The Zion Overlook trail is one of the top hiking trails in Zion. There are a lot of reasons for this, namely it’s relative ease and it’s amazing vantage point. The trail is short, broad and very easy to follow, with the occasional uneven rocks at time. It is a wonderful little hike for those looking for a big bang with a small amount of effort.
The vista it offers is hard to match in all of Zion, and stands at the edge of a cliff with crazy views down the canyon. The cliff edge itself is fenced but doesn’t hinder those looking for a place to do some fantastic photography. In fact this is a picture we took just a few days ago in the early morning hours. We set out about 5 am so to be certain to capture it in the best light possible. If you go during the weekend you’ll find a lot of people taking pictures and experiencing this highly popular hike in Zion.
You can find the trail by driving Hwy 9 just east of the Tunnel through lower Zion. You’ll go up the switchbacks then through the famous Zion tunnel, with it’s windows carved into the mountain side. As soon as you exit the tunnel you’ll see a parking area, and then the trail head can found just a little ways away along the road.
The trail itself is stated as moderately difficult and only 1 mile long, with an elevation change of about 57 feet. Keep in mind there are no services found at the trailhead (toilets or water). It is possible to do it in winter, but be certain you are watching for ice patches. If you’re hiking the Overlook trail in summer you’ll want to hike it in the morning hours, because come afternoon you’ll be wishing you had some shade from the sun beating down on you. So make certain you carry water with you as you go, especially if you go in the afternoon.
You also may run into canyoneering enthusiasts who are preparing to descend through the Pine Creek hike. You’ll follow safely above that canyon to where you’ll be greeted with a view of The Great Arch. The views of lower Zion, and Pine Creek are incredible and will be sure to inspire as you stand from atop the vista that is the Overlook trail.
If you can, hike the Overlook trail. It’s not a long hike, and it’s not difficult, but as you can see the views are unparalleled. They truly showcase much of what Zion has to offer.