Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
Overview: A short out-and-back day hike to an overlook of lower Zion Canyon.
Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km) round trip
Hiking time: About 0.5 hour
Best season: March–November
Hazards: Cliff exposure
Topo maps: Springdale East; Trails Illustrated Zion National Park
Finding the trailhead: From the Zion Visitor Center, drive east on UT 9 for 5 miles. The trailhead is just beyond the first tunnel.
Trailhead GPS: 37.213404, -112.940522
This short but scenic trail runs to a high overlook immediately above the Great Arch, commanding vistas of the lower reaches of Zion Canyon. Interpretive brochures found at the trailhead explain the plants, animals, and geological features found along the route.
The path initially climbs a series of stairsteps and then traverses across the upper walls of the deep slot canyon of Pine Creek. The path passes beneath several overhangs and in a few spots offers uneven footing above dropoffs; proceed with caution. The path ultimately emerges onto a hilltop covered with hoodoos, or pillars of eroded stone. It then weaves across the slickrock and between piñon pines to reach Canyon Overlook, a spectacular vista point. 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. Travelers carrying binoculars can glass the cliffs to the south for desert bighorn sheep, which have been reintroduced into Zion National Park.