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  • Writer's pictureTrail Guide Joe

My Review of the Observation Point Trail - Zion National Park

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

The details!

  • Length: 8 miles

  • Elevation gain: 2,100 feet

  • Route type: Out & Back

  • Difficulty: Hard

During my visit to Zion, I was rather excited by all the possible hikes. Hikes through the Virgin river, hikes up the canyon walls, and more! If you want a great view but don't want to fear for your life, the Observation Point trail is for you! It is every bit as strenuous as Angels Landing but without the harrowingly narrow trail amid steep drop-offs and when you make it to Observation Point, you will see the same views as you would from Angles Landing, albeit from a different vantage point, but you will also be around 700 feet higher than Angels Landing with Angels Landing being in plain sight as well. When you finally look up from trying to spot people out on Angels Landing, you begin to take in the whole vista that is Zion National Park! From this overlook, on a really clear day, you can see all the way out to Springdale and the southern entrance to Zion National Park! Talk about the mother of all views! If you only had the time to do one trail, this would be the one. It won't be as glamorized as Angels Landing but you will have a much better view in my opinion.



This trail is strenuous! On this trail, hikers will gain approximately 2,100 feet in just 4 miles. Certainly there are harder, more rapid elevation gains on other trails however, unlike other trails, you will make most of your elevation gains in a much shorter distance thanks to winding switch backs. Along the trail, you will pass the spur trail to Hidden Canyon, ascend seemingly endless switchbacks, and find yourself in Echo Canyon before a climb through more switchbacks eventually reaching the upper plateau. From there it's relatively flat the rest of the way to Observation Point where the views from the point, as well as all along the trail, will be nothing short of impressive!


Be prepared! Bring adequate water on your hike. Although it may not seem like it, Zion is still considered a desert. You will be losing water through evaporated sweat even if it doesn't seem like it and hiking this trail while dehydrated is a very bad idea. Also check on trail conditions before you hike. At the time of this writing, the trail head at Weeping Rock is closed due to a landslide. Observation Point can still be accessed via the East Mesa Trail.


Watch the heights! No one needs to get hurt or killed. These are very serious drops on very narrow ledges. Be smart and don't do anything stupid. On my hike, I kid you not, I watched a pair of teens doing yoga head standing on a column atop Angels Landing. Had the wind picked up suddenly or had this teen lost balance in the wrong way, it would have been a long but quick drop to the bottom.


 
 

Happy Trails!


https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/zion-canyon-trail-descriptions.htm
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