Observation Point, Zion National Park

Distance: ~8 miles (12.9 km)
Highest Elevation: 6,508 ft (1,984 m)
Elevation Gain: 2,150 ft (655 m)
Date: March 11, 2011
Zion Canyon from Observation Point (Angel's Landing is at center)

In Zion National Park the trail to Observation Point begins at the Weeping Rock trailhead in Zion Canyon and rapidly ascends to the canyon rim.  The vast majority of the trail is "paved" in one form or another since it has been carved out of the canyon walls.  There are four main sections to the trail during the climb to Observation Point.

The view of Zion Canyon and Angel's Landing from the first section of the hike

The first is a series of switchbacks that gain elevation immediately after leaving the trailhead.  Second, once the trail passes the Hidden Canyon junction, it continues along until it turns right into a narrow side canyon.  The trail traverses through this canyon for a moderate distance and may involve stream crossings depending on environmental conditions.  In early March there were still some sections were snow and ice pack covered the stream and provided easy crossings, but patches of ice on switchbacks made for tough going for people without shoe traction such as YakTrax.

The trail carved out through a slot canyon
The trail though the canyon on the second section

After the next intersection at the end of the canyon, the trail once again turns uphill and follows a series of switchbacks until it reaches the very top of the rim of Zion Canyon.  The fourth and final section follows the canyon rim until it reaches Observation Point.

Zion Canyon from the trail to Observation Point on the fourth section of the hike

Observation Point towers above the more popular Angel's Landing below and provides fantastic views of Zion Canyon.  Watch out for chipmunks that will try to steal your food at the summit.

Zion Canyon from near Observation Point

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.


  1. Such a lovely sharing! It is really helpful for travelers. Personally I never have been to Zion National Park but my uncle told me that it is an awesome attraction. Now after visiting this blog I guess; it is an interested attraction as Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona and offers fantastic opportunities for hiking and nature photography. This summer I have planned to go to phoenix grand canyon tours 2nd time. Now I wish to visit Zion Park after my Grand Canyon tour.


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