Zion Canyon is the heart of Zion National Park. Often referred to as the "Main Canyon", it hosts Zion's largest river (the Virgin River), its deepest canyon (The Narrows), its most stunning sandstone walls, and the majority of its hiking, climbing, and canyoneering routes. Not coincidentally, Zion Canyon sees the lion's share of human traffic, featuring Zion's major campgrounds, visitor facilities, roads, and shuttle services. Amidst all the hubbub, you might guess it's difficult to find solitude. Surprisingly, however, Zion's nook-and-cranny nature provides thousands of beautiful pockets to explore, and you never have to go very far to find a quiet, serene corner to enjoy.
The maintained trails of the main canyon offer great places to begin a Zion exploration. Most of these trails were built in the 1920's and 30's, when the Park Service emphasized big, bold, beautiful pathways leading to outstanding views. Many sections of trail were blasted out of bare rock, leading around blind corners and along exposed cliffsides, which is part of the reason many of the trails here are paved. While the pavement creates a bit of a "highway" feel at times, when you experience the steep, exposed nature of Zion, you may appreciate the wide and stable trails. If you are looking a wilder, less-tamed hike, look to the airy, exposed ending of Angels Landing or the deep, intimate scramble of Hidden Canyon to scratch your itch for adventure.