Hike Observation Point
Utah › East Mesa Trail Trailhead
Added by IdleTheoryBus
Observation Point gives you an excellent view of the entire Zion Canyon. This is a quintessential photo location and shady lunch spots. Beat the crowds and look down on Angles Landing.
This is the best trail in Zion Canyon to beat the crowds while experiencing the awe and wonder it has to offer. We take this trail every time we visit Zion and never tire of it. It is an 8 mile out and back hike that takes you up, up, up then down, down, down. Be prepared to get your heart going! There is no technical experience needed, just the grit and determination to take on this strenuous ascent. Make sure to bring a lunch to enjoy while gazing at the jaw dropping view.
If you visit Zion in the winter, you can drive you car right up the trailhead and enjoy the park unencumbered by the masses. But don’t worry; even in the height of summer, this adventure will take you far above the typical park goers’ heads. In the summer, start your trip on the Zion Shuttle at the Main Visitor Center. Enjoy the informative tour given on the bus and get off at the Weeping Wall.
The trail starts out tough, with switchbacks straight up a sandstone cliff. If you arrive early in the morning, the sun is behind the canyon wall and you can complete this section remaining fairly cool. Don’t forget to look back at the canyon over your shoulder for inspiration!
Next, there is an unexpected narrow canyon section that will make you wonder about erosion and the power of water. The trail then meanders around to the backside of Zion, showcasing some white sandstone formations not seen on other hikes. As you wander through the jumbled mosaic of rock walls, keep your eyes out and you might have the joy of encountering a herd of bighorn sheep.
The trail then comes back high above Zion Canyon and follows an exciting narrow path along a steep drop. Finally, it flattens out and you can see across the way to the point of rock that is your destination. Take a moment to appreciate Zion Canyon from this angle, then follow the horseshoe around. Open your eyes and believe it; you are at Observation Point. There are some rocks, perfectly situated under some trees, on which you can sit and take it all in. Enjoy the view and solitude; you earned it!
- Day pack
- Sun protection
- Sturdy shoes
- Hiking poles
- Light jacket
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
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
Chillin, Hiking, Photography
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
I went to Zion with my sights set on Angel's Landing, but Observation Point provided much better scenery. You get an unbelievable view of the canyon floor, including Angel's Landing, The Organ, Big Bend, and the Virgin River. If you are headed to Zion make sure to add this trail to your list. If everyone is flooding the Angel's Landing trail, you won't be disappointed with Observation Point
Good Any time of the Year!
I've done this hike a bunch of times, but my most recent hike to Observation Point was in the snow. My family and I went to Zion in December, and sitting at Observation Point on Christmas Eve was definitely an unforgettable moment.
A pretty fun hike with a lot to see. Very scenic and very rewarding once getting to the top. You can see Angel's landing from here and as well as the whole canyon. Make sure to bring snacks, food and water to enjoy at the top. Very stunning.
Top Of The World
Amazing view! Higher than Angels landing! I believe there are 2 trails to this place. One starts at the bottom and I hear it is steep, I took a different trail that was pretty much flat the whole way, there were a couple steep parts. Definitely worth the miles hiked though!!
Best Hike In Zion
If you have the time and energy this is by far the best hike in Zion. Observation point shows more features of Zion than any other hike I have done there. It is generally much less crowded than Angels Landing and has a more spectacular view at the end. If I could only recommend one hike this would be the one, for some added adventure do the hike after a snowfall for some very picturesque and unique hiking.
Wear Good Shoes
...because you will need them. I did this with my dad in under four hours, round trip. Start early to avoid the crowds and the sun. In the summer it heats up quickly by ten. The view is worth it of course. If you have poor knees take your trekking poles for the way down.
Fantastic hike! The hike is not crowded as it is long and one of the most difficult ones at Zion. The views throughout the entire hike are amazing! Make sure you bring lots of water and good shoes as its steep and does take a few hours to complete.
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Northgate Peaks Trail
Utah / Wildcat Canyon Trailhead
The only access to the Northgate Peaks Trail is by the Wildcat Canyon Trail, which has a trailhead just off Kolob Terrace Road.
Camp on Smithsonian Butte Road
Utah / Smithsonian Butte Road
Smithsonian Butte Road (and Smithsonian Butte & Wire Mesa) is an excellent place to camp & boondock near Zion National Park, particularly if you do not have a 4WD vehicle and/or there has just been s.