Zion Canyon Overlook Trail at Sunset

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail at Sunset

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is one of the best, most popular, and most accessible hikes in Zion National Park. The last time we passed through Zion, we missed making the short hike out on the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail, so it was a must-hit stop this time around.

↓ Keep reading to for the full story + pics ↓

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail If towing, find pullout parking near the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail: Getting There via Mount-Carmel Tunnel

The Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is located on the east side of the tunnel on the Zion Mount Carmel Highway. This is the road that takes travelers right through the center of Zion National Park. The Zion Mount Carmel highway is also technically part of Utah State Route 9, and has to be one of the most scenic drives in the country. If you’re driving west to east on the Mount Carmel Highway, you’ll climb a series of steep switchbacks, each rewarding you with a better and better view of the towering red cliffs that envelop the canyon.

Related: Check out this Utah Elopement in Moab National Parks.

As you rise out of the Zion canyon floor, you’ll eventually reach a long and rather impressive tunnel. This is the famous Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, which is just over a mile long and was completed way back in 1930. If you’re in a tall camper van or towing a trailer, like us, you’ll have to pay a small fee to pass through the tunnel. Due to the tunnel’s relatively narrow size, Zion National Park requires oversized vehicles to drive down the middle of the road when passing through the tunnel, so they have to stop traffic coming the other way. There are no lights in the dark tunnel, but there are several huge “windows” cut out of the rock that give you quick glimpses of the stunning Zion canyon below. As much as you want to stop and soak in the view though, you gotta keep moving. But the view from the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is even better.

Related: Read about climbing in Zion’s Kolob Canyon and soaking in Utah hot springs

As soon as you exit the tunnel, look for a parking lot to your right. It’s not very big and might be full, but there are other spots to park nearby. With us towing a trailer, we had to find a small pullout down the road a ways, but not too far. After parking and taking a few shots of the Airstream (because it just looks so good against a backdrop of red rock cliffs), we walked to the Zion Canyon Overlook Trailhead to hike up for sunset.

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail 

Beginning of the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

Hiking the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

The Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is only about a mile from the trailhead to the overlook, so it’s a small effort for a big reward. We set out about an hour before sunset, which was plenty of time to enjoy the evening show. The trail starts on slick rock, climbing some natural stone steps as you make your way up to the overlook. It’s a really cool trail that traverses some steep drop-offs, giving you views down into lush slot canyons. They put up railings to keep you feeling safe though – a little bit of an eyesore but probably for the best.

We took our time hiking the canyon overlook trail, soaking in the scenery along the way. The view at the end is the money shot, but the ones on the way there aren’t half bad either. We even saw a bighorn sheep strolling through the ravine below. As we approached the canyon overlook, rays of light from the setting sun became visible and we hurried up the last little bit to see what we hiked a whopping .9 miles for…

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

Zion Canyon Overlook: The Big Reveal

Wow. When you first peer over the rim and gaze down into the Zion canyon, it’s definitely awe-inspiring. Zion is kind of like the desert version of Yosemite National Park. The cliffs might not be as tall, and the valley not as wide, but Zion Canyon is similarly impressive nonetheless. We were there in mid-April, and at that time of the year the sun sets behind the cliffs directly in front of you as you gaze out at the canyon overlook. From a photography perspective, this actually makes for horrible, hazy light while the sun is still visible. But when you’re sitting there in person, feeling the last rays of sunlight warm your skin, it’s pretty magical.

Related: See photos and read about our recent trip to Yosemite in April

Being adventure elopement photographers, we did some scouting around for the best spots to shoot portraits. There are lots of rocky perches that give you amazing views – you can’t really go wrong – but there is one particular high point that seems to be the most popular. You’ll have to share though, because everyone wants to climb up and look out from here. Still, we found a few other rocks away from the crowds that provided a nice, quiet escape while still delivering amazing views of the Zion canyon. After the sun dipped behind the cliffs, we snapped the classic Zion Canyon Overlook shot and then began the descent back to the Airstream. If you’re ever in Zion National Park, the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is an easy must-do hike, any time of the day. We have a feeling sunrise is the best time to see it though. Next time…

See more of The Foxes Travel Photography

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
Soaking in that Zion Canyon Overlook

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail

A private little perch off to the side and away form the crowds overlooking Zion canyon

The Foxes are Brandon and Gabi Fox, an adventurous husband and wife elopement photography team living and traveling in their DIY renovated 1972 Airstream. They are loosely based in the Pacific Northwest, but travel for work and play throughout the western states and beyond. Their elopement photography is award winning and is described as candid photography that captures couples as they are, where they are, blending images of love and natural beauty in the great outdoors. 



These Terms and Conditions are a legally binding agreement is between you (“Client”) The Foxes Photography, LLC (“Photographer”) (collectively the “Parties”, or in the singular “Party”), for the purpose of Client purchasing a custom photography album from Photographer. This Agreement shall become effective upon the date you complete the checkout process.


  1. Fees & Retainer

Client shall commit to a custom album package by signing and returning this Agreement along with the initial payment for album service. Photographer will not begin its custom album services until the Agreement is signed and the album design fee is received. No final album will be printed until the full payment is made. In the event Client fails to remit payment as specified, Photographer shall have the right to immediately terminate this Agreement with no further obligation and retain any monies already paid as liquidated damages. Full payment must be completed by Client within 60 days of this Agreement’s date.

The fees in this Agreement are based on Photographer’s current album pricing at the time of booking. The price list is adjusted periodically, and any changes to custom albums will be charged at the prices in effect at the time.

  1. Album Design Procedure

The following outline indicates the general procedure of a custom album design. Client understands and agrees to this procedure.

  1. Photographer will use photos and album specifications to create their first custom album design.
  2. Photographer will send Client first draft of album design.
  3. Client will approve or send in revisions to album design.
  4. Photographer will make edits to album design. Only two rounds of edits are allowed.
  5. Client will approve final album design.
  6. Photographer will send in album for printing.
  7. Album is printed and shipped.
  8. Client receives final printed album.
  1. Album Spreads

Albums will include 35 spreads and no less. The definition of a “page” is one side of a spread in an album (for example, a 70-page album contains 35 spreads). If Client requests more than 35 spreads, additional spreads are $50.00 each. 

  1. Revision Rounds

The first draft will include photos selected by the photographer and will be sent to Client for approval. Client may request modifications to be made. Photographer shall complete modifications and send the second draft of album design to Client. Client may then accept the design or request one more round of modifications. Photographer will complete this second modification request and send the final draft of album to Client. After these two rounds of revisions to the album design, no further revisions are allowed. Any additional revisions are invoiced at a rate of $75.00 per round. All additional revision rounds must be paid before the revision is made by the Photographer. Photographer requires up to 10 days to complete a revision request. Client has 50 days to send Photographer any and all revision requests. Any revisions requested by Client more than 50 days after this Agreement’s date will not be accepted by Photographer.

  1. Final Approval

Photographer will not place an album order with the album Manufacturer until Client approves the design draft, and the balance is paid on any upgrades or additional spreads. Client agrees to check the final album design very carefully before giving final approval. Once final approval is given, Photographer is not responsible for typos, image defects, duplicate images, or other errors that may have been missed. 

  1. Parent/Duplicate Albums

Parent/duplicate albums cannot be altered from the original designs. All parent/duplicate albums shall be ordered at the time of final approval of the original album design and will be invoiced and must be paid prior to Photographer sending in album for printing. No parent/duplicate albums are available after the original album ordering phase is complete.

  1. Album Delivery

Client understands and agrees that Photographer’s album manufacturer (“Manufacturer”) generally takes 6-8 weeks to print and manufacture the album. While every possible precaution is taken and Manufacturer has been selected by Photographer for its superb quality, Photographer assumes no liability for the loss or damage of album while in possession of Manufacturer. 

  1. Ordering Date

Client shall agree to final album design within 60 days of this Agreement’s date. Any delay by Client in approving final album design will result in termination of this Agreement and no further obligation by Photographer.

  1. Retouching and Edits

Photographer will use the final edited images delivered to Client to make the album design. Photographer will not re-edit or retouch any images.

  1. Returns

Client understands and agrees that once final approval of album design has been given to Photographer, no returns or refunds are allowed whatsoever. In the event Client receives the printed album and sees any manufacturer defects or dislikes the album quality, Photographer will work with Manufacturer to the best of their ability to remedy the situation. Client is responsible for any additional fees associated with returning or reprinting the album.

  1. Album Archiving

Photographer shall keep a copy of final approved album design for 90 days but does not permanently archive the final album design. Client understands that after 90 days the album design will not be available to order additional copies and a new agreement must be signed to start the process over.

  1. Photographer Copyright

The final album design by The Foxes Photography, LLC is their property, will remain their property, and are protected by United States Copyright Laws (USC Title 17). Client hereby waives any claims for ownership, income, editorial control, and use of the images and album design. Violations of this federal law will be subject to its civil and criminal penalties.

  1. Reproduction

Client and Client’s agents agree to acquire the album design and product directly from Photographer through their professional album company. Client and Client’s agents agree not to scan, copy or reproduce the album design in any manner without written permission, including using the custom album design to create other albums. Photographer may seek damages for any illegal reproduction. Client and Client’s agents further agree not to supply the album to any third-parties.

  1. Communication

Photographer’s office hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm PST Monday through Friday. Photographer’s primary source of communication is through their email [email protected]. Photographer will respond to Client’s emails within those office hours.

  1. Indemnification

Client shall indemnify, release, discharge and hold harmless Photographer, its heirs, legal representatives, assigns, employees, contractors, or any persons or corporations acting under permission or authority of the Photographer from and against any and all losses, damages, liabilities, and expenses and costs, including reasonable legal expenses and attorneys’ fees, to which Photographer may become subject as a result of any claim, demand, action or other legal proceeding by any third-party to the extent such losses arise directly or indirectly out of activities performed by Photographer pursuant to this Agreement, except to the extent such losses result from the gross negligence, willful misconduct, or intentional acts of Photographer.

  1. Maximum Damages

The sole remedy for any actions or claims by Client shall be limited to a refund, the maximum amount not to exceed the total monies paid by Client under this Agreement.

  1. Limitation of Liability

If, during the production and/or before the album(s) are delivered to Client, the media has been lost, stolen, or is unusable because of defect, damage, equipment/platform malfunction, processing, or other technical error caused by Photographer or by forces outside the control of Photographer, Client agrees to relieve and hold Photographer harmless and will not impose any additional liability.

In no event shall Photographer be liable under this Agreement to Client or any other third-party for consequential, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, or enhanced damages, arising out of, relating to, or in connection with any breach of this Agreement, regardless of (a) whether such damages were foreseeable, (b) whether or not Client was advised of such damages, and (c) the legal or equitable theory (contract, tort, or otherwise) upon which the claim is based.

  1. Force Majeure 

No Party shall be liable or responsible to the other Party, nor be deemed to have defaulted under or breached this Agreement, for any failure or delay in fulfilling or performing any term of this Agreement (except for any obligations to make payments to the other Party hereunder), when and to the extent such failure or delay is caused by or results from acts beyond the impacted party’s (“Impacted Party”) control that are unforeseen and unpredictable at the time of contracting, including, but not limited to, the following force majeure 

events (“Force Majeure Events”): (a) acts of God; (b) a natural disaster (fires, explosions, earthquakes, hurricane, flooding, storms, explosions, infestations), epidemic, or pandemic; (c) war, invasion, hostilities (whether war is declared or not), terrorist threats or acts, riot or other civil unrest; (d) government order or law; (e) actions, embargoes or blockades in effect on or after the date of this Agreement; (f) action by any governmental authority; (g) national or regional emergency; (h) strikes, labor stoppages or slowdowns or other industrial disturbances; and (i) shortage of adequate power or transportation facilities. The Impacted Party shall give Notice (as defined in Section 27) within 10 days of the Force Majeure Event to the other Party, stating the period of time the occurrence is expected to continue. The Impacted Party shall use diligent efforts to end the failure or delay and ensure the effects of such Force Majeure Event are minimized. The Impacted Party shall resume the performance of its obligations as soon as reasonably practicable after the removal of the cause. In the event that the Impacted Party’s failure or delay remains uncured for a period of 15 days following Notice given by it, the other Party may thereafter terminate this Agreement upon Notice. The Retainer and all other payments made by Client up to the date of Notice of a Force Majeure Event are non-refundable.

  1. Cancellation of Album Services by Photographer

In the event Photographer determines, in its sole discretion, that it cannot or will not perform its obligations under this Agreement due to circumstances including, but not limited to, injury, illness, death of family member, pregnancy, military orders, religious obligations, other personal emergencies, or total breakdown of communication with Client, it will:

  1. Immediately give notice to Client;
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  3. Excuse Client of any further performance and/or payment obligations under this Agreement.
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Should any sale and/or use tax be imposed on any part of this Agreement, such tax shall be collected from Client and remitted by Photographer. All sales tax will be included on invoices.

  1. Entire Agreement

This is a binding Agreement that incorporates the entire understanding of the Parties, supersedes any other written or oral agreements between the Parties, and any modifications must be in writing, signed by all Parties, and physically attached to the original agreement.

22. Venue and Jurisdiction

This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington including all matters of construction, validity, performance, and enforcement and without giving effect to the principles of conflict of laws. The Parties agree that any dispute or lawsuit arising out of, or concerning, this Agreement that is not first resolved by arbitration shall be resolved exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction located in Whatcom County, Washington. The Parties assume responsibility for their own collection costs and legal fees incurred should enforcement of this Agreement become necessary.

  1. Arbitration

Any and all disputes or disagreements rising between the Parties out of this Agreement upon which an amicable understanding cannot be reached, shall be decided by arbitration in accordance with the procedural rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Parties agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator(s). The arbitration proceeding shall take place in Whatcom County, Washington, unless another location is mutually agreed to by the Parties. The cost and expenses of the arbitrators shall be shared equally by the Parties. Each Party shall be responsible for its own costs and expenses in presenting the dispute for arbitration.

  1. Severability & No Waiver

In the event that any part of this Agreement is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain valid and enforceable. Any failure by one or both Parties to enforce a provision of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any other portion or provision of this Agreement.

  1. Transfer

This Agreement cannot be transferred or assigned to any third-party by either the Photographer or Client without written consent of all Parties. 

  1. Headings

Headings and titles are provided in this Agreement for convenience only and will not be construed as part of this Agreement.

  1. Notice

Parties shall provide effective notice (“Notice”) to each other via email at the date and time which the Notice is sent: Photographer’s Email: [email protected]

  1. Counterparts; Facsimile Signatures 

The Parties agree that a facsimile copy (electronic copy) of this Agreement, which contains the Parties’ signatures, may be used as the original.


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