10 Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Best Hikes in Zion

This article will introduce you 10 BEST hikes in Zion National Park.

Zion National Park is by far our favorite place to hike in the United States. There are about 34 trails in Zion National Park ranging from family friendly to backpacking adventures. You will have many hikes to choose from, so I divided them into 3 groups: Must-Do Hikes, Adventurous Hikes, and Family Friendly Hikes.

Here are my recommendations for the 10 best hikes you can do in Zion National Park. We stayed for 4 nights in Zion, and we managed to hike all major trails. If you are planning to stay shorter periods, don’t miss out the Must-Do Hikes!


3 Must-do hikes

If you want to see the best of Zion, check out these 3 trails! These trails are my favorites, and you don’t need any permits to hike! All you have to do is hop off the shuttle bus to spend a few moments trying to absorb the breathtaking sights!

Angels Landing


・Distance: 5.4 miles round trip
・Duration: 3 – 5 hours
・Elevation: 1,488 feet
・Effort: Strenuous
・Shuttle Stop: The Grotto

Angels Landing Hike
Angels Landing Hike

Angels Landing is the scariest yet most exciting trail in Zion National Park. This unforgettable adventure hike should be on everyone’s bucket list. The reward of a 360-degree view of Zion Canyon’s rock layers will take your breath away. Your legs will be burning and shaking from the hike and the excitement… but the view will be unforgettable! It is a strenuous and dangerous hike, so you have to be extremely mindful to hike Angels Landing. If you have a fear of heights, you should not hike Angels Landing. Also, this hike is not recommended for young children. For more, click here.

Note:
Energetic hikers can continue to West Rim Trail from Scout Lookout of Angels Landing. Be prepared for a long day hike though. This strenuous 13 miles round trip hike from Grotto Picnic Area includes 3,070 feet of elevation gain. Although it’s a strenuous and long trail, this hike rewards your efforts.


The Narrows


・Distance: 8 miles round trip
・Duration: 6 hours
・Elevation change: 200 feet
・Effort: Strenuous
・Shuttle Stop: Temple of Sinawava

The Narrows is probably my favorite trail in Zion National Park. I’ve hiked around famous national parks in the US, but the Narrows was by far the most breathtaking hike I’ve ever experienced. In fact, it is known as one of the best slot canyon hikes in the world. What’s so unique about the Narrows is that you will basically hike through the Virgin River, which means you have to wade / swim to proceed. You will be surrounded by the towering walls of the Zion canyon and beautiful flowing water. Seeing the sunlight come through the dark corners of the narrow canyon is such a magical experience. For more info about the Narrows, check this out!


Observation Point


・Distance: 8 miles round trip
・Duration: 5 hours
・Elevation change: 2,148 feet
・Effort: Strenuous
・Shuttle Stop: Weeping Rock

Best Hikes in Zion
Best Hikes in Zion

Observation Point might be the toughest yet most rewarding hike in Zion National Park. People tend to skip Observation Point due to Zion’s other popular trails such as the Narrows and Angels Landing. However, Observation Point gives you the most epic view of Zion National Park. Since Observation Point is over 700 feet higher than Angels Landing, you are actually looking down on the Angels Landing viewpoint. Your whole body will be exhausted after this hike, but the view will be totally worth it. It is a perfect trail for those who want a challenging day hike with less crowds. For more, read the article here .


2 Adventurous Hikes

If you want an adventurous hike, check out these two! Although Hidden Canyon doesn’t require a permit, The Subway does. Both are strenuous hikes, but the experience is worth it!!

Hidden Canyon Trail


・Distance: 3 miles round trip
・Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
・Elevation: 850 feet
・Effort: Strenuous
・Shuttle Stop: Weeping Rock

Best Hikes in Zion

Hidden Canyon is such a gem at Zion National Park. You will hike up the same trail to Observation Point, but then turn right and go 0.7 mile on Hidden Canyon Trail. You will climb up the sheer vertical cliff with a great view. This hike does not have a breathtaking view at the end like Observation Point does, however the trail itself is so much fun! Footing can be a bit difficult at times, but chains help you keep your balance. This is an exhilarating hike, and it gets fewer visitors compared to other popular trails in Zion.


The Subway


・Distance: 9 miles round trip
・Duration: 7 hours
・Elevation: 2,000 feet
・Effort: Strenuous
・Trailhead: Left Fork or Wildcat Canyon

Best Hikes in Zion

Photo Credit

The Subway is a technical trail, which requires swimming, route-finding, stream crossings, and some rope work. This trail is obviously not for everyone, but it is a perfect trail if you are looking for an adventure. The Subway has some of the most beautiful rock formations of the slot section, and the view is extremely unique. Although the trail is a day-use-only, a permit is required to hike the Subway. You can apply for the lotteries 3 months before the hiking dates. Each lottery costs $5. For more, check out here .


5 Family Friendly Hikes

If you are looking for leisurely non-strenuous hikes, these trails are perfect for you! They are family friendly, and should be manageable for any age and physical ability!

Emerald Pools Trail


・Distance: 0.6 mile one-way to Lower Emerald Pools;
      1 mile to Middle Emerald Pools;
      1.4 miles to Upper Emerald Pools
・Duration: 1 – 3 hours
・Elevation: 70 feet to Lower Emerald Pool;
      150 feet to Middle Emerald Pool;
      350 feet to Upper Emerald Pool
・Effort: Easy-moderate
・Shuttle Stop: Zion Lodge

Best Hikes in Zion

Since Emerald Pools is one of the most popular trails in Zion National Park it tends to be crowded, especially in the summer months. This hike is family friendly and a perfect leisurely, non-strenuous hike. Although you will encounter several interesting pools, the waterflow in Emerald Pools is usually quite light, which can be dissapointing.


Weeping Rock


・Distance: 0.5 mile round trip
・Duration: 30 minutes
・Elevation: 100 feet
・Effort: Easy
・Shuttle: Weeping Rock

Best Hikes in Zion

This short hike will take you to a large overhang of rock with water sprinkling from above. The trail is known as the shortest hike in Zion, but the view from the alcove into Zion Canyon is truly magnificent. Due to its beauty, location, and short length, the trail can be crowded, but it’s worth visiting if you are in Zion. The shady path and sprinkling of water is definitely refreshing, especially on a hot summer day.


Riverside Walk


・Distance: 2.2 miles round trip
・Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
・Elevation: 57 feet
・Effort: Easy
・Shuttle Stop: Temple of Sinawava

Best Hikes in Zion

Riverside Walk is an easy and relaxing hike along the Virgin River to the Narrows. Due to the water and vegetation around the area, there are different kinds of birds and animals chilling around the area. This trail is very family friendly, and it is also wheelchair accessible.


Canyon Overlook Trail


・Distance: 1 mile round trip
・Duration: 1 hour
・Elevation: 163 feet
・Effort: Easy
・Trailhead: Parking area just east of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel

Best Hikes in Zion

Photo Credit

This easy hike offers you spectacular views from the heights without the stiff climbs found on most other Zion trails. This hike is manageable for all ages and physical abilities. If you want to see magnificent views but don’t want to do a strenuous hike, Canyon Overlook is a perfect trail for you!


Taylor Creek Trail


・Distance: 5 mile round trip
・Duration: 4 hours
・Elevation: 450 feet
・Effort: Easy-moderate
・Trailhead: 2 miles east of Kolob Canyons Visitor Center

Taylor Creek Trail is located in the Kolob Canyons. You can access the trail from Kolob Canyons Road, which begins at I-15 south of Cedar City. Taylor Creek Trail is reasonably easy, and it is a perfect day hike. The main attraction of this trail is to see the Double Arch Alcove at the end of the trail. When we hiked we didn’t really encounter anyone on the trail. It is a quiet and beautiful trail.

Have you been to Zion National Park? If so which trails did you hike? If you have never been to Zion, I hope this list will be helpful in the future! Let me know below if you have any questions 🙂



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4 thoughts on “10 Best Hikes in Zion National Park

    1. Thank you for the feedback! Zion NP is our absolute favorite National Park so far. I hope you will visit there soon 🙂

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