Observation Point Hike - Zion National Park

The panoramic view from Observation Point looking out over Zion Canyon in  Zion NPS!

The panoramic view from Observation Point looking out over Zion Canyon in Zion NPS!

About Zion:
Zion National Park is one of my favorite places in the world.  There is something soothing and inspiring that rushes over me each time I arrive in Zion Canyon and start taking the shuttle back thru the park.  It is also easy to get to, just a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas to the Canyon region or 2 hours to the equally amazing but more empty Western region of the park.  It is also the most visited National Park out of Utah's Mighty 5!

What I LOVE about Zion:
Zion's Shuttle System is mandatory to use in Zion Canyon (unless you have a hard to get reservation at the amazing Zion Lodge.) It cuts down on waste and air pollution dramatically and you'll also find fillable water bottle stations all over the canyon area and its neighboring towns.  Another reason that I love Utah, they have a true urgency for the environment!
Zion also has 3 of my 10 favorite day hikes I have ever done.  Today we will go over Observation Point and if you want to, then check out my past blogs on Angels Landing and The Narrows.

The first part of this hike leads up a steep but well paved trail and within 20 minutes of starting you'll feel like the Zion shuttle is miles below!

The first part of this hike leads up a steep but well paved trail and within 20 minutes of starting you'll feel like the Zion shuttle is miles below!

The Hike:
Observation Point is much less talked about than Angels Landing and The Narrows in Zion but in my opinion every bit as amazing.  Whereas Angels Landing you feel like you are in a traffic jam holding onto chains at times or the Narrows you are hit or miss to even get to hike it because of flash flood warnings Observation Point is always there!

I have done the hike twice and while it is always there for you to do you better be in good shape!
The hike is a monster.  2,100 feet in elevation gain over 4 miles.  Throw in a bit of walking to Weeping Rock or some other side trips and you'll have 9 miles easy before getting back to the shuttle!
But take a look below to see what is waiting for you at the top!

The four mile one way (8 mile RT) gains 2,100 feet in elevation.  It's a HARD hike but with views like this if you are in shape it's worth it!

The four mile one way (8 mile RT) gains 2,100 feet in elevation.  It's a HARD hike but with views like this if you are in shape it's worth it!

Fun fact: I am also a marketing consultant and author and my most recent book The Passionate Marketing Revolution's cover photo was taken here on this hike!  I had someone take this photo and then I took the cover photo myself shortly thereafter.  Marketing history in the making :).

It's about 2-3 hours each way so it's a long trek for a granola bar break here...but if you throw in some almonds and water it's soooooo rationalized to do!

It's about 2-3 hours each way so it's a long trek for a granola bar break here...but if you throw in some almonds and water it's soooooo rationalized to do!

Bring:
-TONS of water.  I would recommend one gallon per person.  You are going to work and there's no refilling spots on the trail.
-Snacks
-Map and/or guidebook
-Early start or make sure you check the weather.  It gets HOT and/or WET.  Thunderstorms can be dangerous at these elevations.
-Zion Shuttle system knowledge.  You will want to get off at the Weeping Rock stop!
-Your sense of adventure!
-Bandana or headbands...you will sweat.

The trail follows along beautiful red rock like this.  Even if you can't make it to the top it's still an amazing and rewarding hike for going partway.

The trail follows along beautiful red rock like this.  Even if you can't make it to the top it's still an amazing and rewarding hike for going partway.

A rewarding and healthy late breakfast awaits at  Soleil Caf e in  Springdale Utah  when you finish! This coffee shop, art studio, and breakfast stop is on the main drag just past the visitors center and right next to the campground.

A rewarding and healthy late breakfast awaits at Soleil Cafe in Springdale Utah when you finish! This coffee shop, art studio, and breakfast stop is on the main drag just past the visitors center and right next to the campground.

While it is not Zion's most talked about adventure it is the best choice if chains aren't your thing or the flash flood levels have the Narrows closed.  At the end of the day it's just a solid ass day hike that will kick your butt and have you visiting Zion time and time again, just like me!

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Thanks for reading and being a part of the #Hashtag59 community.  If you have any questions about this hike I'm happy to answer, put a comment below!

Because Adventure Travel Feeds the Soul,
Mike R and the Hashtag 59 Team

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