|CANYON OVERLOOK TRAIL|
|TRAIL INFORMATION||VIEW PHOTOS!|
The Canyon Overlook Trail is a short easy family hike to a great overlook of the main canyon. To get to the trailhead, you need access to a vehicle to drive up Route 9 to the parking lot just beyond the east entrance to the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. (Please see map below.) The small parking lot (on the south side of the road) fills up quickly in the busy summer months, but there are several small overflow parking lots a little further east off of the road. The trailhead is quite visible north of the road behind the ranger traffic booth.
|Rating:||Easy short family hike.|
|Access:||Canyon Overlook Trailhead/parking lot (just to the east of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel on Route 9)|
|Time Required:||30 minutes-1 hour|
|Length:||1 mile round-trip|
|Elevation Change:||mostly level after the initial steps up.|
|Seasons:||Year-round, but take caution of any ice or snow in winter.|
This hike is a quick one -- less than half a mile to the viewpoint and roughly an hour hiking time (round trip). The manufactured trail is mostly level and was carved out of the slickrock above Pine Creek. Although there are a few exposed sections, this is still a good hike for just about everybody, including children and people who aren't up for longer hikes. (Of course, keep an eye on your children as with most hikes in Zion, there are always exposed areas where one could fall if not careful.) Halfway to the viewpoint is a wonderful little shaded alcove with a seep and lush ferns growing out of the sandstone walls; this area provides great respite during the hotter summer months.
Once at the viewpoint, an old metal plaque points out many prominent landmarks. Some interesting things to look for: the Route 9 switchbacks below, Bridge Mountain (the highest peak on the left side of the canyon), the East Temple (the impressive rock formation above the viewpoint to the right), and the Pine Creek stream far below. Also look closely at the canyon walls to find several of the Zion-Mount-Carmel Tunnel "windows". Relax for as long as you like then return the way you came.
Note: Up until the 1940's, this trail was known as the "Great Arch Trail" but it was likely renamed "Canyon Overlook Trail" since you can't actually see the Great Arch. (You are standing on top of it.)
This hike is short and sweet with a great viewpoint! If this is your first visit to Zion, do this hike; you will love the experience! Even after all of the times I have visited Zion, I still enjoy this great little trail.