Access West Rim Trailhead Via Wildcat Canyon While Snow Melts

It may be dry and balmy in Springdale, but there is still a lot fo snow in the highcountry above Zion. While the big snow pack works on melting away, hikers planning routes starting at the West Rim Trailhead may be better off starting at Wildcat Canyon, rather than tromping a couple miles through 6″ of snow. While a Wildcat start adds four miles to the West Rim, it’s a beautiful and mild way to begin a stunning hike.

One of the many huge white sandstone domes south of Wildcat Canyon TH

Below are two separate updates from ZAC shuttle drivers, Steve Woodford and Bill Westerhoff, who drove shuttles up to the Lava Point turnoff yesterday (5/11):

I dropped a couple off at Wildcat this morning then took a German hiker up to the turnoff to Lava Point. There is fresh snow(maybe 6″). The dirt road is impassable to drive with a Sprinter. I also gave the hiker trail info and pointed out the knee deep lake inundating the road about 300 yards down.I gave him the option of returning to Wildcat and informed him that Wildcat would be an extra 4 miles more than if I dropped him off at the asphalt edge at Lava Point. He was happy with this option and so started his hike at Wildcat. That lake covering the road is an obstacle that I would avoid if possible.

Be Safe,


Lanell & I went up yesterday and saw that the amount of snow has decreased significantly. The entire road is accessible to 2 way traffic up to the turn off for Lava Pt. Snow on the side of the road is *maybe *4*-*6* inches. That leaves shuttle clients to hike the 2.4 miles to the West Rim trail. We did easily make it about .4 to .5 of a mile until the snow level reached about 6-12 inches and would not be recommended to drive our vehicles through. It looks like it would stay that way for at least the first section of the road hike for hikers seeking access to the West Rim Trail.

There were no vehicle tracks and not many footprints continuing down this path.

Bill Westerhoff


About Nick

Nick Wilkes found ZAC in 1996, working first as an outfitter, then a guide, then as webmaster. An ardent adventure enthusiast, Nick's recent exploits involve laying down roots in Wisconsin, chasing his kids around the house, working as a Madison, WI photographer and growing his Wisconsin climbing business. Connect with Nick on Facebook, Google+, or directly via email.
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