This list of the best trails in Zion is the opinion of the site authors Bo Beck and Tanya Milligan. Also note that some trails on this list may be difficult for the
average hiker. The
areas listed on this page are all a short distance from each other and
all spectacular in their own way. If you are planning a trip to southern
Utah, it would be a shame to miss any of the attractions in this
incredible corner of the earth. See our itinerary section
for suggestions on how to see the scenic wonders of the west in one to seven
Bo's Favorite - Lady
Mountain - Historic, challenging, un-maintained - if that is your idea of fun, Lady Mountain will not disappoint, but there needs
to be at least one rock climber in the group. The 360° view at the end is a showstopper.
Tanya's Favorite - Parunuweap - My personal favorite begins at the well-known landmark on Zion's east side of the park, Checkerboard Mesa, then travel across slick rock to the East Fork of the Virgin River. This trek
is only for experienced hikers and those with strong route finding skills. Be
warned that you will probably not see another soul during this entire hike.
trails - Trails that every first-time visitor to Zion National Park
should see are listed in our Southwestern vacation guide.
Narrows - The well traveled route through the North Fork of the Virgin River is incredible and easy to visit. Almost anyone can
do at least a portion of the Zion Narrows by hiking the Riverside Walk
and then dropping into the North Fork of the Virgin River. Short exploration is permitted from Zion Canyon without
a permit. For a full dose of the Zion Narrows, obtain a permit and head to Chamberlain's Ranch in East Zion to
begin the trail. The full Narrows hike is a rushed one day trip or a relaxed two day
Landing - This busy trail is one you will not want to miss. Begin in Zion Canyon and hike up the West Rim Trail to find the half mile Angels
Landing Trail that traverses a narrow fin above Zion Canyon. If you want more,
return along the half-mile fin from Angels Landing and continue up the West Rim
Trail to Cabin Spring then turn around and hike downhill back to the Grotto.
Directions to Zion National Park
From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. Exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.
Zion Photo: Author of the site, Tanya Milligan on Lady Mountain in Zion National Park.
Lodging and services are available in East Zion. The main road through Zion, the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (SR-9) is open year-round, and is not a route the Zion Canyon Shuttle takes. Zion Canyon is deep inside the park. Towering 3000' walls form a slot canyon, forged by the violent rush of torrent water over millions of years. From late March to late October access through the six mile stretch of road is via the Zion Canyon Shuttle, the rest of the year the canyon is accessed in private vehicles.
Best Easy Trails in Zion National Park
Rock - Short and sweet, this hike packs a lot of beauty into a brief walk. This is probably the most traveled trail in the park.
Emerald Pool - Make sure to take the Lower Emerald Pool Trail and
not bypass it by going up the more obvious trail to the Middle Emerald Pools. The middle pool
and upper pool can be accessed once at the lower pool. This trail is probably traveled more than any other trail in the park other than Weeping Rock.
Walk - This nice paved path allows you to get your feet wet in
the Zion Narrows and to get a sneak peak of one of the best trails in the USA and the best trail in the National Park System. This trail is in the top three most traveled trails in Zion.
Overlook - Break out of Zion Canyon and enjoy this fun hike that begins at the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and
climbs to an impressive view of the Zion Switchbacks and lower Zion Canyon. The
beauty is that it is a high altitude view (due to the higher elevation on the
east side of the park) without the work of hiking to the top of something like Observation Point
or Angels Landing.
Best Easy Remote Trails in Zion
Two Pines Arch - A short hike to an arch in Zion that few visitors ever get to see.
Many Pools - If it's been raining and the potholes are filled with water it makes this route all the more special, in fact, don't hike it unless there has been precipitation recently.
Shelf Canyon - This is a great little slot canyon located on the east side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel.
Pine Creek Waterfall - A short hike with a bit of scrambling that takes hikers to a refreshing pool and beautiful waterfall.
Clear Creek - Secluded, yet not, this section of Clear Creek is near the tunnel so you hear a lot of road noise, but it's still a beautiful and an easier part of the park to explore than most and you will probably be alone in the slot.
Gifford Canyon - If you want a quiet stroll away from the crowds this one is ideal even though it begins in a hectic place near the tunnel, but quickly it takes you away from the crowds.
Best View Points in Zion National Park
Peak - Visible from busy SR-9 and in the center of Zion's slickrock circle , but you probably won't see another soul along this route.
It goes past a charming arch, Two Pines Arch, and then up to Progeny Peak. The
view is magnificent from the mountain. This is an un-maintained route rather than a trail is is off the beaten path.
Point - Well traveled and scenic, this trail begins at the Weeping Rock parking lot in Zion Canyon
and leads to one of the best views of Zion Canyon.
Landing - Angels Landing is one of the most outstanding trails in the US and other than the Zion Narrows it is the best in the National Park System. The path begins at the Grotto parking lot in Zion Canyon
and ends at a spectacular view of Zion Canyon.
Deertrap Mountain - This trail begins at the turn-off near the east
entrance of the park and ends high atop a mesa with a grand view of Zion Canyon
Mountain - A continuous of the East Rim Trail, it begins at the first turn-off from the east entrance
of the park, follows the East Rim Trail then breaks off, ending at a wonderful view of Zion Canyon.
West Rim - Start in the Kolob Terrace and end in Zion Canyon. This trail is often done as a long day trip, but it makes an outstanding backpack. The winding switchback
section called Walter's Wiggles is a dizzy path leaving Scout Lookout just below the
junction of the West Rim Trail and Angels Landing Trail.