Top Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Zion National Park

Top Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Zion National Park

This post includes affiliate links. It’s super important for us to be transparent with our Wanderers! If you click on one, we may receive a small, but wanderful commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for WANDERING with us!

Immersing yourself in the breathtaking splendor of Zion can be truly captured by venturing onto its picturesque trails for an enriching hike. What distinguishes Zion National Park is its renowned collection of exhilarating and heart-pounding treks that offer an adrenaline rush like no other.

And whereas iconic attractions within the park, such as The Narrows or Angels Landing, might be better suited for thrill-seekers or older adventurers, there is also an array of accessible and moderate trails perfect for families with young kids seeking to get in on the action.

Whether you’re seeking a stroller-friendly route or a moderately challenging hike up to sweeping canyon views, these are the best hiking trails in Zion to take with kids!

Before you get lost in our blog, be sure to browse our Wanderful Storefront for all our favorite travel products, gear and must haves!

Lower Emerald Pools Trail – 1.2 miles roundtrip

The Emerald Pools Trails are among the Zion’s most frequented routes, primarily due to their proximity to the Zion Lodge, marked by a trailhead directly opposite. They are a delightful escapade for families exploring the wild together. The Lower Emerald Pools Trail is a brief, undemanding hike with a glistening waterfall. Also, the pools at the waterfall’s base derive their name from their vibrant green hue, resulting from sunlight dancing off the encircling limestone formations.

The cascade’s water volume experiences considerable fluctuations throughout the year, contingent on recent precipitation and snow melting (most impressive in spring). Tracing a path through a canyon, the Lower Emerald Pools Trail leads to the lower pools at the waterfall’s base.

Hikers will journey behind the waterfall along this trail. For those intending to visit solely the Lower Pools, it’s possible to use a stroller. Nevertheless, it would help if you opted for a sturdier stroller, given that the paved path presents a rough terrain. The complete Emerald Pools Trail features three distinct destinations:

  • The Lower Emerald Pools; offers an easy 1.2-mile roundtrip hike.
  • The Middle Trail; ascends a steep ridge beyond the lower pool, presenting a moderate 2-mile roundtrip hike.
  • For a more challenging option, the Upper Pool Trail; leads you along a steep and sandy path to a larger pool nourished by a towering waterfall, covering a strenuous 3-mile roundtrip hike.

The Watchman Trail- 3.2 miles roundtrip

The Watchman Trail presents an enjoyable hiking opportunity within Zion. The trail ascends towards a viewpoint and concludes with an optional loop, offering additional picturesque sights like nowhere in the park. It’s particularly suitable for children who possess independent walking abilities and can manage some inclines.

Navigation is straightforward as the trail maintains a single identifiable path during the ascent, with few notable obstacles. But you’ll have to closely monitor your children when nearing the trail’s end, especially along certain edges. While not as visited as some of the other easy to moderately graded hikes in Zion National Park, the trail is a favorable choice for a respite from the crowds while relishing the park’s remarkable scenery.

Archaeology Trail- 0.4 miles roundtrip

The Archaeology Trail is a brief and rugged path to the summit of a small hill. This trail is a concise and delightful choice for those at the Visitor Center, offering families easy access to picturesque vistas. The route leads to a place once inhabited by Ancestral Pueblan people more than a millennium ago.

The elevated site is believed to have served as a storage and preparation area for sustenance during ancient times. Nearby the trail, archaeologists unearthed numerous artifacts, now showcased at the Zion Human History Museum. While scant traces of ancient life endure atop the hill, one can still relish the panoramic view across the canyon and envision what the spot looked like a millennium ago.

The Riverside Walk- 2 miles roundtrip

The Riverside Walk presents a stroll along a paved trail alongside the Virgin River, treating you and the kids to some of the most stunning vistas within the park. It is an entirely undemanding means to experience the essence of Zion. The trail offers an easily manageable hike, showing the park’s natural beauty. Also, it boasts considerable shade, which is a welcome advantage in any hike in Utah.

Unsurprisingly, several outdoorsy families visiting the park take the path, and it’s exceedingly child-friendly – you can even bring a stroller! Encompassing the Riverside Walk are breathtaking sights, including scenic wildlife spotting. Also, at various access points, you can indulge in a refreshing dip in the river if you so desire.

Weeping Rock Trail- 0.4 miles roundtrip

The Weeping Rock Trail offers an intriguing hiking experience in Zion, requiring minimal completion time. Spanning just half a mile round trip, it is one of Zion’s briefest trails. This brevity renders it ideal for families with children and novice hikers.

Despite this, the trail poses a modest challenge. The ascent encompasses some inclines and involves navigating several steps, occasionally over slippery terrain. Nonetheless, these obstacles are manageable and lack any significant hazards. As an added treat, the trail is home to numerous charming little frogs.

A delightful surprise awaits fearless hikers at the trail’s culmination, etching yet another unforgettable memory into our minds. Please note that those who loathe giant hairy spiders should visit during late summer and early fall.

The Pa’rus Trail – 1.7 miles one way

The Pa’rus Trail is a wonderfully easy excursion ideally suited for families. This trail ensures hassle-free strolls, accommodating both strollers and wheelchairs with ease. It’s a simple walk along a wide, flat, paved path parallel to the Virgin River. This charming route connects several captivating spots within Zion Canyon, including:

You can either traverse the entire Pa’rus Trail round trip (3.4 miles), opt for a one-way journey (1.7 miles), or even choose not to cover its entire length. If you decide on the latter, you can ride the free Zion shuttle at any of the three stops along the route.

The vistas along the path are delightful, and multiple river access points distinguish the Pa’rus Trail as one of the premier family-friendly hikes in Zion. The trail also welcomes bicycles and leashed pets.

Zion National Park offers a treasure trove of family-friendly hiking trails that allow visitors to connect with nature, appreciate breathtaking landscapes, and create lasting memories together. From the easy Riverside Walk, where you can stroll along the Virgin River surrounded by lush greenery and towering canyon walls, to the awe-inspiring Weeping Rock Trail, offering a unique glimpse of a natural hanging garden, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner