Zion Canyon Trail Descriptions

Zion Canyon is the most visited part of Zion National Park and offers easy, moderate, and strenuous hikes. Most Zion Canyon hikes are accessible only by the park shuttle from spring to fall and require stopping at the appropriate shuttle stop. Be sure to check the shuttle schedule prior to starting your trip and arrive early to find parking. All available parking fills quickly during the peak summer season. Trail closures may be in effect so check for current conditions.

Hiking the trails of Zion National Park can provide lasting memories, but this environment can be harsh and unforgiving. Park Rangers respond to numerous
rescues each year, many of which are preventable. Your safety is your responsibility and that begins with proper planning and preparation prior to your visit.
 

Easy Hikes

These trails range from 0.4 miles to 3.5 miles and gain no more than 100 feet in elevation. A few are wheelchair accessible with assistance and all offer a glimpse of the natural or cultural history of Zion National Park. Being shorter in duration, these trails are also great options for those with a limited amount of time.
 
Pa’rus Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start From: #1 Visitor Center or #3 Canyon Junction
Pets: Yes
Trailhead Location: Up canyon from the Visitor Center and across the bridge adjacent to the South Campground. This trail can also be accessed from the Canyon Junction shuttle stop.
Distance (roundtrip): 3.5 mi / 5.6 km
Elevation Change: 50 ft / 15 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 2 hours
Description: A paved trail that follows the Virgin River from the South Campground to Canyon Junction. This trail is handicap accessible however wheelchairs may need assistance. Trailside exhibits. This is the only trail in Zion National Park that allows both pets (on a leash up to 6 feet) and bicycles. You can access this trail from the Museum (Shuttle Stop #2) by using a short connector trail that is not designed for wheelchairs and not approved for bikes or pets. Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Visitor Center.
 
Archeology Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #1 Visitor Center
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Behind the Zion Canyon Visitor Center near the entrance to the Visitor Center parking lot.
Distance (roundtrip): .4 mi / .6 km
Elevation Change: 80 ft / 24 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 30 minutes
Description: Short but steep. Climbs to the top of a small hill. Trailside exhibits.
 
Lower Emerald Pool Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #5 Zion Lodge
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Across the road from the Zion Lodge.
Distance (roundtrip): 1.2 mi / 1.9 km
Elevation Change: 69 ft / 21 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 1 hour
Description: Minor drop-offs. Paved trail leads to the Lower Emerald Pool and waterfalls. Connects to the Kayenta and Upper Emerald Pools Trails. Swimming is prohibited in the Emerald Pools. Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Zion Lodge.
 
Grotto Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #5 Zion Lodge or #6 Grotto
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Behind the shuttle stop at the Zion Lodge. This trail can also be accessed from the Grotto if you walk down canyon and behind the historic stone building.
Distance (roundtrip): 1 mi / 1.6 km
Elevation Change: 35 ft / 11 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 30 minutes
Description: The trail connects the Zion Lodge to the Grotto and is near the road most of the way.
 
Weeping Rock Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #7 Weeping Rock
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Across the bridge adjacent to the parking lot. Follow the signs to the left.
Distance (roundtrip): .4 mi / .6 km
Elevation Change: 98 ft / 30 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 30 minutes
Description: Short but steep. Minor drop-offs. Paved trail ends at a few steps and a rock alcove with dripping springs. Trailside exhibits. Pit toilets are available at the parking area.
 
Riverside Walk
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #9 Temple of Sinawava
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Adjacent to bathrooms and water refill station.
Distance (roundtrip): 2.2 mi / 3.5 km
Elevation Change: 57 ft / 17 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 1.5 hours
Description: Minor drop-offs. Paved trail follows the Virgin River along the bottom of a narrow canyon. Trailside exhibits. This trail is accessible however wheelchairs may need assistance. You must hike this trail to get to the bottom up Narrows route (see below).
 

Moderate Hikes

These trails range from 1 mile to 7.6 miles and have larger elevation gains. They offer magnificent views of Zion Canyon but require additional planning as proper footwear, supply of water, and physical abilities become increasingly important.
 
Watchman Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #1 Visitor Center
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Up canyon and across the road. Stay along the river to begin the trail.
Distance (roundtrip): 3.3 mi / 5.3 km
Elevation Change: 368 ft / 112 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 2 hours
Description: Moderate drop-offs. Ends at viewpoint of the Towers of the Virgin, lower Zion Canyon, Watchman Peak, and Springdale. Trail can be muddy when wet. Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Visitor Center.
 
Sandbench Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #5 Zion Lodge
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Across the street from Zion Lodge.
Distance (roundtrip): 7.6 mi / 12.2 km
Elevation Change: 466 ft / 142 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 5 hours
Description: Commercial horse trail from March to October. Hike atop a massive landslide under The Sentinel. Deep sand and little shade. Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Zion Lodge.
 
Upper Emerald Pool Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #5 Zion Lodge or #6 The Grotto
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Starts from the end of either the Lower Emerald Pools Trail or the Kayenta Trail.
Distance (roundtrip): 1.0 mi / 1.6 km
Elevation Change: 200 ft / 61 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 1 hour
Description: Minor drop-offs. A sandy and rocky trail that climbs to the Upper Emerald Pool at the base of a cliff. No swimming is allowed in the Emerald Pools.
 
Kayenta Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #6 The Grotto
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Across the street from the shuttle stop and then across the footbridge.
Distance (roundtrip): 2.0 mi / 3.2 km
Elevation Change: 150 ft / 46 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 1.5 hours
Description: Moderate drop-offs. An unpaved climb to the Emerald Pools. Connects the Grotto to the Emerald Pools Trails. Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Grotto.
 
Canyon Overlook Trail
Shuttle Location: No shuttle, requires personal transportation.
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Located near the east entrance of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel.
Distance (roundtrip): 1.0 mi / 1.6 km
Elevation Change: 163 ft / 50 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 1 hour
Description: Long drop-offs, mostly fenced. Rocky and uneven trail ends at a viewpoint for Pine Creek Canyon and lower Zion Canyon. To enter or exit the parking area just east of the tunnel, you must turn right. Parking is extremely limited, be prepared to try mulitple times. Pit toilets are available in the parking area.
 

Strenuous Hikes

These trails range from 2.5 miles to 9.4 miles and have elevation gains of up to 2,148 ft. Strenuous trails are physically challenging, but some can be mentally challenging as well. Several of these trails include walking along steep cliffs and holding onto chains for safety. These trails require preparation and planning. While summer months are popular times to travel, they also bring extreme heat, thunderstorms, and rain which can increase your risk if you are unprepared. Always check the current weather conditions and plan accordingly. Your safety is your responsibility.
 
Angels Landing via West Rim Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #6 The Grotto
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Across the road from the shuttle stop and then across the footbridge.
Distance (roundtrip): 5.4 mi / 8.7 km
Elevation Change: 1,488 ft / 453 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 4 hours
Description: Long drop-offs. Not for young children or anyone fearful of heights. Last section is a route along a steep, narrow ridge to the summit.
 
Hidden Canyon Trail via the East Rim Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #7 Weeping Rock
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Access the East Rim Trail from across the footbridge adjacent to the parking lot. The Hidden Canyon Trail turns right from the East Rim Trail at the sign.
Distance (roundtrip): 2.5 mi / 4.0 km
Elevation Change: 850 ft / 259 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 2.5 hours
Description: Long drop-offs. Not for anyone fearful of heights. Follows along a cliff face to the mouth of a narrow canyon. Pit toilets are available at the parking area.
 
Observation Point via East Rim Trail
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #7 Weeping Rock
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Access the East Rim Trail from across the footbridge adjacent to the parking lot. The Observation Point Trail branches off of the East Rim Trail after approximately 2.5 miles.
Distance (roundtrip): 8.0 mi / 12.9 km
Elevation Change: 2,148 ft / 655 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 6 hours
Description: Long drop-offs. Climbs through Echo Canyon to viewpoint on the rim of Zion Canyon. Access to Cable Mountain, Deertrap Mountain, and East Mesa Trails. Pit toilets are available at the parking area.
 
The Narrows via Riverside Walk
Shuttle Stop to Start from: #9 Temple of Sinawava
Pets: No
Trailhead Location: Adjacent to shuttle stop and restrooms.
Distance (roundtrip): 9.4 mi / 15.1 km
Elevation Change: 334 ft / 102 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 8 hours
Description: This route is known as the bottom up Narrows and does not require a permit. Upstream travel beyond Big Spring or in Orderville Canyon is prohibited. At least 60% of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. Travel is rough and slippery in cold, fast flowing water. High water levels can prevent access. Obtain additional information prior to starting this hike. Use appropriate equipment and clothing to help protect you. Before your hike, always check the weather and flash flood potential (links available on our website or information updated at the Visitor Center). Flash floods are deadly.

Last updated: October 11, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767

Phone:

(435) 772-3256
Staffed daily from 9 am - noon. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day. If you are unable to reach someone by phone, please email us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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