Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Our Utah Adventure, Zion National Park, Day Three, Part 1: Canyon Overlook Trail

This is a continuation of a travel series to Utah.  To start at the beginning, go  HERE.  The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE,  HEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE.

On our last day in Zion National Park we got up early to hike one last trail:  Canyon Overlook Trail.  If you want a trail where you can see spectacular views without much effort, this is it!  BUT BEWARE, this trail isn't for the faint of heart.  Although it's an easy trail, there are lots of steep drop offs and if you're afraid of heights you might not feel comfortable on this trail.  That being said, I'm terrified of heights, yet I managed.  The view was worth conquering my fears!

The reason this trail is not challenging even though it is very high, is because you have to drive a vehicle to access this trail.  This trail is not on the park shuttle system.  There are two very tiny parking lots near this trail which fill up fast, so I would advice getting your butt out of bed at the crack of dawn so you can get a parking space and hike this trail, cause it is worth it!

That is my son pictured below in one of the few spots where there was a railing.  He's actually standing on a small bridge built out of narrow boards that you can see through.  It is part of the "path" that you have to hike to get to the scenic overlook.

If you think a lot of these pictures seem "unreal" or were "doctored" I can assure you they were not.  The views were so spectacular, they did not seem real, even when we were standing right there looking at them.  It felt like we were staring at a painting and not an actual place.  I've never seen such beauty before.

Canyon Overlook Trail is a moderate 1 mile round trip trail with an elevation gain of 163 feet from the parking lot to the scenic overlook.

This was a scary, tricky spot for me.  There's no guard rail, and the rock juts out so far over the trail I had to duck, unless I wanted to walk closer to the edge.  My husband was no help.  He just took pictures and laughed at me.  But as you can tell in the picture, I couldn't have been too afraid for I was laughing at myself.

Oh, the scenery on this trail!  I felt like I was in heaven it was so beautiful.

This trail is coined "Best Bang for Your Buck In Zion" because it's so short and easy, yet it offers the most spectacular views!

After walking only a 1/2 mile you see Pine Creek Canyon and lower Zion Canyon.  Then you turn around and go the same way back.

This 1/2 mile (one way) trail offers a little bit of everything:  catwalks, rock steps, panoramic views, views looking into a sinuous slot canyon, grottos, and slippery rock hiking.

We absolutely loved this cave-like area where the rock hangs over the trail.  And yes, that's a steep drop off in front of us.  I made sure to hug the cave wall hiking here!

In the picture below you can see the trail in the fore front going around a rock formation.  I love the "cave cut out" in the rock formation in the distance. It's so interesting.

Be prepared to see lots of mountain goats and Big Horn Sheep on this trail.  We marveled at their ability to walk on these steep cliffs.  This one was enjoying the morning sunshine.

We were so excited to see the mountain goats because that's the one animal that has always been the most elusive on all our hiking adventures.  Little did we know that later that morning we would see more mountain goats than we had ever seen in our lives!

I loved this photo so much that when I got home I ordered an 8x10, framed it, and gave it to my son as house-warming gift (he just moved in to a new apartment).  He was so excited about it!

Can you see the road that switches back and forth in the photo below?  That's the road you drive to get up here.  It's pretty scary, but beautiful views!

Here I am hugging that wall again!  🤣 That rock wall and I were best friends by the time this hike was over.

When we were done hiking the trail we got back in the car to take the rest of the scenic drive out of the park.  I was thrilled to scratch another item off my Zion Bucket List when I saw the Checkerboard Mesa.  We pulled off to the side to a close up view of this beauty, but there is also a scenic overlook of it further down the road as well.

And here is the scenic viewpoint.  There is more parking here, and you can also read about the unique rock formation here as well.

But the fun didn't end yet, because while driving through this area we saw tons, and tons of mountain goats!  I've never seen so many in my life!  Usually if I see one Big Horn Sheep I count my blessings, but we must have seen a hundred or more this morning.

Be sure to drive slow through this area of the park, as the sheep are everywhere!

My favorite one of all was this one.  Just look at those horns!

If you don't want to hike the longer, scarier, more difficult trails of the park (like Angel's Landing, or Observation Point) but still want a hike with great views, this is the trail for you.  Just be sure to hike it early in the morning so you can get a parking space, see the first light on the canyon's wall, and see plenty of Big Horn Sheep.

After this wonderful, thrilling morning, it was time to say goodbye to Zion National Park.  It was so sad to leave this beautiful park.  It truly lived up to everything I have ever heard about this park.  It's unique beauty is unparalleled.  But the vacation wasn't over yet, for now we were headed to Bryce Canyon and hoped to get another hike in before the sun set.  But you will have to wait until after Thanksgiving Break to hear more about that.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


  1. It looks like a lovely hike and you did get some great views, but being very scared of heights myself it's probably not something I'd enjoy, haha! I get a bit dizzy standing on a ladder sometimes, ha!

    Hope that you are having a great week! :)

    Away From Blue

    1. There were moments I did not enjoy it either, but I'm glad I did it. It's important to conquer your fears. And I get dizzy on a ladder too...even a step ladder! It's ridiculous!

  2. Such beautiful pictures Amy! What an amazing scenery! Wish I could say I could manage visiting but those steep drop off look scary. I might be able to do this on my own, but visiting with family I'd be so scared one of them would slip. If it were just me I'd cling to the wall like you did and manage somehow. Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures!

    1. Thank you Ellie. The park does not recommend this trail for small children or anyone afraid of heights. However, I've seen plenty of blog posts with children on this hike. I don't know how they managed. I would have been terrified for them every second. Hiking with my husband and son was nerve wracking enough. They never stick to the trail and always go rock jumping.

  3. I think I definitely would have struggled a bit as I really do no like heights at all, but the views look like they'd be totally worth it.

    1. Oh, you could do it! If I can do it, anyone can.

  4. Some of these pics look like some we took at the Grand Canyon when we took the grandbabies there. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 6. Shared.

  5. This is just gorgeous country. It's been a-g-e-s since we've been out there. So glad you're enjoying yourself!

  6. You certainly saw some amazing countryside Amy - very majestic and I'm glad you got your quota of mountain goat viewing in too!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)

  7. These are all such beautiful photos! It looks like you had a wonderful time! I hope to take my children there one day!

  8. The views really do look fake! It's unbelievable how gorgeous and truly stunning nature can be!


  9. Oh gosh, I am not one that deals with heights well... so, I would stick to the easier hikes! Ha!! Such beautiful photos and love the wildlife!


    1. Oh, but then you miss the views! Thanks so much!

  10. Oh how gorgeous! Your photos are just wonderful. I was feeling a little panic myself, though, when I saw the one of you hugging the rocks. I'd have been on my knees crawling through that area, I think! What a wonderful adventure!


    1. Thanks so much! I've heard some people get down on their butts when hiking the scariest part of Angel's Landing.

  11. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos with us, Amy. I am a little bit freaked out when I have to walk (or run) on a narrow trail with a steep drop off too. It looks like your visit to Zion was great. It makes me want to go back. We haven't been there in years.

  12. Breathtaking! The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof! ~Psalm 24


  13. I am afraid of heights and I never would have made it around that corner with the rock jutting out. If I'd been there I probably would have been on the ground crawling, not a very good sight for a 70 year old woman. - Margy


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