If you’re looking for a chance to explore some of the most breathtaking scenery in the United States, there’s no better place than Zion National Park. With its towering cliffs, emerald pools, and winding river, Zion is a hiker’s paradise.
In this article, we’ll get more into the top hikes in the park, including Weeping Rock, Angels Landing, and The Narrows. So, lace up your best hiking boots, grab your backpack, and let’s hit the trail!
Take a Hike to Weeping Rock in Zion National Park
If you’re looking for a short but steep hike in Zion National Park, the Weeping Rock trail is a great choice. Starting from the Weeping Rock Trailhead, you’ll cross the bridge and head to the left onto a paved trail. Along the way, keep an eye out for small trailside exhibits and be mindful of minor drop-offs.
The trail to Weeping Rock is only 0.4 miles long, but it climbs steeply up the canyon wall and gains 98 feet in elevation. It’s a great hike for families with kids or anyone looking for a quick and easy way to experience the beauty of Zion National Park.
Once you reach the end of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of a rock alcove with dripping springs. The water seeps through the sandstone and collects in a pool before dripping down onto the rocks below. It’s a unique and beautiful sight that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.
Overall, the Weeping Rock trail is a must-do hike for anyone visiting Zion National Park. It’s short, but steep, and offers a unique perspective on the park’s geology and natural beauty.
Explore the Upper Emerald Pools Trail
If you’re looking for a moderate hike that showcases the natural beauty of Zion National Park, the Upper Emerald Pools Trail is a must-visit. This 1-mile trail can be accessed via the Kayenta Trail, Lower Emerald Pools Trail, or Middle Emerald Pools Trail, and takes you through stunning pinyon-juniper woodlands to the base of towering canyon walls.
As you climb up stone steps and follow the sandy path, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of majestic waterfalls that flow seasonally. The trail ends at the sandy shore of Upper Emerald Pool, where you can relax and take in the beauty of the surroundings. It’s important to note that swimming is not allowed to preserve the natural habitat and ecosystem of the area.
The Upper Emerald Pools Trail is a popular hike among visitors to Zion National Park, and for good reason. The trail offers a perfect balance of challenge and reward, with stunning views and a peaceful setting that’s perfect for relaxation and reflection. It’s a great hike for families, couples, or solo travelers looking to connect with nature and find some peace away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
So if you’re planning a trip to Zion National Park, be sure to add the Upper Emerald Pools Trail to your itinerary. It’s a beautiful and rewarding hike that’s not to be missed.
Discover the Ancient Rockfall on the Sand Bench Trail
If you’re looking for a challenging hike that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes of Zion National Park, the Sand Bench Trail is a must-visit. This 7.6-mile roundtrip hike follows the remains of an ancient rockfall and takes hikers along the Virgin River before ascending a landslide that dammed the river 8,000 years ago.
As you make your way through the trail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including the stunning lake that once extended to Angels Landing. It’s important to note that the Sand Bench Trail is a commercial horse trail from March to October, so be prepared to share the trail with horses and their riders.
The trail offers little shade in the hot summer sun, so it’s best to plan your hike in the early morning or late afternoon. Winter travel is possible, but make sure to watch out for patches of ice along the way.
The Sand Bench Trail is a challenging hike that’s perfect for experienced hikers looking to push themselves and explore the unique geological formations of Zion National Park. It’s a great way to connect with nature and discover the beauty of the park in a whole new way.
Explore the Beauty of the Lower Emerald Pool Trail
If you’re looking for a peaceful and picturesque hike in Zion National Park, the Lower Emerald Pool Trail is a great choice. This rough, paved trail takes you through a stunning pinyon-juniper woodland and leads you to the Lower Emerald Pool and ephemeral waterfalls.
While the pools may look tempting, it’s important to remember that they’re fragile and serve as an essential water source for the park’s wildlife. So, make sure to resist the urge to go into the water and help preserve this delicate ecosystem.
The Lower Emerald Pool Trail connects to the other Emerald Pools trails and the Kayenta Trail, offering plenty of opportunities to explore the park’s diverse landscapes. However, it’s important to be cautious around cliff edges and avoid any dangerous areas.
Swimming is not permitted in the Emerald Pools, but you’ll find restrooms and water filling stations available at the Zion Lodge. So, make sure to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated during your hike.
Overall, the Lower Emerald Pool Trail is a peaceful and scenic hike that’s perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of Zion National Park without embarking on a strenuous trek. So, grab your camera and head out to this stunning trail for a day of adventure and natural beauty.
Experience the Thrill of Angels Landing (With a Permit)
Angels Landing is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park, offering breathtaking views of the park’s stunning landscapes. If you’re planning to hike this trail on, it’s important to note that hikers continuing to Angels Landing from Scout Lookout are required to have a permit since April of last year (2022), which can be obtained on recreation.gov.
The hike to Angels Landing is not for the faint of heart, as it involves a strenuous ascent with steep drop-offs and narrow paths. But for those who are up for the challenge, the views from the top are truly spectacular.
Starting from the Kayenta and West Rim Trailhead, the hike to Scout Lookout is a 2.5-mile round trip that offers stunning views of Zion Canyon. From there, hikers will continue on to Angels Landing, a 0.5-mile round trip that involves traversing a narrow ridge with chains for support.
While the hike is challenging, it’s important to take your time and use caution, especially on the narrow sections. The views from the top are well worth the effort, and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the park’s canyons and cliffs.
As mentioned earlier, if you’re planning to hike Angels Landing, you’ll need to obtain a permit on recreation.gov. So, make sure to plan ahead and secure your permit in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable hike.
Explore the Beauty of Zion Canyon with the Kayenta Trail
For hikers looking for a moderate trail with stunning views of Zion Canyon, the 2.0 mi (3.2 km) Kayenta Trail is the perfect choice. This trail follows the Virgin River before ascending to the Lower and Upper Emerald Pool Trails, providing panoramic views of the canyon along the way.
As with many trails in Zion National Park, it’s important to take note of the long drop-offs present along the Kayenta Trail. However, with proper caution and attention to your surroundings, you’ll be able to enjoy the breathtaking views without any issues.
For those looking to extend their hike, there’s the option to make a loop by using one of the Emerald Pools trails. Additionally, water and restrooms are available at The Grotto, making this trail a convenient and enjoyable option for hikers.
Throughout the Kayenta Trail, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning beauty of Zion Canyon, with towering cliffs and lush vegetation providing a breathtaking backdrop. As you ascend to the Emerald Pools, you’ll be rewarded with even more stunning views, making this trail a must-do for any hiker visiting Zion National Park.
Take in Stunning Views on the Canyon Overlook Trail
For hikers looking for a short but rewarding trail in Zion National Park, the Canyon Overlook Trail is the perfect option. This rocky and uneven trail ends at a stunning viewpoint for Pine Creek Canyon and Lower Zion Canyon, offering some of the most breathtaking views in the park.
While the trail is mostly fenced to prevent falls, it’s important to note the long drop-offs present along the way. As long as you exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings, you’ll be able to safely enjoy the stunning views this trail has to offer.
Parking at the Canyon Overlook Trailhead is extremely limited, so be prepared to try multiple times to find a spot. However, pit toilets are available in the parking area, making this trail a convenient option for hikers. If you’re interested in other entrances, check out our guide on the best entrances for Zion.
Experience the Thrill of The Narrows Trail
If you’re looking for a thrilling and challenging hike in Zion National Park, The Narrows Trail is the perfect option. This strenuous hike follows the Virgin River through a narrow slot canyon, offering some of the most unique and breathtaking views in the park.
To start your hike, head to the Riverside Walk Trailhead and take the easy, paved Riverside Walk for about a mile. Then, you’ll head down a set of stairs and into the river, where the rest of your hike will take place. It’s important to note that the flow rate of the river can change day by day, and the streambed is rocky and unstable, making footing difficult at times.
It’s also important to be aware of the constant dangers of flash flooding and hypothermia while hiking The Narrows. However, with proper preparation and caution, this hike can be a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
Overall, The Narrows Trail is a challenging hike that’s not for the faint of heart. But if you’re up for the challenge, the unique and breathtaking views of the narrow slot canyon will be well worth it.
Take a Leisurely Stroll on the Riverside Walk Trail
For a change of pace, if you’re looking for a leisurely and easy hike in Zion National Park, the Riverside Walk Trail is the perfect option. This 2.2 mile (3.5 km) round-trip trail is relatively flat and paved, making it accessible for most hikers.
The Riverside Walk Trail starts at the Riverside Walk Trailhead and follows the Virgin River as the sandstone walls narrow in around you. The first half-mile of the trail is mostly flat, although some sections of the paving are irregular and minor drop-offs are present.
After the first 0.4 miles (0.6 km), the trail becomes steeper and is no longer wheelchair accessible. However, the views of the canyon become even more spectacular as you continue on the trail.
Overall, the Riverside Walk Trail is a must-do hike in Zion National Park. It’s a great option for hikers of all skill levels who want to experience the beauty of the park without the strenuousness of other hikes.
Discover the Beauty of the Watchman on the Pa’rus Trail
The Pa’rus Trail in Zion National Park is a must-do for hikers who want to experience the beauty of the Watchman. Pa’rus is Paiute for “bubbling water,” and the trail follows the Virgin River, providing hikers with some of the best views of the Watchman.
This paved trail connects the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and Canyon Junction and is accessible for wheelchairs, pets on leashes, and bicycles. The trailside exhibits cover a variety of subjects, including plant and animal life along the river, geology, and human history.
The Pa’rus Trail is a great option for hikers who want to take a leisurely stroll while enjoying the stunning views of the Watchman. It’s also a great option for families or hikers with pets, as it’s accessible and pet-friendly.
View Wildlife on the Grotto Trail
The Grotto Trail in Zion National Park is a great option for hikers who want to view wildlife and take an alternate route to the Grotto. The trail connects the Zion Lodge to the Grotto and is near the road most of the way.
This trail is a great place to view wildlife, so be sure to keep an eye out for mule deer, wild turkeys, and other animals. Restrooms are available at both the Lodge and the Grotto, making it a convenient option for hikers.
When the shuttle is not in operation and the parking is full at the Grotto, the Grotto Trail is a lovely alternate way to reach the Grotto. It’s also a great option for hikers who want to explore the park at a more leisurely pace.
Overall, the Grotto Trail is a great hike in Zion National Park. It’s a convenient and scenic option for hikers who want to take an alternate route to the Grotto and view wildlife along the way.
Zion National Park is a paradise for hikers. With its stunning natural beauty, diverse trails, and wildlife, it’s a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a beginner, there’s a trail in Zion National Park that will suit your needs.
From the challenging Angels Landing to the leisurely Pa’rus Trail, each hike offers a unique experience and unforgettable views. So, grab your hiking gear, pack your backpack, and head to any of these trails at Zion National Park for an adventure of a lifetime.