How Long Does It Take To Hike Scout Lookout In Zion National Park?

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Utah’s magnificent Zion National Park is undoubtedly a haven for hikers, adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts. With roughly 230 square miles, it comes as no surprise that Zion National Park has no shortage of world-renowned hiking opportunities. Scout Lookout, in particular, gets a lot of attention, causing many to wonder, “How long does it take to hike Scout Lookout?”

Scout Lookout in Zion National Park is a roughly four-mile roundtrip hike. Certain parts of the hike to Scout Lookout are relatively strenuous, particularly the famous Walter Wiggles, a series of 21 ascending switchbacks. The hike will take between 2 and 3 hours to complete the roundtrip.

Utah’s Zion National Park is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to visit for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, and if you are planning a hike there, then you are in good hands! Adequate planning for a hike is essential. So, discover how long it takes to hike to Scout Lookout, whether you can bring kids, and what you need to prepare for your hike.

How Long Does It Take To Hike To Scout Lookout?

If you have never heard of Scout Lookout in Zion National Park before, it is likely because this spot is most often overshadowed by another one of Zion’s famous spots, Angel’s Landing. The two magnificent sites coincidentally share the same trail, with Angel’s Landing situated a mere half-mile further from Scout Lookout.

However, as unique and magnificent as Angels Landing is, a permit is required to hike to the iconic lookout point. On the other hand, Scout Lookout boasts breathtaking views of Zion National Park, and no permit is required to hike there. Scout Lookout might not have the same reputation as Angels Landing, but trust us when we say that a hike here is well worth it.

The Scout Lookout hike is a roughly four-mile roundtrip. While it isn’t the longest hike out there, it undoubtedly makes up for it with a few strenuous sections. The hike to Scout Lookout follows the West Rim Trail (the longest trail in Zion National Park) for the entirety of the hike. The trailhead begins with a beautiful crossing over the Virgin River, and you can see the Angel’s Landing Rock formations right from the get-go.

You will then begin hiking along a paved path that ascends the hillside with a few long switchbacks. Your first point of rest will be Refrigerator Canyon, which (as the name would suggest) is one of the coolest parts of Zion National Park. This is also the only part of the hike to Scout Lookout where you can enjoy some shade, so try to enjoy it while you can!

Moving on from Refrigerator Canyon, you will reach the famous Walter Wiggles. This is undoubtedly the most strenuous section of the hike, ensuring that you are serious about reaching the exquisite views. Hikers will now have to navigate through no less than 21 ascending switchbacks before finally reaching Scout Lookout.

The hike there should take you roughly one to one and a half hours, followed by approximately the same time to get back. The total time will, of course, depend on how long you spend at the lookout point. The views throughout the hike to Scout Lookout are nothing short of breathtaking.

Ultimately, you should work on a three-hour time frame to give yourself a chance to soak in the magnificent views.

Can You Take Kids On A Hike To Scout Lookout?

One of the best things about hiking is that it is the kind of activity that families can enjoy together. Embarking on a hike and enjoying some quality time in the outdoors is always better when done with a group of friends or family. However, it is essential to thoroughly research a hiking trail prior to visiting to ensure that it is suitable for children.

With that in mind, you could be wondering if you can take kids on a hike to Scout Lookout. As previously mentioned, the trail has a few strenuous sections, mainly the long switchbacks early on, followed by the highly strenuous switchbacks up Walter Wiggles. Many of the paths have exposed rocks; however, the trail is wide enough for you not to have to walk close to it.

So, is it suitable for kids? Yes! Although Scout Lookout is a relatively strenuous hike, it can still be family-friendly. The only thing to ensure is your kids are old enough to follow strict instructions, especially when navigating the paths with the exposed rocks. Alternatively, if you have toddlers, you could use a hiking backpack to carry them – provided you have the strength, of course!

Preparing For A Hike To Scout Lookout

Ensuring that you are thoroughly prepared for any hike is essential for any outdoor enthusiast. It is vital to know beforehand what you are getting yourself into and what you will need to handle all the relevant obstacles.

In the case of Scout Lookout, a decent amount of stamina is probably the essential thing to have. However, there are thankfully many places to stop to rest and take in the magnificent views.

Since the hike is relatively short in distance, you do not need to worry about taking too much hiking equipment. However, here are three things that we highly recommend having with you for your hike to Scout Lookout.

Hiking Pole

Firstly, try to get yourself a hiking pole. They might not be the most fashionable-looking pieces of equipment, but they sure do come in handy. As you now know, Scout Lookout has several inclines, with an elevation totaling over 1,000 feet! A hiking pole can be helpful for those moments when you are low on stamina.

Hiking Shoes Or Boots

Hiking shoes or boots make a world of difference on any hike. Although the hike to Scout Lookout doesn’t have a lot of slippery or uneven ground, hiking shoes are excellent for comfort, grip, and overall stability. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a pair, but they are well worth the investment, especially if you’ll be hiking regularly.

Hat And Sunscreen

Lastly, make sure that you wear a hat and sunscreen. As previously mentioned, there is only one section of shade on the entire hike to Scout Lookout, so you are guaranteed to get a lot of time in the sun.


All in all, you can expect the hike to Scout Lookout to take you roughly three hours to complete, with an estimated elevation gain of over 1,000 feet. The views will be well worth the strenuous sections of the hike, so make sure not to pass by on the opportunity to hike to Scout Lookout in Zion National Park!