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.
Zion National Park is 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. Here are the best hikes in Zoin.
BEFORE YOU GO READ: 10 Essentials I never hike without
Zion National Parks Hikes
Easy Zion Hikes
Canyon Overlook Trail
The Canyon Overlook Trail Zion is an easy 1 mile trail that can be found in the Eastern side of the park. The trail is a mix of sandstone and sand with drop offs here and there so make sure you’re always paying attention.
The end of the trail offers a different viewpoint of the canyon compared to the rest of the Zion hiking trails.
The trailhead can be found on the left hand side directly after the tunnel if you’re leaving through the park through the East entrance. Parking is limited but there is room to park on the opposite side of the road.
Since the this is an easy Zion hike for the whole family it gets crowded. I’d try to get here and start the hike early. I usually do this hike on the morning that I’m leaving the park. It’s short and on the way to Bryce Canyon which is within an hours drive of Zion.
Emerald Pools Trail
The Emerald pools trail takes you to 3 different sets of natural waterfall pools. This hike can be easy to strenuous depending on how far you hike. The easy hike takes you 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 last, the 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 and one of the easiest Zion park hikes. 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 magnificant views of the sandstone canyon.
As you continue on the path the canyon walls are framed with hanging gardens and sporadic waterfalls.
This is the perfect riverside walk to enjoy anytime of the day as its mostly shaded. The Temple of Sinawava is 2 miles round trip and located on stop 9 of the Zion shuttle.
Moderate Zion National Park Hikes
The Narrows hike in Zion National Park is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Come to think of it, its a lot of peoples favorite and theres a good 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 your life.
This hike can be up to 16.4 miles depending on how far down the Virgin river you hike. This is the most popular of the Zion National Park hikes so be prepared for large crowds the first couple miles of the hike. Obviously the farther you hike, the less crowded it gets.
The trail follows the riverbed the whole time and it takes you over rocks, roots, and tree trunks and through the river. Sometimes the water gets up to waist deep.
It is recommend that you hike in a pair of sturdy river hiking boots and with a hiking pole. There are a few places in Springdale that you can rent river hiking boots, neoprene socks and walking sticks for around $20 a day. It is also possible to rent this equipment at the entrance of the park before you jump on the free shuttle that takes you through Zion.
The canyon walls are up to 2,000 feet high so it can be chilly in the shade. Bring a rain jacket!
It is also very important to check the weather before embarking on the Narrows hike. Flash floods and landslides are common so be sure to check Zion National Parks website before you hit the trails.
The Narrows Zion is stop number 9 on the Zion shuttle.
Advanced Zion Hikes
If you’re looking for a Zion National Park hike that will give you thrills then look no further. Angels Landing trail 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 are known as Walters Wiggles. These will look steeper, shorter, and taller. Once you’ve conquered these, you’ll be at the last half mile of the Angels Landing hike which require the use of chains. 😬
This is the BEST part of the Angels Landing 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 on the Zion shuttle.
Observation point trail is Zion’s longest and most classic hike. 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.