7 Epic and Easy Hikes in Zion National Park

Zion National Park at Sunset

Zion National Park draws some of the most extreme adventurers. With well-known hikes like The Subway and Angels Landing, this park may seem a little daunting – but not to fear! There’s plenty of easy and gorgeous hikes for those of us with less time on our hands (or more flab on our thighs).

 

RELATED: “10 OTHER-WORLDLY THINGS TO SEE IN DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK”

 

These hikes are all less than 4 miles round-trip, can be done in 2 hours or less and don’t require any amount of training. Oh, and did I mention they lead to mind-blowing views?

Yeah.

So now that you’re finally out of excuses, let’s get to the trails!

 

Weeping Rock - an easy hike in Zion National Park

 

1. Weeping Rock

A short trail to an epic waterfall. This paved hike leads you up a small staircase where you can stand behind the giant waterfall that gave this place it’s somber name. Just be prepared to get wet!

NOTE: This trail is best visited between March and October, as that’s when the waterfall is most active. I hiked it in November and the rock wasn’t so “weepy” as the name suggests. There was only a small amount of water dripping from the mossy rock.

Distance: 0.4 Miles

Time: 30 Minutes

Elevation: 98 Feet

 

The end of the Canyon Overlook Hike - an easy trail in Zion National Park

 

2. Canyon Overlook

While this trail is labeled a “Moderate Hike”, it’s fairly easy and doable for hikers of almost all experience levels. The trail begins just off of Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (after exiting the 1 mile tunnel) and leads you steadily upwards until you reach an overlook with incredible views of Zion Canyon.

I hiked this trail at sunrise and it was the perfect start to the day. The light on the cliffs was soft and warm and I even (accidentally) got up close and personal with some Desert Bighorns! I was terrified of getting charged but overall, still a cool experience.

NOTE: There are many steep drop-offs on this trail. Most are fenced, but if you have an extreme fear of heights, this may not be the trail for you. That being said, I have a moderate fear of heights and was fine completing this trail.

Distance: 1 Mile

Time: 1 Hour

Elevation: 163 Feet

 

The beginning of the Watchman Trail hike in Zion National Park

 

3. Watchman Trail

Close to the visitor center, this trail takes you up several switchbacks to an overlook where you can soak up the awesome views of Zion Canyon. A slightly closer, less elevated view than Canyon Overlook, this trail is a good spot for some sunset canyon photos. If you’ve seen Zion Canyon at sunset, you’ll know what I mean when I say “waaaaaahw”.

NOTE: The elevation of this trail makes it slightly more strenuous than the others. Take frequent breaks, if you need, and bring plenty of water.

Distance: 3.3 Miles

Time: 2 Hours

Elevation: 368 Feet

 

Standing by the upper Emerald Pool in Zion National Park

 

4. Upper Emerald Pools

By far my favorite easy hike in Zion. If you’re thinking about only hiking to the Lower Emerald Pools and then turning around – forget about it! The upper pool is so awe-inspiring that I’m pretty sure I stood there for a good 30 minutes ruining everyone else’s photos. Rude tourist alert.

Distance: 3 Miles

Time: 2 Hours

Elevation: 200 Feet

 

Riverside Walk - an easy hike in Zion National Park

 

5. Riverside Walk

This easy, paved trail winds alongside the Virgin River and through an impressive canyon. The Riverside Walk is actually the beginning of the popular Narrows hike, but unless you have another 7 hours to spare your turn-around point will be at the end of the paved trail.

NOTE: Beware of the crazy wind that seems to funnel directly through this canyon – especially in the winter months.

Distance: 2.2 Miles

Time: 1.5 Hours

Elevation: 57 Feet

 

The view from Timber Creek Overlook in Zion National Park

 

6. Timber Creek Overlook

Another gorgeous overlook for Zion-caliber sunsets, this short and easy hike lies in the Northwest corner of the park and provides some mind-blowing views of the Pine Valley mountains. The trail is uneven and poorly marked, so you’ll basically just keep walking until you reach a cliff and can’t walk any further. Pretty hard to get lost with those excellent directions, hey?

Distance: 1 Mile

Time: 30 Minutes

Elevation: 100 Feet

 

A view of the cliffside from Pa'rus Trail - an easy hike in Zion National Park

 

7. Pa’rus Trail

Another paved trail (wheelchair accessible) that travels along the Virgin River and through Lower Zion Canyon. Start this trail 30 minutes before sunset and you’ll get amazing views of the cliffside bathed in shades of orange and pink light, like the picture above.

Distance: 3.5 Miles

Time: 2 Hours

Elevation: 50 Feet

 

 

Have a favorite (or dream) Zion hike? Share the knowledge and comment it below!

OR

Check out my other U.S. Adventures, here.

 

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7 Easy Hikes in Zion National Park

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Kalyan Panja
    January 21, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Nice reading about these hiking trails. The views are real breathtaking. Nice captures too.

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      January 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks so much! Definitely a gorgeous place. The Upper Emerald Pool absolutely blew my mind! Hope you get to visit soon 🙂

  • Reply
    Maurice
    February 21, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    We stayed in the Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens, in Zion Park and we could look directly at the Watchman from our balcony. That was a massive piece of rock that changed ever so slightly as the sun crept across the sky, making different and very interesting shadows and shapes as it passed overhead. I was mesmerized by it. It was like watching the most interesting movie of all time. I hated to look away, for fear that I might miss something. I’m not usually one to say such things, but it was as if that gigantic, majestic piece of stone actually called to me. I felt very drawn to it.

    Besides the view of The Watchman, our balcony also furnished a view of a great variety of flowers in the garden below, with deer venturing into the yard to sample the fruits of a couple of different types of trees. There were also trumpet vines that climbed to the roof of the three story structure, spreading their red flowers for the many humming birds that came for the nectar. It’s a GREAT place!

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      February 28, 2018 at 8:01 am

      That sounds absolutely amazing! Sunrise and sunset are the most magical times in Zion, aren’t they? The way the light plays off the mountains is unbelievably gorgeous. Sounds like you had a magical time 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexi
    March 3, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Sooooo happy I found this article, I’m planning a trip w my 3 kids (ages 9-16) next week for Spring Break and your recommendations are so helpful! Trying to make sure I can figure out how to work all or at least 5 of them into our itinerary. Cannot wait to visit this amazing place!

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      March 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Hi Alexi,

      I’m so happy to hear that! I hope you have an awesome time with your kids. Zion is so beautiful and I imagine even more so in the Spring.
      And bonus, Weeping Rock should be flowing this time of year!

      Have fun 🙂

  • Reply
    Rhonda
    March 20, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    My high school besties are planning our Embrace 60 trip here. Thanks for the tips. #ClassOf76.

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      March 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Woohoo! Can’t imagine a better place for a best friends trip. Have an absolute blast!

  • Reply
    Cindy L
    April 7, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Leaving in a week and can not wait to see all these beautiful places in person! Any other suggestions on things to see places to eat etc?.

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      April 23, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Cindy! So sorry for the late reply. I was actually in the process of moving cross country this month and things just got crazy hectic! I know I’m way too late to be of any assistance, but I hope you had an absolute blast on your trip! If you found any other awesome hikes or hot stops please feel free to let me know – I’m planning a trip back this year and can always use some fresh inspiration 🙂 Again, so sorry that I’m late on this. All the best!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ TechChick Adventures
    May 30, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks so much for this info! I’m heading out to Zion (and all the places out West!) next week and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with so many things to see. This helps me narrow it down!

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      June 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      Ahh that’s awesome! I’m incredibly jealous of you right now – dying to head back that way. Hope you have an absolute blast! 🙂

  • Reply
    Danette
    June 4, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Thank you for this, we are going in July (ha ha teachers vacation schedule) and have two kids 4 and 8. Planning on 2 day trips to Zion and one day will be dedicated to seeing how far we can go on the riverside walk/narrows and another day weeping rock and upper emerald pools at least. Don’t want to overschedule the kids…..I can’t wait.

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      June 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      That sounds like the perfect schedule! I’m so excited to try the whole Narrows hike – it was a little cold when we visited 😉 The Emerald Pools hike was by far my favorite! And hopefully Weeping Rock will be a little more “weepy” for you guys. Lol! Have so much fun!

  • Reply
    kirk
    July 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Great article, thanks for all your great pics and information. My wife, teen and I, are planning on heading there this Sunday for 5 days. A bit nervous about July day hikes with high temps, but have always wanted to experience this!(Yet another teacher vacationer, lol).

    • Reply
      Kristin Quinn
      August 12, 2018 at 9:49 am

      That’s awesome! I hope the weather stayed reasonable for you guys. I’m in Idaho and it’s been 100 + for the past month – Brutal! But Zion has got to be worth it any time of the year I’d think 🙂

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