Trail Length: 1-mile round trip
Trail Description: Mix of rock and sand. Some steep parts and there is always the presence of large cliffs.
The Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is one of two defined trails on the upper-east side of Zion National Park. The trail begins near the upper entrance of the Zion Canyon Tunnel and ends at a large overlook.
To get to Zion Canyon Overlook trail, travel up S.R. 9 (Zion Park Blvd) from the main entrance of Zion. After passing through the tunnel there are a series of parking pull-outs along the road for you to utilize. Park here and walk back toward the trailhead which is near the traffic control station near the tunnel.
The trail to Zion Canyon Overlook is quite an impressive trail. It rises quickly near the beginning as you work your way over some slick rock and then onto a man-made path. The trail follows Pine Creek slot canyon (slot canyon on the left). Do not throw things down as there might be people down there doing the canyoneering route. There are a few bridges and seeps where water comes out along the cliff face. Overall the experience is quite pleasant to hike along.
Overall the trail is only mildly kid-friendly due to the large cliffs, but if you keep an eye on them you should be fine. All the people who have died here have been adults to my understanding. Most of those deaths came at the end of the trail where the hikers fell doing something they probably should have not been doing.
As you get closer to the end the trail widens and you eventually reach a rail system for you to walk up to and take in the views. You can spread out here as there are a few different areas to find a view from.
I have photographed here on and off over the years and I enjoy it at both sunrise and sunset. For sunset, it's best to go in spring and late fall as the sun will be further south resulting in some better lighting conditions. In all other times of the year, sunrise is wonderful here as the west temple is one of the first mountains to get light.