The Hobbit Hole in Zion National Park

The Hobbit Hole is a secret unmarked slot canyon in Zion that is sometimes referred to as Lower Clear Creek Trail. The hike is short, easily accessible for most hikers, and beautiful. The most difficult part is finding parking in busy Zion National Park. Add the Hobbit Hole in Zion National Park to your list of things to do in this park.

slot canyon on Hobbit Hole Zion National Park
This little slot on the Hobbit Hole Trail is really fun.

Hike Info

Directions

To access the Hobbit Hole trailhead, go to the east side of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. A well-known trail called Canyon Overlook begins at this point. Travel just a little farther east until you come to a hogsback with dropoffs on both sides. If you can, park on the north side of the road against the cliffs. Your vehicle should be facing a sign that reads “Tunnel Ahead. Watch for Stopped Vehicles.” It is a little tricky if you just exited the tunnel from the west because you will just see the back of the sign. So put your kids on sign watch and have them read all the signs as you pass them.

sign in Zion National Park
This is the sign you want to park nearby.

The north side of the road provides the easiest way down because it is not quite as steep as the south side. Head down the hillside near the sign (there are several unmarked trails). Then veer back toward the east (right) and the cliff where you were lucky enough to find parking. Right at the base of the cliff, you’ll find a brick tunnel under the road that would be large enough to drive a car through. If you find this tunnel, you are on the right track!

There are a few spots to make your way down. Find the best one for your family.
kids hiking on the hobbit hole trail
Head to the right once you are down the hill and you’ll see the brick tunnel.
Tunnel under the Zion National Park road
Walking through the tunnel is part of the fun of this hike.

Hike the Hobbit Hole

Proceed through the tunnel and continue straight ahead. Within fifty yards, you will enter a small, narrow slot canyon. The slot canyon continues for about a quarter mile, and its twists and turns are quite narrow. Eventually, you come to a small arch on the left side of the canyon that allows you to exit. This is where the name Hobbit Hole comes from. We were so excited that we could walk right through the arch, also known as the “hobbit hole.”

rocky trail on the Hobbit Hole trail in Zion National Park
Keep heading straight once you exit the tunnel.
slot canyon in Zion
Soon you will come to the entrance for the small slot canyon.
slot canyon on the hobbit hole hike.
This little slot canyon is so beautiful.
The Hobbit Hole arch
At the end of the slot canyon, there is a small rock arch. This is the Hobbit Hole.

From this point, the canyon forks. Both paths to the left (east) and straight ahead lead to canyons that are easily hikeable, but neither is as impressive as the hobbit hole. We went about a quarter mile up each, and both were much more open and came to a point that they were not very interesting. If you insist on continuing, we recommend the left fork, as there was a little more to see in that direction. But we think that the arch is a great turn around point.

Hobbit Hole trail in Zion National Park
The trail straight ahead continues just a bit further, but there wasn’t much to see.
We ran into this tree and then turned around.
The trail to the left has another little canyon, but we didn’t go too far in before it opened up.

This hike is currently not very well known, and though we were at Zion on a record breaking attendance day, we did not see another soul on this trail. You will definitely want to hike the Hobbit Hole in Zion National Park. To read about our other secret Zion hike, use the link to Pine Creek Waterfall. The rest of our Zion Hikes are here.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Angela Geurts

    We were so excited to try this hike! But bitterly disappointed when we found the slot canyon full of water to about knee deep or more on March 23, 2002. There was a snow storm about a week before our visit.

    1. Natalie Ockey

      Slot Canyons can be tricky. They are often full of water, especially after snow and rain storms. Sorry that the timing didn’t work for you.

  2. Shannon

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for this cool slot canyon! It was a great addition to the Canyon Overlook trail! One caution, there is a huge deep water spot now. The problem is that the sand gives way near it. We placed some rocks on the corner so we could cross easier. Hopefully the next few people will do the same and it will be fixed! Thanks again!

    1. Natalie Ockey

      Thanks for this information. I’m sure there are sections that get wet during the wet season in Zion, so hopefully people will help with rocks like you said.

  3. Karen

    Thank you for your detailed description. We found it yesterday! Loved it!

    1. Natalie Ockey

      Yay! I am so glad that you found this fun hike and enjoyed it. It is one of our new favorites.

      1. Mary

        Natalie, if we are already parked at the Canyon Overlook parking lot, I’m wondering if we can just walk to this cool little trail. How far is it from there? Since it’s “hidden”, I can’t find it on Google Maps to check the distance. 🙂

        1. Natalie Ockey

          Yes, I think you could walk from that parking area down to the trail. It looks like it is about 1/4 mile away from the furthest east parking area. The one closest to the tunnel is a littler further than that. The trickiest part will be walking on the side of the narrow road. Be careful, especially since cars are usually parked along here. Watch for the sign as you walk down the road, and then for a way to get down to head under the road.