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The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes Zion National Park, Utah!

Stay in Mount Carmel Junction, the heart of the parks, and visit the treasures of the Southwest.

Zion Park 12 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Coyote Butte 57 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles

Plan your Zion National Park Vacation with our Utah Maps and Information

In these pages you will find insiders information on Zion National Park lodging, adventures and hikes. This detailed guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds, things for kids to do and even information on Zion's hidden treasures.

Making summer memories in the Utah National Parks and National Monuments.



Zion National Park Map

Zion National Park Map

Directions to Zion National Park
From Salt Lake City: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. Exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel 89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to the east park entrance.
From Las Vegas: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane. Make a right on U-9 at the second traffic light in LaVerkin. Continue on U-9 to the south entrance of the park. U-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.

Oversized Vehicle Information
Zion Canyon Shuttle Information

Many Pools

Many Pools is an East Zion Park slick rock adventure that runs along water filled pot holes. The hike begins in a drainage on the east side of the shorter Zion tunnel.

GPS Coordinates
WGS84 Datum

Many Pools Trailhead
37 ° 13.392 N
112 ° 54.876 W

End of Many Pools Hike
37 ° 14.211 N
112 ° 55.099 W

Top Of East Rim
37 ° 14.803 N
112 ° 55.244 W

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.

Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and www.zionnational-park.com author Tanya Milligan.

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. Experienced Zion hikers and canyoneers like the La Sportiva Exum Ridge. This shoe is great for hiking, bouldering and canyoneering.

This article by Bo and Tanya was published in the St. George Today Magazine.




Many Pools

This delightful and hidden excursion in Zion National Park meanders gently up a particularly scenic section of slickrock on the east side of the park. On a topographic map, the two drainages east of the small tunnel resemble a root canal and thus when mentioned together are often called the "Route Canals" or "Twins", but when considered alone, Many Pools is the more common name for the "trail" presented today. The canyon is wide with sandstone mountains crowding closer as the path reaches the eastern rim of the park. Rain storms and snow melt on the high plateaus provide intermittent running water which cascades down the smooth rock and spills into the many hot tub sized potholes etched into the sandstone, capturing and storing it until evaporation and permeation empty the sculpted "desert tanks".

Many Pools at a Glance
Photo Album:
Many Pools Pictures
Topo Map:
Many Pools Topo Map
Zion Backcountry Map
Day Hike: Yes
It is 2 miles to the end of the Many Pools route and back but if you continue to the East Rim it is a 4.4 mile round-trip.
Average Hiking Time:
Plan on 2 hours to get to the end of the Many Pools route and back and 6 hours to East Rim and back.
For both trips make sure you wear sticky rubber hiking shoes and i f you plan to go to the East Rim take at least 3 quarts of water per person, energy food, sun protective gear, extra clothing for possible changes in the weather and emergency bivouac gear.
Trail Usage:
Not required.
The route is moderate with a gentle uphill climb to the alcove, but plan for a strenuous hike if you continue to the East Rim.
Sun Exposure:
There is full sun along most of this route.
Trail Conditions: The path is mostly hiking over slickrock, but there are sections requiring easy scrambling.
.9 miles east of Zion's smaller tunnel.
Same as trailhead.
Trail Access:
Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (SR 9) is open year-round and the route begins right off the highway.
Best Season: The best time to hike this is in the winter and spring when it is wetter or in the summer and fall after a rainstorm.
Starting Elevation:
5391 feet
Highest Elevation:
6833 feet
There are vault toilets at the park's east entrance, near the toll booth or at the Canyon Overlook Trailhead at the east side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel.

See our vacation planning section for classic Zion National Park trails or glance at our favorite Zion National Park trails list or choose from a complete Zion National Park hiking guide. Do not get on the Zion Canyon Shuttle to hike the trail on this page.

Trailhead - Drive along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, heading east from the small tunnel and look for the second drainage on the north side of the highway. Large white monoliths are visible landmarks from the road as well as the hiking route that passes between a small dome-like mountain and a larger mountain to the right. There is a pull-out .8 miles from the end of the small tunnel where you park, before continuing on foot 150 yards east, following the beaten path down into the bowl on the north side of SR-9. Stay in the drainage, going away from the 1930's built culvert. The terrain changes from soft sand to smooth washed stone and walls open up as northern travel leads to potholes, and big slabs of flat stone make a nice walking path. A big rock, that appears to be laying on its side, forms a short slot canyon on the right. Two large Ponderosa Pines and two large Juniper trees offer a momentary reprieve from the sun while a huge boulder provides a charming backdrop for a dwarf waterfall about a half-mile into this scenic stroll. Soon the "trail" gets steeper as water-gnawed receptacles become more common. To the east is a black-capped hoodoo and impressive views are revealed in all directions. Some distant slickrock is carved with crossbedding similar to that on Checkerboard Mesa and there are many water filled basins.

Alcove - You will approach a lovely alcove .7 miles into the hike where, in the wet conditions, you will find a waterfall and hanging garden. A Pinyon and two Juniper trees should help find the landmark. Navigate around this obstacle by taking the sandy path to the west. The canyon widens to expose a broad sandstone bowl and brilliant blue skies before shear rock walls close in. Towering slickrock begins to rise higher on both sides of the route. Streams of water have carved a winding path through the hard surface below, while above, red stains and striations steal the show. Prickly Pear and Yucca Cactus, Ponderosa and Pinyon Pines, Manzanitas, Junipers and Shrub Live Oak dot the landscape. One mile into the hike is the top of the pools sitting at an elevation of 6209 feet.  Most hikers will turn around at this point.

East Rim - The next part of the "trail" is strenuous and should only be attempted by experienced hikers, unlike the first half of this hike. If you choose to forge ahead, expect short climbing sections, bouldering, loose plates, talus and scree scrambling as well as serious bushwhacking. The canyon will narrow and can be treacherous in the winter when large slabs of ice and huge icicles slough from smooth mountain sides and crash into the narrow passage below, therefore do not attempt this route if ice is present on the mountains. Stay in the drainage all the way to the rim. It is 2.2 miles from the start of the hike to the East Rim and will take about 3 hours. The elevation at the top is 6833 feet where there is a nice viewpoint to look back down into the Route Canal. At the top of the mountain you are on the East Rim, but not the classic East Rim Trail that begins near the toll booth at the east entrance of the park and terminates at the Weeping Rock parking lot.

Deer Trap Mountain - If you have the time and would like to explore a bit more, then proceed north .2 miles to where you will find the east-west running Deertrap Mountain Trail. Upon arriving at this well used path, a choice can be made to continue to other prominent and historic landmarks on the east side of Zion. Once on the path, turn left (west), and go 2 miles to the viewpoint atop Deertrap Mountain where you will see Mountain of the Sun, the Twin Brothers, and the Court of the Patriarchs as well as Zion Canyon far below.

Cable Mountain - On top of the East Rim once again walk .2 miles north to access the east-west running Deertrap Mountain Trail, but instead of turning left at the intersection with this trail, turn right, and walk .4 miles to the Cable Mountain Trail. Follow this path north for 1.75 miles until it ends at the historic Cableworks and an impressive point to look down upon the Great White Throne, Angels Landing, Observation Point and the West Rim of Zion.

East Rim Trail - A third option would take you onto the East Rim Trail, exiting either at Weeping Rock or at the park's east entrance. Once on top of the East Rim and at the intersection with the Deertrap Mountain Trail, turn right (east) and travel 1.5 miles to the junction with the East Rim Trail at Stave Spring, bypassing the spur trail to Cable Mountain, on the left. At the East Rim Trail intersection, turn left, and travel the mostly downhill 4.2 miles into Echo Canyon ending at Weeping Rock in Zion Canyon or turn right and walk 5.8 miles, once again mostly downhill, to the trailhead near the east entrance to Zion National Park on SR-9.

The Trail: On a topo map, the two canyons east of the small tunnel resemble a root canal and are often called the "Route Canals" or the "Twins".

Best Trail Features: Many Pools is a fun option to hike that is outside of Zion Canyon. Although the water source is from snow melt and does not run all year, the hike is a wonderful excursion through the beautiful slick rock of Zion National park.

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There may be mistakes or gaps, but there is something in it of what wood or beech or figure has told me, and it is not a tame or conventional language, that proceeds not from nature itself but from a studied manner or a system.

--Van Gogh

Photo: Pine Creek Waterfall
Photography by Tanya

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