Alternative Ways to Hike To the Observation Point in Zion

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Explore
  4.  » 
  5. Travel
  6.  » 
  7. North America
  8.  » Alternative Ways to Hike To the Observation Point in Zion
Last updated Jun 20, 2023

For some time now, the most popular way of seeing the Observation Point via the Weeping Rock Trail has not been accessible due to a major rockfall. Many people go to Zion without realizing there are alternative ways to hike to the Observation Point, according to many, the most mesmerizing view of Zion Canyon.

There are actually two alternative ways to hike to the Observation Point. From East Rim Trail or from East Mesa Trail to the Observation Point. East Mesa Trail alternative is more suitable for day hikers. Easy 7-mile hike out and back.

The hike from East Rim Trail is 6 miles longer each way with a significant amount of elevation change. The trailhead is located only about 100 ft. before the east entrance to the park. The hike from East Mesa Trail starts approximately a 45-50-minute drive from Springdale and part of the road is unpaved and uneven. The road may not be accessible during the rainy season and a high-clearance vehicle is suggested to drive all the way to the Observation Point trailhead.



Alternative Ways to Hike To Observation Point Stats

Tail Map | Alternative Ways to the Observation Point In Zion

East Rim Trail to Observation Point

Distance: 21 miles out-and-back
Elevation Gain: 1000 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: 100 ft west of the East Entrance fee booths.

East Mesa Trail to Observation Point

Distance: 7 miles out-and-back
Elevation Gain: 700 ft.
Difficulty: Easy
Facilities: Parking available, no restrooms or water filling stations.

How to get to East Mesa to Observation Point Trailhead

The East Mesa to Observation Point Trailhead is approximately 20 miles east of Springdale. Take Zion Park Blvd UT-9E (~15 miles) to N Fork County Rd (~5.2 miles), after 5.2 miles turn left on a dirt road, the same road that leads to the Zion Ponderosa Resort, then turn right on Beaver Rd.

Zion National Park

At each intersection, there are signs pointing in the direction of the Observation Point.

Zion National Park

We did not drive all the way to the trailhead, since the last half mile of the road was very uneven with huge ruts in it. That half a mile was not worth the risk of popping a tire to us, so we parked at a widened area of the road and hiked from there to the trailhead.

Zion National Park

There are no restrooms or water-filling stations anywhere on this trail. We brought 1.5 L of water each, along with fruit and snacks with us on the trail. We also left a cooler full of ice with additional water, Gatorade, and sandwiches in the car to have lunch when we returned. If hiking during summer months, we technically hiked in the fall, end of September, but it was still really hot (98°F), so bring sunscreen. Hiking poles are optional and truly your preference. Even though it got as high as 98°F that day, when we started in the morning it was 55°F, wearing layers helps manage the cold mornings and brutally hot days.



East Mesa to Observation Point Trail

The first ~2.5 miles of the hike is on a wide, mostly flat trail shaded by ponderosa and juniper forest, with occasional views into the surrounding canyons.

Zion National Park

Then about a 0.5-mile hike downhill on rocky terrain. After that, the East Rim Trail and the East Mesa Trail merge for a 0.4-mile to the Observation Point. That last part of the trail is through mostly deep sand. Does anyone else hate hiking through deep sand?! Ugh! Nevertheless, it is all worth it for the amazing view at the Observation Point. Simply breathtaking! Take your time to take it all in. Do not rush!

Zion National Park



Alternative Ways to the Observation Point in Zion
Observation Point | Alternative Ways to the Observation Point In Zion

Take note of the survey marker from 1928 on one of the rocks, and if you look across the way on your left, you will see the big white rock gap with red lines, that is the location from which the rock fell and is blocking the trail at the Weeping Rock. From what we heard while we were there, clearing of it is not going to happen anytime soon.

Alternative Ways to the Observation Point in Zion
Survey Marker at Observation Point | Alternative Ways to the Observation Point in Zion

This is a good hike to do on your way to Bryce from Zion or the other way around if your path takes you that way. Alternatively, if going back to Zion, combine it with the short Canyon Overlook hike on your way back to Springdale.



East Rim to Observation Point trail

The East Rim to Observation Point trail is very similar to the East Mesa trail except it is longer and has much more elevation change. The trail heads up to the plateau with views of sandstone cliffs all around. A hike through ponderosa forest eventually leads to Stave Spring and the junction with Deertrap and Cable Mountain, or hikers can continue on the East Rim Trail and descend down into Echo Canyon towards Observation Point.

I do not think you will be disappointed by either choice, understanding that the East Rim hike is much longer.

Other helpful posts…
3 Epic Days in Zion National Park
17-Day Grand Canyon and Utah’s Mighty 5 Road Trip Itinerary
Grand Hike in the Grand Canyon – South Kaibab to Tonto to Bright Angel Loop
Four Adventure Filled Days in Moab
Easy Must Do Hikes in Capitol Reef
Must Do Hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

CONTACT US:




RECENT Posts

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *