canyon overlook trail zion

When visiting Zion National Park, many adventurers want to do a couple of things. They want to do the most popular hike in Angels Landing or a unique water one called the Narrows. These two hikes are amazing but aren’t for everyone. Driving through the park itself is breathtaking but there is an easy hike that the whole family can do. Hiking the Canyon Overlook trail in Zion was short, sweet, and well worth it.

Since Zion is one of the most popular parks in the United States, many spots will be crowded. There is a great public transportation system that can take you to many of the great hikes throughout the park. Canyon Overlook on the other hand you will have to drive yourself and I will give you all the details about that below.

canyon overlook trail zion

Where is Canyon Overlook Trail Located?

Canyon Overlook Trail is located in Zion National Park, only a 3 1/2 hour drive from the Grand Canyon. This a very popular tourist attraction, so traffic could be heavy during the summer months. It is also a 6-hour drive from Downtown Phoenix and a 4 1/2-hour drive from Sedona. This park can be great to visit when driving up North from Sedona, Arizona, and hikes like Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock.

How to Get to Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion

If you’re coming from Phoenix, Arizona then you will want to head North on I-17 for 140 miles until you see exit 340A on I-40 E toward Albuquerque.

Stay on this for a little over 5 miles until you see exit 201 for I-89 North toward Page. For more step-by-step directions then you check out the map here.

How Long Does it Take to Hike Canyon Overlook Trail?

Canyon Overlook Trail or sometimes referred to as Pine Creek Canyon Overlook is a short hike that won’t take the average hiker long at all. It is great for the whole family as there are sections with railings along the trail and at the top.

The total distance of the hike is only 1 mile out & back. This makes it perfect for a quick hike when just passing through or to do this on your way out towards another adventure.

Best Places to Stay Near Zion National Park

  • Bumbleberry Inn: This is where we stayed when visiting Zion. The room was amazing and the breakfast that is included is a full restaurant-sized meal. Nothing bad to say about this one.
  • Best Western: If you’re looking for something more luxurious, then I suggest looking at the Best Western Suites.
  • Zion Ponderosa: If you don’t mind something outside of Springdale for a little cheaper and more beds, then Zion Ponderosa is perfect for you.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Zion National Park

The best time of the year to visit Zion National Park is between the months of April and October. This all depends on your personal preference. There will be fewer crowds in the months of October and November but it will also be a lot colder.

The shuttle bus stops running in Mid-November so plan accordingly.

canyon overlook trail zion

My Suggested Hiking Gear

Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.

  • KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
  • Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
  • Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
  • Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.

Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion Hike Details

  • Distance: This hike is around a 1-mile out & back trail. This varies slightly depending on if you do the entire hike or not.
  • Duration: On average it will take people 30 minutes to finish. This depends on your fitness level and the time of the year as well.
  • Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as moderate because of the slight elevation gain.
  • Incline: The elevation for this hike is around 187 feet.
  • Hiking Guide: A guide is not needed for this hike and is easily accessible by the public.

If you want more details as well as to read others’ reviews of the trail then you should check out Alltrails.

My Experience Hiking Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion

We first drove past this area on our way through the park. We were coming from Bryce National Park and were staying the night right outside Zion in Springdale, Utah.

We stay the parking lot and the amazing scenery around this place as we drove through. The next day we decided to use the shuttle service to get inside the park and hike around all day. After that, we would grab our car and head back down through the park and complete the Canyon Overlook trail in Zion National Park before going to Page.

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail Parking

The scariest part for us when we decided to do this hike is the parking situation. There are 2 to 3 areas where you can park but they are small. We didn’t have a problem getting a spot but it was pretty full at around 1:30 PM when we went.

If you’re heading East out of the park, then once you get through the tunnel (right before the trailhead) you will see a parking lot on your right. We actually missed this as it comes up on you fast. Instead what we did was drive a little further up and park on the side of the road. There is a small section where it says no parking and we barely squeezed in.

Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion is a short hike, which means people will be coming and going often. Spots will open up.

canyon overlook trail parking

The Beautiful Scenery of Canyon Overlook Trail

As you may have already read in the Canyon Overlook hike details, the elevation gain for this hike is rather small. The main section of elevation gain will be right at the beginning. After this, it is pretty easygoing and only a gradual incline over time.

This is a very safe hike as there are many railings along the way and even at the viewpoint. Our parents weren’t too fond of the heights but they still made it to the top and they are glad they did.

There is even a cool caved-out area that could be a good spot to hangout out.

canyon overlook trail zion
canyon overlook trail zion

Canyon Overlook Trail Viewpoint

After around 20 minutes of hiking, we finally made it to the top. There was a section where you feel you were at the top. There are big boulders and a lot of sand. I walked around for a second and saw that we had a little bit more to go.

There is a railing at the viewpoint and an information board. It was an interesting view for us into the canyon because at this point it started to snow. We were here in mid-November but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our time at the top.

canyon overlook trail zion

Other Activities to do in Zion National Park

Zion National Park is one of the most popular parks in the United States and for good reason. Simply driving through this park will leave you speechless. The most popular activities in the park are to do the Narrows and hiking Angels Landing. These aren’t for everyone though and at the time of writing this, you now need a permit to hike Angels Landing. Below are some of the top activities to do while visiting Zion National Park.

My Final Thoughts on Hiking Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion

There are so many hikes in Zion National Park that you may not have time for this one. We did a few of the smaller trails before this and I will say hiking Canyon Overlook Trail was by far our favorite. We weren’t able to do the bigger hikes but we a super glad we decided to stop on our way out and do this one. Overall I highly recommend this hike for families and if you need a short trail.

Thank you for reading my guide on hiking Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion. I hope this helps you plan your trip to the Southwest!