The West Rim trail is my favorite hike in Zion National Park, the views are breathtaking and get better and better as you hike. Before I get into the specifics of the trail many people don’t know you can either hike from Lava Point into the main canyon or start on the Angles Landing trail and head up to Lava Point. Either way you choose you will need two cars one parked at each location or have a person drop you off at one trail head and pick you up at the other end. The only other option is to pay for a shuttle from a company like Zion Rock Guides; however it is an expensive option.
I personally like starting at Lava Point and heading down towards the main canyon. The hike is downhill most of the way and the scenery gets better and better until you reach Angles Landing where the main section of the canyon opens up with 360 degree views. You can either park near the Lava Point Campground or depending on the time of the year drive to the actual West Rim Trail Head. If you park at Lava Point it adds another mile or so to your trip. Lava Point has 6 primitive campsites that are first come first served if you are doing other hikes in the Kolob Terrace section of Zion like the Subway.
The trail starts off high above the rest of Zion, and you walk through pretty meadows. Depending on the time of year you can see lots of wild flowers. We saw quite a bit in June especially flowering cactus. The trail is well maintained the whole hike and the path is clearly marked and is almost the whole time in full sun, so bring lots of sunscreen and a hat. It doesn’t take long until you can see beautiful canyon views that stretch for miles.
There are so many great overlooks that show different views of parts of Zion National Park. Many people only think that Zion National Park is just the main canyon near Springdale but there is so much more to explore. We took a break at this overlook and took some pictures and had a snack.
There are three places you may be able to purify water on the trail (depending on the time of the year). The first is Saw Mill Springs near the beginning of the hike. (If you already need water at this point you probably didn’t pack enough) You continue to hike on pretty flat ground with some ups and downs until you reach Potato Hollow. There are quite a few back country sites you can camp in here if you so desire. This is also the second spot for water (again make sure you purify any water on the trail so you don’t get sick). After hiking into Potato Hollow there is a decent accent back up. It isn’t long but for those out of shape it may be a challenge.
After climbing out of Potato Hollow you will be above the different canyons and have amazing views yet again. We sat and ate lunch at one of the view points. It was a nice 10-15 minute break in the hot sun. http://www.cialisgeneriquefr24.com/pharmacie-en-ligne-belgique-cialis/ We just found a tree and sat under it.When you reach West Rim Spring turn off you are close to getting to Angles Landing, maybe another 30-60 minutes. The spring itself is very small and the water is somewhat stagnant but pretty clean. I don’t know where it comes from but we needed to fill up here and the water didn’t taste to bad after going through my filter.
From the spring you can see a good view of what you have left before you make the turn to reach the main canyon and Angles Landing. It is pretty steep down (or up if you are doing it from the Grotto)
As you go down the switchbacks we were amazed at how far down we descended.
Once you get to the white rocks you really are almost finished. Just a bit more up hill and then you get to a view of Angles Landing. If you are up to it Angles Landing is another .5 mile to the top. If you have never done it and have the energy you should. The views are
After you hike Angles Landing you really are almost done. You just need to head down Walters Wiggles and 45-60 you are done! What a hike. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
To get to Lava Point from St. George head like normally would to Zion but when you get to the town of Virgin head on Kolob Terrace Road. You will head up about 19 miles which takes you in and out of Zion National Park Land (but you don’t have to pay) when you get to the reservoir turn right and follow the signs to the trail head (when you turn in front of the reservoir you will be on a dirt road that is pretty well maintained to Lava Point.
Time: 8-12 Hours
One Way: 13.5 miles (15 miles with a trip to the top of Angles Landing)
Elevation Gain: +-3410 feet
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous