Zion National Park has some of the best easy day hikes in Utah.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to huff-and-puff up Angels Landing or wade through The Narrows to experience the best of Zion. There are plenty of easy, family-friendly hikes to beautiful waterfalls, lush hanging gardens, and panoramic viewpoints.
If you’re hiking with kids, Zion has no shortage of terrific trails.
This guide covers the best easy day hikes in the park. If some of these trails seem a bit too easy, check out my guide to Zion’s best moderate hikes.
The Pa’rus Trail is a fabulous introduction to Zion Canyon’s bold scenery. Starting from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, the trail follows the banks of the Virgin River nearly two miles (3.2 km) to Canyon Junction. The beautiful Virgin River bubbles below, while enormous sandstone cliffs tower above.
The Pa’rus Trail is paved and wheelchair/stroller friendly. It’s also the only trail in Zion open to bicycles and pets on leashes.
Thanks to lush vegetation along the banks of the Virgin River, the Pa’rus Trail is great for bird watching—or simply lounging under the shade of a beautiful cottonwood tree.
Like the Pa’rus Trail, Riverside Walk also meanders along the banks of the Virgin River. But the experience here is completely different. While the Pa’rus Trail explores the wide, open mouth of Zion Canyon, Riverside Walk explore the fantastically narrow northern tip of Zion Canyon.
Riverside Walk starts at the Temple of Sinawava (shuttle stop #9). From the trailhead, a 1.1-mile (1.8-km) paved path twists along the banks of the Virgin River, passing lush springs and hanging gardens en route to the start of The Narrows.
If you’d like an easy introduction to the dramatic scenery of The Narrows—without having to get wet—there’s no better trail than Riverside Walk.
Located deep in the heart of Zion Canyon, Weeping Rock is an easy hike to a fascinating geologic formation with spectacular views. The water emerging from the seeps and springs at Weeping Rock fell as rain and snow on the cliffs above over 1,000 years ago. Since then, the ancient precipitation has slowly percolated down through the cliffs, emerging at Weeping Rock to nourish lush vegetation and gorgeous wildflowers.
Perched 100 feet above the floor of Zion Canyon, Weeping Rock also offers fabulous views. From the overlook you’ll enjoy a sweeping panorama of famous Zion peaks, including the Great White Throne and Angels Landing.
Lower Emerald Pool
Zion’s Emerald Pools are a series of beautiful pools cascading down a lovely side canyon. Middle and Upper Emerald Pools require moderate hiking, but Lower Emerald Pool is an easy hike from Zion Lodge.
After strolling alongside the Virgin River, you’ll round a corner and descend into a misty, mystical amphitheater. This dramatic alcove is filled with lush vegetation and home to multiple waterfalls trickling down from above. As you walk across the alcove, you’ll pass behind the delicate curtains of water.
Timber Creek Overlook
Kolob Canyons, located in the remote northwest corner of the park, draws a fraction of the visitors that flock to Zion Canyon. But its bold sandstone canyons and cliffs are no less impressive. One of the best places to enjoy the beauty of the Kolob Canyons is from Timber Creek Overlook.
Most visitors enjoy the scenery from the parking area. But a short, easy path heads 0.5 miles (0.8 kms) to an even more impressive viewpoint. To the east, the Kolob Finger Canyons line up like a military regiment. To the southeast, the stairstep plateaus of Kolob Terrace march across the horizon towards Zion Canyon.
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