Backpack the Zion National Park Traverse

Rate this Adventure Lee Pass Trailhead

This is an amazing backpack (or trail run for ultra-runners!) that explores the entire width of Zion National Park-- from narrow canyons, to lush valleys rimmed by red rock, to phenomenal vistas overlooking the best of the park.

When doing this point-to-point trail in a west-to east-direction, start at Lee Pass trailhead, about 8 miles up the hill on Kolob Canyon Road from Exit 40 on I-15.

The trail initially descends down and follows La Verkin Creek. At 6.6 miles, there is an optional side trip to Kolob Arch. Just past this junction, is an additional junction for Hop Valley trail. Taking the Hop Valley trail takes you up and out of the La Verkin Creek basin and into the adjacent Hop Valley, a wide, lush, red-rock lined paradise.

After traversing Hop Valley, the trail eventually connects to Wildcat Canyon trail and subsequently to the West Rim trail. The West Rim trail provides phenomenal vistas of areas unseen from the lower park.

The West Rim trail eventually descends to The Grotto trailhead, with the most fantastic views of this park's classic red rock. Along this section, there is an additional optional side trip to climb Angel's Landing.

From The Grotto trailhead, the route continues briefly at the park bottom to Echo Canyon trailhead. At Echo Canyon trailhead, the trail begins to ascend again. This trail enters scenic narrow canyons and then continues to climb as you follow all junctions leading to the East Rim.

Once on the East Rim, the trail gradually descends to the East Rim trailhead, located on UT-9 within eyesight of the East Ranger Station

This is an out-and-back hike. Commercial shuttles are available. Backcountry permits are needed from Zion National Park.

Pack List

Necessary gear:
  • The 10 essentials
  • Including water! (check with ranger station for status of springs ahead of time)
  • Tent/sleeping pad/sleeping bag
  • Layers
  • Hiking poles (nice for the elevation of the trail)
  • Sunglasses/sunscreen
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RT Distance 48.3 Miles
Elevation Gain 8200 Feet
Activities Running, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Autumn
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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