10 Best Easy Hikes in Zion National Park

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Find the most incredible easy hikes in Zion National Park that offer you jaw-dropping canyon views, refreshing waterfalls, and unrivalled natural beauty.

A number of easy hikes in Zion National Park are far more scenic than harder trails. They’re perfect for beginners and avid hikers looking to discover some of the best landmarks that this park has to offer.

One thing is assured on these popular hikes; there’s something exciting around every bend in all its scenic trails.

Easy Hikes in Zion National Park

The Best Time to Go Hiking in Zion National Park

From classic trails to the more difficult trails, Zion National Park has amazing trails for everybody. Zion National Park is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, making it one of the best hiking destinations year-round.

It’s located approximately 80 miles from Bryce Canyon, and you can make the journey between the two in under 2 hours by car or about 1 hour and 40 minutes without encountering significant traffic. 

Summer is usually the most popular time to visit the park, but this means that most of the trails will be crowded and if you’re planning a hiking trip in the summer, make sure you have good sunscreen and water for the trail. For longer trails, you can opt for a daypack that has a hydration bladder. This way you can carry extra water in case there isn’t any on the trail.

During spring and fall, the weather is more temperate and you can enjoy beautiful lush vegetation. There are fewer crowds on the most popular trails, which makes them far more enjoyable to hike, especially for beginner hikers looking for jaw-dropping views.

Before planning your day hike, make sure to check all park alerts for closed trails due to snowmelt, landslides and flash floods.

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Getting to the Easy Hikes in Zion National Park 

The best way to get around Zion is with the Zion park shuttle. It operates from March to November and runs from the visitor center all the way up the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.

You can reach many easy hikes in Zion National Park, including Emerald Pools (a lower and upper Emerald Pool) and the West Rim Trail, a favorite among first-time visitors.

You can learn more about the shuttle and its routes here.

If you’re entering the park from Springdale, you can jump on the Springdale Shuttle which stops at Zion’s pedestrian/bike entrance. 

From December to February, the park shuttle bus is usually not in operation, so you’ll have to drive to reach the trails. Even though there are fewer visitors during winter, you should still get an early start as parking is limited. 

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The Watchman Trail

2 miles / 3 kilometers

636 feet / 194 meters

Located on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, this trail can be reached with the park shuttle and offers you a dramatic scenery all along the route.

This is not exactly an easy hike in Zion National Park, as there is a short rocky section and a steady elevation gain.

However, there are no real steep climbs and during the morning the trail is shady, which makes it considerably easy. You can reach the end in only a couple of hours while enjoying the breathtaking views the trail has to offer.

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Emerald Pools

If you want to discover the captivating Emerald Pools, you have two great starting points. You can kick off your adventure at the Zion Lodge, setting out on the trail from the north along the Virgin River.

Alternatively, you can opt for the route starting at the Grotto bus stop, which connects to the Emerald Pools via the Kayenta Trail.

The hike usually takes 2 to 4 hours to complete, but remember that the actual time might vary depending on the route you pick and your walking pace.

Here are the various route choices (pool options) for the Emerald Pools trail:

Lower Emerald Pools

1.2 miles / 2.3 kilometers

128 feet / 39 meters

Probably one of the most popular trails in Zion, the Lower Emerald Pool Trail is also one of the most beautiful. Part of the route is paved and shady, which makes it a great family-friendly hike. You can even plan your hikes with kids, and they’re sure to enjoy the view and sit on every sand bench they see!

You’re rewarded with amazing views of the waterfall and beautiful pools at the end of this short hike. It’s important to remember that the waterfalls here are primarily seasonal in nature. 

They tend to showcase their full splendor during the spring runoff or following a fresh rain shower. However, the cascades might dwindle to a mere trickle as the summer brings drier conditions.

This trail can also be reached by the park shuttle during summer. Make sure to get there early as this easy hike in Zion National Park gets really busy.

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Middle Emerald Pools

2.2 miles / 3.5 kilometers

150 feet / 46 meters

The journey takes an exciting turn as you continue your hike along the Emerald Pools trail. The path becomes more challenging, particularly as you approach the alcove.

Here, a series of steps leads you to the top of a cliff, providing a bird’s-eye view of the trail you’ve been hiking. It’s a moment of exhilaration and accomplishment as you stand above the path you’ve conquered.

Amidst this rugged terrain, the middle pools come into view, nourished by the cascading waterfalls. Surrounded by lush greenery and the melodious sounds of nature, this part of the hike is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

The vibrant hues of the emerald waters set against the backdrop of the canyon create a visual masterpiece that truly rewards your hiking efforts.

Upper Emerald Pools

1.5 miles / 2.4 kilometers

300 feet / 91.4 meters

In this final stretch of your hiking adventure, you’ll cover a sandy and sun-soaked quarter-mile to reach the last pool, 300 feet above. The Upper Emerald Pools offers a spectacular oasis where you can find some welcome shade to relax and take a breather from your hike. 

From here, you’ll have a mesmerizing view of a slender waterfall cascading from high above Heaps Canyon. When it’s time to head back, you can retrace your steps along the same hiking route or opt for the loop track that leads back to the Zion Lodge.

Timber Creek Overlook Trail

1.2 miles / 1.8 kilometers

255 feet / 78 meters

The Timber Creek Overlook Trail is an easy hike in

If you want to go for a nice walk near Zion National Park, then the Timber Creek Overlook Trail is a good choice. It’s not too challenging, but it’s not easy either. This route has a slightly steeper elevation for its short distance but isn’t very challenging. Do be careful of rock cliffs.

You can enjoy views of beautiful wildflowers scattered along the way. This is a popular trail and one of the more famous hikes so yes, it does get busy, so make sure to get there early to avoid the crowds.

Perfect for the entire family to visit since it has little to no trail difficulty.

Zion National Park offers stunning views of the Kolob Canyons. This route has a slightly steeper elevation for its short distance but is still an easy hike in Zion. You can enjoy views of beautiful wildflowers scattered along the way.

This is a popular trail and does get busy, so make sure to get there early to avoid the crowds. 

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The Zion Narrows Riverside Walk

2 miles / 3.1 kilometers

194 feet / 59 meters

This paved trail is a great easy hike in Zion for all skill levels that takes you along the Virgin River. The Zion Narrows walk has beautiful views throughout and a very small and steady incline in some places. 

You’ll need to wear the right shoes as your feet will get wet in some sections near the river. You can reach this trail with the park shuttle, where you will have to walk a short distance to the trailhead. Don’t forget to bring your cold water!

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Pa’rus Trail

3.5 miles / 5.5 kilometers

158 feet / 48 meters

The Pa’rus Trail is another easy hike in Zion National Park. This paved path offers spectacular views of wildflowers and the Virgin River. There are several bridge crossings and very little elevation on the paved trail.

This route is dog-friendly and can also be used for cycling so keep a lookout for bikes. You can access the trail from the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.

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Temple of Sinawava

5.4 miles / 8.7 kilometers

3,000 feet / 910 meters deep

Named in honor of the coyote spirit revered by the Paiute nation, the Temple of Sinawava stands as a magnificent natural amphitheater within Zion National Park, capturing the essence of this renowned destination.

Here, you’ll embark on the Riverside Walk, a 2-mile roundtrip stroll that traces the meandering path of the Virgin River, leading you directly into the heart of the canyon.

With the radiant sun casting its golden glow upon the soaring 3,000-foot sandstone canyon walls, you’ll encounter mule deer, wild turkeys, and nimble squirrels darting along the trail.

The rushing, crystal-clear waters of the Virgin River complete the picturesque scene, leaving no doubt as to why this place is aptly referred to as a “Temple” of natural wonder.

Zion Grotto Trail 

1.2 miles / 1.9 kilometers

79 feet / 24 meters

The Zion Grotto Trail is one of the accessible trails that’s short with very little elevation, making it one of the more popular hikes for beginners. The route can easily be walked and still offers awesome views as it leads through a canyon.

It’s an iconic easy hike in Zion and a top pick for most visitors, so make sure to get there early to beat the crowds and get extra time to enjoy the incredible views.

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Angels Landing

1800 feet/ 548.6 meters

2.5 miles/ 4 kilomteres

Angels Landing is one of the strenuous hikes in Zion Park, featuring steep segments with rapid elevation gain, fully exposed to the sun and occasional scrambling. The trail encompasses a total elevation change of 1,488 feet.

While Angel’s Landing remains open throughout the year, winter often blankets the trail with snow, ice, or rain, introducing slippery conditions on the rocky ridge. Hence, the optimal time for your visit is from March to October.

It’s crucial to note that temperatures can soar into the 90s during summer afternoons, occasionally surpassing 100 degrees. If you plan to start your hike later in the day to avoid the heat, allocate sufficient time to return to the trailhead before darkness sets in.

When considering bringing young children along, exercise caution. The trail demands high attention, and any misstep could have significant consequences. So, you must assess whether this hike aligns with your safety standards for your children.

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Zion Canyon Overlook Trail 

1 mile / 1.6 kilometers

187 feet / 57 meters

The canyon overlook trail is an easy hike in Zion National Park that can be done by all skill levels and is a good choice for familes. This route is short, but you can expect rocky outcrops, a cave and several steep drop-offs on your way to the overlook.

Expect to see beautiful rock formations along the way. Looking around, it does have about 200 feet of elevation, so if you’re afraid of heights, it can be quite daunting, but the views at the top more than compensate. 

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East Mesa Trail to Blew by Peak

4.2 miles / 6.8 kilometers

288 feet / 88 meters

This route is slightly longer and a more strenuous trail but the low elevation makes it an easy hike in Zion. The East Mesa Trail is well-maintained and great for beginners, families and experienced hikers.

At the trail’s end is an overlook with spectacular views of Zion‘s unique landscape. There’s no shade during the entire hike, so make sure to get there early to avoid the heat, especially when you plan to visit during the hot summer months.

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Clear Creek Trail

2.3 miles / 3.7 kilometers

141 feet / 43 meters

The magical scenery of the Clear Creek Trail takes you through a wonderful slot canyon where you can enjoy short narrows and a slightly more technical hike. The narrow canyons have a creek bed that’s dry but rocky and sandy in some spots so be sure to wear good hiking shoes and bring along poles too.

If you’re looking for an easy hike in Zion that’s a bit more technical but not too challenging, this is a great choice, especially for a  family hike.

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Kayenta Trail 

3.1 miles / 5.0 kilometers

92 feet / 128 meters

This easy hike in Zion National Park is great if you’re looking for something a little more challenging. The route offers you river views and the finest spot to see plenty of wildflowers during the spring and summer.

It also connects to the Emerald Pools Trail, where you can enjoy a refreshing waterfall. This could be a more wet hike if you plan on taking a dip. Be sure to check the hike details before visiting to make sure all is set.

You can reach the trailhead with the shuttle or park your car at the Zion Lodge, which is a short walk away. You can finish the entire trail in about 2-4 hours, depending on your pace – an easy, family-friendly hike for sure!

La Verkin Creek Trail

14 mile / 22.5 kilometers

287.4 feet / 87. 6 meter

The La Verkin Creek trail offers an awe-inspiring, lengthy day hike leading to the Kolob Arch viewpoint. Until the early 21st century, the Kolob Arch was the world’s largest free-standing arch. 

This trail offers a smooth, well-traveled path, guiding hikers alongside the tranquil La Verkin Creek. Right from the start of your hike, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the encompassing mountains and vivid red rock cliffs. As you close in on the convergence of the trail and La Verkin Creek, a stunning waterfall and an inviting pool of water await, offering a refreshing opportunity for a dip.

Which of these easy and most popular hikes in Zion National Park are you going to try first?