Wilderness Trail and Campsite Descriptions

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Wilderness areas are subject to natural forces such as: wildfires, rockfalls, flash floods, and other related factors that may cause closures or changes to trip plans.
  • Check the park alerts and current conditions for trail closures.
  • Always have a backup plan in case a trail or site closes and you need to alter your trip plans.
  • Download a copy of our Wilderness Map to view trails and campsites, or download the full Wilderness Guide for additional planning resources.
 

Wilderness Trail and Campsite Descriptions - Drop Down Menu Navigation

 
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La Verkin Creek Trail

Distances:

  • Lee Pass Trailhead to Kolob Arch: 14 miles (Roundtrip)
  • Lee Pass Trailhead to Hop Valley Trailhead: 13 miles

Elevation Change: 1,037 feet (290 m)
Water Sources: Beatty Spring
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Seasonal Conditions: Creek crossings can be difficult during or following heavy rain events. Seasonal rain/snow may cause trail to be muddy or snow covered.
Trailheads: Lee Pass
Description: The trail begins at Lee Pass and passes by the open canyons and nearby cliffs of the Kolob Canyons as it travels along Timber Creek. After coming around the corner and within view of La Verkin Creek, the trail descends the slope down to the creek bottom on a hard packed trail. Once on the creek bed, the trail heads up stream offering amazing views of the surrounding cliffs. The trail is 7 miles from Lee Pass to Kolob Arch, one of the main destinations of the route and one of the world's largest free-standing arches. From there you can continue up canyon to Bear Trap Canyon and Willis Canyon to extend your trip. This is a great area to spend a few days.
Camping Options: Backpacking is permitted in designated sites only. There are 10 sites between Lee Pass and Kolob Arch, and 3 more further upstream, beyond the junction with the Hop Valley Trail.

La Verkin Creek - Backpacking Campsite and Trail Photos

 
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Hop Valley Trail

Distances:

  • Hop Valley Trailhead to Kolob Arch: 15 miles (Roundtrip)
  • Hop Valley Trailhead to Lee Pass: 13 miles

Elevation Change: 1,050 feet (320 m)
Water Sources: None
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Seasonal Conditions: Trail is wet and often muddy. Seasonal rain/snow may cause trail to be extra muddy or snow covered.
Trailheads: Hop Valley Trailhead
Other trails accessible by the Hop Valley Trail are the La Verkin Creek Trail, Kolob Arch, and the Connector Trail.
Description: The trail begins off the Kolob Terrace Road and wanders through the open fields with wide open views of the surrounding rock formations. As you near Hop Valley, the trail starts its descent. The valley floor of Hop Valley is breathtaking with its flat sandy bottom and vertical walls rising on both sides. The trail is sandy and well worn.
Camping Options: Camping is permitted in designated sites only. There are two campsites located at the far end of the valley before the steep descent into La Verkin Creek.

Hop Valley - Backpacking Campsite and Trail Photos

 
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Wildcat Canyon and Connector Trails

Distances:

  • Hop Valley Trailhead to West Rim Trailhead: 9 miles
  • Wildcat Canyon Trailhead to West Rim Trailhead: 4.9 miles
  • Wildcat Canyon Trailhead to Northgate Peaks: 4.2 miles (Roundtrip)

Elevation Change: 350 feet (107 m)
Water Sources: Wildcat Spring
Season: Late Spring, Summer, Fall
Seasonal Conditions: Seasonal rain/snow may cause trail to be muddy or snow covered. Snow melt can continue well into summer, making trails wet and muddy.
Trailheads: Wildcat Trailhead, West Rim Trailhead (near Lava Point)
Other trails accessible by Wildcat Trail are West Rim trail, Connector Trail, Northgate Peaks.
Description: This trail starts from Wildcat Trailhead and goes past the Northgate Peaks Trail Junction offering views of the Northgate Peaks as it passes through the ponderosa pine forest. It opens into meadows before coming to the edge of Wildcat Canyon offering sweeping views down into the deep canyon. After crossing the canyon, the trail climbs slightly until connecting up with the West Rim Trail. This is a beautiful area on its own, or a great option to extend West Rim trips.
Camping Options: This area has no established campsites. At large dispersed camping is allowed near parts of the trail. A Wilderness permit is required.

Wildcat Canyon Trail Photos

 
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West Rim Trail

Distances:

  • West Rim Trailhead to The Grotto via Rim Trail: 14.2 miles
  • West Rim Trailhead to The Grotto via Telephone Canyon Trail: 13.6 miles

Elevation Change: 3,400 feet (1063 m)
Water Sources: Sawmill Springs (seasonal), Potato Hollow Spring (seasonal), Cabin Spring
Season: Late Spring, Summer, Fall
Seasonal Conditions: Seasonal rain/snow may cause trail to be muddy or snow covered. Snow melt can continue well into summer, making trails wet and muddy.
Trailheads: West Rim Trailhead (near Lava Point), The Grotto. West Rim Trailhead (near Lava Point) may be inaccessible during winter due to snow.
Other trails accessible by West Rim Trail are Wildcat Canyon, Telephone Canyon, and Angels Landing.
Description: The trail starts at the West Rim trailhead near Lava Point and traverses across the high alpine elevation with sweeping views out into the Wildcat Canyon area for the first 6.5 miles as you drop into Potato Hollow. Next the trail climbs out of Potato Hollow before it splits into the Telephone Canyon Trail and the West Rim trail. The West Rim Trail follows along the rim with views of Phantom Valley and the canyons to the south. The Telephone Canyon Trail provides a shortcut between Potato Hollow and Cabin Spring or a possible loop for hikers entering and exiting the same trailhead. At Cabin Spring the trail begins a steep drop in elevation and descends 2,500 feet over 4.7 miles ending at the Grotto Picnic Area.
Camping Options: Camping is permitted in designated sites only. There are 9 backpacking sites along the West Rim.

West Rim - Backpacking Campsite and Trail Photos

 
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Virgin River Narrows

Virgin River Narrows Wilderness Permits
Trip Planning Map for the Virgin River Narrows
Distance:

  • Chamberlains Ranch Trailhead to the Temple of Sinawava Shuttle Stop: 16 miles

Elevation Change: 1,300 feet (400 m)
Water Sources: Big Spring

Season: Summer, Fall

Seasonal Conditions: The Narrows is a hike through a river. The river often closes to hiking during the Spring snowmelt (which can continue into Summer). The river is closed to hiking during and immediately following Flash Flood Warnings, which are common during the desert monsoon (July-September). Links to the current river flow rate and flash flood potential can be found on our Current Conditions page.
Trailheads: Chamberlain's Ranch, Temple of Sinawava
Description: The Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon: 16 miles long, up to 2,000 feet deep, and at times only 30 feet wide. Walking in the shadow of soaring walls, sandstone grottos, natural springs, and hanging gardens can be an unforgettable wilderness experience. It is not, however, a trip to be underestimated. Hiking the Zion Narrows means hiking in the Virgin River. At least 80% of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. There is no maintained trail; the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery. Flash flooding and hypothermia are constant dangers. Good planning, proper equipment, and sound judgment are essential for a safe and successful trip.
Camping Options: Backpacking is permitted in designated sites only. There are 12 backpacking sites, all are roughly halfway between Chamberlain’s Ranch and Temple of Sinawava. All overnight campers must begin their trip at Chamberlain’s Ranch and end at the Temple of Sinawava.
Virgin River Narrows - Backpacking Campsite Photos

 
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Southwest Desert Trails

Trip Planning Map for the Southwest Desert
Distances:

  • Chinle Trailhead to Coalpits Wash Trailhead via Scoggins Wash: 9.9 miles
  • Chinle Trailhead to Campsite 5: 16.2 miles (Roundtrip)
  • Coalpits Trailhead to Chinle Trail via Coalpits Wash route: 3.6 miles

Elevation Change: 200 feet (61 m)
Water Sources: Coalpits Spring near campsite 5
Season: Fall, Winter, Spring
Seasonal Conditions: Trails and routes can be very muddy following rain events.
Trailheads: Coal Pits Trailhead, Chinle Trailhead
Description: The Chinle Trail starts from the Anasazi Way Subdivision and crosses the open desert as it wanders around the base of Mount Kinesava. The trail travels through the open desert and offers up some amazing and sweeping views of the cliffs behind great formations like the West Temple and Mount Kinesava. The trail crosses areas of highly developed cryptobiotic soil. This trail is very hot in the summer but pleasant in the spring and fall. Coalpits Wash has no developed trail, but there is a well beaten path that is easy to follow to the junction with Scoggins Wash. At the junction of Scoggins Wash, bear left and head up the canyon between enormous boulders and small waterfalls.
Camping Options: Camping is permitted in designated sites only. There are 6 backpacking sites along the Chinle Trail and Coal Pits Wash.

Southwest Desert - Backpacking Campsite and Trail Photos

 
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East Rim Trail

Weeping Rock Trailhead is Closed Indefinitely
Distances:

  • East Entrance Trailhead to Stave Spring: 11.8 miles (Roundtrip)

Elevation Change: 2,300 feet (672 m)
Water Sources: Stave Spring (seasonal)
Season: Spring and Fall
Seasonal Conditions: Seasonal rain/snow may cause trail to be muddy or snow covered.
Trailheads: East Entrance Trailhead
Other areas accessible by East Rim Trail are East Mesa, Deertrap Mountain, and Cable Mountain.
Description: The trail starts at East Entrance trailhead and climbs 1,000 feet onto the rim with views into Jolley Gulch and the east side slickrock areas. The first stretch of trail offers sweeping views of the slickrock areas on the east side before walking through the high ponderosa forest. After you traverse the plateau the views of the Echo Canyon basin open up as you near the East Rim of Zion Canyon. Because of rockfall and the long term closure of the East Rim Trail from Echo Canyon to the floor of Zion Canyon, there is no access from the East Rim Trail to Zion Canyon and vice versa.
Camping Options: This area has no established campsites. At-large dispersed camping is allowed in select areas of the East Rim, East Mesa, Cable Mountain, and Deertrap Mountain mesas. A Wilderness permit is required.

East Rim Trail Photos

 
 
 
 

Last updated: June 30, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767

Phone:

435-772-3256
Recorded park information available 24 hours a day. Phones are answered 9 am to 4 pm Mountain Daylight Time. You can also send your questions to us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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