Backpacking in Zion National Park
Backpacking in Zion National Park is an experience few will forget. Forge into the vertical world of Zion's magnificent monoliths, plunge into the waters of the Zion Narrows and explore the spectacular East and West Rims of the park.
Permits - Within Zion’s park boundaries permits are required for all overnight and technical trips. Open fires, firearms, and pets are not allowed in the backcountry. Special transports to and from hikes that end far from where hikes begin are available for a fee from private commercial business. For information on transports and rock climbing contact the backcountry desk.
Zion Narrows - This impressive route begins at Chamberlains Ranch in East Zion and ends at the Temple of Sinawava in Zion Canyon. If you arrange your own drop-off, it is a good idea to have a 4WD to make it through the often muddy dirt road to Chamberlains Ranch. A car shuttle will be required.
East Rim - This is a spectacular trail that can be done as a rushed day hike, or combined with Cable Mountain and Deertrap for a wonderful overnight backpack. Begin at the trailhead near the park's east entrance and end at the Observation Point Trailhead in Zion Canyon.
Cable Mountain - A great viewpoint waits at the end of this 15.8 mile, round-trip, backpack, that begins on the East Rim Trail. The first part of the trail is hot so if hiking in the summer begin early in the day. Hike back the way you came or arrange a shuttle and end in Zion Canyon.
Deertrap Mountain - This is 8.8 miles (17.6 miles round-trip) from the East Rim Trailhead to the rim at Deertrap Mountain. Begin near Zion's east entrance. The first 5.5 miles of the hike shares the trail with the East Rim Trail. Turn around and exit the way you came or continue to Zion Canyon.
Chinle Trail - It is 16.4 miles for the round-trip along a low desert dirt path located south of the popular section of Zion. It ends at a nice waterfall near Coalpits Spring and is best hiked in the cooler months of the year. Visitors to the park wanting to backpack in the winter often find the West and East Rims impassable and end up doing this hike. The trails in the southern part of Zion, near Springdale do not compare to those in the main section of the park, but few places can compare Zion Canyon and the East side of Zion. It's nice to have a winter option you can do in the park.
Coalpits Trail - This Southwest hike is a 14-mile, round-trip path that follows the low desert terrain of the south section of Zion just outside the popular part of the park. This makes a good winter hike since it is the lowest point in the park at 3666 feet. It traverses a pinyon-juniper desertscape along the Coalpits drainage near the base of the Cougar Mountain wilderness area and ends in a canyon with a backdoor view of Bishopric, Towers of the Virgin and the Altar of Sacrifice.
Southwest Utah backpacking - Backpacking in Zion Park and beyond.
Zion National Park, Utah
History of the Thunderbird
This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park