Where to Find the Best Hikes in Zion National Park

will take you through some of the best hikes in Zion National Park, helping you make the most of your visit.

Where to Find the Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Nestled in the southwestern United States, Zion National Park is a hiker's paradise. With its breathtaking canyons, towering sandstone cliffs, and lush oasis, it's no wonder that Zion attracts millions of outdoor enthusiasts each year. Whether you're an experienced hiker or just looking for a scenic stroll, this comprehensive 2500-word guide will take you through some of the best hikes in Zion National Park, helping you make the most of your visit.

Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Before we dive into the best hikes, let's get to know Zion National Park a bit better:

Zion's Unique Landscape

Zion is known for its dramatic red rock formations, carved over millions of years by the Virgin River. The park's most iconic feature is the Zion Canyon, which is a stunning gorge that stretches for 15 miles and reaches depths of up to 2,640 feet.

Biodiversity Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Despite its arid appearance, Zion is home to a surprising variety of plant and animal species. Keep an eye out for mule deer, bighorn sheep, and the elusive desert tortoise while exploring the park.

Weather Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Zion's climate varies throughout the year. Summers can be scorching, with temperatures exceeding 100?F (37?C), while winters can bring cold temperatures and occasional snowfall. Spring and fall are often considered the best times to visit for pleasant weather.

Entrance Fee and Permits

Zion National Park charges an entrance fee, which helps fund park maintenance and preservation efforts. Additionally, some hikes may require permits, so it's essential to plan ahead and check the park's official website for the most up-to-date information.

Easy Hikes for All Ages

Zion National Park offers a range of hiking experiences suitable for all ages and fitness levels. These easy hikes allow you to enjoy the park's beauty without strenuous exertion:

Riverside Walk Best Hikes in Zion National Park

  • Distance: 2.2 miles (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Riverside Walk is a paved, family-friendly trail that follows the Virgin River. It offers lovely canyon views and leads to the entrance of the Narrows, one of Zion's most famous hikes.

Weeping Rock

  • Distance: 0.4 miles (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: This short trail takes you to a unique rock alcove where water seeps from the sandstone, creating a "weeping" effect. The view of the valley from Weeping Rock is breathtaking.

Lower Emerald Pool Trail

  • Distance: 1.2 miles (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Highlights: Lower Emerald Pool Trail leads to a lush, green grotto and a refreshing pool. It's an ideal hike for those looking to experience a taste of Zion's verdant beauty.

Moderate Hikes with Scenic Rewards

If you're up for a bit more of a challenge and are willing to hike for several hours, these moderate trails offer fantastic vistas:

The Watchman Trail

  • Distance: 3.3 miles (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: This trail provides sweeping views of the park, particularly at sunset. The Watchman, a prominent rock formation, is the main attraction.

Hidden Canyon Best Hikes in Zion National Park

  • Distance: 3 miles (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Hidden Canyon offers a thrilling hike with narrow sections and chains to hold onto. At the end, you'll find a secluded hanging canyon with stunning views.

Canyon Overlook Trail

  • Distance: 1 mile (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Canyon Overlook Trail is a short but rewarding hike that offers breathtaking views of Zion Canyon. It's particularly stunning at sunrise or sunset.

Strenuous Hikes for Adventurers

For those seeking a more challenging experience and willing to invest a full day in hiking, these strenuous trails will test your endurance while rewarding you with unmatched scenery:

Angels Landing

  • Distance: 5.4 miles (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Highlights: Angels Landing is one of the most iconic hikes in Zion. It involves a steep ascent and chains to hold onto, leading to a narrow ridge with jaw-dropping panoramic views.

The Narrows Best Hikes in Zion National Park

  • Distance: Variable (up to 16 miles round trip)
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Highlights: Hiking the Narrows means wading through the Virgin River as it flows through a narrow, towering canyon. It's a unique and unforgettable adventure.

Observation Point

  • Distance: 8 miles (round trip)
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Highlights: Observation Point offers some of the most stunning views in Zion, including an aerial perspective of Angels Landing. The steep climb is well worth the effort.

Safety and Preparedness

Before embarking on any hike in Zion National Park, safety should be your top priority:

Stay Hydrated

The desert climate can be deceptively dry, even in cooler seasons. Always carry an adequate supply of water, especially on longer hikes.

Dress Appropriately

Wear appropriate clothing, including sturdy hiking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and layers to accommodate temperature fluctuations.

Check Weather Conditions Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Weather in Zion can change rapidly, leading to flash floods and other hazards. Check the weather forecast and be prepared for sudden changes.

Leave No Trace

Respect the park's natural beauty and wildlife by following the Leave No Trace principles. Pack out all trash and avoid disturbing plants and animals.

Planning Your Trip Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Before you head to Zion National Park, here are some essential trip planning tips:


Zion offers campgrounds, as well as nearby hotels and vacation rentals. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak visitation times.

Shuttle System

Zion Canyon can become crowded, so utilize the park's free shuttle system to reduce traffic congestion and ensure easy access to trailheads.

Permits Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Some hikes, such as the Narrows and the Subway, require permits. Check the park's website for permit information and availability.

Visitor Center

Stop by the visitor center to pick up maps, get up-to-date trail information, and speak with rangers who can provide guidance and safety tips.

Zion National Park offers a diverse range of hiking experiences, from easy strolls suitable for families to challenging adventures for seasoned hikers. The park's awe-inspiring landscapes and unique geology make it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Remember to plan your trip carefully, stay safe on the trails, and leave no trace to help preserve this natural wonder for generations to come. Whether you're admiring the view from the Canyon Overlook or conquering the heights of Angels Landing, the best hikes in Zion National Park will undoubtedly leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

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