Zion Canyon hiking trails are some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. Zion Canyon is part of Zion National Park, which is just east of St. George, Utah and 160 miles north from Las Vegas, Nevada. Zion Canyon is one of the most spectacular geological wonders in the world with spectacular towering sunset colored sandstone cliffs. The southernmost point of Zion Canyon starts at Springdale, Utah on the banks of the Virgin River.
Six Zion Canyon Hiking Trails
If you are a fan of hiking, you will be excited to find out about all of the opportunities to do so in the Zion Canyon. Learn about six of the best Zion Canyon hiking trails.
When you visit the canyon, be sure to enjoy a very easy walk/hike along the Virgin River on the Riverside Walk. You must take a shuttle bus up to this trail as parking is no longer allowed at the trailhead. Catch the shuttle at the visitor's center in Springdale every ten minutes. After the shuttle bus you can walk along the paved path for one mile, which ends at the point where the Virgin River covers the canyon floor. If you want to continue further, you will need to hike through the river over the popular, but challenging, Narrows Trail. Riverside walk is wheelchair accessible.
Zion Narrows Trail
After you leave the paved trail of Riverside Walk, you can continue up one of the most beautiful narrows hikes in the United States. For much of this hike you will have to wade or swim through the Virgin River. Zion Canyon cliffs surround you on each side during this spectacular hike. Plan to make this a day hike, as you will be wet from head to foot and not able to keep your pack dry. Alternately, you may want to venture up to Oderville Canyon where it's possible to stop for the night and dry off. It takes approximately six hours to get to this stopping point. The Zion Narrows trail is closed for much of the year because the river often rises and makes it impossible to hike. Contact the visitor center in Springdale to find out whether the Narrows can be hiked on the day you are planning to do so. Keep in mind that the Narrows trail can be very dangerous if there is a sudden rainstorm or flash flood
Emerald Pools Hike
This very popular hiking trail in Zion Canyon leads to the Emerald Pools. The Emerald Pools are two beautiful ponds on the west side of the river, including a beautiful waterfall. The hike is fairly easy and starts near Zion Lodge. Many hikers only visit the lower pond and then turn back down to the lodge. Because of this, the first Emerald Pool is the most crowded. If you prefer a more peaceful hike, continue on the trail to the upper pond. This trail is considered easy to moderate.
A strenuous hike along one of the highest mountain ridges of Zion Park leads to Angels Landing. Start the hike on the north side of Zion Lodge and follow it 2.5 miles along steep trails. Beautiful views await.
A moderate hike on a paved quarter mile trail, the Weeping Rock is another top attraction of Zion Canyon Hiking. The trail ends at a bowl shaped rock formation where water seeps out the sandstone feeding moss, ferns, grass and wild flowers.
A moderate hike up the 450 feet Watchman's Trail ends on a promontory with a beautiful view of Zion Canyon. This trail is often overlooked by visitors, so it is one of the less crowded options. The trail begins at the visitor center Shuttle bus stop in Springdale. The hike is a 2.8 mile round trip.
Zion Canyon has plenty of camping, but if you would like to stay in a hotel or in an organized campground, there are several options. Southern Zion Canyon in Springdale, Utah offers a few small hotels, camping, shops and restaurants.
Springdale, Utah has organized campgrounds with showers, laundry, dump stations and some hook ups. Some campgrounds include:
Primitive Back Country Camping
Some of the Zion Canyon hiking trails lead to back country camping locations. You must get a backcountry overnight permit to camp. Permits are obtained at the visitor center in Springdale. Campfires are generally not permitted in the backcountry unless there is a permit provided. Camp stoves are the preferred method of cooking in Zion Canyon backcountry. Carry all your trash out and do not burn or bury it. Water is not reliable or maintained for freshness, so bring your own.
Make Your Trip A Success
Make your Zion Canyon trip a success by researching the Zion Canyon website and joining an online forum to get the most up to date information.