Drive Hike Repeat

If you are looking for a big adventure in Zion but aren't sure you're up to the cliffs of Angel's Landing, consider hiking up to Observation Point. This hike is also a great follow-up to Angel's Landing for a later day in your trip. 

All told, the hike up to Observation Point is an 8 mile round trip hike. A great distance for us. And for some people with older kids, it would be feasible. There are some places to stop and sit/explore/run around along the hike so that might be an option to break it up. 

The hike up to Observation Point actually has more elevation gain than that up to Angel's Landing. So this is not an easy hike. But it is a very manageable hike. The elevation gain overall is slower, especially toward the end. You start on some very steep switch backs and then you enter Echo Canyon. You'll see cannoneers carrying their giant packs and landing pads up to explore this slot canyon. But the traditional hiker won't have the skills needed to navigate the cold water and steep walls. But you DO get to walk through it and that is awe-inspiring. This canyon was actually Kelly's favorite part of the hike, and possibly of all of our trip to Zion. 

After emerging out of Echo Canyon, you still have a lot of climbing to do but the grade softens a touch. Eventually, you'll reach an intersection with another trail that points toward the outer bound of the park. And after that sign the hardest climbing is over. Along the mesa, you have about 3/4 of a mile of mostly flat hiking with just some small ups and downs. As you get closer to the point, you'll start realizing you can see both sides of the canyon around you. And then, drumroll, you will arrive. The views are magnificent.

When we went in early March, we had the whole point to ourselves for 30 minutes. Some locals were out hiking ahead of us (they actually flew past us on the steep ascent) and they were just leaving. So we sat and soaked in the view until the next hikers arrived. What an awesome spot. You look down on Angel's Landing and the whole canyon. So much beauty spanning out everywhere.

This hike is a touch less crowded than Angel's Landing. But don't be caught off-guard. Zion is a popular park for its size and many visitors will head here for a big day of hiking. Start early, especially in the warmer months when crowds and sun can zap some of the fun out of hiking. 

 

How to get there: Park at the Weeping Rock Trailhead, just past Angel's Landing. Parking lot is on the right and about 2 miles until the end of the road.  

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