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Virgin River Rim Trail

Cascade Falls Trailhead to Te-ah Trailhead: This section begins at the Cascade Falls Trailhead and ends at the Te-ah campground.

The long Virgin River Rim Trail (bike/hike/horse trail) is broken down into three shorter hiking trails.

1. Cascade Falls Trailhead to Strawberry Ridge

2. Cascade Falls Trailhead to Te-ah Trailhead

3. Te-ah Trailhead to Webster Flat Road

Virgin River Rim Trail - Cedar Mountain of Dixie National Forest

This is the center section of the Virgin River Rim Trail system. The trail has nice views to the south into Zion National Park and an even into the Arizona Strip on a clear day. Not only are the views beautiful, but the fauna and flora during the 8 mile hike is never boring. This section of the trail generally stays on top of, or slightly below the ridge that separates Navajo Lake on the north side, from the many drainage's including Cascade Falls that flow in a southerly direction to form the Virgin River, carving its way into Zion Canyon to the south. Car shuttle setup will be required if done as a one way hike.

Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkVirgin River Rim Trail at a Glance
Photo Album:
Virgin River Rim Photos
Trail Maps: Virgin River Rim Map
Day Hike:
Yes.
Distance: 8 Miles
Average Hiking Time: 6 Hours
Trail Use: Horses, bicycles, hikers
Equipment: The best map to purchase for this hike is the "Cedar Mountain/ Pine Valley Mountain" National Geographic-Trails Illustrated.
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. This is the most difficult of the three sections of the long biking/backpacking trail.
Trailhead:
Cascade Falls Trailhead.
Trailend: Te-ah Trailhead near Navajo Lake
Trail Access: Dirt roads can be impassable if wet.
Ascending: 1350'
Descending: 1000'
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Best Season: 
Early June to Late October.

Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Cow Lake-Cascade Falls Trailhead to Te-ah Campground-Navajo Lake

This hike can be done as a day hike or combined with the other sections of the Virgin River Rim Trail for a wonderful midsummer backpack trip: "Day 1"- Webster Flat Road to Te-ah Campground; "Day 2"- Te-ah Campground to Cow Lake (Cascade Falls Trailhead): "Day 3"- Cow Lake (Cascade Falls Trailhead) to Strawberry Ridge Trailend (Strawberry Point).

The trail description as written is from Cow Lake (Cascade Falls Trailhead) to Te-ah Campground Trailend, however in retrospect the hike would probably be more enjoyable starting at Te-ah Campground and finishing at Cascade Falls, culminating in a quick jaunt to Cascade Falls if energy and time permits.

Shuttle Setup - Car shuttle setup: Locate the dirt road to Navajo Lake by traveling 7.5 miles east on Highway 14 from the junction of Highway 14 and Highway 148 (The turnoff to Cedar Breaks) or travel 15 miles to the west on Highway 14 from the junction of Highway 14 and Highway 89. Turn to the south on the dirt road to Navajo Lake and travel 5.7 miles to the west end of Te-ah Campground. The road will be pavement as it passes the campground. Station the shuttle vehicle at a sharp left bend in the road (dirt road) and another dirt road that continues straight (Virgin River Rim Trail FS road).

Second Vehicle - Drive the second vehicle back the same direction toward Highway 14 for 5.3 miles and locate the dirt road that turns right to Dry Valley, Cow Lake and Cascade Falls. Follow this dirt road for 1 mile to another intersection and turn right to the Cascade Falls Trailhead. Travel 1.6 miles to the large parking area for Cascade Falls Trail and get set to begin the hike.

Utah's Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain
Cedar Breaks National Monument is surrounded by Utah's Dixie National Forest. From Mt. Carmel Junction, drive north on US-89 to the junction with U-14. SR-14 is known as Cedar Mountain which is the scenic byway to travel to Cedar Breaks. Once on Cedar Mountain, travel through the beautiful forest, and then turn at the signed highway to Cedar Breaks - U-148. It's 22 miles from Mt. Carmel Junction to boundary of Dixie National Forest and 45 miles to Cedar Breaks.

Utah's Dixie National Forest: Red Canyon
Red Canyon is a unique part of Dixie National Forest that is not only traveled through on the way to Bryce Canyon, but it has eroded hoodoos like Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks. It is found along U-12

Cedar Breaks Road Map - Cedar Mountain Map

Zion National Park Maps
 
Virgin River Rim Trail - Cedar Mountain in Dixie National Forest

Virgin River Rim Trail

 

Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.

 

Virgin River Rim Trail - The trail begins at 8900' between the two outhouses. Be sure not to get on the ATV road that parallels the dirt road. The single track trail begins a steady climb up the hillside through the aspen, spruce, pine and fir trees. One half mile into the hike the views to the south begin to open giving glimpses of Zion National Park and Canaan Mountain. After climbing 1.25 miles the trail levels somewhat (elevation 9550') and affords an open meadow that makes an excellent rest spot. Walk to the rim where the views above Cascade Falls are unimpaired and magnificent to the south and west. The wildflowers constantly change colors and form as travel transitions from the shaded, moist wooded areas to the high open mountain meadows.

Virgin River Rim TrailContinuing from the short break, walk in a westerly direction, but keep an eye out for the wonderful Bristlecone pines that perch on the very edge of the limestone rim to the south. The trail still climbs gently as travel maintains a westerly direction. At almost 2 miles a trail intersects from the right. This steep downhill trail to the right is the Dyke Trail. It leads down off the ridge to the north, and ends at the east end of Navajo Lake on the Navajo Lake Loop Trail.

Continuing west the trail ascends gently for the next .3 miles then switchbacks to the east and once again to the west and begins a descent to the saddle separating the summits 9710' and 9713'. During the descent, short glimpses of Navajo Lake become possible. The Spruce Campground trail enters from the north at 2.7 miles and at the saddle (9500') the trail once again skirts the rim for a brief moment and allows a view to the valley to the south, and then once again steers away from the rim descending for a short time to the north toward Navajo Lake and then begins the ascent up and out of the saddle.

Midway on the trail, 3.6 miles, the path winds through the woods, sometimes nearing the rim, the Navajo Trail intersection is crossed. The trail continues to ascend gradually and in a more northerly direction steering away from the rim but offers some periodic opportunities to see the beautiful Navajo Lake on the north side of the ridge. The trail from mile 4 now meanders and contours mostly the north side of the ridge with periodic views down into the valley below with an occasional glimpse of Navajo Lake, however at about 5.25 miles into the hike another saddle is encountered with spectacular views to the southwest and "The South Guardian Angel" of Zion National Park takes center stage.

Just a short distance from the saddle and traveling northwest at mile 5.6 is the last trail junction, "Lodge Trail" which drops to the north and ends at the Navajo Lake Lodge. The trail remains either level or descends gradually for the remainder of the hike. Many of the spruce trees that have succumbed to the "Bark Beetle" are passed by, but the low vegetation has filled in nicely and makes the hiking pleasant. At 6.5 miles the Navajo Lake Road appears just below and to the north. Keep looking to the east because at one point there is an appealing photo opportunity looking at the full length of Navajo Lake. Nearing the Te-ah Campground the trail passes through an aspen gate and a sign indicating the Virgin River Rim Trail. It is now just a stone throw to the road and the stationed shuttle vehicle.

Note: Te-Ah Campground has bathrooms with running water.

gps coordinatesGPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Trailhead: Cascade Falls Parking Area 37°29.851 N
112°45.084 W
Elevation: 8931'

Trailend- Te-ah Campground
37°32.023 N
112°49.262 W
Elevation: 9376'

GPS coordinates are only references and may or may not be accurate. Do not rely on GPS coordinates as the sole method of navigation. Always have an accurate, detailed map at hand and have the proper map reading and navigation skills before setting out on any hike. Many of the hikes listed in this guide travel into canyons where a GPS has limited capabilities. Always check your position with a detailed map before dropping into a canyon.

 


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