Hiking in Zion National Park

Hiking Zion National Park

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The Subway in Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Hiking in Zion

Hiking in Zion National Park is divided into hiking along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, hiking in Zion Canyon and hiking in the Kolob sections of the park.  The Kolob is divided into Kolob Canyons and the Kolob Terrace. The main section of the park is open year-round via  the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. Zion Canyon can also be accessed year-round, but from mid-March to late October visitors ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle to travel the six-mile long Zion Canyon Scenic Drives.  Some of the most popular trails in the park include Zion Narrows, Weeping Rock, Riverside Walk, Emerald Pools,  Angels Landing, Canyon Overlook.  The east side of the park has many routes that are off the beaten path to enjoy.


Plan your trip with our "Canyon Country"
Vacation Itinerary

Pa'rus Trail - 3.5 miles: This is a very easy paved trail usable by bikes, wheelchairs, strollers and large groups. It follows along the Virgin River, over several bridges and through lower Zion Canyon. This part of Zion is hot and the elevation is only about 4,000 ft. Be prepared for the heat.  The trail can be used to travel from the Zion National Park campgrounds to the museum or Canyon Junction. (Canyon Junction is the intersection of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and Zion Canyon Drive) This is the only trail in the park allowing dogs (must be on a leash) and bikes. A narrow dirt path spurs over to the Zion Canyon Museum about midway on the trail.  Begin in the campgrounds or at Canyon Junction.  Much of this trail is in the full sun.

Canyon Overlook - 1 mile round trip: This is a fun trail with a high elevation view.  The east side of the park is at a higher elevation than Zion Canyon, so the trek up the path to a superior high view point is short. The natural rock path along this enjoyable hike is stocked with various shaped hoodoos. About halfway through the trail is a shallow alcove hosting the delicate maidenhair fern which steals needed water from mountain seepage. The hike begins at the east side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and ends on top of the Great Arch. (The arch can be seen on the south side of the tunnel) At the end of the trail, hikers often sit among the hoodoos looking down over the impressive view of the Zion Switchbacks and Pine Creek Canyon. Towering above are both the East Temple and West Temple.  Pine Creek is seen throughout much of the hike.  Often ropes are seen going down into the canyon for a moment, then they disappear from sight as hikers rappel into the water filled slot canyon. The elevation gain along the trail is only 163'.

Watchman Trail - 2 miles round trip: The Watchman is the towering spire seen from the Zion Natural History Museum. Much of the trail is in full sun so begin this trail early in the day. The climb is steady with an elevation gain of 370'.

East Rim is often said
to be one of the best backpacking trails
in Utah

East Rim - This incredible 10 mile one-way, 5-6 hour, hike begins at the east entrance of Zion National Park. Look for a small "trailhead" sign just south of the east entrance station. The adventure begins to get interesting at first sight of Echo Canyon. This spectacular trail travels along the side of Echo Canyon for much of the way.  Soon the landscape changes and the path follows cairns along large slabs of slick rock. After the trail connects with the Observation Point Trail it's a steep descent into Zion Canyon.  The trail ends at the Weeping Rock parking lot where shuttle service is available during much of the year. Many Zion National Park landmarks are seen from the last two miles of the trail, including Cathedral Mountain, the Organ and Angels Landing. The start of this trail is hot and sandy and should only be done during the early part of the day.

Zion National Park Vacation: Canyon Country

Zion National Park Map Red Canyon - Dixie National Forest Cedar Mountain - Dixie National Forest Zion National Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes North Rim of the Grand Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument East Zion Welcome Center Bryce Canyon National Park Cedar Breaks National Monument Scenic Byway 89 Scenic Byway 14 Scenic Byway 143 Scenic Byway 12 Scenic Byway 9 - Zion Mt. Carmel Hwy Zion National Park Lodging Zion National Park Lodging
Private vehicles can travel SR-9, from Zion's south entrance, out the east entrance (or visa versa) to the junction of SR-9 & US-89 year-round, 24 hours a day. See tunnel restrictions for Oversized Vehicles. In summer, the only access to the Scenic Zion Canyon Drive is via Zion's shuttle, but during the winter private vehicles can travel in the canyon. Exact dates the shuttle runs may vary

Zion National ParkNature Notes

Hoodoos are geomorphic formations abundant on the east side of Zion National Park. The Canyon Overlook Trail, located on the east side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, has an impressive nest of hoodoos at the end of the trail. Hikers sit among hoodoos and look down over lower Zion Canyon and the switchbacks. But just what is a hoodoo? The hoodoos in Zion National Park come in a variety of whimsical shapes and sizes and locations. 

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