Hiking/Canyoneering in Zion Park

Zion National Park offers a wide range of hiking opportunities, with something suitable for every age and experience level, during every month of the year. The options are endless. Some of the lower trails are wheelchair accessible. The park's shuttle system stops at many trailheads. We provide specific information about the most popular trails below. Also see our hiking tips.

Zion Angels Landing Trail

Angels Landing Strenuous
One of the most famous hikes in all of Zion National Park, this one is not for the squeamish or those easily affected by vertigo. But if you are up to...(more)

Canyon Overlook Easy
The Canyon Overlook has produced some of the most breathtaking shots of Zion Canyon ever photographed. It is a favorite among photographers and casual...(more)

East Temple Saddle Strenuous
The Saddle route is an off-the-beaten-path in the most literal sense of the phrase. Visitors follow the Canyon Overlook Trail all the way to the vista...(more)

Emerald Pool-Lower Easy
The Lower Pool is popular among hikers for its beauty and accessibility. The trail is short and gently sloped—with only 70 feet of elevation gain. Sha...(more)

Emerald Pool-Middle Moderate
Two streams come together to form the middle pools, the first coming out of Behunin Canyon and the second originating from Heaps Canyon. The elevation...(more)

Emerald Pools-Upper Moderate
The Upper Pool is the pinnacle of Zion's Emerald Pools system. At only 1.5 miles long—one way—the Upper Pool is not a long hike. However, it clim...(more)

Grotto Trail Easy
The Grotto Trail is a short stretch that connects the Grotto picnic area to Zion Lodge. It is level (negligible elevation gain), short, and easy, but...(more)

Hidden Canyon Strenuous
Hidden Canyon is a short, but steep ascent, secreted away between Cable Mountain and the backside of the Great White Throne. Situated where it is, the...(more)

Kayenta Trail Easy
Kayenta Trail is located in the most visited part of the park, against the west wall of Zion Canyon, between the Emerald Pools and Big Bend. It is not...(more)

Kolob Arch Strenuous
Kolob Arch, the second longest arch in the world, has been surrounded by controversy. For years it was considered the largest in the world, and it was...(more)

Mineral Gulch Strenuous
This route leads through a pristine area on the east edge of Zion Park, a scenic narrow canyon with flowing water, past two waterfalls and two natural...(more)

Observation Point Strenuous
At 6,521 feet in elevation atop Mount Baldy, and jutting out into one of the widest sections of Zion Canyon, right around the Big Bend, Observation Po...(more)

Orderville Gulch Technical
Even more narrow than the Zion Narrows, Orderville Gulch is a prime example of Zion beauty. Higher up in the gulch, the walls are not so narrow, or so...(more)

Pa'rus Trail Easy
From a Paiute word meaning, “bubbling, tumbling water,” the Pa’rus Trail is a fun, paved trail that follows the Virgin River through lower Zion Canyon...(more)

Parunuweap Canyon Strenuous
Sheltering the East Fork of the Virgin River, Parunuweap Canyon Trail is considered by many to be even more spectacular than the Zion Narrows. The can...(more)

Pine Creek Waterfall Moderate
This waterfall is beautiful, yet accessible, which is not the case for many of the more remote waterfalls of the Zion area. Pine Creek Waterfall is lo...(more)

Right Fork of North Creek Strenuous
The Right Fork of North Creek is a marvelous waterway, full of sandstone and waterfalls. Greenery is everywhere in the canyon, lush and out of place i...(more)

Riverside Walk Easy
Also called the Gateway to the Narrows, this path is wide, paved, and as easy to navigate as your neighborhood sidewalk. It begins at the Temple of Si...(more)

Sand Bench Loop Moderate
The Sand Bench is the massive earthen shelf off to the left of the Floor of the Canyon Road as one enters Zion Canyon, below the colossal heights of t...(more)

Taylor Creek—Middle Fork Moderate
The Middle Fork of Taylor Creek is spectacular, short hike into one of the beautifully secluded canyons that hides between the iron-oxide stained fing...(more)

Taylor Creek—North Fork Moderate
Between Tucupit Point and Horse Ranch Mountain among the Kolob Canyon Fingers, the North Fork of Taylor Creek offers a great, medium-length hike that...(more)

Taylor Creek—South Fork Moderate
The South Fork of Taylor Creek hides some of the exquisitely gorgeous canyon scenery that Zion is known for worldwide. Like its North Fork and Middle...(more)

The Narrows Strenuous
This is the most popular hike in Zion Park, and one of the world's best canyon hikes. It is pure fun and can be tailored to suite any ability lev...(more)

The Subway Technical
The Subway is a classic semi-technical slot canyon hike in Zion National Park. To complete the hike you wade/swim/scramble/climb down the Left Fork of...(more)

Watchman Trail Easy
The Watchman Trail is a great little trail that, along with the Pa’rus bike trail, is just within the sanctuary of the park and often overlooked by Zi...(more)

Weeping Rock Easy
A short hike from the road takes you to the verdant gardens of Weeping Rock. The destination of the hike is the moss and fern-covered eave of an overh...(more)

West Rim Trail—In And Out Strenuous
A long, tremendous hike with awesome vistas of some of the most breathtaking mountains, canyons, and forests that Zion has to offer, challenging ascen...(more)

West Rim Trail—SuperHike Strenuous
A long, tremendous hike with awesome vistas of some of the most breathtaking mountains, canyons, and forests that Zion has to offer, challenging ascen...(more)

Wildcat Canyon Trail Strenuous
Wildcat Canyon is a wide, rocky canyon just south of the Lava Point Campground in the Kolob Terrace section of the park. Wildcat is used extensively a...(more)

Easy Easy Moderate Moderate Strenuous Strenuous Technical Technical


Hiking Tips

The Narrows

The most popular hike in Zion Park goes into the Narrows of the Virgin River. The first mile is easy; it is paved and passes hanging gardens and scenic streamlets. Casual hikers can continue beyond the pavement, hiking right up the river, going as far as they feel comfortable. Serious hikers can tackle the entire 16 miles of the canyon, beneath walls that are 2,000 feet high and only 30 feet apart in some spots. A permit is required to hike the entire Narrows. You do not need a permit to casually hike into the bottom.

Orderville Gulch is an attractive alternative to doing the entire Narrows. It is a tributary that is more narrow, more exciting and perhaps more beautiful. It is also easier to get permits. Orderville is a technical slot canyon and the hike covers about 11 miles.

Kolob Canyons

In the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, the trailhead for the 14-mile round-trip hike to enormous Kolob Arch is accessible off I-15, 18 miles south of Cedar City. Other trails are also available.

Hiking in Winter

Zion includes a large area of low-elevation desert where it is enjoyable to hike during winter. The Chinle Trail in the Coalpits and Huber Wash area offers outstanding hiking opportunities even during the coldest months of the year. Trails along the Virgin River and to locations in the bottom of Zion Canyon can also be hiked during winter. Trails that ascend the canyon rims and probe the high country will be hazardous during winter because of snow and ice.

Canyoneering

Zion is famous for its technical canyoneering opportunities. These treks are beyond the scope of this website. The Subway is perhaps the most popular backcountry slot canyon hike. It is semi-technical. Other canyons are more technical (you need special gear and skills). See our videos at the top of this page for a taste of canyoneering adventure.

General Tips

  1. Always carry a topographical map on long or technical hikes
  2. Pets are NOT allowed along any trails.
  3. Bring plenty of water. Drinking water is not available at most trailheads or along any trails.
  4. Trail guides may be available. Check at the visitor centers.
  5. Permits are required for back country or overnight hiking, as well as for the Narrows and its tributaries, the Left Fork of North Creek (the Subway) and Kolob Creek. (When picking up a permit, have your vehicle description and license plate number ready.)
  6. Maximum group size is usually limited to 12, including all leaders.
  7. Stay out of drainage areas during thunderstorms.
  8. Fires are permitted in developed campgrounds, but not in the backcountry. Collecting wood is prohibited.

Get more details at the Visitor Center, or write Zion National Park, PO Box 1099, Springdale 84767, 435-772-3256.

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