of ascending over a quarter-mile of elevation along the rock wall to find an entrance to a beautiful and relatively level canyon with its own arch at the end. There are tremendous views of the main canyon all along the initial climb, but if you're at all squeamish about heights it might be best to ignore those sights and keep a firm grip on the chains (yes, there are some sections where hanging onto sturdy metal chains is the only safe way to negotiate steep drop-offs).
         
 Observation Point (dayhike)   Difficult 7.7 miles
Synopsis: Observation Point is just across the canyon from Angels Landing, and the hike, though longer, harder and not quite as spectacular, is very similar. It's nearly all a steady ascent, some of it on paved paths, that results in an amazing view. A bonus this one, though, is at the top you'll be looking down on Angels Landing. Try not to feel too smug.    
     
Pa'rus Trail (dayhike)   Easy 1.7 miles 
Synopsis: This is a lovely, and easy, point to point walk along a paved trail that follows the Virgin River south from the bridge at the Canyon Junction area and ends at the Visitor Center. It can be taken in either direction, but take it on a bright sunny day if you can. 
      
Riverside Walk (dayhike) Easy 2.1 miles
Synopsis: You'll likely have plenty of company on this little stroll. The Riverside Walk is essentially the paved beginning section of the famous Narrows hike. But it's worth taking this walk into he northern area of Zion Canyon even if you're not wading through the Narrows. The light and shadow can provide wonderful photo opportunities, the seep gardens are fascinating, and the walls are dramatic. It's also a cooler spot when the wide canyon is hot.
       
Virgin River Nature Trail (P.O.I.) Easy  0.1 miles
Synopsis: This brief stroll follows the Virgin River next to the Visitor Center. It is paved, has some interpretive signs, and is probably best reserved for those times when you're waiting for someone who's either in the bookstore or the restrooms. 
       
Weeping Rock (P.O.I.)     Easy 0.5 miles
Synopsis: A short, paved, sometimes slippery path leads up to a lateral spring in one of the huge rock cliffs in Zion Canyon. There are quite a few of these hanging garden type seeps in the canyon, but this one is dramatic and accessible, if sometimes steeper than one would expect on such a brief walk. It is often crowded, not the least reason for which is the wonderful view back down the canyon.
       
     

All photos and video by Laura or Bob Camp unless otherwise indicated. Use without permission is not cool.