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
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
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.
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.
Long ago pioneers named Lady Mountain as well as a wide array of other lofty monoliths nestled in the dramatic beauty of Zion Canyon. While at the Emerald Pools Trailhead, look up and locate the blind arch near the top of the towering white monolith in front of you. You can attempt to find the figure of a woman near the arch, but in our experience it takes quite the imagination to see it. Today's obscure route to the summit of this Zion landmark was once a popular and maintained trail, equipped with chains and other safety devices, much like those found along the popular Angels Landing Trail. Completed in 1924, this amazing route up the steep mountainside was the first trail constructed by the park leading to one of the rims. Imagine adventurous women of the 1920's in their heels and long dresses as they trudged up the route, leaving the roar of Zion's dramatic river carved canyon below, making their way to the lofty destination at the top.
Lady Mountain at a Glance Photo Album:Lady Mountain Pictures Trail Map:Lady Mountain Map Trail Distance: 1.9 miles one-way, 3.8 miles round-trip which includes a portion of the Middle Emerald Pools Trail. Difficulty: There are three short sections of technical climbing, so at least one experienced climber needs to be in the group. Sun Exposure: You will be in full sun most of the day, therefore, carry plenty of water. Permits: Not required. Trail Conditions: This is a narrow trail with high altitude drop-offs and up to 5.7 rated climbing or scrambling sections including several steep pitches. We suggest that all hikers bring an 80' rope. Trailhead : Zion's shuttle runs from mid-March until late October. If hiking during this time, take the bus to the Zion Lodge. The rest of the year drive into the canyon and park at Emerald Pools parking area. Use the footbridge to cross the Virgin River, then begin the hike up the Middle Emerald Pools Trail. Best Season: This route should not be attempted in the winter. Depending on weather, March through October are usually good times to go. If you hike in the summer, begin early and complete as much of the route as you can in the cooler times of the day.
Elevation: Total elevation gain is 2675 feet in 1.9 miles. Once you begin the ascent up the mountain, you will climb 2345 feet in only 1.6 miles. The elevation at the summit is 6945 feet.
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. Get on the Zion Canyon Shuttle to hike the trail on this page.
Trailhead - Get off the shuttle at the lodge and start up the Middle Emerald Pools Trail. After hiking for about a quarter-mile, you will come to an information plaque and then a small sign, just beyond, which reads: "do not roll rocks below". Continue about 30 yards, looking for a faint path on your left, located between junipers and pinyon trees, that ascends up the sandy hill. Follow it, traversing to the base of the first cliff-band, but understand that the ascent ahead of you involves hiking up 2345 feet in only 1.6 miles. You will also be required to navigate slippery slopes and do a bit of technical climbing. There are "stairs", (moki-steps), carved into rock that make some of the uphill sections easier. One long set has been dubbed the endless staircase. Along the entire trail watch for faint arrows that are painted on the rocks, these will help you navigate the route.
Obstacles - The first obstacle is found just after the initial cliff-band. A right facing corner requires a 30 foot climb, but the moki-steps make it easier. Due to the exposure, a rope belay or hand-line is strongly suggested. A rope will also be needed at the next obstacle - the chimney. This has an over-hanging, 8-foot boulder move, rated at 5.3 YDS. It is found a little less than one-mile into the ascent. Let the best climber in your group take the rope up the unprotected section where they will find a re-bar eyelet anchor. They can then belay less experienced climbers. Keep in mind that the exposure on this move is about 80 feet and the consequences of a slip could be severe. The third place a rope is needed is at a right facing, 12 foot high, off-width crack. This will be a difficult section for most people and is rated at 5.7 YDS. There is a ledge on top to belay from. Use a rope in the same three locations on the way back down. Beyond the right facing corner climb, the route yields to easier 3 rd and some easy 4 th class scrambling.
Summit - The blaring speakers from the commercial horse rides fade, overtaken by the sounds of nature as the never-ending stairway takes hikers through a seemingly impossible route to the mountaintop after hours of breathtaking and diverse hiking. Once past the short "v-slot," head northerly through the dense vegetation as the beaten path heads toward a precariously perched rock outcropping where panoramas of the rims of this desert canyon unfold. This scramble around the western side of the mountain reveals the first views of Isaac and Abraham, two of the three mountains known as the Patriarchs. Continue, taking the short stroll through the sandy clearing to see Zion literally open up in front of you. Head for the man-made circular disc that sits atop a rocky perch in the far southeast corner of the mountaintop. This "compass" labels the cornucopia of peaks making up the most delightful display of rock in the park. On a clear day the unobstructed 360 degree view allows you to see as far away as the Arizona Strip. To the north is the popular canyoneering route. Behunin Canyon, as well as, Angels Landing and just beyond that Observation Point. To the east locate Red Arch Mountain and the Great White Throne. To the south look for both the East and West Temples, Deer Trap Mountain, Mountain of the Sun and the Three Patriarchs.
Note: From the top of Lady Mountain the rock formations are from the Mesozoic era. From the top of Lady Mountain all but a small percentage of the visible rock is Navajo sandstone.
The universe is one great kindergarten for man. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson. The mountain teaches stability and grandeur; the ocean immensity and change. Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes--every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.
--Orison Swett Marden