Riverside Walk Trail at Zion National Park

Riverside Walk Trail at Zion National Park


Location: Zion National Park, Utah

Length: 2 miles roundtrip

Ascent: 57 feet

Difficulty: Easy

GPS Coordinates: N 37 17.058 W 112 56.811

The Riverside Walk Trail is an outstanding and fascinating trek in Zion National Park, presenting for the park visitors the breathtaking views of immense stone walls of Zion Canyon as seen from its very bottom, and marvelous views of the Virgin River, flowing along the trail. It’s amazing but the quantity of the trail visitors in summer months reaches three thousand per day that allows calling this trail one of the most often visited in the park.

Riverside Walk Trail is situated at the farthermost northern part of Zion Canyon and takes its beginning near the well-known park’s point of interest – Temple of Sinawava (created by nature “amphitheatre”, the walls of which are almost 3 000 feet high). This is actually the last stop of the shuttle operating at Zion National Park from the first of April till the thirtieth of October (rest of the time during the year the park can be accessed by a private vehicle).

The Riverside Walk Trail itself is quite short, only 2 miles roundtrip, it is well-maintained, paved and accessible for the wheelchairs and strollers (though there are some short steep sections of the trail (mostly at the second part of the trail) where the wheelchair may need some assistance). It runs upriver passing strikingly hush for this place vegetation. During your stroll you will have a chance to see a desert swamp with its unique microhabitat, amazing hanging gardens, and the spectrum of flora and fauna peculiar only for this area.

The Riverside Walk Trail is an ideal hiking trek for hot summer days because almost the whole trail is hidden from the sun by the shadow cast by the canyon walls and by the trees which are multiple here, and of course the coolness of river waters, where you may wade, make the hike pleasant and enjoyable. Following the trail you have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the beauty and enchantment of the North Fork of the Virgin River making its way through the stones, which over the years the water has polished making them smooth. The splashing waters of the river create a pleasant sound which is greatly enhanced by the stone walls surrounding it, and turning the river song into a roar.

The hike ends at the point where the paved trek is finished and where the famous Zion Narrows begin. At this point you have two choices – to walk into the river and continue exploration of the canyon entering the Narrows, or to spend some time near the river enjoying the priceless views, turn and follow the trail back to the Temple of Sinawava.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

Pictures taken: 11/1/16

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