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“Beautful, long, do-able hike.”
Review of East Rim Trail

East Rim Trail
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Attraction details
Owner description: An 8-mile strenuous hike brings you to a vantage point high above Zion.
Reviewed 2 November 2015

I was pretty hesitant about doing this hike. It is long (11 miles) with lots of elevation gain (1,000) and loss (2,300). I read the reviews and got the facts. Ultimately, decided it would be stretching my limits but didn’t want to be left out (the rest of my group were all going.) I’m so glad I did! Turned out not to be nearly as daunting as the facts make it sound. Although, as another reviewer says, it is up and up in the beginning, the inclines are gradual with some flat and a little decline mixed in, making it, actually, pretty easy. The scenery is beautiful and varied and the hike peaceful (we had it to ourselves until we reached Observation Point). The first half of the hike is lovely, but as others have stated, after getting past Stave Springs, it gets even better with BEAUTIFUL canyons and panoramas. The last 1.5 miles is steep downhill on pavement and definitely hard on already tired feet and knees but just short enough (with a little help from some Ibuprofen and the beginning and of the hike, no residual effect). Hope you give it a go; it is worth it.
Logistics:
With stops for pictures (lots) and lunch, we were on the trail for 6.5 hours.
We hired an outfitter (Zion Guru, highly recommended) to drop us at the trail start at the East Entrance and hiked down to Weeping Rock and took the shuttle from there back to the visitors center.

2  Thank tlarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 October 2015

This hike is very steep so make sure you have good shoes and plenty of water. It's all mainly uphill but the view is gorgeous, even inside the cave. I like how you can take this trail to Observation hike or the other two hikes available. It's also located by Weeping Rock so you can do multiple hikes in one area.

2  Thank MaitreyeeMayhem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2015

We hiked this from the east entrance trail head to the top of Echo Canyon, then back to the car, about 7 miles out and 7 miles back. Over the first 5 miles the trail winds and climbs slowly up onto the mesa top through lovely scenery very different to the drama and sheer scale of the main Virgin River canyon. It then drops a little as it crosses the mesa and heads for the steep drop into Echo Canyon. We turned back there, not wanting to have all the height to regain to get to the car.

It is likely to be very quiet. I think we saw less than 10 other hikers all day.

As a significant landmark Stave Spring is a let-down, just a pipe coming out of the ground about 10 yards off the trail, not obvious to spot and not well sign-posted (until you have gone 150 yards past it). And in the heat wave we had in June, bone dry.

1  Thank MunroBasher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2015

The Park trail map shows the East Rim Trail going between the Weeping Rock parking area and a pull-off near the East Entrance and Checkerboard Mesa for a distance of over 10-miles. Hidden Canyon trail, Observation Point trail, and Cable Mountain/Deertrap trail spur off at different places along the way.

There are two ways visitors typically enjoy the East Rim Trail. We took a third way.

The first and most common is to hop off the canyon shuttle at Weeping Rock and trek on up. The trail is paved, but steep as it zig zags up a virtual cliff. Pass the the Hidden Canyon spur for about twice again the distance. Hopefully, it's still morning, or you're directly in the hot afternoon sun. The higher you go, the better the view back down into the canyon. Eventually, you slip into a slot canyon where the path levels out and it's cool and nice, and beautiful. Most will turn back here, and find it's been a complete day of hiking once back to Weeping Rock.

The second less-traveled way to enjoy the East Rim trail is to drive up to the East Entrance trail head. This is the gateway for those with overnight permits and want to explore the spur trails Observation Point, Cable Mountain, and Deertrap. The trail is groomed but rough or sandy in spots. It begins with a walk up Cave Canyon then around to the head of Jolley Gulch. Once of top, you can turn around or it's 5 or so miles of flatter terrain before beginning a descent into Zion Canyon via Echo Canyon. The one-way hike takes all day, plus an arrangement because you began and ended your hike miles apart.

We took a third route with 2 teenagers, 3-late forties parents, and a 9-year old "Princess." The nice folks at the Ponderosa Resort picked us up in a van at the Zion Visitor Center at 8:30 AM and for a fair fee dropped us off at the Stave Spring spur which, in one-third mile, intersects at about the half way point of the East Rim trail. The trail is groomed and fairly easy to negotiate, but rather rough at times, and marked by cairns at others. It was at first level, and then gently descended down Echo Canyon. No strenuous climb up. Let me repeat that: no steep uphill grind. We feel like we cheated in that we got to enjoy the fabulous scenery, ponderosa pines, slot canyons, amazing landscape, and breathtaking views up close, and without working for it. The trail is paved once we passed the Observation Point spur for the around 2-mile, knee buckling descent down to Weeping Rock. It was then a nice shuttle ride back down to the Visitor Center parking lot. All told, a little under 5-miles hike. We purposefully took 4-hours to enjoy it, but one could probably do the same in two.

This route is a less well-known option for a reason, I think. One, this is in Zion Wilderness. You may spend a night up there if you get hurt because it is that difficult of terrain for rescue. Something this wild and dangerous probably shouldn't be so accessible to the common out-of-shape, inexperienced tourist-type. Second, independent private enterprises and the NPS never get along very well, and Ponderosa Resort is no exception. I could start listing reasons, but I think you can think them through yourself. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this hike.

2  Thank RadRasmussen .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 June 2014

After several days of hiking Angels Landing, The Narrows, and many of the other trails in Zion, we chose to hike the East Rim Trail entering from the East Gate. Great views very few people and an awesome hike for a day or overnight.

1  Thank curioustraveller4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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