Zion National Park Summer Hikes

Zion National Park is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an intense hike up one of the park’s many peaks, there are plenty of Zion National Park summer hikes to choose from.

This Zion National Park travel guide will detail the best summer hiking trails, tips for summer hiking, what to pack, where to stay, and more!

Zion National Park summer hikes

Hiking in the summer at Zion means HOT temperatures, sometimes exceeding 100 degrees F! And late summer monsoons can cause flash floods.

It’s important to stay hydrated, use sun protection, and get the latest weather information before hitting the trails at Zion in the summer!

So grab your hiking gear and get ready to explore the spectacular scenery on a summer hike in Zion! Click the image below to get a free Zion packing list for your summer vacation!

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A Photo Tour of Zion National Park

Take a visual tour through Zion National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Zion National Park in the Summer

You’ll find HOT temperatures and low humidity at Zion in the summer. Since the temperatures are brutal this time of year, plan your outdoor activities for the cooler mornings and evenings!

Zion shuttle in the summer: Zion Canyon is only accessible by using the Zion National Park shuttle. If you want to avoid the crowds, here’s a list of Zion hikes without the shuttle!

Zion parking in the summer: If you’re not staying in Springdale, be sure to arrive early to find parking at Zion National Park!

Zion hiking permits in the summer: Angels Landing permit is required for all hikers year round. The National Park Service (NPS) will issue permits using online lotteries at Recreation.gov.

Zion weather in the summer: 

  • June – highs 95° | lows 63° F
  • July – highs 100° | lows 68° F  
  • August – highs 100° | lows 68° F

Tips for Summer Hiking at Zion National Park

One of the best Zion National Park activities is hiking. It’s important to be prepared with the right clothing and gear for summer hikes.

Summer Clothing for Hiking

Zion National Park in the summer will be hot and dry!

  • UV Clothing: Loose-fitting, light-colored, UV protective wicking clothing is recommended for summer hiking.
  • Sunhat: Sun protection is a must!
  • Darn Tough hiking socks: Do not wear cotton socks. Darn Tough Socks are comfortable, breathe well, and prevent blisters!
  • Sturdy hiking shoesHiking shoes or boots should be sturdy with good tread and traction.

Summer Hiking Gear

Here’s the summer hiking gear we recommend for exploring Zion:

summer hiking gear

Map of Zion Summer Hikes

From easy strolls to challenging treks, we’ve put together a map of the best summer hikes in Zion National Park. Use this Map of Zion Hikes to help you navigate around the park.

map of Zion hikes

Zion National Park Summer Hikes

Zion National Park has easy, moderate, and strenuous hikes. Here’s a list of Zion National Park hikes. Note the trail difficulty ratings:

  • Easy: uneven ground, but fairly level.
  • Moderate: a mix of steep grades and level sections.
  • Strenuous: steep grades, uneven terrain and long, steady climbs.

Remember that many trailheads start at an elevation around 5,000 feet. This can make “easy” trails challenging if you’re not used to the higher elevation.

Check out the list of summer hiking trails at Zion National Park with all the information you need about each hike!

Easy Zion Summer Hikes

There are four easy Zion National Park hiking trails that range from 0.4 miles to 3.5 miles and gain no more than 100 feet in elevation. A few are wheelchair accessible with assistance.

Pa'rus Trail at Zion NP
Pa’rus Trail

Pa’rus Trail Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #1 Visitor Center
  • Pets: Yes
  • Trailhead Location: Access is up the canyon from the Visitor Center and across the bridge adjacent to the South Campground. This trail can also be accessed from the Canyon Junction shuttle stop.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 3.5 mi
  • Elevation Change: 50 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 2 hours
  • Accessible: Wheelchairs may need assistance.
  • Services: Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Visitor Center.

The Pa’rus Trail is one of the best places to watch the red rock glow at sunset. Deer frequent the area as the path follows the Virgin River.

This is the only trail in Zion National Park that allows both pets (on a leash up to 6 feet) and bicycles.

Archaeology Trail Sign at Zion National Park
Archaeology Trail Sign

Archeology Trail Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #1 Visitor Center
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Behind the Zion Canyon Visitor Center near the entrance to the Visitor Center parking lot.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 0.4 mi
  • Elevation Change: 80 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 30 minutes
  • Accessible: No
  • Services: Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Visitor Center.

The Archeology Trail is a short little hike to the top of a hill where you’ll see an old Ancestral Puebloan food storage shelter. It takes about 5 minutes along the sandy trail to reach the top of the hill overlooking the Visitor Center and the Watchman Campground.

Look along the north side of the hill to see the foundational remains of the ancient storage shelter. You can see the artifacts from this site at the Zion Human History Museum.

Court of the Patriarchs at Zion NP
Court of the Patriarchs

Court of the Patriarchs Summer Hikes

  • Shuttle Stop: #4 Court of the Patriarchs
  • Pets: No
  • Services: No

There are a few ways to explore this area. First, there’s a quick and easy two-minute trail that takes you to a small viewpoint above the trees to see the formations across the canyon that are known as the “Court of the Patriarchs.” There’s an information sign here that points out the three peaks individually named Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and two others named The Sentinel and Mount Moroni.

Cross the road to access the Sand Bench Loop horse and foot trail. We don’t recommend you hike this trail, but go as far as the bridge. This is a wonderful Zion National Park photo spot in the morning and evening!

Emerald Pools Zion hike
Emerald Pools hike

Emerald Pools Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #5 Zion Lodge
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Across the road from the Zion Lodge.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 1.2 mi
  • Elevation Change: 69 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 1 hour
  • Services: Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Zion Lodge.

The Lower Emerald Pools and Upper Emerald Pools are two separate trails, but can easily be done as one. This is a nice hike that only has 269 feet of elevation gain between the two trails.

It’s a sandy trail leads to small pools of water – the upper pool is the biggest so if you’re short on time, we recommend that one.

Weeping Rock at Zion National Park
Weeping Rock

Weeping Rock Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #7 Weeping Rock
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Across the bridge adjacent to the parking lot. Follow the signs to the left.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 0.4 mi
  • Elevation Change: 98 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 30 minutes
  • Services: Pit toilets are available at the parking area.

Weeping Rock is a short but steep paved trail with minor drop-offs. It takes you to a rock alcove with dripping springs. There’s a terrific view of Temple of Sinawava from this trail.

During the summer monsoon rains, water cascades down the rock over the alcove which is a cool thing to see and photograph!

Virgin River along Riverside Walk at Zion National Park
Virgin River along Riverside Walk

Riverside Walk Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #9 Temple of Sinawava
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Adjacent to bathrooms and water refill station.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 2.2 mi
  • Elevation Change: 57 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 1.5 hours
  • Accessible: wheelchairs may need assistance.

The Riverside Walk is a paved Zion National Park trail that follows the Virgin River along the bottom of a narrow canyon. It’s a wonderful place to photograph the river and small waterfalls along the trail.

At the end of this trail, the bottom up Narrows trail begins. The Riverside Walk is a popular trail so it’s best to hike in the morning or later in the day.

Moderate Zion Summer Hikes

The moderate Zion National Park hiking trails range from 1 mile to 7.6 miles and have larger elevation gains. Many of these trails offer magnificent views of Zion Canyon.

This list of moderate Zion hikes in the summer requires extra planning:

  • wear proper footwear
  • carry enough water
  • know the physical abilities necessary to successfully complete the hike
The Watchman Hiking Trail at Zion National Park
The Watchman Hiking Trail

Watchman Trail Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #1 Visitor Center
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Follow the sidewalk through the Visitor Center plaza, past the shuttle stop to the crosswalk – stay along the river to begin the trail.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 3.3 mi
  • Elevation Change: 368 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 2 hours
  • Services: Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Visitor Center.

The Watchman trail begins out with a flat section of trail by the river. It’s a moderate hike due to the elevation climb along sandy, rocky, and uneven terrain with several drop-offs.

You’re rewarded with amazing views of the Towers of the Virgin, lower Zion Canyon, Watchman Peak, and Springdale. 

Canyon Overlook sunrise
Canyon Overlook sunrise

Canyon Overlook Summer Hike

  • NOT accessible by shuttle
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Located near the east entrance of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel
  • Distance (roundtrip): 1.0 mi
  • Elevation Change: 163 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 1 hour
  • Services: Pit toilets are available in the parking area.

As you drive on the Highway 9 Zion National Park scenic drive from Springdale, the parking area is immediately on the right as you exit the last tunnel. If you’re coming from the East Entrance, right before the tunnel entrance there are parking areas on the right.

Canyon Overlook trail is short, a little challenging, has a great view at the end, and you might see bighorn sheep. There is a bit of a climb of elevation (163 feet total), but it’s nothing crazy and doesn’t last long. You’ll be making your way up into the canyon and eventually come to a little bridge leading to “the cave” before making the push to the final overlook.

The trail is pretty straightforward with very minimal rock scrambling. At the end, you have a fabulous view overlooking Echo Canyon. You can also see the window holes from the tunnel off to the left.

Parking is extremely limited, so do this early morning or be prepared to circle around many times to grab a spot. Canyon Overlook is one of the best photo spots for sunrise at Zion National Park to capture the sun lighting the distant mountain peaks!

Strenuous Zion Summer Hikes

The strenuous Zion National Park trails range from 2.5 miles to 9.4 miles and have elevation gains of up to 2,148 ft. These trails are physically challenging, and some can be even be mentally challenging as you must walk along steep cliffs holding onto chains for safety.

Strenuous trails require preparation and planning. Summer monsoon storms can bring flash floods so always check the current weather conditions and plan accordingly. 

Angel's Landing at Zion National Park
Angel’s Landing

Angel’s Landing Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #6 The Grotto
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Across the road from the shuttle stop and then across the footbridge.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 5.4 mi
  • Elevation Change: 1,488 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 4 hours
  • Services: Bathrooms and water filling stations are available at the Zion Lodge.
  • Permit Required

Angels Landing is one of the best hikes in Zion National Park. It starts off at The Grotto and follows the Virgin River before climbing the side of the cliff via 21 switchbacks known as Walter’s Wiggles.

At the top of the switchbacks, you’ll end up at Scout’s Landing, which can be a good stopping point if you have a strong fear of heights. From there to the top, you follow a narrow ridge with steep drop-offs on either side. There is a chain to hold onto on the way up, but there isn’t much room on the final part of this trail, so if you’re very nervous, have terrible balance, or just hate heights, you may want to reconsider the push to the top.

arch along the Hidden Canyon Trail at Zion
Arch along the Hidden Canyon Trail

Hidden Canyon Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #7 Weeping Rock
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Access the East Rim Trail from across the footbridge adjacent to the parking lot. The Hidden Canyon Trail turns right from the East Rim Trail at the sign.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 2.5 mi
  • Elevation Change: 850 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 2.5 hours
  • Services: Pit toilets are available at the parking area.

The Hidden Canyon trail starts at Weeping Rock, along with Observation Point. You climb the same steep switchbacks before making your way around the outside of the cliff and into the canyon itself. This hike ends in a canyon and doesn’t offer any views of the park.

There are some exposed cliffs, but there are chains to navigate through those sections. The trail can get a little slippery with loose sand on the rock. Once you get around the cliff, the maintained trail ends, but you can continue to hike a little more.

You’ll need to do some scrambling over rocks and boulders, but none of it is terribly difficult. Remember it can be harder to scramble back down. After the first boulder scramble, the canyon almost has the feel of a slot canyon, but is more open. There are some open sandy areas and other areas covered in moss.

About halfway through this Zion National Park trail, there is an arch off to the right marked with a few little cairns. The trail ends shortly after that and you just have to turn back around.

Observation Point hiking trail at Zion National Park
Observation Point hiking trail

Observation Point Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #7 Weeping Rock
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Access the East Rim Trail from across the footbridge adjacent to the parking lot. The Observation Point Trail branches off of the East Rim Trail after approximately 2.5 miles.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 8.0 mi / 12.9 km
  • Elevation Change: 2,148 ft / 655 m
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 6 hours
  • Services: Pit toilets are available at the parking area.

The view at the end of the Observation Point trail rivals the view at Angel’s Landing. It actually overlooks Angel’s Landing.

This Zion National Park trail starts at the Weeping Rock stop and takes you up some steep switchbacks. If you don’t like heights, but don’t mind a longer hike, this is a good alternative to Angel’s Landing because it doesn’t have the same exposed cliffs.

The last mile on the rim of the canyon is mostly flat, offering relief from the steep climb up. The hike back down is the same way you came. It can be tough on knees, so take your time getting back down.

Zion Narrows hike
Zion Narrows hike

The Narrows Summer Hike

  • Shuttle Stop: #9 Temple of Sinawava
  • Pets: No
  • Trailhead Location: Adjacent to shuttle stop and restrooms.
  • Distance (roundtrip): 9.4 mi
  • Elevation Change: 334 ft
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 8 hours

The Narrows is the other trail everyone knows when you mention Zion National Park hikes. This trail starts at the end of the Riverside Walk and takes you into the Virgin River with canyon walls towering above you on both sides. 

The Subway Trail at Zion National Park
Hiker along The Subway Trail

The Subway (Left Fork) Summer Hike

  • Distance: 9-9.5 miles
  • Time: Full day

The Subway is another top Zion hike, but can only be done if you land one of the few permits available. There is a Zion Subway Left Fork lottery that happens 2 months in advance, as well as a last-minute drawing.

Located on Kolob Terrace Road, you can either hike this bottom-up or top-down. The top-down route requires ropes and rappelling experience, while bottom-up does not, but it is very difficult. Either way, you’ll need extensive route finding skills. You’ll also need to cross creeks, swim through cold, debris-filled pools, and scramble over boulders.

You will also need two cars or a shuttle for this since the beginning and end of the trail are far apart.

There are Zion Canyoneering tours available if this is an activity you want to try before committing to this hike!


Zion national park guides and maps

Summer Hiking Ideas

Places to Stay at Zion in the Summer

Zion National Park Itineraries

We’ve made it easy for you to plan your Zion National Park activities and hikes with these done-for-you itineraries:

Grab your free copy of the Zion Travel Bundle that includes printable 1, 2, and 3-Day itineraries! Simply click the image below.

Zion Travel Bundle optin

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