North Rim Grand Canyon travel blog

Sun coming up over our motel - beautiful!

Such color!

Grand Arch of Zion - our trail ends at the top of...

The start of the Canyon Overlook Trail presages what is to come

Some of our scenery

Pine Creek Canyon

Awesome

Our "trail" is suspended over the canyon

A little scary

Beautiful

Our trail over the rocks was not always well marked - in...

Trail is pretty narrow in places

Refreshingly cool alcove with a seep and ferns growing out of the...

Pretty steep drop off

An intriguing slot canyon along our route

Pretty

Intrepid hiker

Our view from the Overlook

We could see for miles

Check out that road!

Desert Bighorn Sheep spotted by eagle-eye Jim

Streaked Wall in morning light

West Temple

Bridge Mountain

Altar of Sacrifice

Streaked Wall and Sentinel


Springdale, UT The Canyon Overlook Trail is our favorite trail in Zion. Although we are loath to do so, the scene is best viewed as close to sunup as one can abide. We did not make it that early, but we did not do badly. The trail is reached via Mount Carmel Highway, a very interesting road all by itself. The highway begins on the south side of Zion National Park and follows along the North Fork of the Virgin River. The road then turns and continues up Pine Creek Canyon, up the 7 switchbacks from the canyon floor to the sandstone cliffs above and into the 1.1-mile long Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. The parking area for the trail is just as one exits the tunnel. The start of the trail is a series of stone steps up the slickrock. The trail then takes hikers around the beautiful sandstone formations above the Pine Creek slot canyon. Halfway to the viewpoint, the trail heads into a little shaded alcove with a seep and ferns growing out of the sandstone walls – an area for which one is extremely grateful during the hotter summer months (102° today). Once at the viewpoint, one can see the highway switchbacks below. The view is magnificent. There are no barriers on the cliff edges and a 1000-ft fall from the viewpoint would be fatal. We were standing on top of the Great Arch of Zion looking at the great expanse of Zion Canyon and its many formations. Such beauty! It really was worth getting up early.

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