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Mount Kinesava - Zion National Park

Inspiring summit ascent. Long difficult approach to the prominent peak beside West Temple. Petroglyphs.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 8.1 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  Resting in the southern section of Zion National Park, where daytime summer temperatures climb into the triple digits, is Mount... more »

Tips:  Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking and Trailhead

Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin Utah. Continue on SR-9 toward the south entrance of the park. After passing through the town of Rockville and before your arrive at the large apple orchard marking the beginning of Springdale, Utah. Watch for a large sweeping turn in the road to your left. At the apex of the... More

2. Alternative Parking

The parking provided at the trailhead is cumbersome at best and dangerous at worst especially for low clearance vehicles. It is not well maintained and provides for blind entrance onto Anasazi Way. Along hwy-9 a large pullout exists a few feet below the parking lot and might provide a better alternative.

Follow the Chinle Trail through the subdivision. Use care and respect as the trail is close to several private property homes.

4. Chinle Trail / BLM Junction

Just across Anasazi Way is the Junction for mountain biking on BLM land and Chinle Trail. Continue to follow the Chinle Trail.

5. Zion National Park Boundary Gate

The boundary is marked by a chained gate. The chain is looped around a pole and keeps the gate in place. Please remember to close and chain the gate after passing through. Turn east and follow the fence line toward a small ridge line rising to the north and the first Springdale layer. Use power poles for reference.

6. Bushwacking to Rocky Ridge Line

Following the small ridge line a prominent ridge line exists further to the north. This ridge line is punctuated with large boulders and a triple power pole resting between the boulders. This is the direction of travel. Avoid dropping into the gorge on your right, stay on the high level layer to your left makes for easier hiking.

7. Access to Springdale Layer

Access to the Springdale Layer is granted by scrambling up a sandy, rocky ridge line. The trail is well marked, but the climb is difficult. Use of hiking poles helps with balance and traction in the soft dirt. Use extreme caution! Even very large boulders should be viewed with skepticism before gripping, pulling or standing.

8. Springdale Layer and Second Layer

On the Springdale Layer follow the cairns and path into the Juniper covered landscape. A very large boulder with a cairn on top of it marks the junction between those taking the Springdale Layer Loop and those proceeding to Cowboy Ridge, Mt. Kinesava and West Temple. At the boulder proceed to the left hand side heading in a westerly direction... More

9. Second Layer to Kinesava Rock Face

From this ridge line proceed north toward the gully but dropping into the flat area behind it. Several prominent gullies descend from Kinesava's rock face. Proceed up on the southern hillside. A well worn path and ample cairns mark the path. Soon the trail drops down and through the gully to the opposite hill side. Scrambling becomes solid... More

10. Ledge and Final Ramp

At the rock face, the trail proceeds up a series of boulder washes. Solid class 4 scramble exists as you alternate between several steep, gulleys or traverse' along the ridge line beside them. One large (30' square) exposed section of slickrock caused me to use my 6mm pull cord on the descent for a pendulum swing to the trail. Once elevation is... More

11. Final Ramp

Just past the ledge is the crux for the summit ascent. A series of massive boulders must be climbed to arrive at the sandy trail once again. Up close and personal these boulders are an impressive sight. Ledges, cracks and boulders make for good hand and feet positions to arrive at a massive cairn type outcropping. Fractured and split it... More

12. Hoodoos and Plateau

Finally the plateau is reached and you are greeted by several large Hoodoos. The rocky ridge line that continues to West Temple is impressive to the north. Again the view East is spectacular.

Looking south now across the plateau of scrub oak, and ponderosa pine trees is a red rock knoll. To the right of the red rock knoll is a series of... More

13. Summit of Mount Kinesava

The climb to the summit of Mount Kinesava is an additional 700 vertical feet of slickrock scrambling. Plenty of shelf systems and weaknesses to arrive at the top. Be prepared for some of the most awe inspiring views Zion National Park has to offer.

Mount Kinesava rests on the Southern most edge of the park, the views West are of Kolob and... More

14. Petroglyphs

Down climb back to the valley looking south-south-west again locate the series of cliff bands. Follow the well worn path across the plateau, through the scrub oak to the buttresses. As Bo Beck points out on his website for Mount Kinesava "We assume if you are going to do this difficult of a hike you respect ancient rock... Remember the slightest... More

15. Down climbing

Down climbing is especially tricky after a long day. Use caution and hiking poles to keep balance during the descent.