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DestinationsNational Parks U.S.A.United StatesUtahZion/Bryce

Canyon Overlook Trail, A Must Do Zion National Park Hike



The Canyon Overlook Trail

One of the few official trails in the East Canyon, Driving east on route 9 you’ll encounter a series of switchbacks and see Zion’s Great Arch in the distance, your hiking destination is above the Great Arch.

The Canyon Overlook Trail begins just outside the 1.1 mile Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel on route 9 where there is a small parking lot.

Plan to arrive early to snag a parking spot close to the trail head which is located behind the ranger booth (note there is no shuttle service available) however there are a number of pullouts beyond the parking lot providing additional parking. The trail is less than a half mile to the viewpoint and rewards trekkers with amazing views of Zion Canyon. In fact, it’s the shortest hike in the park that gets you to a viewpoint above the canyon.

At the start of the trail there are hand rails to assist your initial ascent, though most of the trail is relatively level and easy to maneuver.


This hike is ideal for most ages and abilities however be aware that there are dangerously high cliffs at the viewpoint, and while there are hand rails along portions of the trail there are also a number of exposed spots so visitors, and especially families with young children, should exercise caution.

Along the trail you will see beautiful sandstone formations above the slot canyon formed by Pine Creek.


About half way to the viewpoint you will come to a shaded alcove that can provide a bit of relief during warmer summer months.



The view at the end of your trek is nothing short of incredible! There is a plaque pointing out some of the prominent landmarks, and if you look closely at the canyon walls you’ll be able to spot several of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel “windows.”

When you are finished exploring the viewpoint follow the same trail to return.


Checkerboard Mesa

Once you return to your vehicle, consider a short drive east on Highway 9 as it winds through Checkerboard Mesa. The colorful patterns on the sandstone hills resemble a checkerboard. There is a viewing area located at the Checkerboard Mesa parking lot. During our visit we spotted two small groups of Mountain Goats.



Recommended Sites For More Info

When researching our visit to Zion we found Joes Guide To Zion National Park to be packed with valuable information and hiking tips. Also note that the National Park Service posts updates on park conditions and trail closures.



Want To Escape The Crowds At Zion For An Afternoon?

How Does A Visit To A Ghost Town Sound?

Want to escape the crowds in Springdale and Zion for a couple of hours? Why not take the whole family to visit the Grafton Ghost Town just a short drive outside of Springdale and Zion National Park.  The whole family can enjoy exploring some of the old buildings and cemetery. It makes for a perfect escape from read more


Springdale Dining Recommendation

After so many free hotel breakfasts sometimes you just have to escape the monotony of the unappetizing breakfast.

If you are staying in Springdale you know there are plenty of restaurants available to choose from. One we suggest putting on your list for breakfast or lunch is the Park House Cafe. We stopped for breakfast there on our way out of town (Stop 8 on the Springdale Shuttle) on the recommendation of another couple we met at the hotel. The Park House is a little blast from the past with its artsy decor which gave it a bit of a 60’s vibe…. groovy! They have a small indoor eating area and a larger outdoor patio area on the side. Friendly folks who gave the impression that they wanted to make sure we enjoyed our time and food. We each had the Eggs Benedict, one with ham and potatoes and the other with a thick slice of tomato and assortment of fruits. The meat was not your standard slice of Canadian bacon but a very good size 1/4 inch thick or more slice of ham steak. While the potatoes were a bit on the crispy side both breakfasts looked and tasted delicious! This place is a real gem we highly recommend!



Related Posts

Visit Bryce Canyon National Park to view some of our favorite and most scenic views and overlooks of hoodoos, arches (read more...)
    The Valley of Fire state park features dramatic and unique red sandstone formations created millions of years ago (read more...)
The Riverside Walk begins at the Temple of Sinawava, the last stop on the Zion shuttle. It's a 2.2 mile (read more...)
A great side trip for the whole family just a short drive outside of Zion National Park lies the ghost (read more...)
The Kolob Canyon scenic drive at Zion National Park packs in some incredible views, climbing over 1,000 feet as you (read more...)



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