When you think of an adventure in Zion National Park, often times our mind immediately conjures images from the more iconic trails in the park. Dizzying heights and sweeping views from Angels Landing, or towering sandstone walls and an other worldly experience on the Subway or the Narrows.
Luckily Zion National Park is a stunning natural wonder, no matter where you visit within the park. Beyond the ever-popular trails along the Scenic Canyon Drive, there are wonders to be discovered on the lesser-explored East side of the park as well.
1. Hike the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
The Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is a 1 mile out & back trail the features beautiful wildflowers, views, and wooden boardwalks. This trail is located just east of the famous Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, making it easy to reach. Along the route you’ll get some incredible views of the Pine Creek slot canyon, and some beautiful shaded alcoves and views along the way.
The trail ends on a hilltop covered with hoodoos and weaves across the slickrock to reach the Canyon Overlook. The East Temple formation looms to the north, and you get an incredible panoramic view of Bridge Mountain and the West Temple. Keep an eye out and bring your binoculars for a chance to spot some bighorn sheep too!
2. Hike the Belly of the Dragon
With a name like that how could we resist checking out this trail! A carved tunnel that goes under the highway, this trail is located 16 miles north of Kanab, Ut and just minutes away from the East entrance to Zion National Park. There’s a bit of climbing required as you scramble over rock to get up and through the tunnel. Getting through the tunnel is a short hike, but you can continue up the wash for about 4 miles to find that it ends at a beautiful little slot canyon.
Learn more and plan your visit here.
*This tunnel is used as a drainage for the upper canyons that feed into the North Fork River. IT SHOULD NOT BE USED UNDER RAINY CONDITIONS.
3. Moqui Cave Historic Site
Moqui Cave is a natural history museum featuring Native American artifacts and a collection of dinosaur tracks! According to visitsouthernutah.com “Within Moqui Cave is a large display of Native American artifacts along with unique fluorescent rocks and minerals from around the world. Also on display are a sizeable collection of pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico and more than 1,000 arrowheads. Centuries-old ceremonial pots, jugs, bowls and working tools provide some anthropological clues into the early lives of the Anasazi and Navajo Indians.”
4. Little Hollywood Musuem
Did you know that many famous Western films were filmed in Kanab, Utah? The Little Hollywood Museum invites visitors to explore the old movie sets and western memorabilia in an old-town setting. Visitors enter the museum through the gift shop and continue through to the movie town on the back lot.
Entrance to the Little Hollywood Museum is Free and open March thru December. Learn more here.
5. Coral Pink Sand Dunes
The Coral Pink Sand Dunes are a Utah State Park located in the southwestern part of the state. This park features uniquely pink-hued sand dunes located beside vibrant red sandstone cliffs. Changed by winds, these mountains and hills of sand can move as much as 50 feet per year. You can plan an adventure with off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, hikers, or anyone who just wants to play in a giant sandbox.
Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel Closure
Starting Sunday, April 4th, 2021 the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel will be closed for 50 consecutive days for construction. Learn more with the post from Zion National Park included below.