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West Temple link

This route to the summit of Zion's West Temple, in the low desert southern part of the park, offers some of the best views in Zion. The West Temple is the highest peak in the main section of Zion, with only those peaks in the Kolob taller. Even though this is listed as a hike, this route entails steep, loose scrambling, exposed 4th class climbing, and some 5th class bouldering and climbing. Don't be fooled by the relatively short 6.6 mile round-trip, as the nearly 4000 feet of elevation change will test even the seasoned adventurer. Because of the nature of this backcountry trip, a full description will not be supplied, as the challenge of assessing and determining the route is part of the experience, however coordinates to key points will be supplied to minimize second guessing.

Photo Album: West Temple Pictures West Temple
Trail Maps: West Temple Map
Day Hike
: Best done as a long day hike.
Distance: 6.6 miles
Average Hiking Time: 8-14 hours
Equipment: 160' Rope, Harness, Belay/Rappel Devise, Set of Nuts or Camelot .3-.5-.75- 1, several slings and carabineers, extra webbing and climbing shoes. Be sure to carry 1 gallon of water per person minimum and plenty of high energy snacks.
Technical: 5.6, Exposed 4th and 5th Class (Rope required)
Difficulty: Quite strenuous.
Permits: Not required. Check the weather report before hiking this trail. Do not hike if it looks like rain or snow.
Trailhead: It's a shame that people build their homes on the boundaries of Zion National Park and then try and prevent others from accessing the park, however, please respect their wishes and DO NOT CROSS PRIVATE PROPERTY. Begin this route at the Chine Trailhead.
Trailend: Same
Total Ascent: 4000 feet
Total Descent: 4000 feet
Trail Access: In Drainage just south of Mukuntuweap Circle
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Classic Zion Hike: No
Best Season: Spring or Fall, when conditions are dry.

It's a shame that people build their homes on the boundaries of Zion National Park and then try and prevent others from accessing the park, however, please respect their wishes and
DO NOT CROSS PRIVATE PROPERTY. Begin this route at the Chine Trailhead.

Chinle Trailhead - Drive 3.5 miles from Zion's south entrance booth and look for the turn-off on the north side of SR- 9, just past the Springdale Fruit Company. Sadly, there are homes built (Anasazi Plateau Subdivision) on the north hill above the trailhead parking lot but the National Park has secured access to Zion from this trailhead. Turn onto the steep Anasazi Road, drive uphill for a short distance and look for an immediate right hand turn-off. The turn-off to the Chinle Trailhead is unmarked at this point. Park in the large flat, dirt area.

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

Zion Backcountry Map - Trail Interactive Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Road Map Zion Shuttle - Tunnel Information
 
West Tempe: Bo Beck

Zion Photo: Bo Beck enjoys hiking to some of Zion's most remote and highest places. Zion's West Temple route meets both criteria.

 

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.

 

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkWest Temple - Begin working up the ridge on the left of the wash. Once on top of the ridge above the homes, look west to the north- south running ridge and locate the power lines on top. Find the easiest path to gain the ridge and power lines. On top of the ridge turn north and follow the ridge to the plateau above. On top of the plateau, continue north and begin gaining elevation yet try to avoid dropping into the several drainages that flow to the east. Soon a fairly large "black" sandstone cliff face appears well below the massive faces that tower to the left. Continue bearing northerly until arriving at the large drainage just before this "black" face. Now steer northwest and up the steep, loose slope toward the massive cliffs that surround Mount Kinesava.Stay close to the drainage on the right, and as soon as it is possible to contour to the right without having to drop into the deep drainage, do so and follow the ledge system to the northeast.

After working up the ledge system for maybe third of a mile there will be a prominent saddle. This is now the time to begin bearing northeast and follow the rocky ridge toward the West Temple. Most of the trek stays on the rocky ridge, or slightly to one side or the other. There will be several gaps to drop into, and work out of. One such gap requires a 30 foot unprotected face/ crack climb, another has a 10' high face to boulder up. Several walks on narrow ridges with grand exposure and soon the ridge disappears with a very large gap in front. Scramble down 15' to the east then turn toward the gap and look for a pine tree below. A short down-climb and into the tree arrives in the gap below and then continued scrambling to gain the ridge again. One section requires a 4th class 20' up climb in a flaring chimney with exposure on both sides. It might be possible to protect this scramble with cams or nuts?

Once again the patharrives at a long, steep, "slabby" scramble up the ridge which then soon arrives at the 100' up-climb to the plateau just below the West Temple. The crack system is easily protected with nuts and or cams, however there are 3 bolts that have been placed on the way up to the 2 bolt anchor just below the top. This is easy 5th class climbing and will be the last of the steep before walking the plateau and the short scramble up the "red rock" cap that forms the West Temple. The top is heavily vegetated with Manzanita, but by walking around views in all directions are had. Relax and massage the quads for the 4000' descent! There is a register at the top of the ramp leading to the summit. Be sure to take a gander and leave your autograph.

GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Parking:
37 10.600 N
113 00.878 W
Bear Northeast on
Ledge System:
37 11.688 N
113 01.619 W
Saddle:
37 11.848 N
113 01.540 W
Bolted Climb:
37 12.230 N
113 01.291 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.

Suggested Gear: Rope, webbing, harness and rappelling device. A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend for canyoneering in Zion . Quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury. Experienced Zion hikers and canyoneers like the Sportiva Exum Ridge. This shoe is great for hiking, bouldering and canyoneering.


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