Canyon Overlook Trail – 1mi / 1.6km
Just east of the tunnel for Zion Canyon lies the trailhead for the Canyon Overlook Trail. From this perch above Pine Creek, the expanse will take your breath away. This short, half-mile trail wanders around the cliffs above the slot canyon worn by Pine Creek. It involves a little bit of elevation gain and some exposed cliffs.
After the trail climbs up from the road, it turns into the canyon. Time spent looking across the canyon can reward visitors with Bighorn Sheep feeding and resting in the shade. Canyoneers may be heard working their way down the slot canyon below. A little suspended footbridge wraps around a corner to a small alcove providing shade.
Continue on, back out into the sun, and enjoy the views of slickrock surrounding the area. The trail ends above the Great Arch (out of view) overlooking the canyon. A fence borders the steep edge, which is a bonus for those with a fear of heights. Looking straight down over the railing, you see the creek appearing from the canyon with pools and cottonwoods thousands of feet below. The road snakes below you and the towering cliffs bring a proper humility. An interpretive sign helps to familiarize yourself with the names of the peaks in view. This is the turn-around point for this wonderful out-and-back trail.
Trailhead: From Springdale, take Highway 9 east through the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Tunnel. After exiting the tunnel, immediately on the right is the trail’s small parking lot with limited space. The trail starts across the road from the parking lot. Additional parking can be found at various parking lots further east where a walk along the road will be necessary.
Elevation Gain: 150ft / 45m – Elevation Loss: 150ft / 45m