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  • Writer's pictureCampBrood

Prepare For Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

Updated: Jan 29

Do you want to hike in Zion National Park? Read this and we’ll get you prepared to hike The Canyon Overlook Trail one of the easiest hikes with the most panoramic views. You need to read this blog because parking is tricky. Let’s get Started!

Watch the video version of the blog here or continue reading below:

Where is the Zion Canyon Overlook Trailhead?

The Canyon Overlook Trailhead is just outside the East Entrance to the Mount Carmel Tunnel. The Zion Mount Carmel Highway Tunnel was the longest tunnel in the United States when it opened in 1930. The tunnel is 1.1 miles long and now provides more direct access between Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. Even if you don’t do any hikes outside Zion driving through the tunnel and getting a picture at the East Entrance sign is worth it.

Coming up later are great views from the Canyon Overlook but first know

Where is Parking for the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail?

There is a little parking at the trailhead with toilets. The trail does get busy during the day and the spots will fill up. We noticed a little further east another small parking lot with another bathroom. These add up to about 16 parking spots. Further east there are a few pull offs where people can park and walk to the trailhead. When you drive through the area be careful as people are alongside the road often.

Next up will discuss the trailhead but stay tuned for what to pack for the Canyon Overlook Trail. You don’t want to forget an important item so many hikers leave behind.

What is the Start of the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail Like?

Once you have parked your vehicle head to the East Tunnel Entrance. The guide house for the tunnel is between the tunnel and the trailhead. The trail can be identified by a sign, handrail, and steps going up to begin the trail. The trail is one mile round trip with just under 200 feet of elevation gain. For this hike plan at least an hour round trip from your car and longer if you take photos and spend time at the overlook.

Canyon Views are coming up and stay until the very end for our favorite hike in Zion National Park.

What gear do you need to the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail?

To Prepare for the trip we packed water bottles in our backpacks. It’s a quick hike so you don’t really need food, however we packed some just in case anyone got hungry. The trail has uneven footing so hiking poles are helpful. Wear good supportive shoes and hiking shoes if you have them. The one item most hikers forget is a first aid kit. The trail isn’t too difficult however, each step is still important and a stumble could cause the need for a band-aid or more care. Here are examples of the gear we would take on this hike:

Teton Sports Hydration Pack Video Review:

Amazon Link: 2021 model

Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E hydration backpack Video Review for younger hikers:

Merrell Moab II Men's Hiking Shoes:

The First Aid Kit we carry:

Tactical Flashlights:

Here are dad joke books for great gifts: Dad Jokes Around the Campfire: 600 Funniest Dad Jokes: To view any product mentioned by us in our videos, click this link: As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

What is it like hiking the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail?

The beginning of the trail starts with a mild ascent. We hiked the trail in the morning and enjoyed the shade present as we made our climb. After the initial ascent there is a small overhang or cave where you can get a little more space to spread out and take some pictures. Before the cave is a small cantilever bridge. The trail meanders with twists and turns, ascents, and declines. Zion Canyon Overlook trail keeps you guessing with where you are going to go next and is a lot of fun. The Overlook is an open space with boulders and plants and trees. We had fun exploring the open area after some of the tight spaces of the trail.

What is it like at the Zion Canyon Overlook?

The overlook shown in our first picture above provides sweeping views of the canyon. Your time at the overlook is what you make of it. When we were there a couple were taking wedding photos. To the left you can see the windows of the mount Carmel Tunnel. Below you can see the Mount Carmel Highway with its elevation changes and switchbacks. From left to right you can see peaks including Bridge Mountain, The West Temple, Altar of Sacrifice, The Streaked Wall, and The Sentinel. Next up click our playlist to see the rest of our videos to prepare you for your trip to Zion National Park and a video to Prepare you for our favorite hike in Zion The Narrows..

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