Ascent of Observation Point on 2015-10-20

Climber: Joseph Esparza

Date:Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Observation Point
    Elevation:6507 ft / 1983 m

Ascent Trip Report

Zion National Park, in southern Utah, is in my opinion the crown of the American Southwest. While the jewel of that crown may be nearby Angel's Landing or The Narrows, none other provides such amazing views of this crown as Observation Point. Perched some 2300' above the canyon floor, Observation Point offers the hiker the greatest vantage point of Zion Canyon available in the entire park. Along the way to the summit is Echo Canyon, a mesmerizing slot between two sheer mountain faces. Also available on this trip are short excursions to silent Hidden Canyon and fascinating Weeping Rock, from which drips 1000 year old water from the cliffs and plateaus above.

Category: Strenuous
Miles: 9
Elevation Gain: 2600'
Location: Zion National Park, "Weeping Rock Shuttle Exit"
Directions: HERE (Zion Canyon is only accessible by the free shuttle May-November. The exit is 'Weeping Rock')

The Trail: From the "Weeping Rock Shuttle Exit", head onto the Mesa Trail, as it ascends steeply up above the canyon floor. Unfortunately, almost all of the trail is in some degree paved, making for extremely uncomfortable footing. In about 1 mile, 500' are gained, and the spur trail to Hidden Canyon appears. Leaving the Hidden Canyon to the descent, continue upwards until the trail makes a sudden turn right into Echo Canyon, offering some shade and riparian peace. Soon, the trees vanish, and abrupt sandstone faces along Echo Creek take their place. The canyon narrows into an amazing slot canyon, only a few feet wide in places. After passing through the vale, the trail gains some more elevation up to 5,500', where there is a trail split to Zion East Rim Trail and Observation Point. Keeping on route to your destination, the path switchbacks steeply up the east flanks of the plateau, until it levels out at about 6000', with a perilous drop off to the left side. From there, enjoy the ever expanding views of the canyon, and walk up atop the plateau, following the signage to the summit 0.5 miles away.

From your perch, thousands of feet above the canyon floor ,surrounded to the north by pine woodlands, peer down into the great chasm of Zion Canyon. The view is phenomenal. After taking in the pure grandeur of this blest landscape, return the way you came, and if you are feeling up to it, take the spur trail 0.5 miles and 400' to Hidden Canyon. There are chains in place on some sections of that route, with vertical drops on one side, so if you have a fear of exposure, you'd better skip out on this one. Whether you choose to visit Hidden Canyon or not, you must make the small side trip 0.25 miles to Weeping Rock back at the trailhead; it is truly wonderful. Return back to the shuttle, and start preparing for you next adventure!

Hiked 10/20/2015. Washington County, UT
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2200 ft / 670 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2200 ft / 670 m
    Start Trailhead:Weeping Rock TH  4307 ft / 1312 m
    Time:1 Hours 54 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 12 Minutes

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