First of all, let's clear up some confusion - the 'Temple of Sinawava' is NOT a trail as the title of this webpage (and many reviewers) state, but a landmark/viewing area in Zion canyon so please don't get confused, but instead read on.....
The trail referred to that leads north from this landmark is actually called the 'Riverside Walk' and has it's own TA section - and a separate review by me.
I visited the 'Temple of Sinawava' after several days of a multi-day visit to Zion NP, as part of my month-long tour of the Utah/Arizona natural attractions last year. I have posted separate reviews for several individual trails plus an 'introductory' review for the NP as a whole under the TA webpage entitled 'Zion's Main Canyon'.
I have compiled an extensive Trip Advisor 'Trip List' for my tour, which includes 'extra' attractions and also has links to the other individual TA reviews I've contributed for the accommodation/attractions I visited - it has been made a Trip Advisor 'Itinerary'; I hope it is of interest and use to you - I plan to add visitor information sections/viewable media sections..... The most direct way to access it is by clicking my review-count below my profile name to the left of this review text. Alternatively, see after my review below the dashed line...
You can also access my other Zion reviews that way...
This area is located at the northerly point of the shuttle bus route and has it's own stop, cunningly entitled 'Temple of Sinawava' ! From here you are presented with impressive views of the main canyon 'end', before it narrows along the Riverside Walk route towards the aptly named, and decidedly more strenuous/moist, 'The Narrows' trail.
The area can offer the opportunity for a very enjoyable and peaceful stop and you can also of course continue north.... At the large shuttle stop 'terminus' there are rest room facilities and drinking water outlets.
Do remember that you can view trail details on the various Zion NP maps which you should get when visiting but are are also online. Please see my TL for the relevant 'Visitor Information', which includes the Internet link to the specific NPS webpage where they 'live'. For my tour I had a hiking guide which I found useful to get an idea of the trail highlights and any pitfalls which might exist.
Before the shuttle 'arrived', the area used to be a (very scenic !) car park with a LOT fewer people around - nowadays it can get very busy here ! Here you are surrounded on virtually all sides by huge, attractive walls of rock climbing high into the sky; if you peek well enough and in the right places (west) you will be able to see those brave enough to scale the 'Angel's Landing' trail/climb.
I've said it can get very busy here, but effectively that level of activity only occurs when a shuttle bus is around - in between it can be amazingly peaceful, allowing you to fully appreciate the imposing and attractive views that encompass your position.
*** I've said this isn't a trail, BUT there is actually a perfectly walkable (and unmarked on the map) path which wends it's way by the eastern edge of the river inside the small tree-lined riverbank area which separates the water from the scenic drive. It heads south and, aside from a couple of times when you need to get back onto the road, it is a quiet and secluded ramble which you need only follow for a mile before you can get back onto the shuttle at the 'Big Bend' shuttle stop.
When I did it I could hear the shuttle bus nearby on the road, but we couldn't see each other through the trees, BUT more importantly I had a close encounter with one of the Zion 'Wild Turkeys' (or at least that's what I THINK it was !) after hearing it emit a 'call'. What a surprise it was and how HUGE the one I saw was - thankfully I've the photographic evidence to prove it and they will hopefully appear with this review, or you can see the photos/video via my Trip List. The 'big bird' was on the other side of the river strolling in the same direction as me, so I was able to 'track' it for some time with my zoom lens....
If anyone can confirm/clarify what the bird is please let me know !
So, aside from getting access to the Riverside Walk (and further afield), the first reason for going to the 'Temple of Sinawava' is to soak up the fantastic views you can get of the high cliff faces and isolated peaks in this area of the canyon. Then head north but eventually come back and, as I recommend, perhaps walk south further still on that 'unofficial' riverside path which affords even more excellent views of the surroundings and, maybe if you're lucky, some of the larger wildlife that lives in Zion....
I will add any relevant photos/videos after this review is posted by TA.
As well as the method described near the start of this review my TA 'Trip List' can also be accessed from the 'Utah Itineraries' link on the right of the Utah Forum page. Or the direct link is :
Alternatively, to search via TA, it is entitled 'Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce and other SUtah Natl Parks + Monument Valley-May 2011'.
Please feel free to send me messages with any questions.
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