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Top 5 Hiking Trails in Zion National Park

From The Narrows to Canyon Overlook, here's where to head.

A hiker explores Zion in Utah
Hi, I'm Lydia!

Lydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

When it comes to hiking in Zion National Park, the word “paradise” doesn’t do it justice. Zion is a hiker’s utopia, filled with day hikes and backcountry adventures that set the scene for adventure in Mother Nature no matter the season. Here are a few of the park’s best trails. 

1. Angels Landing via West Rim Trail

A woman hikes at Angels Landing in Zion National Park.
A hiker on Angel's Landing.Photo Credit: Flystock / Shutterstock

5.4 miles (8.7 km)

Arguably one of Zion’s most famous hikes, the Angels Landing trail leads to a dramatic viewpoint 1,500 feet (457 meters) over the valley below. The strenuous hike isn’t for everyone, but those who tackle the major elevation gain, steep switchbacks, narrow ridges, and long drop-offs will be rewarded with some of the park’s most spectacular views.

2. The Narrows

Hikers walk through The Narrows in Utah in Zion National Park.
Hikers in The Narrows.Photo Credit: Checubus / Shutterstock

9.4 miles (15.1 km)

The Zion Narrows, one of the world’s best slot canyon hikes, follows the Virgin River as it winds through Zion Canyon. You might find yourself trekking through ankle- to waist-deep water at some points (making it a popular summer hike), but you can tailor the hike’s length and difficulty to your ability level.

3. Canyon Overlook Trail

Sunrise at the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park in Utah.
Canyon Overlook Trail at sunrise.Photo Credit: Beach Creatives / Shutterstock

1 mile (1.6 km)

While relatively short, the Canyon Overlook Trail offers a big payoff in the form of spectacular views of Pine Creek Canyon and lower Zion Canyon. It’s a favorite among photographers and a must for first-time visitors.

4. Lower Emerald Pool Trail

Water spray touches the sky on the Lower Emerald Pool Trail in Zion National Park.
Water spray on Lower Emerald Pool Trail.Photo Credit: Hsu-Chun Liu / Shutterstock

1.2 miles (1.9 km)

The gently sloping Lower Emerald Pool Trail offers easy access to Zion’s iconic towering rock formations. The relatively short one-way hike leads to the first of the park’s emerald pools and waterfalls. If you’re looking for something a bit longer and more challenging, this trail connects with the Kayenta and Upper Emerald Pool trails.

5. Kolob Arch via La Verkin Creek Trail

Kolob Arch on a sunny day in Utah, in Zion National Park.
The Arch is a popular part of the national park.Photo Credit: Daniel R Cruikshanks / Shutterstock

14 miles (22.5 km)

This lengthy day hike takes you along the La Verkin Creek Trail to Zion’s famous Kolob Arch, the second-longest arch in the world. The trail isn’t overly strenuous (aside from the length) and winds through Zion’s desert, forest, and mountainous terrain.

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