Zion National Park Trail Locations
Zion is one of the few U.S. National Parks that does not have a bad view anywhere in the park(especially the trails) due to the surrounding red canyon walls that contrast beautifully with the green trees and foliage at the bottom by the Virgin River.
When visiting Zion National Park, make sure you stop and visit the visitor center for a bunch of reasons. First, many of the most popular trails in the park now require day hiking permits. And you will also need a permit for any canyoneering inside the park. Also, the visitor center will have the daily weather forecast which is very important to have, since being high and low in a canyon can cause serious problems with lighting and flash floods. The visitor center can also tell you of any hazards or closed trails and what plants and animals are currently active for photography and viewing. You can also get specialized information and books in the visitor center on topics you might be interested in like: canyoneering, climbing, birding, geology, plants and animals.
Many short and popular “get acquainted with the park" trails with round-trip times of 45 minutes to 4 hours are found in Zion National Park’s canyon floor areas. These trails are: The Grotto Trail, Lower Emerald Pool Trail, The River Walk or Riverside Trail, The Weeping Rock Trail and Pa’rus Trail. The Narrows Trail can also be a good short level hike if you only go back 1/4-1/3 of a mile. Many people hiking the Narrows wear surfing booties if water is deep and cold, but on a very hot summer day, wading in cold water is a nice way to beat the heat for awhile.
Medium length steeper and longer hikes in Zion National Park are better for viewing the canyon floor since you are climbing higher and getting a wider view. These hikes gain about 100 to 450 feet in elevation from the canyon floor. These hikes are classified as medium or “moderate" in difficulty and take 1-5 hours for a roundtrip. These are: Watchman Trail, Upper Emerald Pool Trail, Kayenta Trail, Canyon Overlook, Taylor Creek Trail, and Timber Creek Overlook Trail.
The harder “strenuous" trails in Zion National Park have elevation gains of 850 feet or much more. These hikes are 3 to 8 hours in length and need some planning before doing them. These long hikes well need two or more bottles of water and a good day pack with food, flashlight, matches, knife, windbreaker and other supplies. Many people start these hikes early in the morning to beat the heat, the steep switch back climbs, and the midday crowds. These trails require good shoes/boots/hiking sandals to keep your feet from getting cut on the red rocks. Many of these more strenuous hikes take you into the high country, so you should check the weather report the day before you set out on the hike. These harder and longer trails include the steep switchback Angels Landing, Hidden Canyon Trail, Observation Point, The Narrows Slot Canyon, and the Kolob Arch.
This Zion National Park map map is made with digital National Park data. Click trails for more information. Viewers should consider this trail map as reference only.
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National Park Samplers
Source: NPS, USGS
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