Home :   Trail Search :   Gallery :   Hikers :   Links               

Observation Point
Zion National Park, Utah

The trail to Observation Point, located in Utah’s Zion Canyon National Park, climbs 2,147 feet in a mere four miles, to arguably one of the best views in this celebrated park—from its summit, one can see the Virgin River carving its way through Zion Canyon, Angels Landing perched atop a massive sandstone fin, and the easily recognizable peaks of Cable Mountain and the Great White Throne.

Hikers set on reaching Observation Point start their quest by zigzagging up a steep amphitheater of Zion Canyon—along the way, views of the alabaster walls of Cathedral Mountain create a backdrop for the far side of the Virgin River. As you continue climbing the switchbacks, the views open even further, including a glimpse of the sheltered alcove that contains Weeping Rock—water estimated to be thousands of years old seeps through the ground, and emerges in this area to form a dripping wall.

With Weeping Rock disappearing into the depths of the canyon, the trail continues its relentless climb, reaching the Hidden Canyon Trail junction at 1.5-miles. The main trail to Observation Point turns northward and continues to gain altitude among a myriad of wildflowers—keep your pace and you will soon reach a fairly level section as you head into Echo Canyon.

Echo Canyon, an enchanting hanging chasm, is one of the many highlights of the trek to Observation Point—at first, the trail clings to the edge of a sheer-walled cliff, with the abyss of Echo Canyon plunging off to the left. However, you can check your vertigo along this section, as you won’t need it again until closer to the end of the trail—thankfully for some, the floor of the canyon soon rises to trail level.

Now following a sandy wash, the trail eventually proceeds along a shelf through the sheer walls of Echo Canyon, which once again plunges into the depths off the side of the trail—shortly, the slot canyon opens into a sun filled bowl surrounded by towering peaks.

Leaving the cool recesses of Echo Canyon, the trail once again begins climbing—this time towards the promontory of Mount Baldy. Sweeping views are now the focus of weary hikers climbing the west-facing rib of the mountain—switchbacks after switchback finally reward those who persevere with a dizzying view from The Mesa. It was along this section of the trail that we came across a scene straight out of National Geographic—a small garter snake had just caught a lizard and was swallowing it head first! We watched as nature took its course, and then finally the lizard was gone and the snake had a full belly—a sad day for the lizard, but a very happy ending for the snake.

The path ultimately reaches the top of the Navajo sandstone, skirting cliffs that drop thousands of feet to the canyon below along the way—reactivate your vertigo card if you’re carrying one. At the top of The Mesa, after passing through a scrubland of pinon and juniper, you reach a junction—turn left and trek through deep sand to Observation Point.

The panorama at trail’s end is breathtaking, genuinely a Zion classic—Angels Landing, Cathedral Mountain, Castle Dome, and the Great White Throne all tower over the meandering Virgin River far below. Take off your backpack, find a comfy rock on the tip of the promontory, and soak in the view—an apt reward for those who go the distance.

NBH Logo copyright 1989-2024, Natural Born Hikers, All rights reserved. Send comments on this web site to