Amusement Parks
National Parks
Route 66 Cities Beaches


West Rim Dayhike


Getting There Lodging Restaurants Hiking Backpacking The Narrows The Subway Springdale

The West Rim Dayhike has long been the most neglected hike in the park.

It has been overshadowed by Observation Point, Angel's Landing, Cable Mountain and the trip up the Narrows.

But it's a spectacular hike. In just a few miles you see an amazing jumble of cliffs, mountains, crags, canyons, gorges, pinks, whites, grays, reds and oranges. It's an otherworldly landscape.

However, now that the landslide has blocked Observation Point and the East Rim, park rangers expect many more hikers to venture on past Angel's Landing to explore the West Rim.

It's "past Angel's Landing" because the hike begins the exact same way. The trailhead is at The Grotto. You hike up into Refrigerator Canyon, then climb 21 switchbacks called Walters Wiggles.

The Emerald Pools Observation Point Angel's Landing West Rim East Mesa The East Rim Y

This brings you to Scout Lookout, where everyone heads east to the Razor's Edge and Angel's Landing. You may want to pause to catch your breath, take a cold drink and have a snack after climbing those switchbacks.

Then you turn left, west, and pass through the cleft in the rock out onto the West Rim.

The first half of this hike is challenging because you're heading consistently uphill. You've already climbed up out of Refrigerator Canyon. Scout Lookout was at 5500 feet. But West Rim Spring, your turnaround point, is at 6700 feet. So you have 1200 feet yet to climb.

You have to be a little careful here, because in places the trail heads out over naked bedrock and it's hard to figure out exactly where it is. If you look carefully there are brown signs, with the symbol of a hiking boot's vibram sole, marking its route.

There are also cairns marking the route.

Out to your right, incredible views of the main Zion Canyon, looking up The Narrows, appear. But Be Careful. You're walking along 2000 foot cliffs. Stop Walking while you admire the view.

That's still Refrigerator Canyon to youe left. As you reach the head of the canyon, you'll see The White Cliffs looming ahead and to your right. The trail eases downhill for a short distance.

When you cross the bridge, start looking for the beginning of Telephone Canyon to your right. Here you enter a woods of Maple, Oak, Spruce and Douglas Fir. And to your left you'll be lookng down Behunin Canyon.

This is West Rim Springs, also called Cabin Springs. Often it's dry. When it does have water it's often muddy or algae filled.

If you look around you'll see lingering evidence of a long ago fire. It started from a campfire in 1992. So in 30 years Nature has still not been able to erase those charred remains. Notice there are two trails merging. Most day hikers turn around here. You could continue, however, You're looking at a three mile loop. IF you have time and energy it's worth it for the amazing scenery looking out across the park.

Obviously, the return trip is much easier, since you're heading downhill the whole way. And although you're passing the same scenery from the opposite direction, you may see some things you missed on the way up. One of these is the mouth of Mystery Canyon, across to your left. If you hiked the East Mesa Trail, you saw this canyon from the other end. If you walked up The Narrows, it's the canyon you passed the waterfall coming down from and you may have seen canyoneers rappelling down from. Now, facing back toward the east, you see dramatic views of Angel's Landing, the Great White Throne and Red Arch.

Like Us On Facebook (OutpostUSA.org) To Receive Our Daily Outdoor Adventure News and Travel Notes And To Post Comments
This Year's Unique Visitor Tally : 1,003,492 Contact us at Omlordw@aol.com Meet our writers at Staff