Hiking the Canyon Overlook Trail, Zion National Park

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Canyon Overlook is one of Zion National Park’s best moderate hikes. The half-mile trail starts just east of Zion Tunnel and ends on top of Great Arch. From the overlook, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the sheer cliffs surrounding Pine Creek Canyon and Zion Canyon beyond. Thanks to its western views, Canyon Overlook is extremely popular at sunset.

Canyon Overlook Trail Facts

Rating: Moderate
Hiking Time: 1 hour
Distance: 1-mile round-trip
Elevation Change: 163 feet

Canyon Overlook Trailhead

Often the most challenging part of hiking Canyon Overlook is finding parking near the trailhead. There’s a small parking area directly across from the trailhead (which can be entered only after exiting the Zion Tunnel) and another parking area 600 feet northeast.

Canyon Overlook Trail Description

From the trailhead, stone steps lead to a series of semi-exposed ledges. Metal railings protect hikers at steep sections. Below the trail, Pine Creek drains East Zion as it flows towards Zion Canyon. After a short distance, you’ll round a corner and cross a small bridge.

The trail passes through a shadowy, recessed alcove. Springs and seeps nourish pockets of lush vegetation.

The trail continues, with occasional mild scrambling, until you reach the top of Great Arch. Whimsical rock formations, called hoodoos, surround the viewpoint.

Spread out below is Pine Creek Canyon. In the distance, forming a 3,000-foot wall against the western horizon, are the Towers of the Virgin. Views are terrific throughout the day, but Canyon Overlook is particularly popular at sunset. If you visit at sunset try to arrive early to beat the crowds.

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