Zion National Park Hiking Guide

Zion National Park is the highlight of Southern Utah, and the place where I fell in love with hiking. There are endless trails to explore, and you could spend a whole week trekking through the canyon. However, I have highlighted some of my favourite easy to moderate hikes that offer some different perspectives of Zion National Park. 

I also encourage you to consider visiting in the colder months. We visited in February, and were able to enjoy incredibly sunny, blue skies and snow-capped peaks. Although it got muddy at times, it was certainly a much more comfortable temperature to enjoy hiking. We were also able to take our car into Zion National Park instead of using the shuttle service. Not to mention there being very few other tourists here at that time of year!

Note that none of these hikes require a permit. However, make sure to check with National Park Service before your visit for the latest updates and any road and trail closures. 


Table of Contents

Hiking in Zion National Park

Riverside Walk - Zion

Riverside Walk

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.2mi / 3.5km

Riverside Walk is a flat, mostly-paved trail that winds along the Virgin River deep into Zion Canyon. The steep cliffs that overshadow the path actually block the sun, so it can definitely get chilly down here. This trail is actually the beginning of the challenging ‘Narrows’ hike that Zion National Park is famous for. However, Riverside Walk is the best alternative if you don’t want to spend the day trekking through the freezing river. It is also the easiest trail for exploring the canyon floor. 

Weeping Rock Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 0.4mi / 0.6km

Although only a short hike, Weeping Rock Trail should not be overlooked. Whilst only a short distance, the trail is quite steep as it climbs up to t an open cave in the cliff face. Note that the steps and cave at the end of the trail can get very slippery. The name ‘Weeping Rock’ comes from the water that drips down the cliff here and over the edge of the cave wall. In winter, the water freezes and the cave becomes lined with icicles. The cave also has an incredible sweeping panorama of Zion Canyon. 

Weeping Rock - Zion

Middle Emerald Pools Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.2mi / 3.5km

Middle Emerald Pools Trail is definitely a more challenging hike due to its elevation gain. However, the views from the pools are spectacular, as you climb even higher above the canyon floor. The pools feel like a tranquil oasis tucked away in the cliff face. From here, you can continue onto the Upper Emerald Pools if you wish. Note that this trail is unpaved, and was incredibly muddy in February. I recommend wearing hiking boots in winter to avoid slipping, as there are some steep drop offs. 

Canyon Overlook Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 1.0mi / 1.6km

My favourite hike in Zion National Park. Canyon Overlook Trail, although short in distance, is not for the faint-of-heart. The trail is skinny and climbs to the top of the canyon, so there are some steep drop offs which are not fenced off. There is also some wooden scaffolding that leads you out into the canyon roughly halfway along the trail. But, if you are willing to get your adrenaline pumping then it is totally worth it! Canyon Overlook trail ends at a lookout that provides incredible views over the entire canyon. It really feels as though you can see all of Zion National Park from up here!

Other Recommendations for Zion National Park

Zion National Park is most famous for it’s incredible hiking. But, some other things to enjoy during your visit include:

Exploring St. George – Farmstead Bakery is my favourite cafe here

Grabbing a heart-warming soup for lunch at Zion Lodge

Driving the scenic Zion-Mount Carmel Highway

Glamping at Zion Glamping Adventures for some epic stargazing.

*Please note that all prices are current as of the publication date of this post.

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