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East Rim Trail - Zion NP - 2 members in 3 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
3 triplogs
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3 Triplogs
May 13 2021

 Guides 2
 Routes 230
 Photos 4,513
 Triplogs 378

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Observation Point - ZionSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar May 13 2021
Hiking9.94 Miles 2,372 AEG
Hiking9.94 Miles   4 Hrs   4 Mns   2.66 mph
2,372 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This was a "warm up" hike prior to participating in the Ragnar Zion Trail relay race, which itself involved each team member running 15.3 miles and a total of nearly 2,000 AEG.

After we set up camp near "Ragnar Village" at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch just east of the NP entrance, I had convinced the team that we should do a hike out to Observation Point--as the TH was within a 1.5 mile drive from the Ragnar Village.

We called the hike a "warm up," but it was really a pretty substantial workout, as the stats show--10 miles with 2,300 feet of elevation gain. Even though it would zap some energy for the actual race, it turned out that our team was slated for a late start time the following day (1:30 pm), so we figured we could just sleep in to our heart's content on Friday morning.

The hike was awesome! It starts out on the forest-covered rim of Zion Canyon, then descends into the canyon, dropping 1200 feet. The trail we were on actual drops all the way to the canyon floor, but a couple of years back there was a big rock slide, which closed the trail at about the halfway point from the bottom up, but did not impact the upper section of the trail. So, as a result, we basically had the trail to ourselves!

After dropping in to the canyon, we then climbed out the opposing canyon wall out to Observation Point--a spectacular viewpoint, which actually looks down on Angels Landing. We arrived at Observation Point just as the sun set. The views were spectacular, as they were throughout the canyon on the hike over to that point.

There is another (easier/flatter/but seemingly less interesting) trail that gets out to Observation Point, which joins the trail we hiked about a 1/2 mile before arriving at OP. There were several people who had accessed the point from that trailhead, so we had more company at the viewing spot.

After taking in the views, we began our return trip and were soon hiking by headlamp. We only managed to get lost once (a short detour that added another 1/4 mile or so)--which can be seen on the track. By the time we got back to our campsite, it was past 11 pm. We cooked up some spaghetti and had a very late dinner and got to bed a little after 12:30 a.m.

Yes, we paid a bit of a price in terms of energy in the race, but it was a price I was happy to pay!
Nov 03 2020

 Guides 4
 Routes 372
 Photos 8,261
 Triplogs 1,002

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Zion - Observation Point via East Rim Trail, UT 
Zion - Observation Point via East Rim Trail, UT
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2020
Hiking10.24 Miles 2,177 AEG
Hiking10.24 Miles   5 Hrs   19 Mns   2.16 mph
2,177 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners partners
After day hiking Buckskin Gulch we headed for Zion National Park. The goal was Observation Point which only had access from the top instead of the park entrance. Apparently a rock slide closed the trail in lower Echo Canyon. Checking the roads on top I found the Stave Trailhead for access on East Rim Trail.

First mile and half follows the rim with great views and fast trail. Eventually the trail drops off the rim into upper Echo Canyon about 900 feet of switchbacks. The trail intersects with lower Echo Canyon trail that is closed before it gains about 1000 feet to the Observation Point overlook. Because the connector trail is closed we did not see any people on this section but I would imagine that normally this is fairly busy trail. The climb up the switchbacks are great with probably the best views in the park. Just before reaching Observation Point we hit junction with East Mesa Trail and we started to see lots of people. That trail is the easy way to Observation Point so most people use the trail to access the overlook. Regardless it was an awesome overlook and we had extended lunch break to enjoy the scene.

After lunch we returned the same way descending the cool switchbacks down to Echo Canyon and then back up East Rim Trail to the car. I’m not sure what the timeline is for the park service to fix the trail in lower Echo Canyon but now is the time to hike this part of the park if you want the trail to yourself. For us it worked out great and happy to hike that section!
2 archives
May 04 2018

 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 474

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
West Rim Trail - Zion NPSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar May 04 2018
Hiking27.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking27.00 Miles   11 Hrs   30 Mns   2.35 mph
3,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Inspired by carriejane's recent monster Zion traverse, I wanted to do something similar, with all the best scenery but none of the running. A West Rim / East Rim traverse, Lava Point to the East entrance, was the ticket.

The Lava Point campground wasn't open yet and the last mile of the road down to the West Rim trailhead was gated shut, but it was still possible to walk through the campground to access Barney's shortcut trail to the trailhead. Easy forest walking to start, down and back up thru Potato Hollow, then huge views along the Rim route (west side of the split). Increasing crowds down into the main canyon and a short road walk, but much less traffic on the East Rim trail, a bit less scenic but still very pleasant. Excellent day.

Didn't check any of the springs and didn't see any water other than in the main canyon.
average hiking speed 2.39 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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