Added by James Brady
This loop trail is a great option for those who want to take a less strenuous hike or are simply seeking some solitude without having to stray far from the central hub of Zion National Park.
The Sand Bench Trail is a loop trail and starts at the Court of the Patriarchs shuttle stop. The trail makes a loop which is approximately 3.5 miles long. The trail can be accessed across the road from the shuttle stop. Look for a water tank and bridge crossing the Virgin River. Although often overlooked, the Sand Bench Trail is a great hike for several reasons. Firstly, the trail gains only 500-feet, which is much less of a climb than many of the more popular hikes in the park. Secondly, although the trail provides for great views of the canyon, the trail sees far less traffic than many of the other more popular trails in the park. Therefore, the trail is a great option for hikers who want to take a less strenuous hike or are simply seeking some solitude in an otherwise crowded national park.
Since the trail is fairly exposed, it is best to hike it in the early morning or the early evening in order to avoid the midday heat. The other benefit of hiking it at these times is that it allows a hiker to enjoy the colors the setting or rising sun casts on the towering cliffs nearby. Depending on the time of day you choose to hike it, this trail may be the quietest trail you have ever hiked on. The trail can be fairly sandy in areas, so this hike may not be for you if you do not enjoy hiking in sand.
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