Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Riverside Walk Trail (Zion National Park)

The Riverside Walk Hiking Trail in Zion National Park is a fun short hike deep into Zion Canyon. During our trip to Zion National Park, Ashley and I had the chance to hike the fun Riverside Walk Trail which begins at the terminus of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. This hike in Zion National Park is one the whole family can do together and the best part is it offers amazing views as you continue deeper into the Canyon. For more pictures make sure to check out our Facebook Page.

Directions to Trailhead: Zion National Park is located just outside of St. George, Utah. To get from California to Zion National Park take the 15 freeway to St. George Utah. There you will take state highway 9 all the way to Zion National Park. To get to the Riverside Walk Trailhead in Zion National Park take the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (Floor of the Valley Road) all the way to the end. During the summer months, you will need to take the shuttle service to the Temple of Sinawava Shuttle Stop.

Description of Hike: This is an out and back hike along a paved trail that follows the Virgin River upstream to the Narrows at the end of Zion Canyon. During the winter time the Riverside Walk Hiking Trail is icy and during the summer months you need to watch out for flash floods. All narrow canyons in Zion National Park are potentially hazardous as flash floods, can be caused by storms often times miles away. The Riverside Walk Hiking Trail is well maintained by the National Park Service. The total mileage for the hike is 2.2 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of approximately 60 feet for the hike.

Further Thoughts: Ashley and I really enjoyed this hike at the end of Zion Canyon. When we hiked the Riverside Walk Trail the temperatures were in the upper 20's/low 30's and there was snow and ice along significant portions of the trail. This was the first time that either Ashley or I had seen a frozen waterfall. The hike offers many great picture taking options as the view of the Virgin River winding through the towering canyon walls is stunning. This is not a strenuous hike, but rather is one the whole family can do together. We saw multiple families hiking on the Riverside Walk Trail.

You can easily tell where the Riverside Walk Trail ends, as the pavement runs out. At that point is the beginning of the hike into the Narrows. You might see hikers continue along the trail into the Narrows when you are on this hike. Hiking the Narrows means hiking in the Virgin River as at least 60 percent of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. There is no maintained trail beyond the section where the pavement runs out because the route in the Narrows is on the actual riverbed. For more information on Hiking in the Narrows in Zion National Park, click Here.

Zion National Park is home to 69 species of mammals, 208 birds, 29 reptiles, 6 amphibians, and 9 different fish species. Commonly seen animals include mule deer, lizards, and many species of birds. We saw many deer while at Zion National Park as well as a ring tail cat while hiking in the evening near Zion Lodge. We did see several deer at the beginning of this hike. Bottom-line is make sure to bring your camera with you while hiking here, as you have a great chance of seeing wildlife.

Zion National Park is a beautiful place that is a hikers paradise. It offers a wide range of trails from easy to strenuous. Ashley and I are looking forward to our next visit to Zion National Park. We stayed at the Zion Lodge which we also highly recommend to visitors looking to spend quality time at Zion National Park. Zion Lodge is located along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (Floor of the Valley Road) in the heart of Zion Canyon. 

RatingElevation Gain: 60 ft. (Easy), Distance: 2.2 Mile Roundtrip (Easy).

Time to Complete Hike: 1.5 - 2 hours.


Riverside Walk Trail (This Post)

View Riverside Walk Trail in a larger map

1 comment:

  1. What a great way to spend the day with your family! The photos are awesome and the hike sounds like a lot of fun.
    The KEEN Recess Team is inspired by people like you who make getting outdoors a priority. We love hearing about parents and their children being able to find a recess outdoors that is fun, healthy and educational. Looks like you hit the jackpot on this one!
    Thanks for your input and expertise!

    KEEN Recess Team


Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.