Zion National Park in Utah is a popular destination in the Southwestern United states with beautiful views. It was the first national park in Utah and the best way to experience it is hiking among the high cliffs and through the narrow canyons. It is home to some very unique hikes, such as the Narrows where you walk for miles up a river with sheer canyon walls on either side of you, or hike the Angels Landing Trail with 21 switchbacks to the top for a great lookout. This geologically unique area has colorful sandstone canyons, high plateaus, and rock towers. Natural arches and exposed formations of the Colorado Plateau make up a large wilderness of diverse ecosystems. Route 9, which traverses the park from east to west, is open year-round to private vehicles. Be prepared for hazardous driving conditions during and immediately following storms. Icy spots remain through the winter.
We hiked from the Grotto trailhead up past Scout Lookout, turning around just before the trail veered away from the main canyon. Most everyone is familiar with the incredible views on the way up to Angels Landing. But it is amazing how few people head even a short distance past the Lookout. The views of the upper portion of the canyon, and of Angels Landing itself, are tremendous. The trail deserves five stars for just the short portion that we tackled. I can't fathom how amazing it must be to complete the entire 13 miles. I definitely envision a shuttle to Lava Point and a return hike being a top priority for the next visit, whenever that might be!
A short, easy and level trail along the valley floor between the Lodge and the Grotto picnic area. It passes through a pretty wooded meadow. It is great for spotting wildlife. You can take the trail to connect to the West Rim/Angels Landing Trails or the Kayenta Trail for a nice loop to the Emerald Pools.
This is a short trail along the west wall of the main canyon that connects the West Rim Trail and Grotto picnic area with the Emerald Pools Trail. It remains relatively level for much of its length. There are some wonderful views from above the Virgin River, looking to the southern end of the canyon. It is best when combined with some of the other surrounding trails.
A very popular hike to three pretty pools in a lush side canyon not far from the Lodge. Benefiting from a late arrival on our first day, we managed to squeeze in the full hike just before sunset. It was a beautiful time to experience it. It's an easy walk to the Lower Pool. It is a short but more moderate hike on the way up to the final two pools. I really enjoyed exploring the middle section (right above the two waterfalls spilling into the Lower Pool). The view of the late day light hitting the massive walls on the opposite side of the main canyon was very memorable. We also had a lot of fun climbing numerous rocks/boulders by the Upper Pool, surrounded by the 300 foot cliffs. Due to the late hour, we made it back to the Lodge by retracing our path. However, you can add some distance and create a very nice loop by adding the Kayenta and Grotto Trails on the return.
A short, easy, and very popular hike to the first of three beautiful pools. We arrived late in the afternoon at the beginning of our first trip to Zion and managed to squeeze in all three pools just before sunset. This was a nice introduction to the park. And it made for a comfortable hike on what had been a warm day in the canyon. It also helped to thin out the crowds. There was still some water descending from the middle section into the Lower Pool. It was neat passing behind the two waterfalls before beginning to make our way up to the next level.
Incredible fun with a stunning view at the end. I really don't think it's as frightening as many people make it out to be. I was able to traverse the chains after a nice snowfall without any problem. I did however, see a video of the trek towards the end of winter when the snow was clear, but there were large patches of ice that looked very slippery, in that case take caution. I imagine this could be more tedious and anxiety inducing with more people on the trail, but luckily I went late and during a Winter month and there was very few people. Anyways, with proper traction gear, it shouldn't be too difficult. Definitely a great hike that I'll do again.
A very short, moderately steep but family-friendly hike to the popular Zion landmark. It is amazing to think that you are standing under water that has taken more than a thousand years to re-emerge, seeping through the sandstone before being forced back out. The constant cascading flow turns this small canyon into a lush green hanging garden. The view from below the curved cliff face down to the main canyon is wonderful, with both the Great White Thrown and Cable Mountain towering over you on the left. For those looking to add a more serious hike or two, the Hidden Canyon, East Rim and Observation Point Trails also start at the trailhead.
I love driving in from Mt. Carmel Junction on Route 9 and entering the park at the less crowded east entrance...then making your way past Checkerboard Mesa and the gorgeous back country before coming through the tunnel and down into the main canyon by way of the switchbacks. Springdale is a beautiful and fun small town to explore just outside the south entrance. And the drive from there to Hurricane is very scenic as well. I am 99% sure we saw a rare California Condor fly directly over us on this last leg of the drive!
Both visits to Zion have been in May, so it has been the scenic shuttle for us...and a lot of wonderful walking and hiking. We did get to drive in and park at the Lodge on the first trip since we stayed there. Nothing like waking up and sitting on your cabin porch, staring up at the first light on the canyon walls before you start your amazing day!
This trail is sometimes overlooked, but you likely will not be disappointed if you have time to fit it in. It is a paved walk from the Visitor Center to Canyon Junction. There is little shade, and it can get very hot in the lower portion of the main canyon. However, there are several places where it is easy to access the scenic and rocky Virgin River...and cool off if desired. The views of the many named peaks are spectacular. There is also a short spur trail that takes you to the Zion Human History Museum.