The Canyon Overlook Trail, much like the Emerald Pools Trail is a pretty popular, easy to moderate hike in Zion National Park. This particular trail however, isn’t located in Zion Canyon. The good news is that you don’t need to take the shuttle to access this hike! To find the trailhead, you must travel to the east side of the Zion/Mt. Carmel Tunnel on Highway 9. The parking lot is located on your right exiting the tunnel and is sometimes full, however most people tend to park along the side of the road if there is a pull-off area. The trailhead is located right across the highway from the parking lot. You’ll see the hike info sign.
The hike is pretty much level with the exception of the steps at the start. For the majority of the hike you are exposed to the sun. Keep that in mind during summer months. The trail is easily followed and runs along Pine Creek. It’s a neat 1.0 mile round-trip hike and is very doable for kids with parental supervision, of course. There can be some steep drop off areas, so be cautious if you do have small kids with you. Along the way you will find a cool alcove area just beyond a short foot bridge that offers a great place to take a breather in the shade. Beyond that point, you are pretty much in the sun until you reach the overlook viewpoint.
When you make it to the top, the pay off is well worth the short hike. You get an awesome view of the canyon below and highway 9 that enters the tunnel. Up on your right you can see the East Temple peak. There are also cool hoodoo formations you can see near the peak of the East Temple. Once you finish taking the scenic view, take some time and scramble on some of the rocks nearby. It’s like a huge playground.
Overall, the Canyon Overlook Trail is a must do if you are new to the park. For more insight on this hike, be sure to see the video below.