Zion National Park is great to drive through. There are tons of pull offs with short, easy hikes for the whole family. We’re not hardcore hikers, and our fitness level is average, but we’re slowly getting our feet wet with backpacking. We love that Zion is also a great place to find longer strenuous hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, and is home to iconic hikes like the Zion Narrows, the Subway, and Angels Landing!
In case you’re not sure what you should do during your trip there, we’ve listed the best of Zion National Park hikes from easy to difficult.
15 BEST HIKES IN ZION NATIONAL PARK
5 BEST EASY HIKES IN ZION
Distance: 1 Mile
Time: < 1 Hour
This trail leads you to one of the best photography spots in the park! The trailhead is near the East entrance just before the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. After a short hike up from the street, you go through a large natural cave, and are rewarded with an extraordinary view of Zion Canyon below.
2. Emerald Pools Trail
Distance: 1.2-3 Miles
Time: 1-3 Hours
This collection of trails gives you a few different options, all with spectacular views of greenery, Pools, and waterfalls. The Lower and Middles Pools can be reached from the same trailhead, while the Upper Pool has a different starting point. This trail also allows you to walk under a waterfall.
3. Riverside Walk
Distance: 2 Miles
Time: 1-2 Hours
Also known as the Gateway to the Narrows, this is a paved path that takes you from the Temple of Sinawava to the Virgin River. You can then enjoy the entrance of the Narrows and even wade around in the river before making your way back.
4. Watchman Trail
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: 1-3 Hours
This trail is often overlooked by visitors but offers an amazing view of the valley. Although it doesn’t actually climb the heights of the Watchman itself, it’s a great introduction to the beauty of the park.
Photo: Andrew Mace / creative commons
5. Weeping Rock
Distance: 0.4 Miles
Time: < 1 Hour
This short stroll takes you to the popular wall home to trickling streams of water and hanging gardens of fern and moss. It’s not our favorite “hike” in Zion, but it takes you to one of the most iconic parts of the park. The trail is narrow so is not recommended for wheelchairs or strollers.
5 BEST MODERATE TO STRENUOUS DAY HIKES
Distance: 5 Miles
Time: 2-4 Hours
One of the iconic hikes in Zion National Park, Angels Landing is not for the faint of heart (or anyone with a fear of heights). There are even portions of the trail that offer chains to help steady yourself as you navigate the part with drop offs on both sides. The views at the top are truly stunning!
7. Observation Point
Distance: 8 Miles
Time: 4-6 Hours
Observation Point is a Zion classic giving you glimpses of Echo Canyon and rewarding you with an amazing view of the park. This 8-mile round trip hike has a more than 2,100 feet elevation gain. The sharp ridge you see in the center is Angel’s Landing.
Photo: Steve Dunleavy / creative commons
8. Kolob Arch
Distance: 14 Miles
Time: Full Day
Kolob Arch is the second longest arch in the world, although many still argue that it’s larger than Landscape Arch. You can reach the arch from Kolob Canyons Road at Lee Pass or at the Hop Valley Trailhead, but both are 7-mile treks.
Photo: Zion National Park / creative commons
9. The Subway (Bottom-Up)
Distance: 9 Miles Round Trip
Time: Half Day
The subway is a gorge that looks like a subway tunnel. Although the bottom-up hike doesn’t require any rappels or swims, you do still hike in water and need a permit for the hike. For hikers who are more technical, the Top to Bottom hike is spectacular as well!
Photo: Robert Shea / creative commons
Distance: 3-8 Miles
Time: 2-6 Hours
This hike is perfect for a hot summer day. You can go as far up the river as you want before you turn around, but try to make it up to the most iconic portion called Wall Street. The brochure says this one is careful and moderate, but in our opinion, sometimes it’s easier to climb stairs for hours than tread through water for hours. You can see our 2-day backpacking guide here.
5 BEST BACKPACKING TRAILS
11. The Barracks
Distance: 20 Miles
Time: 2-3 Days
The Virgin River has two main forks. The North Fork is most frequented because of The Narrows, but the East Fork offers equally beautiful canyons in much more solitude. There are also tons of side canyons to explore as you hike through the Parunaweap Canyon. The majority of this hike actually lies outside of Zion in its neighboring BLM.
Photo: Rasheed Siddiqui / creative commons
12. La Verkin Creek Trail
Distance: 11 Miles
Time: 2 Days
Most people use this trail to visit Kolob Arch, but take time to soak in all the beauty and make it an overnight trip. The campsites along the trail are truly wonderful and tack on an additional 5 miles round trip hike to Beartrap Canyon falls.
Photo: Tim Brown / creative commons
13. The Trans-Zion Trek
Distance: 48 Miles
Time: 3-5 Days
This hike takes you through several trails in the park bringing you from one corner of Zion to the other. You will need to be sure to get all the appropriate permits, but you it’s well worth it as you will see portions of the park that most people don’t get a chance to experience.
14. West Rim Trail
Distance: 16-18 Miles
Time: 2 Days
Starting off at Lava Point, this trail has some of the best views you can find, including canyons, springs, trees, and flowers. And you can add on a side trip to Angels Landing too!
Distance: 16 Miles
Time: 2 Days
Although you technically can do the hike all in a day, taking time to camp halfway through is truly spectacular. The hike requires a permit and you are in water for a large portion of the hike. Check out our guide to this hike for more details.
What type of hikes do you typically like to do?
Which of the hikes above have you done or would you like to do?