We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“For proper hikers :)”
Review of West Rim Trail

West Rim Trail
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Strenuous hiking trail, 10 miles each way.
Reviewed June 30, 2014

I'm sure the narrows is a great day hike ... But if you want something more challenging, more scenery, more diversity, more wildness then the trans-Zion hike is 100% awesome. The highlight (ignoring angels landings and all it's crowds) is the west Rim Trail. Walk alongside the edge of a canyon for 2 miles of jaw dropping views. Camp on top, see the sunset, see the dawn, see unparalleled night skies. Just do it!

4  Thank Claude K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (46)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

32 - 36 of 46 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2014

After completing the La Verkin Creek and Hop Valley trails, I woke up in the middle of the latter stages of the Wildcat Canyon trail and proceeded towards the last, and longest, leg of the trek, the West Rim Trail. Near the beginning of the trail is another spring, where it was imperative to fill up. I had used most of my water the night before, to filter for drinking, and for breakfast. The major downside to the spring near campsite nine is that it is well off the West Rim trail, way down in a valley with a significant climb out fully stocked with unfiltered water. This was to be a long day. I ran across a father and son from NYC shortly thereafter who were doing a day hike of the WRT, and they would prove very helpful later in the day. The start of the trail is fairly flat and open, and in a couple places, there were old farm implements from a previous attempt to cultivate the valley. Soon, however, the trail headed down into Potato Hollow, which then required a significant climb out. I soon learned that my osmotic water filter was waaaaay too slow and could not keep up with my need for water. Fortunately, I ran into some guys who have a filter pump and they were nice enough to filter all of my water, but soon enough that ran low. After climbing out of Potato Hollow and up onto the top of the West Rim, there are some spectacular views of unexplored canyons to the west of the main Zion Canyon. My guess is that not that many people get to get them, given the location. I opted for the longer West Rim route versus the shorter Telephone Canyon trail for just that reason. It was worth it. After a longer than expected trek to where the trails met up again, it was time to head down into Zion Canyon. The trip from top to bottom drops thousands of feet. It began to get hot, and soon I felt the effects of lack of hydration - cracked lips, throat closing up, dry mouth, and not being able to talk. I figured I would get down soon enough, but alas, there was a surprise 1000 foot climb after the first descent before the final descent. Back in the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps has cut and cemented a switchback pathway through limestone and red rock. Fortunately for me, the guys from NYC gave me some of their water before the bonus 1000 ft climb, which helped me immensely. We were all wondering if we would ever get to the cutoff for Angel's Landing, but at last we finally did. I was running a little late for my rendezvous with my wife, daughter, and in-laws so I sped up and this only worsened my dehydration. By the time I got to the bottom, I could barely speak. Moral of the story is to have adequate water and/or a device that can rapidly filter spring water. While I had water with me, it was not filtered, and I was very close to the point where I would have to drink unfiltered water and get sick, versus keel over from dehydration. As it was, my family has smoothies, water, PowerAde, and food waiting for me, and I quickly regained my strength. Trekking across Zion was amazing, but I would have worked an extra day in the schedule so as to enjoy it. 38 miles in two days on this terrain (sporting blistered, no less) was a bit too much.

1  Thank thsmith1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2014

Today we hiked up and back from the Grotto parking lot, about 10 miles total, roundtrip. It's early April and we had a bit of snow on some higher switchbacks. Total elevation gain is about 2,600+ feet so take plenty of water and food and we needed jackets and gloves and lots of sunscreen. This hike is strenuous, so give yourself plenty of time to do the up and back hike, and don't forget to enjoy the views :). We hike a lot in Zion and I am always surprised to see people with very little water... please be prepared when you do a hike like this in the hot sun!

Thank Nancy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We parked near Lava Point campground and slept near back-country campsite #9. It was about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from the Southern Entrance of the park, and only about a 1.1 mile hike to our campsite.

The local springs were dried up in August, but the views of the surrounding area and the drive were amazing (like the rest of Zion). In the middle of the night/very early morning we woke up the the sound of hooves around our tent.

We didn't see anyone else on the trail that day or the next morning. It was nice to have some seclusion.

Had we stayed a few more days we would have liked to do a longer trek, but Lava Point was a nice starting point since we arrived so late in the day. I would recommend it to others. There are no water fountains or facilities at the trailhead, so obviously, bring plenty of water.

Thank ErmMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

This is a pretty decent hike; it may have been better if I had executed it in a different manner or had better weather conditions. I camped at the Lava Point campground the night prior (no fee/permit required); which is about a 1-hour drive from the main park entrance. It is a nice but spartan first-come/first-served campground with a clean, well-maintained restroom and six campsites; some campsites accommodate 1 tent, others accommodate 2-3 tents. From the Lava Point campground, you may either hike directly to the West Rim Trail or make a 5-minute drive to the trail head. The trail head is small and can accommodate approximately 4 cars. The first portion of the trail is on gently rolling terrain; there are several places the vegetation opens up and provides views of f the surrounding terrain. The middle portion of the trail goes down into Potato Hollow (where campsites 7 and 8 are located); this is a grassy meadow and there is supposedly water available from the spring near campsite 8. From here, the trail climbs significantly, drops again (offering a fantastic view) and then rises again to a high overlook where campsite 6 is located (be advised that backcountry camping requires that you pay for a backcountry permit and pick it up the day prior). Campsite 6 can easily accommodate 3 2-man tents and there are other suitable locations to pitch approximately 3-4 other 2-man tents. There are sufficient large trees here that would support hammocks. There are short trails that lead from the campsite to the edge of the canyon and provide some very nice views. I did not continue south on the trail towards campsites 1-5 due to time constraints so I returned to Lava Point the following morning. Some advice would be to start early to avoid the thunderstorms that seemed common in July (10:00 am-2:00 pm) because some of the hills can become quite slippery and thick fog/clouds can prevent enjoying the views.

1  Thank raj0302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed West Rim Trail also viewed

Zion National Park, UT
Zion National Park, UT
Zion National Park, UT

Been to West Rim Trail? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing