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Observation Point Hike

Zion National Park

Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, Utah

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Observation Point Hike

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  • Claret cup cactus.- Observation Point Hike
  • Zion is well-known for its towering walls.- Observation Point Hike
  • The floppy blooms of desert primrose are plentiful along the trail.- Observation Point Hike
  • A narrow canyon cuts the landscape in half just below the trail.- Observation Point Hike
  • Slickrock mounds and cliffs can be seen in all directions.- Observation Point Hike
  • Phlox creates a carpet over the sand.- Observation Point Hike
  • In some places the trail is cut right into the side of a cliff.- Observation Point Hike
  • Cactus thrives in the dry desert environment.- Observation Point Hike
  • Paintbrush speckles the otherwise brown landscape with bright red blooms.- Observation Point Hike
  • Safeguard your snacks against these aggressive chipmunks that scamper around Observation Point.- Observation Point Hike
  • Views from Observation Point are breathtaking.- Observation Point Hike
  • On the plateau the trail surface turns to red sand.- Observation Point Hike
  • From the viewpoint you get a sense of how massive all of the features truly are.- Observation Point Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Outstanding view of Zion Canyon.
Cons: 
Steep trail.
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Region:
Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,100.00 ft (640.08 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,400.00 ft (1,341.12 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

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The views from Observation Point are arguably the best in Zion National Park. From the top, hikers can look straight down the canyon and watch the Virgin River carve its way downstream. The famous Angels Landing is visible just a short distance away and about 700 feet below. A few stout trees provide rare patches of shade, and chipmunks dart between backpacks. 

Start the hike to Observation Point early in the day to take advantage of the shade, otherwise it's a long, hot, steep walk to the top. Bring plenty of water and sun protection. Spring and fall are ideal times to visit Observation Point since summer temperatures can be unbearably hot.

The mostly paved trail ascends a series of switchbacks up a hillside into Echo Canyon. The grade eases a bit while the route traverses the canyon. Next, the trail continues to climb steeply. Stop to catch your breath and notice the sage, juniper, yucca, and hundreds of varieties of wildflowers all along the trail. The last three-quarters of a mile rises gently to the plateau and turns onto the Observation Point spur. At the end of the spur, breathtaking views of Zion Canyon reward the effort to get up there.

The Weeping Rock Trailhead and shuttle stop in Zion Canyon is the jumping off point for several other hikes, including a jaunt to the hanging gardens at Weeping Rock and an off-trail exploration of Hidden Canyon. Consider combining this hike with a visit to one or both of these adventures while you're there. Check the shuttle schedule and locate stop locations by visiting the Zion website.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(53 within a 30 mile radius)

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