Canyon Overlook Trail, Zion National Park
When to Go
- This short, rocky trail follows the gaping, twisted slot of Pine Creek Canyon and ends at a striking lookout perch. Sit back and gaze out on great views of lower Pine Creek, the Streaked Wall, the Beehives, Altar of Sacrifice, and Mt. Spry.
- Trailhead: From Springdale, drive into the Park a few miles, passing the left-hand turn-off for the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Instead, continue straight, up numerous switchbacks, and through the incredible one-mile Zion - Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Find the Canyon Overlook parking lot on the right immediately after the tunnel exit, or continue to another small parking lot located another 1/4 mile further, on your left.
Mileage: 1.0 miles (1.6 km), round-trip
Elevation Gain: 63 feet (50 meters)
Approximate Hike Time: 45 minutes, round-trip
Difficulty: Casual for most hikers
Crowds: Easy access and dramatic views make this one of the most crowded hikes in the Park.
- Best Times of Day: Temperatures on this exposed slickrock balcony become quite hot by late morning during summer. Choose cooler times of the day to enjoy the view.
Best Times of Year: Any time is good.
- • Take a minute to check out the entrance of the Zion - Mt. Carmel Tunnel, an engineering masterpiece from the 1930s.
• The original panoramic interpretive plate adorns the overlook at the end of the trail, depicting and explaining many of the formations in front of you. Such fine examples of Park interpretation have mostly vanished in Zion, giving way to more modern plastic signs and displays. The old plate is a nostalgic reminder of the long-standing tradtion of Zion National Park and our National Park System.
• Carefully peer down into the dark slot of Pine Creek. Often, you can hear or see canyoneers making their way through the mysterious drainage below. Exploring Pine Creek requires technical rope skills; stop by Zion Adventure Company to learn about becoming a technical canyoneer via our One-Day Basic Canyoneering course.
- • This short, straightforward hike makes for a perfect full moon outing. The moonlit gorge of lower Pine Creek is incredible!
• It is not uncommon to encounter one of Zion's bighorn sheep herds near the Canyon Overlook trailhead. Keep your eyes peeled for sheep along the ridges and cliffsides as you explore.