Zion National Park Trails & Maps, Trail Guide

Zion National Park
> Trails

The rugged, imposing nature of Zion gives visitors the opportunity to hike up sheer canyon cliffs and through narrow slot canyons to reach panoramic vistas and jaw-dropping rock formations.

The majority of Zion National Park hikes are located within Zion Canyon itself, climbing switchbacks and canyon walls to reach viewpoints over the entire area, or delving deep in the slot canyons themselves. The sandstone structures hide secret waterfalls, pools, arches and hanging gardens along the hikes.

There are a wide variety of Zion National Park trails, including paved trails lasting no more than a half-hour and multi-day hikes from one side of the park to the other. The best views are found along the canyon rims and in the slot canyon floors, where the walls tower above visitors like sandstone skyscrapers.

Riverside Walk

This 1.1-mile trip is one of the main reasons people come to Zion. Fully accessible to wheelchairs, this paved trail leads to the Zion Narrows, where waterfalls and hanging gardens spring from the rock walls. Trailhead: Temple of Sinawava, at the end of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive

  • Distance: 2.2 miles 
  • Average Time of Hike: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 57 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy as a sidewalk stroll
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Notes: Continuing into the Zion Narrows is permitted, prompting many visitors to hike upstream as far as they want. Strong hikers may choose to travel the entire two hours to the picturesque junction of Orderville Canyon and the Zion Narrows.

Angels Landing

Looking from the canyon floor, it's difficult to imagine a regular park trail heading to the top of this narrow outcropping, but there it is: the opportunity to stand on a narrow sliver of sandstone that looks 360° over the entire canyon, 1,500 feet above the floor. Trailhead: The Grotto bus stop, immediately after Zion Lodge

  • Distance: 5.4 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 4 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1,488 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous with long dropoffs along narrow ridges
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Notes: The last section of this Zion hike is along a narrow ridge, with chains and supports to keep visitors safe. Keep a close eye out for children and take care when using cameras or binoculars.

Emerald Pools Trail

These three spring-fed pools are highlights of the park, with waterfalls, flower-filled hanging gardens, ferns drippings with desert dew, all set in a tight sandstone canyon. Just remember to bring your swimsuit to take a refreshing dip in the water! Trailhead: Zion Lodge, located after the Court of the Patriarchs and before The Grotto

  • Distance: Lower - .6 miles; Middle - 1 mile; Upper - 1.5 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: Lower - 30 min.; Middle - 1 hr.; Upper - 1.5 hrs.
  • Elevation Gain: Lower - 69 feet; Middle - 150 feet; Upper - 350 feet
  • Difficulty: Lower - Easy: Middle - Moderate; Upper - Moderate to strenuous
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Notes: The Lower Emerald Pools trail is paved, making it navigable for visitors with accessible needs. 

Pa'rus Trail

One of the most convenient Zion trails, this fully-accessible route is paved the entire 1.7 miles, following the Virgin River past the Zion Human History Museum, with plenty of water stops along the way. Trailhead: The trail starts at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, ending at Canyon Junction. Hikers can return to the Visitor Center along the trail or take the bus back. 

  • Distance: 1.7 miles each way
  • Average Time of Hike: Under two hours
  • Elevation Gain: 50 feet 
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Out and back, or one-way if returning by bus

Notes: In addition to being a popular location for ranger-guided hikes, Pa'rus Trail is one of the few trails where pets and bicycles are welcome.

Weeping Rock

Harboring some of Zion's most unique environments, these hanging gardens are less than a quarter-mile from the road. The trail is filled with interpretive signs explaining the unique geology that creates this beautiful scene. Trailhead: Weeping Rock bus stop on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive after The Grotto.

  • Distance: 0.4 miles 
  • Average Time of Hike: 30 min.
  • Elevation Gain: 98 feet
  • Difficulty: Short, but steep
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Notes: Weeping Rock serves as a trailhead for many other Zion hikes, including Observation Point, East Rim Trail, Hidden Canyon Trail and others.

Observation Point

This aptly-named trail leads four miles to an exposed outcropping that sits at the canyon's bend, looking over the Temple of Sinawava and Angel's Landing, two of Zion's most recognizable monuments. Trailhead: Weeping Rock bus stop after The Grotto, before Big Bend.

  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 2,148 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Notes: The trail to Observation Point accesses the East Mesa, East Rim, Cable Mountain and Deertrap Trails.

Kolob Arch Trail

While the trail may be a long 14 miles, it is the most popular route to reach Kolob Arch, one of the world's largest freestanding arches. The trail passes the finger canyons near Timber Creek, showcasing unique features of the northern part of the park. Trailhead: Lee Pass Trailhead, located on Kolob Canyon Rd., accessible from exit 40 of I-15.

  • Distance: 14 miles 
  • Average Time of Hike: 8 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 699 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate, but long
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Notes: Kolob Arch is also accessible from the Hop Valley Trail, running approximately the same distance. However, the route is also open to horses and is generally considered less scenic than La Verkin Creek Trail. There is a campsite near the junction of the two trails to make an overnight camp.

Watchman Trail

Many visitors staying at the Watchman Campground appreciate the sunsets from this lookout point. Located in the south of the park, the view not only has a great vista looking into Zion Canyon, it also opens onto the entire southern valley stretching out into the desert. Trailhead: Zion Canyon Visitor Center at the South Entrance.

  • Distance: 2.7 miles 
  • Average Time of Hike: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 368 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Out and back

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