The Dye Clan
  • Overview
  • TR: Jun 2012
  • TR: Dec 2015

Canyon Overlook (Zion)

A section of the Canyon Overlook trail crosses a boardwalk.

The Canyon Overlook Trail is a short, 1.0-mile round trip hike in Zion National Park. The trail begins at the east end of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and ends on top of the Great Arch.

Trip Report: June 22, 2012

Canyon Overlook at EveryTrail

Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park

The trail crosses slickrock slabs of the high desert, a scene of pinyon pine and juniper, prickly peark, and yucca. Here the only plants and animals that thrive, like lizzards and bighorn sheep, have adapted to hot and dry.

The hike is also an exercise in scale. There are hints of canyon-carving along the way, but nothing prepares you for the vast space that falls away below your feet at the overlook. At the overlook, a thousand feet above Zion Canyon floor, you can see patterns that were not evident before: the greener world along the river and the sheer volume of canyon the streams have excavated.

The overlook at the end of hte trail looks across at a panorama of classic Zion cliffs and sandstone towers.

Warning: This rocky, uneven trail is not for anyone fearful of heights, although most dropoffs are fenced.

Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park

The vast space below was eroded away by the Virgin River and its sidestreams. If you stood here just after a storm, the flash flood roaring through Pine Creek Canyon would be a clue to the erosive, boulder-tossing power that gouged out this scenery.

Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park

Trip Report: December 5, 2015