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Zion Hiking

Strenuous Trails   Easy to Moderate Trails

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkZion National Park is the oldest national park in Utah. Zion was designated as a national Park in 1919, but it was not until the 1920s and 1930s that many of the front country trails were constructed. Work back in those days was difficult and much of it was done with a simple pick, shovel and dangerous explosives. A group called the Civilian Conservation Corp made the majority of Zion's front country trails. Trails in Zion that were subject to erosion were paved or were carved into the natural rock. Pack mules were used to carry the heavy water up the steep grades of the trails. The men carried the dry cement mix in their backpacks. The Riverside Walk (Gateway to the Narrows) was built in 1925 with more work completed in1929. The Emerald Pools, Observation Point and West Rim Trails were also done in 1925. An addition the West Rim Trail was finished a year later, connecting the steep, twisting path called "Walter's Wiggles" that leads to Angels Landing. The East Rim Trail was finished in 1926. The old wagon trail it was made from was called the Winder Stock Trail. Canyon Overlook was finished in 1932 and two years later the Watchman Trail was completed. The newest trail in the park is the Pa'rus trail, constructed in 1995.

Hiking Equipment - The kind of gear you will need for your visit to Zion National Park depends on which trails you plan to do. Comfortable hiking shoes and quality socks are a must. Painful blisters and sore toes can ruin your plans. If hiking the Zion Narrows is on your vacation itinerary you might want to invest in a good pair of aquatic shoes. A daypack and hydration system are also essential.

Zion Hiking
Strenuous Trails

miles/km
roundtrip

Ascent
ft/meters

Average Time roundtrip

Zion Canyon

Hwy 9

Key

Difficulty

West Rim to Scout Lookout

4.5/7.24

1050'/320

4 hours

Canyon

 

Cliff-side

Strenuous

Angels Landing
5/8.6
1488'/453
5 hours
Canyon
 
Cliff-side
Strenuous
West Rim to Cabin Spring
10/16
2400'/732
6 hours
Canyon
 
Cliff-side
Strenuous

Hidden Canyon

2/3.22

850'/259

3 hours

Canyon

 

Cliff-side

Strenuous

East Rim

10/16

Asc. +4400'
Des. -4400'

6 hours

 

East

Steep

Strenuous

Observation Point

8/12.87

2148'/655

5 hours

Canyon

 

Steep

Strenuous

Deertrap Mountain
20/32.2
1170'/319
10 hours
 
East
Long
Strenuous
Cable Mountain
16/25.6
1048'/357
10 hours
 
East
Long
Strenuous

Zion Narrows

3-12/4.83

-1410'/430

1-13 hrs

Canyon

East

Slot

Strenuous

Checkerboard Ridge
2/3.22
600'/183
4 hours
 
East
Cliff-side
Strenuous
Echo Canyon
8/12.57
700'/213
5 hours
Canyon
Slot
Boulders
Strenuous
East Temple Saddle
2.25/3.6
1100'/335m
4 hours
 
East
Scrambling
Strenuous
Progeny Peak
1.2/1.9
1075'/328m
3 hours
 
East
Boulders
Strenuous
Spry Canyon
2/3.22
Asc. +700'
Des. -1050'
6 hours
 
East
Scrambling
Strenuous
Cockeye Falls
4.5/7.24

Asc. +925'
Des. -925

6 hours
 
East
Scrambling
Strenuous
Parunuweap Pass
5.2/8.4
1150'/350
8 hours
 
East
Scrambling
Strenuous
East Fork Virgin River
(Powell Plaque)
8.6/13.8 to river and back
Asc. +1650'
Des. -1650
10 hours
 
East
Scrambling
Strenuous
Mt. Kinesava
2.5 /4
2812'/857
9 hours
 
South
Scrambling
Strenuous
Mountain of the Sun
7/11.3
1526'/465
10 hours
 
East
Cliff-Side
Strenuous
Bridge Mountain
10/16
1056'/322
12-16 hrs
 
East
Cliff-Side
Technical
Lady Mountain
1.3/2.09
2440'/744
8 hours
Canyon
 
Cliff-side
Technical
Mineral Gulch
Meadow Creek
19/30.5
Asc. +1100'
Des. -4400'
19 hours
 
East
Slot
Strenuous

The Subway

9.5/15.3

Dec. - 2200'
Asc. + 500'

7 hours

Kolob

East

Slot

Semi-Tech

Parunuweap Canyon
(Fat Man's Misery)
9/18
Asc. + 1300'
Dec. - 1600'
12 hrs
 
East
Slot
Technical

Easier Zion Hiking - Peak Bagging - Canyoneering - Kolob Hiking - Great Zion Area Hiking

Key: [East/South of Canyon Junction off hwy 9]
[Cliff-side: Exposed scramble or narrow ledge]
[Slot: Slot Canyon or Narrows]
[Boulders: Climbing over boulders or up steep slabs]
[ Scrambling: Hiking/Climbing up or down steep slick rock]
[Semi-Tech: Rope and climbing skills]
[Technical: Advanced climbing or canyoneering]

 

Common sense hiking cautions - Weather Report

Remember that Zion National Park is canyon country. There is a rock fall some where in Zion Park every single day. There are sheer cliffs, loose rocks and slippery sandstone. Think of standing on sandstone like standing on a layer of tiny round marbles. Stay away from the edges. Do not take children on trails that are not safe for them. In the winter check with the visitor center before heading for the trails. Some trails get little sun and can be dangerous in the cold weather months. Flash floods are a real danger. Stay out of slot canyons if it's storming. A storm far away can cause a flash flood. If there is lightening stay off the trails. If there is heavy rain or flash flooding, water can sweep hikers off the trails and off the side of a cliff. Hypothermia, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are concerns when hiking. Stay hydrated. Watch kids closely. Wear hats in the summer and in the winter wear layers of clothing. Bring high energy foods to snack on when hiking. Wear comfortable shoes appropriate for hiking and bring bandages. Hikers often cut short a trip due to blisters and sore toes from their shoes. Do not feed animals or touch them. Do not give into the begging of the fat little squirrels at the end of the Riverside Walk Trail. Feeding the wild animals makes them aggressive and puts them at harm in many ways.

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.

 

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Mileage from
Mt. Carmel Jct.

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

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

In these pages you will find insiders information on Zion National Park lodging & camping. This guide includes maps, pictures and even information on Zion's hidden treasures.

 

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