Canyon Overlook Arch   |  Joe Newman

Hiking the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

Located just east of the famous Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is just half a mile long, but it delivers some of the most spectacular views in the park. It’s easy to reach and relatively flat, making it a popular spot for many hikers. But don’t let the fear of crowds deter you from enjoying this path that travels above the Great Arch and features one of the signature views of Zion Canyon.

Zion National Park How To Travel Responsibly

Hiking Trail Overview

Trail Length: 1 mile (round trip)
Hiking Time: About an hour
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 163 feet
Pets: No
Directions to the Trailhead: The trailhead for this hike is on Highway 9, about a 20-minute drive from Springdale. It sits just east of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel.
GPS Coordinates: 37.213404, -112.940522

Hiking Information

Starting across the street from the parking area on Highway 9 just east of the tunnel, the trail begins with a collection of stone steps north of the road. Along the route to the overview, you’ll get an impressive glimpse of the Pine Creek slot canyon. There’s also a nice shaded alcove (with ferns growing out of the walls) that offers a bit of a break from the otherwise exposed path. While the trail is relatively flat and well-traveled, it has its share of switchbacks, steps and slickrock, so wear appropriate footwear for hiking. (Despite its short length, the trail earns its “moderate” difficulty designation.)

The path ultimately emerges onto a hilltop covered with hoodoos, or pillars of eroded stone. It then weaves across the slickrock and between pinyon pines to reach Canyon Overlook, which is the trail’s real stunner. East Temple looms to the north, while to the west spreads a panorama highlighted by Bridge Mountain, the West Temple, the Towers of the Virgin and the Streaked Wall. If you have binoculars, look toward the southern cliffs to see desert bighorn sheep, which have been reintroduced into Zion National Park. 

View from the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail.

Photo: Matt Morgan

While in Zion National Park, you may have the opportunity to spot one of 16 species of lizards.

Photo: Angie Payne

The Towers of the Virgin in Zion National Park.

Photo: Jay Dash

More Things To Know

Keep The Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion Forever Mighty

Utah’s National Parks see millions of travelers each year. As you plan your next trip to Zion, consider ways to support its basecamp communities and keep the park Forever Mighty.

While in Zion, stay on designated trails to protect the vegetation and fragile cryptobiotic soil. Leaving the trails can lead to soil compaction, erosion and scars on the landscape. Staying on the trail is also important for the safety of all visitors. Many of Zion’s trails have significant drop-offs, and visitors have died falling from cliffs in the park.

Forever Mighty

Previous Image Next Image