Zion National Park hiking trails cover everything from novice and family-friendly strolls to challenging journeys for the most experienced hikers. These trails are not only a great way to stay in shape, but they're also a superior way to reconnect with nature and experience some of the most breathtaking sites the world has to offer. You'll see towering cliff walls with unique etchings carved out by centuries of erosion, weeping walls with natural waterfalls, lush foliage, and so much more. 

    Check out the 10 best hiking trails in the park and hit these scenic areas for photo opportunities and back-to-nature memories you won't soon forget.


    Observation Point

    Catch your breath on this challenging sandstone hike

    • Adventure

    Observation Point is a challenging hike encompassing a full 8-mile return through sandstone trails, and it begins when you exit the Zion shuttle at stop #7. 

    At the end of your hike, you can look down over 700 feet to the Angel's Landing landmark and the whole of the park. The walk is long and uphill, so it can be tiring, but the panoramic view of the park from this lookout is jaw-dropping and, if you're looking to capture photos, the sheer combination of rust- and amber-colored cliffs with lush green foliage below is worth the trek.


    Angel's Landing

    Climb the chains to a deep canyon overlook

    • Adventure

    Angel's Landing is a truly iconic hiking trail, one of the park's most renowned, and it's accessible from the #6 stop on the Zion National Park shuttle. 

    The trail is marked by sharp ascents and descents and tight curves for the first leg of the trek. You'll walk through the aptly-named Refrigerator Canyon, after which you’ll wind through Walter's Wiggles. After this, 21 more switchbacks will guide you to Scout's Lookout, where you'll stand on a broad, flat overlook into the deep canyon below. The last half-mile goes along a narrow ridgeline with chains in place to help you on the way, but it's a challenging hike that rewards you with a 360-degree panoramic view of the entire canyon.


    Emerald Pools

    Climb the trail to enchantment at these deep natural ponds

    • Adventure

    The Emerald Pools Trail is ideal for beginning hikers who want a short trek that still offers a challenge and ends at a stunning natural formation. While short, this trail will give you a workout over its half-mile loop. The trail winds to the Lower Emerald Pools and from there, you can go on to the top of the waterfall to the Middle Emerald Pools. 

    For more adventure, a set of stairs will lead you to the Upper Emerald Pools where you can take another hiking trail that will let you loop back around. This trail can be found at the Zion shuttle stop #5, but if you head to Stop #6, you can access it via a longer route.


    Canyon Overlook

    Take a family-friendly jaunt to the park's eastern side

    • Adventure
    • Families

    The Canyon Overlook Trail might be a good choice if you're looking for a family-friendly outdoor adventure. It's located on the eastern side of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and overlooks the canyon below. 

    The entire trail is a mere 1-mile return and only elevates about 100 feet above the car park. Still, the vantage point from the outlook at the top lets you view the entire canyon expanse and capture some stunning photography at sunrise as the orange and pink rays illuminate the colourful rock walls below.


    East Rim Trail

    Take a whole-day hike through unique rock formations

    • Adventure

    The East Rim Trail offers a day-long hike that you can start at Observation Point to climb to the top or at the East Entrance to descend to the bottom. As you walk, you'll see not just Zion Canyon, but also the stunning and unique walls of Echo Canyon. 

    The whole trail is 12 miles long end to end, so if you plan to tackle the whole thing, you may want to arrange for transport when you complete your hike.


    West Rim Trail

    Trek the 16-mile rim of the canyons on a backpacking journey

    • Adventure

    The West Rim Trail spans 16 miles between Kolob Canyons at the Lava Point Trailhead and the West Rim Trailhead that leads you through Zion Canyon. It's a superb backpacking journey complete with access to a shuttle that serves the trail, so if you plan properly, you'll have a shuttle to board at the end of your jaunt. 

    The West Rim Trailhead is served by the shuttle at stop 6. It serves landmarks like Scout's Lookout and then traverses the canyon rim for jaw-dropping views both into the canyon itself and at the towering cliff walls above.


    Watchman Overlook Trail

    Visit cottonwood graves along a bubbling spring

    • Adventure

    The Watchman Overlook Trail begins in the Watchman's Campground and is only a 3-mile return hike with just 500 feet of gain. If you're looking for an easy access trail, it's hard to beat this one whose trailhead is right across the street from the Visitor's Centre. 

    This is a solid choice of trails for beginners at hiking or even experienced trailblazers just looking for a more relaxing walk. It will take you through groves of lush cottonwoods and along a babbling, fresh spring. It ends with an astounding view of iconic landmarks like Observation Point, Angel's Landing, and the Watchman. This is a good option if you want beautiful scenery without overexerting yourself.


    Pa'rus Trail

    Take a relaxing stroll along an easy, level path

    • Adventure
    • Families

    The Pa'rus Trail is amongst the easier trails in Zion National Park, as it doesn't involve much climbing or incline at all—it's mostly on the level. That means that families, people with mobility issues, bicyclers, and even leashed pets can enjoy this trail equally. 

    You'll find the trail just across the street and across a bridge from the Visitor's Centre, or you can reach it by taking the shuttle to stop 3. This trail walks along the shores of the rivers and takes you through the towering walls on either side for brilliant colours and majestic rock formations. The whole trail is just a 3.5-mile return.

    Open: 24/7


    The Narrows

    Walk the Virgin River through intricately eroded canyon walls

    • Adventure

    The Narrows, amongst the most iconic hikes in the national park, can be tackled 2 ways, top-down or bottom-up. The upward approach begins at the Riverside Walk at the Temple of Sinawava. The descending approach begins at Chamberlain Ranch. The top-down is the more difficult approach, requiring a full day of backpacking or even an overnight trip with a campground stop along the way. Hiking from the bottom up allows an easier means of turning around and heading back. 

    The full trek is 16 miles either way and takes you along the Virgin River—and sometimes you'll have to wade through it. The intricate patterns you'll view along the walls of the canyon are the result of centuries of water erosion.

    Location: The Narrows Bottom Up, Hurricane, UT 84737, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 435-772-3256


    Taylor Creek Trail

    Get another point of view along a challenging cavern finger trail

    • Adventure

    The Taylor Creek Trail is a great choice if you’re looking to get away from Zion Canyon and get a different perspective on the park. 

    This one traverses Kolob Caverns and is a moderately difficult trail that runs 5 miles return. The trail goes through the cavern finger and along a babbling creek to a massive, naturally tie-dyed, arched rock formation that forms an amphitheatre called the Double Arch Alcove. You'll still see miles of gorgeous, towering rock walls and unspoiled natural waters, but it's an entirely different viewpoint from other trails in the park.

    Location: Taylor Creek Trail, New Harmony, UT 84757, USA


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