8 Zion National Park Easy Hikes in 2023
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While most people will opt to hike Angel’s Landing, there are actually many Zion National Park easy hikes worth checking out. These are especially a great option if you just want more of a leisurely stroll that still allows you to witness the beauty that Zion is most well known for.
Located in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park is one of the best national parks in the USA to visit because of its incredible landscape. It will genuinely make you feel like you’re in another world, and there’s no better way to experience it than by going on one of the easy hikes in Zion.
Read on to learn all about the best Zion National Park easy hikes!
Are you planning a trip to Zion National Park & you don’t have time to read this whole post? Here are some of our top recommendations to save you time.
Best Hotels Near Zion
Best Restaurants Near Zion
Best Guided Tours of Zion
Transportation in Zion
Tips for Hiking in Zion National Park
Before you start your hike, it’s important to keep in mind some of these Zion tips to ensure that you get everything you can out of your visit to the park, even if it’s just for one day.
Start the Day Early
Utah is hot, especially in the summer, so you’re going to want to start the day as early as possible. Not only will this allow you to beat the heat, but you can often experience the park with fewer crowds than you’d have later in the day.
Starting a hike around mid-day is one of the worst things you can do in Zion. Not only is this the busiest time of day in the park, but it’s also the hottest.
Bring Lots of Water
Because it’s so hot, make sure you bring lots of water. Consider purchasing a backpack (this is one of my favorites) so you can carry water around. You’re going to want it!
Be sure also to put lots of ice in the water bottle, or you may honestly regret it. I would definitely suggest getting an insulated water bottle like a Hydroflask, so your water is sure to stay cold all day.
Wear Hiking Boots
Skip out on wearing your running sneakers and invest in a nice pair of hiking boots. These can be purchased at a relatively affordable price, especially if you shop at an outlet.
They don’t have to be anything fancy; they just have to have better traction and ankle support than your sneakers!
I have ones similar to these Columbia hiking boots and my girlfriend has North Face ones and we both love them!
Visit in the Off-Season or Rely on the Shuttle
If you are visiting during most of the year (basically anytime besides winter), then you have to take the Zion shuttle to get around the park. It’s completely free to take, and it’s required during most of the year because the roads are closed to cars.
So, you’ll have to park right at the visitor center to get on the shuttle. Parking there can be scarce if you start your day too late; another reason to start the day early!
If you don’t want to rely on the shuttle, then visit in the off-season. If you visit in winter, though, make sure to bring spikes to put on the bottom of your hiking boots because the trails can get icy, which most people don’t prepare for.
Where to Stay Near Zion National Park
There are so many great hotels in and near Zion. Check out the map below for some excellent suggestions!
Best Zion National Park Easy Hikes
The Zion Narrows Riverside Walk
Length: 1.9 miles
First up is one of the best short hikes in Zion National Park, the Riverside Walk. This is located right near the Narrows, which is one of the best slot canyons in Utah, so it’s one that you won’t want to miss out on.
If you are looking for a short and easy day hike, the Riverside Walk in Zion National Park may be just what you need. This scenic trail offers visitors to Zion National Park amazing views of the Virgin River and the mountains.
At just over two miles and only about 193 feet of elevation, you can’t go wrong with this hike, which is honestly quite leisurely. It’s partially paved and kid-friendly, but dogs are not allowed on the hike. Compared to other hikes in the park, this one isn’t usually as busy.
Timber Creek Overlook Trail
Length: 1 mile
Next is the Timber Creek Overlook Trail, another of the best easy hikes in Zion National Park. It’s pretty short at only 1 mile long but does have around 155 feet of elevation. The hike is out and back but is kid-friendly, offering excellent views of Zion.
As of May 2023, mountain lions have been seen on the trails, so be sure to not hike alone and bring a bell or noisemaker just to make your presence known.
Lower Emerald Pool
Length: 1.4 miles
One of the best short hikes in Zion is the Lower Emerald Pool Trail, an out-and-back trail that’s kid-friendly and partially paved. The hike features an incredible waterfall that will genuinely take your breath away. Plus, it’s not located far from the lodge in Zion, where you can eat at the restaurant!
Lower Emerald Pool Trail is a 1.4-mile loop trail that takes you past a series of waterfalls and pools. In early spring, the area is alive, with wildflowers blooming and other plants and trees.
If you want to make the hike longer, you can also hike onto the Middle Emerald Pools, as the Lower Emerald Pool trail connects to it. For an easy way to see one of the most beautiful parts of the park, consider doing this hike!
Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail
Length: 4.9 miles
Taylor Creek Trail is easily one of the best easy hikes in Zion. Though it is a bit longer than other trails on this list, it only takes about 2 hours total to do the entire moderate hike.
Many reviewers of the trail say that it’s not too hard, but you should plan on getting your feet wet a bit during the hike. In the summer months, the trail does get fairly buggy as well, so don’t forget your bug spray.
Compared to other hikes in Zion, this one is nowhere near as busy.
Canyon Overlook Trail
Length: 1 mile
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park is one of the best ways to get a fantastic view of the park. The hike can be challenging at times, but it’s worth it when you get to the overlook at the end! Despite having some parts that may be a little difficult, it’s still one of the easiest hikes in Zion National Park.
The best time to do the Canyon Overlook Trail is in the morning at sunrise, so you can see all of the beautiful colors of the sky right over Zion. It will genuinely take your breath away!
If you don’t like heights, this may be a hike you’ll have to miss out on because there are some drop-offs. Once you get to the end, you’ll be able to see all the most popular parts of the park. Many people say this view is even better than the one you’d get from the difficult Angel’s Landing.
Sand Bench Trail
Length: 5.6 miles
Next is another of the moderately easy hikes at Zion, Sand Bench Trail. It’s about 5.6 miles long and is a loop trail, so you will get different views the entire time you’re hiking. It is one of the more difficult hikes on this list because it has more elevation at around 728 feet.
Despite being a bit longer, on average, most people need about two and a half hours to do this hike.
One of the best things to see along the way is the Court of the Patriarchs, which also happens to be one of the most popular spots to see in the entire park.
Keep in mind that the trail is named “sand bench” because it does feature a lot of sand, which you hike on most of the way. This can make it a bit more challenging to hike than other easier trails in the park due to the sand.
Length: 3.2 miles
For one of the more beautiful easy trails in Zion National Park, consider checking out the Pa’rus Trail! This hike offers a fantastic view and is right along the Virgin River. The trail is 3.2 miles, and it’s out and back. The best time to hike this trail is in the spring when flowers are blooming in full force.
If you’re staying in the Watchman Campground instead of a nearby Utah cabin, then you may find yourself frequenting this trail often.
The Pa’rus Trail is perfect for families with small children or those with dogs (it’s the only dog-friendly trail in the park). Just make sure the dog is on a leash!
The Watchman Trail
Length: 3.1 miles
The Watchman Trail in Zion National Park is a moderate trail, though is considered an easier hike in Zion compared to other trails. It’s an out-and-back trail and takes about an hour and a half to complete. It’s located in a fairly busy part of the park, so there are almost always other hikes on the trail.
Because of the trail’s popularity, it is pretty well maintained. If you’re visiting during a time that it recently rained, this trail is known to get pretty muddy, so definitely don’t plan on wearing your favorite pair of shoes. The majority of the hike isn’t shaded at all, so hike early in the morning to avoid the sun.
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