Zion National Park: Canyon Overlook Trail

It’s a common misconception that you have to hike Angels Landing or Observation Point (two of the most strenuous hikes in Zion National Park) to get amazing views. Shelly and I decided to try out the short, 1-mile round trip Canyon Overlook Trail at sunrise, and it did not disappoint!

CANYON OVERLOOK TRAIL

Length: 1-mile round trip
Time: 30 minutes to an hour
Difficulty: easy, suitable for most

The trailhead starts right before the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, where there is a good amount of parking.

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

The beginning part is really the steepest/most strenuous, its a series of stone steps that take you up the side of the road. The trail continues along through mostly shaded passes and fairly flat ground, while the canyon towers above.

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

Where there are drop-offs, most have railings and guardrails for safety.

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

At one point, you walk through a crevasse/cave sort of structure. Ignore the picture quality, it was dark, but gives you the idea:

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

It was beautiful seeing the canyon lit up by the rising sun, the red rocks just glow!

Canyon Overlook Trail - Zion National Park--31

Looking for somewhere to stay in Zion National Park? Check out Zion Mountain Ranch: They have beautiful, rustic lodges, a highly rated restaurant on-site, offer horseback rides through the canyon, AND have a heard of Great American Bison that roam the 300-acre property!

Canyon Overlook Trail - Zion National Park--29

Canyon Overlook Trail - Zion National Park--11

As we got closer to the overlook, it did get a little steeper, but nothing too strenuous at all.

Canyon Overlook Trail - Zion National Park--7

This hike would take most people less than an hour to do, but Shelly and I stopped a lot to take photos (obviously).

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

Canyon Overlook Trail - Zion National Park--13

Then finally, you reach the Canyon Overlook:

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

Towering 5,000 feet over the canyon floor, this overlook gives grand views of the Mount Carmel switchbacks, West Temple, the Streaked Wall, the Towers of the Virgins, and the Beehives.

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

The East Temple rises directly above the overlook and the Great Arch lies right below it, recessed into the cliff-face

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

We went at sunrise, and the warm, golden light combined with the shadows was very dramatic. I’d imagine it would be really pretty at sunset as well!

Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

I’d highly recommend this trail to everyone, especially since its so quick and easy! We stayed at Zion Mountain Ranch, so we had to pass by this on the way into Zion National Park anyways, making it the perfect hike to start our day!

Have you hiked this trail before? Is there one you liked better? Let me know in the comments!

xx Chels

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Canyon Overlook Trail | Zion National Park | Zion Must Do | Zion Best Hiking Trails

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