In Trips & Tips on
February 7, 2017

Half Day in Zion National Park

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

Let me start by exclaiming that this post has been a long time coming… Since Labor Day Weekend! I really don’t have any good excuse, except getting pregnant and losing my mind (prego brain is the worst!). But the pictures are just too good and memories too amazing not to share! Since we only had a half day in Zion National Park, we saw what we could.

How we spent a half day in Zion National Park

We so badly wished that we had more time than just a half day in Zion. We had spent the majority of our Labor Day Weekend in Bryce and decided to stop through Zion on our way back to Vegas. Zion is definitely a place where you want to spend at least a night if you have plans to hike the Narrows and Angels Landing. Since I was pregnant (only 5 weeks at this point!), we were both ok with doing the easy, scenic hikes haha! 

So we spent the morning walking the dog friendly, Pa’rus Trail, drove the Scenic Highway and did a quick hike on the Canyon Overlook Trail. It was definitely a great way to spend a half day in Zion and we can’t wait to go back! 

Pa’rus Trail 

The walk along the Pa’rus Trail is just absolutely stunning. It’s a paved trail along the Virgin River and has some of the best views in all of Zion. The best part? It’s Phoebe (dog) friendly and we absolutely loved being able to exercise the pup a bit. Since it’s paved, it’s perfect for riding bikes and very family friendly. The trail is easy, a couple of miles long and not hard at all. 

Beautiful Virgin River parus trail zion national park utah

how gorgeous is the Virgin River? 

half day in zion

parus trail the virgin river zion national park utah dog friendly trails

Beautiful Virgin River parus trail zion national park utah

Beautiful Virgin River parus trail zion national park utah

Beautiful Virgin River parus trail zion national park utah

half day in zion national park

our little family + cam @ 5 weeks pregnant…

Canyon Overlook Trail

This trail is amazing. I can’t say that enough. We didn’t have much hopes for it, but since I was pregnant, I didn’t have the energy to attempt something like Angels Landing. So this was a great consolation. It’s a little tricky at the beginning, but it’s a hike that you actually have a lot of fun doing. There are tons of great view points and little caves. It’s not marked as a dog friendly trail but we did see a few people bring their small dogs along with them. Since we were with Josh’s parents, they volunteered to stay behind and hang with the pup while we hiked the Canyon Overlook. 

The hike itself takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on your fitness levels. The view point at the very end is just amazing and such a great way to reward yourself. Even on Labor Day Weekend, we didn’t find the trail to be crowded at all – which is a huge bonus! I highly recommend doing this hike, regardless of what you have planned for conquering within Zion. 

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

I mean, this view….

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

canyon overlook trail zion national park utah

Zion Canyon Scenic Highway

We drove the Zion Canyon Scenic Highway two times, on the way to Bryce and on the way back. And for reals, this drive is just gorgeous! I’ve done some scenic drives in my lifetime (PCH up California, I-70 in Colorado…) and this is up there. It is just stunning. It’s also one of the major roads through Zion, so most likely, you’ll be on it without even knowing. It’s a great way to get a feel of the park without having to leave your car! If you do want to pull over for pictures, there are plenty of rest stops to do so.

half day in zion

half day in zion

half day in zion


A half day in Zion worked for us, but to honest, I think an overnight would have allowed for more time to explore. There are other cool hikes that we wanted to do and we simply ran out of time. However, we definitely got a great feel of Zion and I’m just in awe of how beautiful this place is. There is definitely something so majestic about southern Utah. Zion really is mind blowing! 

Additionally, if you plan on going to Zion, I highly suggest adding on Bryce Canyon National Park as well. It’s about another 2-3 hour drive east of Zion but well worth it. Bryce is even more remote than Zion and makes for the perfect trip to combine the two National Parks! 

And I have to say, I am so excited for whenever we return as a family with little Cam. We had just found out we were pregnant before this trip (like 3 days before!) so we were on a high the whole time. It will certainly be a place that holds many sweet memories for Josh and I. And I can’t wait to go back with little Cam! I just hope that he enjoys hiking and outdoor activities like his parents and his pup!

half day in zion


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  • What a beautiful trip! That overlook is stunning, I’d love to hike there myself!

  • I can’t wait to visit all of the National Parks in Utah! I need to do a big road trip & hit all of them (I’ve been to Arches but would like to go again). It’s nice that you can still see some of the park without much time.

  • Utah has so many awesome national parks and preserves. I haven’t been to any yet but I’d love to go. #FlyAwayFriday

  • That view of the Canyon is totally worth the hike! I keep meaning to get to Zion on a weekend. The problem is that I’d have to fly to Utah, and maybe hire a car to get there? #FlyAwayFriday.

  • Zion is one of the most of the beautiful parks I have visited. I can’t believe my visit took place more than 10 years ago! Have been wanting to road trip around Utah for the longest time. Thanks for bringing the good memories. #FlyAwayFriday

  • You look stunning and so healthy! I’ve heard great things about Zion National Park and amazed that there are beginner hikes available for hiking n00bs like myself. Hope to make it there one day! #FlyAwayFriday

  • I’m excited to see you were in my part of the United States! Zion is beautiful and I hope you get a time to revisit for a hike up Angel’s Landing. It’s a tough, tough hike, but it’s worth it. #flyawayfriday

  • Janine Good

    Zion looks amazing! I would love to go and explore the park. I love nature trails and seeing wildlife. Your dog is absolutely precious! #flyawayfriday

  • I’d love to visit some of America’s national parks one day, they look so beautiful! #FlyawayFriday

  • David Johnston

    I first heard of Zion National Park from my parents who visited and said that it was amazing. Every photo I’ve seen from there (including yours) has confirmed that. Definitely one of the places I’m most keen to visit on my eventual visit to the states. Well definitely overnight it too!

  • Omg your husband holding Phoebe like a human baby – I LOVE IT SO MUCH! Hahaha! 😀 But no really, Zion looks SO gorgeous – adding this to my check list! 😀

  • Tiffany

    Well I can say after living in Utah for a year and a half that was not even enough time out there! That state has some of the most amazing parks of any state out there! So glad you got to go, even if for only a half day! What a great way to celebrate your news. 🙂

  • nattiekaf

    gorgeous photos and great options for hikes! I’m hoping to make it out to Zion this spring!

  • Zion is an amazing park. It is a shame you didn’t have more time there, but half a day is better than nothing, right! Great photos, btw. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tracy McConnachie Collins

    Looks like an amazing park -def one for the future!

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