Over the winter I got the opportunity to spend a few days in Zion National Park, you can read all about the parks best attractions here. During that time I was determined to find the best spot for sunrise and after a few attempts I finally went to Canyon Overlook Trail, which is clearly my favorite spot for sunrise in the park. Here is all the details so you can see / photograph it yourself.
- 1 mile round trip
- 200 feet elevation gain
From Springdale I would recommend leaving about an hour before sunrise. It takes 20 minutes to drive to the spot and another 20 to hike to the viewpoint, plus you want to make sure you are there early enough set up. After driving up and out of the East entrance to Zion National Park you will pass a long tunnel, immediately after the tunnel there is a small parking lot on the right where you will park for the hike.
From the parking lot you will cross the street and then immediately head up a series of steps. Be sure to bring traction devices if you do this in the snow or ice.
The trail flattens out and the hugs a cliff side for the next .15 miles. This area has a decent drop but there is a guard rail beside you for most of the way.
The trail then heads across a platform that was built into the rock wall itself and that allows you to pass what would normally have been a sketchy area.
It then heads under the rock before continuing up some more stairs.
From here the trail is mostly over and it just heads straight over a flat path until it drops you at the observation point.
The payoff for how easy this hike is immense. The views of the canyon itself and the road you took to get up are stunning.
When you see the first light come over the hill behind you and hit the mountains in front of you it will take your breath away. Here is what it looks like about 45 minutes after first light too.
It was incredibly windy and cold when I went so it wasn’t great for waiting around but I had a lot of fun and saw only 4-5 other people the entire time.
If you are looking for a great spot for sunrise or just a fun hike in general then check out the Overlook Trail.