Observation Point - Zion National Park

Observation Point
Zion National Park
Hiking

          Observation Point is consider one of the classic hikes inside Zion National Park. There are two methods for completing this hike. The classic route begins at the Weeping Rock Trailhead and snakes up Echo Canyon. The easy route involves a long drive to reach the East Mesa Trailhead. Both route options are presented below and both routes have their own charm.
 

General Information:
Click Here for Google Earth KMZ file.Click Here for Map          Observation Point is a great hike that contains no obstacles. The route is 8 miles from trailhead to summit using the classic Weeping Rock Trailhead and contains 2000' of elevation gain. This option will require 4 to 6 hours for a round trip. The route is 7 miles from trailhead to summit using the East Mesa Trail with 200' of elevation gain. This option will require 3 to 4 hours for a round trip.

          Using either option this hike can be very hot during midday. Every member of your party should carry a minimum of two liters of water. This hike is accessible year round and is suitable for older children and anyone else that enjoys a long walks in the woods. This is a good ramble for properly conditioned novice hikers. Anyone lacking commonsense should avoid this hike.

         
Navigation for this route is easy. A GPS is a waste of time, but I have included the waypoints because I'm a nice guy. Good map reading skills are wasted on this hike, you will be following a well traveled and well signed trail. "Temple of Sinawava" is the USGS 7.5 minute topographical map that shows Observation Point. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84 datum.

Observation Point - Zion National Park Observation Point - Zion National Park

Weeping Rock Trailhead:
         
Logistically reaching Weeping Rock is by far the easiest of the two trailheads. From the Zion Canyon Visitor Center just take the Zion Canyon Shuttle to Weeping Rock and get off at the announced stop. The trailhead consists of restrooms and a couple of information kiosks. The trail to Observation Point is well signed and easy to find and follow.

East Mesa Trailhead:
          The easiest hiking route to Observation Point is by beginning at the East Mesa Trailhead. To reach the trailhead drive to the East Entrance of Zion National Park. From the East Entrance drive east 2.4 miles on highway 9. Turn left at the signed "North Fork" junction. Drive 5.2 miles to signed "Zion Ponderosa Resort". Turn left and enter the Zion Ponderosa (N37 16' 22", W112 52' 24").  From here, you will be driving on dirt roads. The Zion Ponderosa is private property, please respect this trailhead access. You will be crossing cabin sites with many spur roads, stay on the main road until told to turn off. You will be heading toward the Observation Point Trailhead, sometimes there are signs, other times they have been removed.

          After entering the Zion Ponderosa, stay on the main road (do not turn left to the resort) and drive 0.7 miles to signed Cable Mountain, Observation Point road fork (N37 16' 33", W112 53' 02"). Take the right fork and drive 0.7 miles to a tee in the road (N37 16' 47", W112 53' 45"). Turn right, and drive 1.1 miles until road forks around a large ponderosa pine (N37 17' 43", W112 53' 49"). Take the right fork and drive 0.2 miles to a spur road on the left (N37 17' 51", W112 54' 00"). Take the spur road to the left and drive 0.1 miles. The road ends at a fence, which is the Zion Park boundary. There are no signs at the trailhead (N37 17' 47", W112 54' 04"), it just ends at a national park boundary fence.

Observation Point - Zion National Park

Weeping Rock Trail:
          From Weeping Rock Trailhead (N37 16' 16", W112 56' 18") follow the well signed trail east. After 3/4 mile you will reach a junction (N37 16' 08", W112 56' 14"), take the signed trail east (left). Hike an additional 1 1/2 miles east, as the trail continues to climb Echo Canyon, to a second junction (N37 16' 26", W112 55' 38"). Take the signed trail north (left). Follow the trail 1 1/4 mile as the trail continues to climb to a third junction (N37 16' 52", W112 56' 12"), take the signed trail west (left) and hike 1/2 mile to Observation Point (N37 16' 41", W112 56' 25"). Enjoy the view.

East Mesa Trail:
          From the East Mesa Trailhead (N37 17' 47", W112 54' 04") cross the fence at the access point 40 feet south and begin walking west on the well-traveled East Mesa Trail. Hike west for 3 miles to a signed junction (N37 16' 52", W112 56' 12"), take the signed trail west (straight ahead) and hike 1/2 mile to Observation Point (N37 16' 41", W112 56' 25"). Enjoy the view.

Observation Point - Zion National Park

Combo Platter:
          It's becoming popular to setup a shuttle or use a commercial shuttle to the East Mesa Trailhead and hike to Observation Point, and than continue hiking down the trail to the Weeping Rock Trailhead. The entire hike is downhill when using this option and the scenery is always changing.

Observation Point - Zion National Park

 


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