Zion Hikes

10 Great Hikes in Zion National Park: Which One Will Be Your Favorite?

Julie United States 7 Comments

Zion National Park is one of the best spots in the United States to go hiking. From the awe-inspiring hike up Angels Landing to the family friendly Riverside Walk to multi-day backpacking adventures, there is something here for everyone.

Here are 10 blockbuster hikes in Zion National Park. This is not an all-inclusive list, but there is definitely enough here to keep you busy for days.

This list starts with the shorter and easier hikes and continues on with the longer and more challenging efforts.

Zion Hiking Guide

Weeping Rock

Weeping Rock

The trail to Weeping Rock is one of the shortest hikes in the park and because of this, it can be crowded. The trail ends at Weeping Rock, a large overhang of rock that is dripping with water.

Distance: 0.4 miles/0.6 km
Length of Time: 0.5 hours
Difficulty: It’s a steep, uphill walk to Weeping Rock
Zion Shuttle Stop: Weeping Rock, stop #7

Canyon Overlook Trail

Canyon Overlook

The Canyon Overlook Trail is a gem of a hike in Zion National Park. It’s short, it’s fun, and it takes you to an awesome viewpoint overlooking Zion Canyon. This is a hike that is perfect for all ages and ability levels. So if this is your first, or even your second time in Zion, put the Canyon Overlook Trail on your list of things to do.

Distance: 1 mile
Length of Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Trailhead: Highway 9, just east of the Mount Carmel Tunnel
Read more: The Canyon Overlook Trail

Emerald Pool Trail

Emerald Pool

The trail to the Emerald Pools is one of the most popular hikes in Zion. This is a trail that starts off easy and gets more strenuous the farther you go. From Zion Lodge, it’s an easy walk to Lower Emerald Pools. Beyond this, the trail starts climbing, but the scenery gets better. The final climb to Upper Emerald Pool is more challenging but it leads you to a large pool surrounded on three sides by tall cliffs.

The most common way to hike to the Emerald Pools is via the Zion Lodge. You can also get to the pools via the Kayenta Trail from The Grotto.

Tim and I hiked to the Emerald Pools on the Kayenta Trail and maybe our timing was wrong, but we did not enjoy this hike. It was hot, it was crowded, and we were not impressed with Upper Emerald Pool. If you are looking for a short but scenic hike in Zion, we recommend the Canyon Overlook Trail over Emerald Pools.

Distance: 1.5 to 3 miles, depending on how far you hike
Length of time: 2 to 4 hours
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Zion Shuttle Stop: Zion Lodge, stop #5 or The Grotto, stop #6

Riverside Walk

Riverside Walk

Zion in October

This flat, paved trail follows the Virgin River and ends where the Narrows begins. This hike is perfect for all ages and all ability levels.

Distance: 2.2 miles round trip
Length of Time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Zion Shuttle Stop: Temple of Sinawava, stop #9

Hidden Canyon

Best Zion Hikes

Hidden Canyon

The hike to Hidden Canyon blew away our expectations. This hike is tons of fun, with trails that cling to the side of a cliff and a scenic canyon to explore.

Sections of this hike are similar to Angels Landing, with vertigo-inducing trails that come with chains to help you keep your balance. This trail does not climb as high or have the views like Angels Landing, but Hidden Canyon also gets fewer visitors, which makes for pleasant, less crowded experience.

Distance: 3 miles
Length of Time: 2 to 3 hours
Difficulty: moderate
Zion Shuttle Stop: Weeping Rock, stop #7
Read more: Hidden Canyon: An Unexpected Surprise 

Angels Landing

Angels Landing Chains

Angels Landing

Angels Landing is the most popular hike in Zion National Park. The final climb of the hike involves scaling a narrow ridge high above the valley floor. With chain-assisted rock scrambling sections, stunning views, and vertigo-inducing heights, this really is a thrilling hike.

For adventure seekers, this is definitely a great hike to put on your bucket list. We have hiked a lot of places around the world, and this hike is one of our favorites.

Distance: 5.4 miles
Length of Time: 3 to 5 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Zion Shuttle Stop: The Grotto, stop #6
Read more: Angels Landing Survival Guide: Things to Know Before You Go

Observation Point

Observation Point

For jaw-dropping views over Zion National Park, it’s hard to beat Observation Point. The entire hike is a beauty, but it is challenging. At 8 miles long and with 2300 feet of climbing, it is a steady climb to that final viewpoint. This is a classic Zion trail and well worth your time and effort, especially if you want views out over Angels Landing and the rest of Zion National Park.

Distance: 8 miles
Length of time: 4 to 6 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Zion Shuttle Stop: Weeping Rock, stop #7
Read more: Hiking to Observation Point 

The Narrows

Zion Narrows Hike

Zion Narrows

For many hikers, the Narrows is a hike that makes the bucket list. This is the quintessential slot canyon hike. It’s challenging, it’s breathtaking in its beauty, and it makes for a very memorable experience.

You can hike the Zion Narrows as a quick day hike, hiking from the bottom-up. You simply hike up the river as far as you want to go and turn around when you start to get tired. Or, hike the entire length of the Narrows from the top-down, either as a very long and challenging one-day hike or as a two day backpacking trip. Whatever you choose, it will be an adventure!

The Narrows is closed during the spring months while the snow is melting, creating high flow rates in the river. A permit is necessary if you want to hike the Narrows top-down.

Distance: 16 miles
Length of time: several hours to two days (backpacking top down)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Zion Shuttle Stop: Temple of Sinawava, stop # 9
Read More:  Zion Narrows: Hiking the Top-Down Route in One Day

The Subway


Photo Credit: Sascha Wenninger

Similar to the Narrows, the Subway is a hike in the Left Fork of North Creek. The classic way to hike the Subway is top-down, but this is a technically challenging hike that requires canyoneering skills and exposure to cold water. However, the Subway can be hiked from the bottom, which eliminates rappelling and the cold swims, but you will miss some of the more beautiful parts of the canyon.

Distance: 10 miles (top down)
Length of time: all day
Difficulty: Strenuous

The West Rim Trail

Zion National Park

West Rim Trail

The West Rim Trail is a long distance hike through Zion National Park. With amazing views, very few hikers on the trail, and a chance to walk the length of Zion National Park, this hike rewards your efforts. The West Rim Trail can be hiked as a long day hike or as a two day backpacking trip.

Distance: 17 miles
Length of time: 9 to 12 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Read more: How to Day Hike the West Rim Trail

Pick Your Perfect Hike

For Families

  • Riverside Walk
  • Weeping Rock
  • Emerald Pools
  • Canyon Overlook Trail

For the Best Views in Zion

  • Observation Point
  • Angels Landing
  • West Rim Trail
  • Canyon Overlook Trail

Most Adventurous

  • The Subway
  • The Narrows
  • Angels Landing
  • Hidden Canyon

Multi-Day Backpacking Trips

  • West Rim Trail
  • The Narrows

Leave the Crowds Behind

  • Hidden Canyon
  • West Rim Trail

Our Favorites

  • The Narrows
  • Angels Landing
  • Observation Point
  • Hidden Canyon
  • Canyon Overlook

Still on our Bucket List

  • The Subway

More Information

Do you want more information about the best Zion hikes? Joe’s Guide to Zion National Park is an awesome resource for planning your trip to Zion.

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Springdale, one of the best Holiday Inn properties we have seen. It is located along the Springdale Shuttle route, so you can get around town and into Zion National Park without a car. So far, we have been to Zion twice and both times we stayed at this Holiday Inn and had a great experience. This is our go-to hotel in Springdale.

Have you been to Zion National Park? What is your favorite hike? Comment below!

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Comments 7

    1. Post
      1. I’ll be hiking the Narrows with my boyfriend on Nov 2nd. Any tips for the current weather conditions? I was told there is a place to rent gear so we don’t need to travel with wet suits etc. Any idea about that?

        1. Post

          We just hiked the Narrows on October 29 (top down). We rented waterproof backpacks at Zion Outfitters that were perfect. We also rented neoprene socks, boots, and a full drysuit from Zion Adventure Company. We used 2 companies because we liked the ZAC drysuits but they did not have the backpack option. If I did it again, I would rent everything from Zion Outfitters because their gear looked like it is in better condition.

          On October 29, water temp was about 50 degrees and the flow rate low. In Springdale I believe it got up to the mid-70’s but it’s at least 10 degrees colder in the canyon. Bring layers and if you are going in the early morning, you should also bring a hat and gloves. There was frost on the trail at Chamberlain’s Ranch. I will be writing a whole post soon but it won’t be out in time for your hike. But what an amazing experience! Enjoy!! Cheers, Julie

  1. Hi Julie,

    What trail acitivities would you recommend for day trip to Zion. We will reach there nigh before and plan to depart in PM.


    1. Post

      For a day trip with kids, I recommend Canyon Overlook. It’s short and family friendly and the view is awesome. Weeping Rock and the Riverside Walk are nice too. You can also drive along route 9, east of the Canyon Overlook Trail. It’s a very pretty scenic drive and you can explore the colorful rocks. We were lucky enough to see mountain goats here. Just check the official National Park website for trail closures. Angels Landing and maybe part of Emerald Pools is currently closed due to damage to the trails from storms earlier this summer. Cheers, Julie

  2. Also consider the East Rim Trail starting at the East entrance and ending at Weeping Rock trailhead. Great all day hike.

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