Observation Point, Zion National Park – Pictures, Maps & Tips

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Article Categories: Hiking
Article Tags: Day Hikes | Hiking | Utah | Zion

Observation Point in Zion National Park is one of the most common hikes in the park due to the incredible views, as well as the unique trail that zig zags up the canyon’s walls with incredible views for almost 100% of the hike. This makes our list of one of the best hikes in Zion.

Elevation: 6,507 feet (1983.3 meters)
Distance: 8 miles round trip (12.9 km)
Rating: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 2,100 feet (640.1 meters)
Hike Time: 4-6 hours

Trails

Weeping Rock – Zion Shuttle Stop 7

Hikers begin at the weeping rock trailhead, which ascends quickly with a series of switchbacks. From the trailhead you can explore the weeping rock area with a short detour. Only a short distance into the trail, you will also have the option to explore hidden canyon, which is a great detour for the way down. The trail to the canyon is very uniquely carved into the canyon walls, and steep drops.

View From Weeping Rock Trailhead

View From Weeping Rock Trailhead

After about 1,000 feet of elevation gain, hikers will find themselves entering echo canyon. The trail meanders through the canyon, with cliff walls rising on either side of you. You can also pear downwards into the deep cracks of the canyon. This piece of the hike already makes the steep trails worth the trip, and also provides a brief break from the non-stop switchbacks. Shortly after exiting echo canyon, you will pass the East Rim Trail and begin zig zagging your way up the rest of observation point.

Echo Canyon Zion

After ascending above echo canyon, you will have consistent views of Zion as you ascend what appears to be a trail carved directly into completely vertical cliffs. It truly is one of the most incredible traila in the park.

Observation Point

The views on the trail are incredible, but still aren’t quite as good as what you experience at Observation Point. Though not quite a 360 degree view of Zion, you will see the park from a unique vantage point.

Trail Map

Observation Point Trail Map

Observation Point Vs. Angel’s Landing

If one had a choice, it would be to do both Angel’s Landing and Observation Point as they are both spectacular, offer unique perspectives of Zion National Park, and can even give you a solid workout. Of course, some may have to make a choice of hiking one or the other, and if this is the case, you likely should choose Angel’s Landing.

Views

Both feature incredible views at the summit, and on the trails, but Angel’s Landing simply beats Observation point. The 360 degree view from the center of the canyon cannot be topped. Not to mention, the views from the trail are just as stunning. With this being said, the views from Observation Point are almost just as good. You also get incredible views of echo canyon and Zion Canyon as you ascend.

Trails

This comparison is so difficult, but yet again, Angel’s Landing can’t be topped. It is one of the most recognizable and unforgettable trails in the world for a very good reason. If Angel’s Landing didn’t exist…Observation Point would probably rank just as high as Angel’s Landing. The zig zags up the massive white cliffs are incredible, the narrow hiking through echo canyon are unique to your eyes, and to your ears. Even with the spectacular trail heading up Observation Point, the drop-offs and chain lined trails of Angel’s Landing are too spectacular to pass up.

Difficulty

With an 8 mile round trip and 2,100 feet of elevation gain, Observation Point is just a bit more difficult than Angel’s Landing. Angel’s Landing features 1,500 feet elevation gain and a 4.8 mile round trip.

Click here if you would like to read about Hiking Angel’s Landing

Weather Forecast

Springdale, UT

This Afternoon
A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy. High near 39, with temperatures falling to around 35 in the afternoon. West southwest wind around 12 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Tonight
A slight chance of snow before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Northwest wind 2 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Thursday
Sunny. High near 39, with temperatures falling to around 34 in the afternoon. East southeast wind 2 to 6 mph.

Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 21. East wind around 6 mph.

Friday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 39. Southwest wind 5 to 8 mph.

Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 20.

Saturday
Partly sunny, with a high near 40.

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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