Winter in Utah's Southwest desert leaves many popular hikes inaccessible due to snow, ice and other obstacles and dangers. But in turn, it opens up a diverse array of routes and trails that are ideal for cold weather adventure. The high desert routes, avoided when temperatures soar in the summer, make top notch winter treks. The low desert Chinle Trail, located outside the highly touristed section of Zion, still offers lofty mountain vistas throughout much of the hike including views of the West Temple, Mount Kinesava, Towers of the Virgin, Sundial and the eerie spires of Eagle Crags. At the end of the route, hikers are graced with views of remote Cougar Mountain and Smith Mesa. Treasures, such as petrified-wood, can be found in select areas of this hike, but remember you are in a National Park and collecting anything like this is forbidden by the NPS.
At a Glance
Trailend: Same as starting point
Scoggins Wash Confluence
Old Scoggins Stock Trail Intersection
A car shuttle could be placed at Coalpits Wash and Highway 9. Hike the Chinle Trail from the trailhead and once arriving at Coalpits Wash, walk in the wash to the south for 3.6 miles to arrive at Highway 9. There is usually running water in Coalpits Wash, so have appropriate footwear and clothing for the season.
GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum
Parking and Trailhead
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.
To post trip reports, offer corrections, updates, or for more information please visit the Zion National Park Forum
Suggested Gear: A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend to hike the trails in Zion National Park. Many quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury.
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