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15 Best Hikes in Zion National Park Utah

Looking for the best hikes in Zion National Park? These are the hikes you should do first.

Zion National Park is a great destination because there is so much packed into a small area, whether you’re a hardcore hiker or soft adventurer. We don’t consider ourselves 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 and multi-day backpacking trips if you want to venture further into the park. It also has iconic hikes like the Zion Narrows and Angels Landing.

If you’re unsure what to do during your trip there, we’ve listed the best of Zion National Park hikes, from easy to challenging.

15 Best Zion National Park HikesPin

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Last Updated: December 15, 2023

15 Best Hikes in Zion National Park

5 Best Easy Hikes in Zion

1. Canyon Overlook Trail →

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.213341, -112.940680, map

Distance: 1 mile roundtrip, 213 ft elevation gain
Time: < 1 Hour
Difficulty: Easy
Traffic: Crowded

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.

More: How to Hike the Canyon Overlook Trail

2. Emerald Pools Trail →

Shuttle Stop 5 or 6 (6 takes slightly longer)

Distance: 1.2-3 Miles, 552 ft elevation gain
Time: 1-3 Hours
Difficulty: Easy
Traffic: Crowded

This collection of trails gives you a few different options, 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.

More: 15 Incredible Things to Do in Zion National Park

Emerald Pools TrailPin

3. Riverside Walk →

Shuttle Stop 9

Distance: 1.8 mi miles roundtrip, 206 ft elevation gain
Time: 1-2 Hours
Difficulty: Easy
Traffic: Crowded

Also known as the Gateway to the Narrows, this paved path 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.

Riverside Walk ZionPin

4. Watchman Trail →

Shuttle Stop 1 (Visitor Center)

Distance: 3.1 mile loop, 646 ft elevation gain
Time: 1-3 Hours
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Traffic: Crowded

Visitors often overlook this trail, but it offers a stunning view of the valley. Although it doesn’t climb the heights of the Watchman itself, it’s a great introduction to the park’s beauty.

Watchman Trail ZionPin

5. Weeping Rock →

Shuttle Stop 7

Distance: 0.4 Miles
Time: < 1 Hour
Difficulty: Easy
Traffic: Very Crowded

This short stroll takes you to the famous weeping wall, where you see 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 it is not recommended for wheelchairs or strollers.

Weeping Rock TrailPin

5 Best Moderate to Strenuous Day Hikes

6. Angels Landing →

Shuttle Stop 6

Distance: 4.1 Miles, 1617 ft elevation gain
Time: 2-4 Hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Very Crowded

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). Sections of the trail 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!

Local Tip: Angels Landing requires a permit to hike starting April 1, 2022. Find details about the lottery system here.

More: 15 Most Dangerous and Scariest Hikes in the World

7. Observation Point →

Shuttle Stop 7

Note: Closed via the East Rim trail from Weeping Rock due to large rockfall.

Distance: 6.7 Miles out and back, 2131 ft elevation gain
Time: 4-6 Hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Moderate to Crowded

Observation Point is a Zion classic giving you glimpses of Echo Canyon and rewarding you with a fantastic 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.

Observation Point ZionPin

8. Kolob Arch →

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.4378783, -113.1920637, map

Distance: 15.1 Miles roundtrip, 1781 ft elevation gain
Time: Full Day
Difficulty: Moderate
Traffic: Moderate

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 the Hop Valley Trailhead, but both are 7-mile treks.

kolob arch hike Pin
photo: NPS

9. THe Subway (Bottom-Up) →

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.2908319, -113.0968386, map

Distance: 7.0 Miles round trip, 1305 elevation gain
Time: Half Day
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Low

The subway is a gorge that looks like a subway tunnel. Although the bottom-up hike doesn’t require rappels or swims, you still hike through water and need a permit to hike. For more technical hikers, the Top to Bottom hike is also spectacular!

More: 11 Most Difficult Hiking Permits to Get in the US

The Subway ZionPin

10. Zion Narrows (Bottom-Up) →

Shuttle Stop 9

Distance: 3-8 Miles
Time: 2-6 Hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Traffic: Very Crowded
Best Time to Go: April until Oct

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 the water.

Local Tip: Hiking the Narrows depends on the water levels. Check the National Parks site for any trail closures.

More: Our 2-Day Narrows Backpacking Trip

Backpacking Gear List - What to Pack for Zion Narrows Top Down HikePin

5 Best Backpacking Trails

11. The Barracks →

Distance: 20 Miles
Time: 2-3 Days
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Low

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 many side canyons to explore as you hike through the Parunaweap Canyon. The majority of this hike lies outside of Zion in its neighboring BLM.

barracks trail parunuweap canyonPin
photo: Rasheed Siddiqui

12. La Verkin Creek Trail →

Distance: 18.6 miles round trip, 2326 ft elevation gain
Time: 2 Days
Difficulty: Moderate
Traffic: Low
When to Go: Year Round

Most people use this trail to visit Kolob Arch, but you can make it an overnight trip to take your time and soak in all the beauty. The campsites along the trail are superb, and you can tack on an additional 5 miles round trip hike to Beartrap Canyon falls.

la verkin creek trailPin

13. The Trans-Zion Trek or Zion Traverse →

Distance: 48 Miles point to point
Time: 3-5 Days
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Low

This hike takes you through several trails in the park, bringing you from one corner of Zion to the other. You will need to get all the appropriate permits, but it’s well worth it as you will see portions of the park that most people don’t get a chance to experience.

zion traverse hikePin

14. West Rim Trail →

Distance: 16-18 Miles
Time: 2 Days
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Moderate
Best Time to Go: April to Oct

Starting at Lava Point, this trail has some of the best views in Zion, including canyons, springs, trees, and flowers. And you can add on a side trip to Angels Landing too!

west rim trail zion Pin

15. Zion Narrows (Top-Down) →

Distance: 16 Miles
Time: 2 Days
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Moderate

Although you technically can do the entire hike as a day hike if you’re fast, but taking time to camp halfway through was really nice. The hike requires a permit, and you are in the water for a large portion of the hike. Check out our guide to the Narrows hike for more details.

More: Backpacking Gear List for the Zion Narrows Hike + Tips

Map of Zion National Park Hiking Trails

Heading to Zion? Save this pin and click to see the 15 Best Hikes in Zion National Park You Can't Miss - Zion National Park Map of Hiking Trails // Local Adventurer #utah #zion #nationalpark #findyourpark #hiking

More Zion Hikes

Don’t forget to download the area on google maps or AllTrails+ to have lesser-known trails available offline.

Best Places to Stay in Zion

What’s Nearby

Planning Checklist

What types of hikes do you typically like to do? Which of these Zion hikes above have you done or would you like to do?


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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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