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Zion hiking questions

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
31 posts
Zion hiking questions

My wife and I are planning on being in Zion for 3-4 days in the 1st week of June.

I was looking at some pics of the West Rim hike and those views from the stretch from campsites 3-5 look amazing looking towards the West Rim.

It does not seem logistically feasible for us to get a shuttle, etc and do a dayhike for 14 miles to see everything. What would the distance be to these views if we did an in/out from Grotto and also what kind of elevation gain would we be looking at?

Are there any other trails that we could get similar views towards the West that are a little easier to get to?

How do the views compare on the Northgate Peaks trails to the ones mentioned above?

We are also planning on doing Observation Point and Narrows while we are there and I dont want to make my wife too tired. Those West Rim views look incredible though.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
14,283 posts
11 reviews
1. Re: Zion hiking questions

To hike to those sites from the Grotto is around 5-6 miles one way, with probably close to 2500 foot elevation gain or more.If you are doing 12+ miles, you might as well just do the shuttle rental and go from the top down.

Observation Point has some great views too. Thats about 8 miles r/t and gains about 2000 feet in elevation.

If you don't want your wife too tired, there is a back way into Observation Point, via the east Mesa trail,that is flat/downhill to OP.Its about 6 miles r/t.If you do that with a shuttle, you end up in the canyon at Weeping Rock. If you do it with your own car, you return the way you came.Its a dirt road in there from Zion Ponderosa Ranch. There is also a back way into Cable mountain (great views also)from the ranch, which avoids the uphill slog out of the canyon and cuts off about 50% of the miles.

You will find, that once you get on top of the mesas, either doing the east or west rim trails out of the canyon, that the views are pretty spectacular.You don't have to hike all that far to get some great views.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,820 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: Zion hiking questions

My hubby and I took a shuttle to Lava Point and did the whole 14 miles as a dayhike. We started around 9 and got down into the valley around 5, so it does take the entire day. But what a day. The scenery is amazing.

You can start at the Grotto and go up, but going that way the majority of your elevation gain is right at the start. I'm not sure how far you would have to hike to get to the views you are talking about, but my guess would be 4 or 5 miles - one way. At least coming back will be downhill.

I haven't done the Northgate trail, but I don't think the views come close to what you'll see on the West Rim trail.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
14,549 posts
125 reviews
3. Re: Zion hiking questions

When we hiked it we did a two day trip and camped at site #6. It was the first one with the great views and was right at the halfway mark. The ridge is about 2-3 miles long so from the grotto I would expect to hike 4-5 miles before getting there. I loved the views but it is a lot of elevation gain going that way.

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
31 posts
4. Re: Zion hiking questions

Thanks for all the info...

How does this sound for 3 days of hikes.

1) West Rim from Lava Point to Grotto w/ shuttle

2) East Mesa to Weeping Rock w/ shuttle

3) Narrows to just past Wall Street (in/out)

I think this would help avoid the major elevation gains that my wife may get tired of.

Can anyone recommend a good shuttle service?

Also any other hikes that we may want to think about?

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,820 posts
28 reviews
5. Re: Zion hiking questions

Well, that's 3 days of serious hiking, and you said you don't want to make your wife too tired?????

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
14,283 posts
11 reviews
6. Re: Zion hiking questions

That's about 27 miles or so total. Is she ok with that? You could also add in Angels Landing on the way down the west rim trail or Hidden Canyon coming down from Observation Point if you want more.

A couple places that offer shuttles.

www.zionrockguides.com

www.zionadventures.com

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
31 posts
7. Re: Zion hiking questions

The thing that would be problematic for her would be the serious elevation gain on consecutive days. So hikes 2 & 3 seem to be fairly easy elevation gain and distance wise. The distance on the West Rim hike may be pushing it a little, but when this may be our only trip to Zion what else can we do? She hikes quite a bit, just serious elevation gain can sometimes discourage her. We did 47 miles in Glacier last Summer over 6 days no problem.

8. Re: Zion hiking questions

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