This post is delayed because we were just exhausted after this hike.
The trail goes from the bottom of the canyon to the very top and then around to the classic viewpoint of Zion Canyon at Observation Point.
I am pretty sure this is the most physically demanding and draining trail we have ever done. It is a 12 km return trip, climbing 2100 feet in elevation. Except for very few flats spots it was just a relentless climb zigzaging up the canyon wall. We were like zombies on the shuttle ride back home.
But what a view!
In hindsight, Jennie probably should not have come. The whole point was for the view at the end which she was not comfortable enjoying and most of the trail was carved into the shear walls with 100s if not 1000 foot vertical drops right beside you. She studied the wall away from the edge most of the way up.
Here is our path.
The trail starts at the Weeping Rock shuttle stop and is initially shared with the Hidden Canyon Trail that we did the other day.
Most of the trail was this fairly smooth but sometime broken concrete. There were no boulders to climb over but it is very hard and was tough on the ankles and soles of our feet.
Part way up this deer jumped out in front of us and came our way on the path before heading back in the bushes.
Below you can see the short zigzags that lead to Hidden Canyon. We are now about 1/3 of the way to the top, in elevation.
Once we were part way up the front face we rounded a corner and entered Echo Canyon for a short but very interesting flat spot.
A long way up.
Lots of water carving here. Some of the pictures are from on the way up and other on the way down depending on which way the light was better.
Then the climbing began again. Jennie didn’t like the look of this cliff that we had to walk above.
We got to another short flat spot as we entered the different scenery of the east side of the park.
The path runs along the bottom of the picture below.
And then upwards to the top. It was hard to get a picture to give a sense of how steep it was. Seemingly endless switchbacks.
Eventually we get up to the arrow in the picture below to return to a view of the main canyon.
Most of the switchbacks were just off to the right of the picture below.
You can see part of the trail rounding the very sharp point below.
We were at the trailhead around 11 am. By 1 pm we were still had a ways to the top so we picked a spot to stop for lunch.
Observation Point is the one top left in the picture below
There was an interesting flower perched on the edge that we had not seen before.
Once we got to the level of the point the hill above us kept going higher but we started a long traverse towards the point.
This part was somewhat rocky with a very long drop to the side.
Then we were out on the flat top.
Finally at around 2:30 we reached our destination. Here is the classic view back down the canyon.
And the full panorama. Scroll right.
Looking down onto the spine of Angels Landing. You really get a sense of how narrow it is.
Some successful climbers at the very end of the landing.
The woman in the above picture really shamed us, though not intentionally. She passed us on the way down and then passed us again because she had also done the side trail into Hidden Canyon. Then at the bottom she hopped on her bike to ride home.
The view back to the start of the hike WAY down below.
Looking down on the Temple of Siniwava, where the Riverwalk and The Narrows trails start.
I spent a long time staring until I felt bad about keeping Jennie waiting so we headed back.
The trip up had us out of breath but didn’t hurt. The trip down hurt. Our thighs and the soles of our feet were quite sore by the time we got back down.
Here is a look back up, from the start of the short switchbacks going to Hidden Canyon.
We were back on the shuttle at around 5:30. The shuttles were still packed. I had to stand part of the way back but Jennie managed to find a seat.