Zions National Park is a Utah treasure adored by visitors who come from all over the world to experience this natural wonder. If Zion’s is on your to-do list, but hiking is not your forte, do not be discouraged or turned away; there are plenty of simple, beginner hikes that will allow you to explore the park at your own pace without fear. Here are just a couple to get your started!
If you only have an hour or two…
…consider hiking the Canyon Overlook Trail. Perhaps the best introduction to Zion’s National Park, the Canyon Overlook trail is easily accessible (no shuttle required, street parking) and offers the best “bang for your buck” you’ll find in the park. Though the trail itself is only 1 mile round trip, the elevation gain is substantial which makes the short jaunt feel like a real hike. Also, the hike winds around the mountain, through naturally carved out walls that create a stunning visual experience all along the way. True to its name, the trail ends at a cliff drop off (surrounded by protective rails) that overlooks Zion’s lower canyon. From there, you can see Zion’s famous Switchbacks, the Beehives, West Temple,East Temple, Towers of the Virgin and the Streaked Wall; the view is glorious and completely worth the short hike.
For logistics including trailhead location, conditions, etc. see the Canyon Overlook Trail Page on the Zion’s National Park website.
If you’d like to make a day of it…
…consider hiking the Northgate Peaks Trail to the Kolob Terrace. This trail is easy-moderate and saunters along under the shade of the Ponderosa Pines making it an ideal choice for summertime hiking. The Northgate Peaks Trail is approximately 6 miles (with a 100 ft. gain in elevation) long making it a half-day hike if done at an easy pace. At the end of the hike, you’ll be rewarded with an astounding canyon panorama that takes in the North and South Guardian Angels to the south. the West Temple to the west, and the Greatheart Mesa to the west. Pack a lunch and enjoy the trail less trodden – it will make for a peaceful day you won’t soon forget.
For logistics including trailhead location, conditions, etc. see the Northgate Peaks Trail page on the National Park Service site or another summary of the trail on everytrail.com. Its very important to have a very comfortable place to relax and re-charge after a big day of hiking.
Live Well, Travel Better