Separation Canyon

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkNumerous canyons drain north into Clear Creek from a prominent ridge separating the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway from Parunuweap Canyon. As visitors rive the winding highway, passing some of the most stunning landscape in Zion, they often wonder what is on the other side of that ridge to the south? The easiest access to a saddle overlooking Parunuweap to the south is found in the charming stroll southward in the wide open wash known as Separation Canyon. The toughest section of this 2.5 mile round-trip hike, is leaving Clear Creek and scrambling to the top of a ridge and then back down into the wash below. Near the saddle separating the east canyon from Parunuweap is a rock outcropping known as Separation Peak that provides beautiful.

Photo Album: Separation Canyon Pictures
Trail Maps: Separation Canyon Map
Day Hike:
Distance: 2.5 miles round-trip
Average Hiking Time: 2 hours
Equipment: ' Some webbing might be handy if you decide to climb the peak at the end of the wash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 400'

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 Permits: Not Required Check the weather report before hiking this trail. Do not hike if it looks like rain.
Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway on the east side of the park.

Trailend: Same as trailhead.
Trail access: The Zion Mt. Carmel Hwy is open year-round. Cold river temperatures in Clear Creek and heavy current can deter most hikers in the winter months however Clear Creek is often dry even during much of the winter.
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Classic Zion Park Hike: No
Best Season: Year-round
Hazards: Call the Zion Canyon Visitors Center for weather conditions prior to the hike: (435) 772-3256. Hiking in a wash can present a danger from flash flooding. Do not hike this trail if it is raining. Remember a storm far off can trigger a flash flood.

Directions to Zion National Park

From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's.

Zion National Park Maps

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Zion's Separation Canyon

Separation Canyon


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.


Trailhead - From the parks east gate it is 1.4 miles to the pull-out you will want to park at. If you are coming from the south entrance of the park it is 2.5 miles from the east side of the small tunnel. From the parking area located the beaten path leading into the bottom of Clear Creek.

The Hike - Once at the bottom of the way head downstream for approximately 400 yards, looking for a beaten path that heads up through the trees. This "trail" will eventually top out on a small ridge to your left. Once atop the ridge, work down into the wash below. The wide open wash is Separation Canyon. Walk Down canyon a short distance to see the twisted falls as they enter Clear Creek below. Heading south and up-canyon there are some nice "desert tanks" initially, but then the wash opens for easy travel as it heads south and upward toward Separation Point. About .75 miles into the hike, the wash splits. By bearing left, the wash becomes a bit congested, yet remains easy travel. Soon a large bowl appears. Turn right up this bowl to gain a ridge on the right. Once on top of the ridge, travel southeast to gain the summit of a small "nipple" known as Separation Point. There are outstanding views to the south and zion National Park Canyoneeringnorth.

GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Parking For Separation Canyon:
37°13.477 N
112°53.676 W

Scramble out of Clear Creek
37°13.410 N
112°53.805 W

Separation Peak
37°12.658 N
112°53.801 W


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

please link to meTo 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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