Zion National Park
Observation Point

The trail begins at the Weeping Rock area.
It is about 4 miles each way and took us about 4 hours total walking time. This is the most scenic hike I've done so far in Zion, with views that rival even Angel's Landing.

The trail starts steeply up carved zig-zags in the rock, the beginning is the hardest part of the trail. After about 1/2 mile, you reach the junction to Hidden Canyon, which goes right or west up some tight switchbacks. Then after about 1/4 of a mile, you reach Echo Canyon, from here the temperature drops a bit, and the grade becomes very easy. Echo Canyon, was worth the hike alone, extremely interesting and dramatic. After leaving Echo Canyon, the views open up you will begin to climb some steeper switchbacks. I bet this portion of the trail is sweltering hot in the summer. After about a mile or so, the trail reaches a very precarious drop off on the left side, not for the faint of heart. After walking along this spooky edge, you will reach the last leg of the hike, which is a nearly flat and travels along the west side of Observation Point's connected neighbor mesa. Then it's just a few quick skips to the end, and you're done, just don't keep skipping.

Monday, December 31, 2007

The West Temple, The Towers of the Virgin.
Notice the Altar of Sacrifice with bloodstains down it's eastern face.

A giant white frog peers through the sandstone gap.
The Three Patriarchs

Mountain of the Sun, Mount Spry and the East Temple

Another shot of the frog among the gigantic sanstone walls.

Mount Majestic
Navajo sandstone pinnacles.

This is a view of the junction between the Hidden Canyon trail and Observation Point.

From the entrance into Echo Canyon looking straight down
into the water carved curves below.

The entrance into Echo Canyon,
although it was cold this time of year, this section was really spectacular.

A short sidestep off the trail offers views of this little morsel of eye candy.

Frozen slots in Echo Canyon (This isn't the trail)

After emerging from Echo Canyon, the views start to open up all around.
Cable Mountain, Great White Throne, The Three Patriarchs, Heaps Canyon, Mount Majestic.

Looking up from the switchbacks you will see many exaggeratedly colorful rocks.

This cliff edge was kind of spooky to walk across, you don't want to fall here.
From here you can see Cable Mountain, The Great White Throne, The Three Patriarchs,
The entrance to Heaps Canyon, Angel's Landing and Mount Majestic.

A telephoto of someone "Observing" Zion National Park from Observation Point.

Walking down the flat walkway, looking southwest down Zion Canyon.
The Great White Throne is on the left.

From nearest to farthest on the right:
Angel's Landing, Mount Majestic, Heaps Canyon,
Three Patriarchs, The Towers of the Virgin, The west Temple, Mount Kinesava.


Along this walkway there is an abundance of diverse colorful sandstone.

The view from Observation Point, well worth the hike.
Angel's Landing is the butte in the foreground.

On the left you can see From nearest to farthest:
The Organ (Below Angel's Landing) The Great White Throne, Red Arch Mountain
The East Temple, Bridge Mountain, The Watchman.
Eagle Crags, Smithsonian Butte, Little Creek Mountain and off into Arizona.

From the western edge of Observation Point looking north toward the Temple of Sinawava.
I think those are the Tushar Mountains in the distance.

From the western edge of Observation Point,
looking northwest over the Pulpit 4,411 and Horse Pasture Plateau.
Kolob Peak 8,948 is visible on top of the Upper Kolob Plateau.

From the western edge of Observation Point looking west over some cactus.

Elephant-skinned sanstone curves.

A view of Hidden Canyon. Notice the switchbacks on the bottom left?

A telephoto of the switchbacks up to Hidden Canyon and Observation Point.
You can see the entrance to Echo Canyon on the top left.

Looking east from Observation Point, towards the connecting mesa.
This walkway is the flat section just after the spooky edge trail.

This is the flat walkway looking north toward Observation Point,
at the end of the mesa.

Gnome Arches along the sandstone walls.

Echo Canyon's slot section, good on the eyes.

Going through the Echo Canyon slot.
It must had been fun trying to get through here before they blasted the rock out.

Looking down the slots.

From Echo Canyon looking south up to Cable Mountain.

Swirly sandstone curves along the trail in Echo Canyon.

Ancient walls of eroded sandstone.

Looking west toward Angels Landing and Mount Majestic,
from near the entrance to Echo Canyon.

Checkerboard Mesa on the eastern end of Zion National Park.


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