Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park

My friends & I were in Zion National Park just last week, & after a hard day of hiking Angel’s Landing, we were too tired to do much of anything ~ but we did want to watch the sunset.  So of course we Google’d it!  Not too many articles popped up, but ones that did suggested long hikes to get to Zion’s peaks, & A) That sounded a bit dangerous to descend these crazy mountains in the dark, & B) We simply didn’t have the energy for it!  So here are some of the “Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park” that are a bit more practical & accessible for the typical Zion visitor! 

Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World

This shot was taken last week at Angel’s Landing around 4PM. Keep in mind: because the canyon walls are so high, the sun sets WAY earlier in most parts of Zion than the actual sunset time….

GWTW Tip: My biggest tip for capturing the sunset in Zion is to get out there early!!! High canyon walls cause the sun to set far earlier than the time your watch (or phone) will tell you. This is also true for Springdale, which is surrounded by tall mountains. Below, I’ll list places both inside & OUTside the park where you can capture epic sunset shots.


Map of Zion Sunset Spots

Grafton Ghost Town

Kolob Canyon Road

Angel's Landing (Lower Trail)

Zion Museum

Canyon Junction Bridge

Kolob Terrace Road

Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park

Keep in mind: for all sunset spots INSIDE Zion National Park, which are listed below ~ the sun sets VERY EARLY, unless you’re perched atop places like Canyon Overlook Trail.  So get out there early!!!

Late afternoon light in Zion is really the best

1. The LOWER Part of Angel’s Landing Trail: Head up the Angel’s Landing trail well before sunset. Because the trail is located so deep in the canyon, the sun “sets” here much earlier than the actual sunset time. And there’s NO NEED to hike all the way to the top of Angel’s Landing for great views ~ stay on the lower switchbacks, that get you high enough for great valley views & color on the canyon walls opposite the trail.

Then it will only take you 10-20 minutes to descend, instead of an hour or more!

Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World

I took this shot at about 4:30PM on our descent from Angel’s Landing ~ & while it’s not a true “sunset” shot, I love how the light is playing on all the different canyon walls…

2. Canyon Junction Bridge: This is a really accessible spot for most people (which makes it very popular) ~ either walk from the Visitor’s Center on the Pa’Rus Trail; walk down from in-the-park Zion Lodge; or take the shuttle & get off at Stop #3. Views from the bridge are less obstructed by high canyon walls, allowing for a look down the canyon.

3. Drive Hwy 9 thru Zion National Park & Use Pull-Outs to Take Impromptu Sunset Shots: If you’re sick of walking, simply hop in your car & use Zion’s frequent pull-outs to pull over & capture sunset shots. The road can be surprisingly traffic-free at this hour, as many people have left for the day or are eating dinner.

4. Head to Zion Museum’s Patio: The Zion Museum is perched up on a hill, surrounded by red rocks, looking out towards even more dramatic red canyons & rocks. Their outdoor patio is a sensational, if possibly touristy, place to view the sunset.

5. Best SHORT Zion Hikes to Watch the Sunset: The 3-mile Watchman Trail is a moderate out-and-back trail, & can be a great sunset spot for those who don’t mind a bit of a climb (just 600 feet)! An even shorter option, but one that requires a car to reach, is the Canyon Overlook Trail. At only 1 mile & just 200 feet of elevation gain, this is a great perch for watching the sun set over Zion ~ though it can get popular, especially at sunset.

Bring head lamps for both these hikes….just in case!

Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World, Canyon Junction Bridge

The view from Canyon Junction Bridge.

Watchman Trail, Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World

Sunset views from the Watchman Trail.

Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World, Canyon OVerlook Trail

This is a hell of a pay-off for a ONE mile hike ~ you just need a car to reach the Canyon Overlook Trail Head.

Best Sunset Spots Outside of Zion

For my money, unless you want to hike, the best sunset spots are actually OUTSIDE of Zion National Park: you’re not blocked by high canyon walls, & you get long views of Zion, without the hassle of crowds & fees.

1. Stay at Cable Mountain Lodge & Simply Sit on their Patio: I’ll let the photo do the talking here…..need I say more?! Grab a glass of wine & take it all in….

Check prices for the Lodge here.

Where to Watch the Sunset in Zion, Girl Who Travels the World

Views from the deck of Cable Mountain Lodge: an immersive experience.

2. Drive Kolob Terrace Road up towards Kolob Reservoir (starting in the town of Virgin): You’ll find Kolob Terrace Road about 15 miles west of Springdale, & trust me: this drive is a treasure. It’s actually part of the National Park ~ but no fees are required. This is a hidden gem. You’ll get long, unfettered views of the backside of Zion; the road is paved all the way to Kolob Reservoir, so it’s a really nice drive that gets you high enough to actually see the sun set.

Where to Watch Sunset in Zion, Best Scenic Drives by Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World

Some of the spectacular views you’ll find on Kolob Terrace Road…

3. Drive to Grafton Ghost Town (by Rockville): Rockville is a tiny little Victorian town just a few minutes west of Springdale, & if you turn south onto Bridge Road & drive a few miles, you’ll wind up in a bucolic & beautiful “ghost” town, that gives you amazing long shots of the setting sun onto Zion’s high mountain walls.

Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park, Best Scenic Drives by Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World

Imagine this view at sunset: from Grafton’s very unscary “Ghost Town.”

4. Drive Kolob Canyons Road up to Kolob Canyon Viewpoint (Exit off I-15): I introduced my friends to this spot last week & they LOVED it. Here, you get a totally different viewpoint of Zion than in Springdale ~ & because of its position further west, incredible sunset views. This is a particularly great spot for people staying in La Verkin or Hurricane, as it’s located right off I-15.

Where to Watch the Sunset in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World, Kolob Canyon Viewpoint

Last week at Kolob Canyon Viewpoint, an incredible place to watch the sunset or sunrise…& one most visitors will never see (with lots of great pull-outs & parking areas)!

Zion Sunset, Where to Watch the Sunset in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World

As you’re driving around Zion, keep your eye out for spots to pull over: you never know when views like this will arise…

Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park

For other articles on Zion & Bryce, get a great overview of Bryce Canyon’s hotels, or read about amazing scenic drives near Zion ~ some of which overlap these sunset spots!

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: Photos of Angels Landing “Chains” Section

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Best Sunset Spots in Zion National Park, Girl Who Travels the World