Canyoneering Echo Canyon, Zion

Rate this Adventure 3 miles 1100 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Travis Poulson

A hidden wonderland twists and turns below a popular hiking trail. Most people walk the rim of Echo Canyon unaware of the incredible canyoneering adventure below their feet.

Disclaimer: Canyoneering is a dangerous and technical activity. Don’t enter any canyon without the skills to match it, or the knowledge to navigate it.

Echo Canyon requires a canyoneering permit that can be reserved online and picked up at the Zion Visitor Center. Be sure to reserve your permit 3 months in advance as it can sell out during peak season, especially on weekends. Snow collects in Echo over the winter, so the park won’t issue permits until it is clear, sometimes as late as July.

As you pick up your permit, the ranger will ask you about wetsuits. These are mandatory. There are constant swims through frigid water deep in the canyon. I recommend a 4mm wetsuit or thicker.

The adventure begins with a hearty hike up the Observation Point Trail, starting at the Weeping Rock parking lot. After about 900 vertical feet of switchbacks, the trail enters the Echo Canyon wash and follows it for about 100 feet. This is your exit.

Continue up the trail for a half mile to a fork where you’ll take the smaller path to the right signed for Cable Mountain. Follow it for about a quarter of a mile until you come to a dry drainage. Drop into this drainage and bolder hop to the confluence with Echo Canyon. Gear up and Let the fun begin!

The next hour or two are about as good as it gets: dark, cavernous passageways, four fun, short rappels, several icy swims, and a challenging keeper pothole. Then the canyon deepens and you’re graced with soaring narrows, spicy downclimbs and the echo chamber where the acoustics must be heard to be believed.

Echo Canyon is possibly the most overlooked and underappreciated canyoneering adventure in Zion. But this might not always be the case, so be sure to add it to your list and get it done before it’s “discovered”! 

 The entire adventure will take 3-6 hours. 

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Tags

Rock Climbing
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Groups
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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