Southwest Desert Wilderness Hiking Trails

Desert shrubs with a red sandstone mountain in the background
The Southwest Desert part of Zion is a beautiful, low-elevation area to explore.

NPS Photo


Group Size Limits

Large groups result in larger impacts. Trails in the Zion Wilderness have a group size limit to help protect the wilderness character of the area. Group size limits are strictly enforced. Groups are limited to a maximum of 12 people that share the same affiliation (e.g., school, club, scout group, colleagues, family, friends, or a combination thereof).
Groups that exceed these limits may not split up and visit the same drainage or wilderness trail on the same day, but may split up and visit different areas.


Restroom facilities and water filling stations are not available in this area. Always use the restroom before hiking. If you are on the trail, be prepared to pack out human waste, toilet paper, diapers, and hygiene products. Human waste disposal bags are highly recommended to transport solid waste. Please follow Leave No Trace principles while in the park.


Pets are not permitted on these trails. The only trail for pets is the Pa'rus Trail.

image of the southwest desert map
Download the Wilderness Guide from our website for the full map of the Zion Wilderness.

Trail Descriptions

These are not loop hikes. One-way distances are listed for these trips. Hikers do not need to travel the full distance, they can turn around at any point and return the way they came. Overnight trips in this area require a permit.

There is a network of trails and well defined paths in this area, but not all of it is well marked. A good map is crucial for a successful hike in the Southwest Desert. Please stay on the trail or travel on durable surfaces (like Coalpits Wash) to help protect the abundant biological soil crusts in this area.

Chinle Trail

Trailhead Location: Anasazi Way. Turn onto Anasazi, off Hwy 9, between Rockville and Springdale. Trailhead and parking on the right.
Distance (one-way): 11.7 miles / 18.8 km from Chinle Trailhead to Coalpits Wash Trailhead, or 8.2 miles from Chinle Trailhead to Coalpits Spring one-way.
Elevation Change: 600 feet / 180 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 4-7 hours one-way
Description: The Chinle Trail travels through the low desert and connects to Coalpits Wash.The Chinle Trail crosses the flat terrain between pinyon pines and juniper trees, with spectacular views of the West Temple and Mount Kinesava. Wildflowers are great here during the spring. The dirt trail is very muddy when wet. The route has little shade and can be extremely hot in the summer.

Coalpits Wash Trail

Trailhead Location: Hwy 9, west of Rockville. A dirt pull off on the north side of the road with “no camping” signs is the access to the trailhead.
Distance (one-way): 3.6 miles / 5.8 km from Coalpits Wash Trailhead to Coal Pits Spring one-way, or 11.7 miles / 18.8 km from Coalpits Wash Trailhead to Chinle Trailhead.
Elevation Change: 500 feet / 150 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 2 hours one-way to Coalpits Spring
Description: Hike on a well defined path near the creek in Coalpits Wash for almost 2 miles, to the junction with Scoggins Wash. Hikers can go left, following Coalpits Wash, or go right into Scoggins Wash from here. Neither route has a trail, just follow the wash as far as you want to go. The hikes follow the bottom of drainages with interesting formations. Both routes eventually meet with the Chinle Trail. Wildflowers are great here during the spring. The route has little shade and can be extremely hot in the summer.

Last updated: February 15, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale, UT 84767


If you have questions, please email Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

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