Hiking Zion

The Best Hikes of Zion National Park

Hiking Zion National Park is always a standout moment of my summer. Not only are the Zion hikes amazing but Zion National Park is my favorite park in the United States. The park is also one of the smallest and one of the most visited parsk in the country, nearly 4.4 million people visited Zion last year alone! Get ready for an action packed visit.

Before you go read 10 Essentials I never hike without.

top zion hikes


Canyon Overlook Trail ↑

Any easy 1 mile trail roundtrip locating in the Eastern Park.  You’ll be walking on a mix of sandstone and sand with drop offs here and there on the trail.

The end offers a different viewpoint of the canyon then the rest of Zion.  Easy Zion hike for the whole family.

Entrance is on the left directly after the tunnel if you’re leaving through the park.  Parking is limited but there is room to park on the side of the road.  It was pretty crowded so hike earlier the better.

Emerald Pools to Lower Pool

This trail that takes you to 3 different sets of natural waterfall pools. This hike can be easy to strenuous depending on how far you hike. Easy to lower pool, moderate to the middle pool, and strenuous to upper pool.  The trail to the lower pool is easily marked.

Unfortunately when I was here middle and upper pools were closed due to a landslide.

This hike is 1.2 miles round trip and is a nice hike for the whole family. Stop 5 on the free Zion shuttle.

Temple of Sinawava ↑

If you’re up for a stroll that has views for days, the Temple of Sinawava takes the cake.  This is well paved path snakes you along the Virgin River with views of the sandstone canyon.  As you continue on the path the canyon walls are framed with hanging gardens and sporadic waterfalls.  Perfect riverside walk to enjoy anytime of the day as its mostly shaded.  2 miles round trip and located on stop 9 of the Zion shuttle.


The Narrows ↑

This hike is probably my favorite.  Come to think of it, its a lot of peoples favorite and theres a reason why.  Theres just something exhilarating about romping through a river bed on your own free will as an adult that brings pure joy to my life.

This hike can be up to 16.4 miles depending on how far down the river you hike.    You’re following the riverbed the whole time and it takes you over rocks, roots, and tree trunks and through the river sometimes up to waist deep water.  I hiked in a pair of running shoes and I never had a problem.

The canyon walls are up to 2,000 feet high so it can be chilly in the shade.  Bring a rain jacket.

The farther you hike, the less crowded it is so hike any time of day.


The Narrows ↑

If you’re looking for Zion hikes that will give you thrills then look no further.  This is a strenuous 5.4 mile hike that takes you up to a landing almost 1,500 feet above the ground.

The first couple miles take you up a series of switchbacks.  The first set start early on in the hike as it takes you up the side of a mountain.  Views get grander with the climb.  The path is wide and easy to walk on.

You’ll come to the last switchbacks that will look steeper, shorter, and taller.  Once you’ve conquered these, you’ll be at the last half mile of the hike which require the use of chains.

This is the BEST part of the hike in my opinion. 

Chains are bolted into the mountain to aid the climber as they ascend/descend the narrow ridge.  There are certain points where there are 1,000 foot drop offs on either side.

Once on Angel’s Landing you’ll see 360 degree panoramic views of Zion Canyon.  Exhilerating and breathtaking all at the same time.  You’ll have to descend on the same chain you came up so catch your breath before you start your climb down.

This hike is very popular and gets crowded.  Hike early morning or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds.  This year I started the hike at 2:45 and we had the mountain to ourselves.  Lather on the sunscreen.

Stop 6.

Observation Point

This hike is Zion’s longest and most classic.  This 8 mile hike is strenuous climbs 2,000 feet in elevation and is 700 feet higher than the top of Angel’s Landing.  At the top of the hike you’ll have dramatic views of Zion Canyon and you can see people at the summit of Angel’s Landing.  Located at stop 7.

Unfortunately this hike was also closed on my recent visit which was the main reason we came back to Zion this summer. I have included this in my top Zion hikes post because a good friend of mine used to live in the area and this is her favorite.  I hope to have better luck next summer.

XX Jess

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