Echo Canyon Hike
Hikers on the East Rim Trail get the Echo Canyon section of the hike and peer over the rock's edge wondering what is down in that dark, skinny slot. This slot canyon exploration will answer that question. This hike is only done in the summer season and often only in dry years when the water that runs through Echo Canyon dries up so parts of the canyon can be explored by hikers. Be aware there are pockets of water that may stagnate. The more water that is present the harder exploration will be. Do not go into any section of this canyon that must be swam or climbed. (Remember you would have to climb up what you climb down to get out!) Going past any section that requires simple hiking skills is not allowed without a permit. The water deep in this canyon is ice cold and wetsuits, ropes and other equipment are required.
At a Glance
Off the Beaten Path: Observation Point is a heavily used trail, but once dropping into Echo Canyon there are few hikers.
Classic Zion Canyon: Yes
Best season: mid-June to mid-September when the water in Echo Canyon is warmer or even gone. Call the Zion Canyon Visitors Center for weather conditions prior to the hike: (435) 772-3256. Hiking in slot canyons presents a very real danger from flash flooding. Do not hike this trail if it is raining. Remember a storm far off can trigger a flash flood. Check the weather report
The Trail to Echo Canyon - Begin at the Weeping Rock parking lot about midway in Zion Canyon. Hike 2 miles up the Observation Point Trail to where the trail crosses a wash. There is often water present especially in the winter and spring. This is where the slot canyon is entered. Bypass this area for a moment and continue up the Observation Point Trail so that you can look down into the slot canyon. Backtrack to the wash and make your way into the slot canyon entrance. In the winter and spring the water in the slot canyon is ice cold. Bring a rope for emergencies. As with all slot canyons there is a danger of flash flooding. Check the Zion Visitors Center for the weather report.
Echo Canyon - The slot canyon is impressive with many high wall sections and erie lighting. Do not enter any pools water or do any climbing in the slot without a permit. The conditions in this slot canyon change. After the initial section the path leads to an opening and a choice of direction. Take the slot to the left.
Best Trail Features - This is a magnificent slot canyon right in the heart of Zion Canyon that most hikers can explore when the canyon is dry.
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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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