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Observation Point, Zion National Park

ObservationPoint

  • Avid hikers lavish in the diversity of this amazing trail. From the steep switchbacks taunting you along the first mile, to the serene beauty of Echo Canyon, to the breathtaking overlook at the summit, this trail pays dividends equal to the effort it requires. As you climb to Observation Point, you can imagine the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the group of workers who constructed this trail in the 1930s. Using dynamite, wheelbarrows, and mules, these young men blasted this pathway up the walls of Zion Canyon, connecting Zion’s East Side with the main valley floor. Echo Canyon, a serpentine water-carved slot is revealed within the first hour of hiking. After passing the East Mesa trail junction, the trail winds along a red stained pathway, where the soft Temple Cap rock has eroded to meet the harder Navajo Sandstone layer. The juniper and pinyon pine forested summit peers into Zion Canyon from 6507 feet (1983 meters).
  • Trailhead: Exit free Scenic Drive shuttle at Weeping Rock trailhead and follow the trail to Observation Point, the East Rim, and Hidden Canyon.

    Mileage: 8 miles (12.9km), round-trip

    Elevation Gain: 2150feet (655 meters)

    Approximate Hike Time: 6 hours, round-trip

    Difficulty: Strenuous

    Crowds: Crowds steadily dwindle the farther you ascend. Only a handful of parties push to the summit each day.

  • Best Times of Day:
    Summer: An early morningdeparture is highly recommended to avoid a long climb under a blazing sun.
    Spring/Fall: Anytime is good.
    Winter: Midday is best for softer snow and melted ice

    Best Times of Year:
    The comfortable temperatures of autumn make it the best time to hike Observation Point.
    The upper reaches of the hike can become icy and/or snow-packed December through March; inquire about conditions at the Visitor’s Center before making a winter ascent.
  • When the trail crosses Echo Canyon, adventurous hikers often walk (or wade) up into the slot to see how far they can go. Echo Canyon is a classic beginner slot canyon often descended by graduates of
    our One-Day Basic canyoneering course. If Echo Canyon intrigues you, inquire about taking a class with us.
    The view looking down on Angels Landing is impressive, especially if you have stood on its lofty perch previously!