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.