Zion national park

Best Zion National Park Hikes

Find out about the best Zion National Park hikes and enjoy the beautiful landscapes!

Zion National Park is a masterclass in spectacular scenery and awesome experiences. One of the best ways to see the park and what it has to offer is with a hike, but with so many trails to choose from it can be difficult to narrow down your options. That’s where we come in to help you break down the best hikes in Zion National Park. To visit the park you can rent and pick-up your RV in Las Vegas, Nevada or Salt Lake City, Utah!

So, here are the best Zion National Park hikes:

Angel’s Landing

Angel’s Landing is hailed as one of the best in the park. Beginning at shuttle stop number six (The Grotto), the initial 2-mile stretch of the hike is defined by switchbacks that take you through Refrigerator Canyon, Walter’s Wiggles, and then onto Scout’s Lookout.

Scout’s Lookout provides you with a broad, flat overlook into the canyon below and is the ideal turnaround point for adventurers who don’t want to brave the trip up to Angel’s Landing.

The final half a mile to Angel’s Landing is along a ridgeline, making for a slow, challenging hike. Though chains are attached to the rock to help you, this stretch is still only recommended for the most adventurous visitors.

angel's landing
Angel’s landing trail

Once at the top of Angel’s Landing, you’re treated to a 360-degree view of the canyon below.

This is one hike you’ll want to start early in the day. It’s one of the busiest trails in Zion National Park and tends to get crowded at the height of the day.

Observation Point

Observation Point is one of the harder hikes on this list but while it is challenging it’s also incredibly rewarding. It’s an 8-mile round trip and gains 2,000 feet of elevation, winding through switchback trails to provide you with incredible, panoramic views of the canyon below.

observation point zion national park
Observation Point trail

At the highest point of the hike, you’ll find yourself standing across the canyon, gazing down 700 feet below to the famous Angel’s Landing.

The trailhead for Observation Point is situated at shuttle stop number seven.

Canyon Overlook

This one-mile round trip trail is great for novice hikers or those with young family members. It’s on the east side of Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and—as the name suggests—looks down on Zion Canyon.

Canyon Overlook trail

The trail gains only 100 feet of elevation from the car park, however, you’re still treated to awesome views of Zion Canyon at the overlook. This spot also makes for a great sunrise photography experience.

Emerald Pools

The Emerald Pools trail is made up of three awesome sub-trails, each with its own level of difficulty. This makes it great for people who want to enjoy a short hike or for more adventurous types who want a challenge.

The falls at the Lower Emerald Pools is just a short, half-mile trail in. From there you can continue on to the head of the falls located at Middle Emerald Pools. If you really want to exert yourself, you can then tackle the stairway to Upper Emerald Pools, continuing to the Kayenta Trail to loop your hike.

This beautiful narrow gorge with emerald pool and icy cold water is called the Subway and is part of the Emerald Pools trail

The Emerald Pools trailhead is at shuttle stop number five (Zion Lodge) or, for a more challenging loop, you can kick off at shuttle stop number six (The Grotto).

East Rim Trail

The East Rim Trail is a diverse trip. You can backpack the trail, aim for a long day hike, or turn around when you’re ready to make it an out-and-back walk.

It has two starting points: Observation Point which pushes you over 2,000 feet to the top or near the East Entrance from which you descend into the canyon. During the trip, you’ll be treated to awesome views of Zion Canyon as well as the singular Echo Canyon.

For those wanting to take on the whole 12-mile through-hike, remember to set up your transportation in advance.

West Rim Trail

This through-hike begins at West Rim Trailhead in Zion Canyon and ends at Lava Point Trailhead in Kolob Canyons (or vice versa). The 16-mile trail is the ideal backpacking trip but for those without the resources or time for a multiday hike, you can also tackle it as a day hike by starting at the West Rim Trailhead, at shuttle stop number six (The Grotto), and simply turn around when you’re ready to return to base.

Kolob Canyons
Landscape at Kolob Canyon made from red rock formations of Navajo sandstone.

The trail from the West Rim Trailhead starts up the same switchbacks as the hike to Angel’s Landing. Upon reaching Scout’s Lookout, the hike to West Rim starts to your left, traversing the rim of the canyon to provide you with a truly awe-inspiring view of the canyon below as well as the huge cliffs around you.

Pa’rus Trail

This unique trail is predominantly flat, making it accessible for those in wheelchairs, on bikes, or who have leashed pets. You can reach the trailhead from the Visitor Center by crossing the road toward Watchman’s Campground and traversing the bridge. If you’re already in the canyon, you can also access it from shuttle stop number three.

Pa'rus trail
The Watchman and Cliffs of Bridge Mountain viewed from the Pa’rus Trail

The Pa’rus Trail offers some of the most spectacular views of the park, taking you along the river on a 3.5-mile roundtrip.

The Narrows

One of the most renowned hikes in Zion National Park, there are two ways to approach this trail. The most popular starts from the bottom at the Riverside Walk at the Temple of Sinawava and allows you to go as far as you want before turning and heading back. For those who want to commit to the 16-mile trek, you can tackle The Narrows from the top-down starting at Chamberlain Ranch. This option is ideal for those who want a challenging day hike or an overnight backpacking trip.

The majestic Narrows

However you decide to tackle The Narrows, you’re going to have fun. The trail takes you through the Virgin River, occasionally wading through it as you admire the soaring canyon walls surrounding you. It’s widely considered one of the most awesome hikes in the park.

Watchman Overlook Trail

This trailhead is one of the most convenient in Zion National Park. To reach it, you simply cross the road from the Visitor Center to the Watchman’s Campground (and the beginning of the trail).

Watchman overlook trail
The Watchman Trail is a round trip trail ending at the Watchman Overlook

This 3-mile roundtrip hike has only 500 feet of elevation gain, making it ideal for novice hikers or those with young family members. It takes you through huge cottonwoods, along the path of a flowing spring. After a while, the loop takes you to some awesome views of Angel’s Landing and Observation Point to the north, and the Watchman to the south.

Watchman Overlook Trail is excellent because it offers you beautiful scenery without you having to exert too much effort.

Hike Zion National Park

There you have it! Some of the best hiking trails in Zion National Park. Each one is unique but all have one thing in common: an awesome experience of one of the best national parks in the country.

About the Autor

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Marie Ducharne