5 Easy Hikes in Zion National Park to Help You Plan Your Trip!

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Zion National Park is one of America’s most visited national parks. The hiking at Zion ranges from vertigo inducing strenuous hikes to simple paved trails. There’s a lot to see at Zion so it’s best if you have an idea of which hikes are best for you. When it’s hot out I like to do easier hikes, so that’s what I did when I visited Zion National Park by myself in October. You’ll find a list of all the hikes at Zion National Park website.

If you’re like me – too chicken to hike the Angels Landing at Zion – I’ve got you covered with 5 easy hikes that will give you wonderful views without the fear of falling down the canyon.

All these Zion hikes are great for solo travelers but also fun for families with kids of all ages.

 

5 Easy Hikes Zion National Park

 

Getting Around Zion National Park

The best way to get around Zion National Park is the free shuttle bus. Park your car in the town of Springdale (only a mile from Zion) it costs around $15 to park for the day.

There is also parking right outside of Zion – it costs $20 for the day.

I suggest taking the shuttle all the way to the last stop (#9 Temple of Sinawava) and work your way back to the visitor center.

 

Free shuttle bus at Zion National Park

Park your car and use the free shuttle bus at Zion National Park

 

Remember to bring all your hiking gear, snacks, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and refillable water bottle.

 

Zion water bottle filling stations

Bring your refillable water bottle and use the Zion spring water bottle filling stations

 

Now let’s look at the details for each of these 5 hikes at Zion.

 

Riverside Walk (connects to Narrows)

  • 2 miles (3.2 km) round trip
  • Paved with some sand covered portions
  • Allow 1 hour

 

Riverside walk to narrows Zion National Park

Riverside Walk follows the Virgin River to the popular Narrows hike at Zion National Park

 

Take the shuttle to the 9th (end of the line) shuttle stop at Zion National Park. The Riverside Walk follows the Virgin River to one of Zion’s most popular hikes – the Narrows.

At the start of the hike is a board with an estimate of whether flash floods are expected in the area.

 

Flash flood prediction for the day at the narrows in Zion

Flash flood prediction for the day at the narrows in Zion

 

If you plan to continue and hike the narrows make sure you have footwear with good gripping power. Or consider renting waterproof hiking shoes and waterproof socks at Zion.

 

Rented waterproof shoes and socks to hike the narrows at Zion

Hikers doing the narrows can rent waterproof shoes and socks at Zion

 

Grotto Trail

  • 1.2 miles (1.9 km) round trip
  • Mostly flat
  • Allow 30 minutes

 

Grotto Trail leads to Zion Lodge

Grotto Trail to Zion Lodge is a short easy hike

 

Grotto Trail is an easy walk from the Zion Lodge (shuttle stop #5) to the grotto (shuttle stop #6)

The stone building at the Grotto, built in 1924, served as the first museum at Zion until it was changed in 1936 to a residence building at the park.

 

Stone cabin at Zion National Park

The stone cabin near Zion shuttle stop #6 along the Grotto trail

 

There used to be a campground at the Grotto but it is now a picnic area.

Another good place to plant yourself for a picnic lunch is in front of the Zion Lodge. Or you can grab lunch and a beer at the Zion Lodge Restaurant.

 

Zion Lodge Restaurant with mountains in background

Lunch at the Zion Lodge Restaurant after walking the Grotto Trail

 

 

Lower Emerald Pool

  • 1.2 miles (1.9 km) round trip
  • Elevation change 69 ft (21 m)
  • Allow 30 minutes

 

One of the easy hikes at Zion is Lower Emerald Pool Trail Zion

Lower Emerald Pool trail is one of the easy hikes at Zion

 

From the Zion Lodge (shuttle stop 5) you can access the trailhead for Lower Emerald Pool. You’ll walk across the Virgin River via the pedestrian bridge and hike the dirt trail to the lower emerald pool.

Expect to get a bit of water dripping on you from the overhang of the canyon wall close to the end of the trail.

 

Pa’rus Trail

  • 3.4 miles (5.5 km) round trip
  • Paved – mostly flat
  • Follows the Virgin River

 

The Pa’rus Trail follows the Virgin River and is a paved, mostly flat trail that goes from the visitor center (shuttle stop 1) to Canyon Junction (shuttle stop 3).

 

Pa'rus Trail sign at Zion

Sign for the Pa’rus Trail at Zion – a paved and mostly flat trail

 

Visitor Center (shuttle bus stop #1) to Canyon Junction (shuttle bus stop #3)

 

Map of the Pa'rus Trail at Zion National Park

Map of the Pa’rus Trail at Zion National Park in southern Utah

 

Timber Creek Overlook (Kolob Canyon)

  • 1 mile (1.6 km) round trip
  • Allow 30 minutes
  • North entrance to Zion – no shuttle bus

 

Timber Creek Overlook hike Zion

Drive the 5-mile scenic road to the top for panoramic views of Kolob Canyons

 

When you visit Kolob Canyons on the north side of Zion National Park you’ll want to do this great little hike. Timber Creek Overlook trailhead is at the top of the 5-mile scenic drive in Kolob Canyon – there are no shuttle buses at this side of Zion.

Sometimes there are high winds so check the weather forecast and be prepared. If you have long hair you want to make sure to tie it back or wear a hat to keep it from flying all around. I found out that southern Utah wind gusts can get intense. Read my full post about hiking Timber Creek Overlook.

Enjoy hiking at Zion National Park!

Read these posts to plan your travels to Utah

Bryce Canyon One Day Itinerary

Visit Cedar Breaks for Hiking (Scenic Views) in Beautiful Southern Utah

5 Easy Hikes in Arches National Park Utah

Double Arch Trail Short Easy Hike to Spectacular Arch Over 100 Feet Tall

Capitol Reef National Park Solo Trip to Utah’s Least Visited National Park

Dead Horse Point State Park Day Trip from Moab Utah

Kanarra Falls Utah Slot Canyon Hike to Waterfalls via Narrows

 

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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