- Shuttle Stop #, [Zion-Mt.Camel hwy]
- Estimated Roundtrip Time: 1 hours
- Distance: 1.0 miles/1.6 kilometers
- Elevation Change: 163 feet/50 meters
About the Canyon Overlook Trail
This trail is a short but rewarding hike. At just over a half mile out, the trek will bring your a perspective of the park’s canyon from above looking down. Originally designated as “the Great Arch Trail” it was renamed because many hikers were disappointed to find they could not see the Great Arch from the lookout spot. This is because the trail ends on top of the southern support of the arch and you are actually standing on the arch itself.
Parking at the trailhead is limited to ten official parking places at the eastern entrance to the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel. The climb from the parking area to the trail is only a slight incline and beyond that the trail is fairly level. Hugging the southern slopes of the East Temple, you make your way onto a wonderfully shaded alcove where ferns grow from the cliffs and you can get out of the sun for a while.
The overlook itself provides a breathtaking view of the expanse before you. Pine Creek Slot Canyon spreads out below with the roadway’s switchbacks leading to the western tunnel entrance providing scale for you to compare the scenery with. Among the features on the canyon floor is Pine Creek Stream. Bridge mountain is just to the southwest, The East Temple is up to your north, and far off in the west, across the Virgin River is the West Temple.
Looking closely at the cliff walls to your south you may be able to spot a few of the carved out openings that peer into the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. As you drive through the tunnel to the Canyon Overlook trailhead, take note of these large windows and compare them to how small and insignificant they appear when viewing them from the overlook.