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Visited: May 28, 2016
Description: A scenic hike through the mountains to the highest viewpoint in Zion.
Length: 8 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 2120 feet
Duration: ~4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Terrain: Maintained dirt and rock trail
Parking: Shuttle ride to Weeping Rock (7) stop
Best time to go: Early in the day to avoid the crowds and heat
Bring: Camera, water, sunscreen, good hiking boots, snacks, hat
Have you ever noticed pictures of Observation Point and Angel’s Landing offering similar views? Well, we discovered it IS the same view. The difference is that Observation Point offers a higher view. So why even bother hiking to both points of interest? While the viewpoints are similar, the actual trail to the top offers a different experience. Angel’s Landing is known for its popular anchored chains sections while Observation Point offers a longer but more scenic hike to the top. Debating which hike you should do (if you can’t do both)? Hopefully, our articles can help you decide!
After getting off the shuttle at Weeping Rock, there are two directions you can go: one heading to Weeping Rock and the other leading to Hidden Canyon and Observation Point. We always prefer getting the “harder” stuff out of the way first so we followed the trail to Observation Point.
About 0.7 miles into the hike, we reached another split. If you bear left you will continue your steep ascent up Observation Point and if you bear right you’ll continue your ascent to Hidden Canyon. We decided to hit Hidden Canyon on our way back down so we continued left. No distractions until we’ve accomplished our main goal!
The trail is very easy to follow and you will be climbing up the mountain about 90% of the time. This hike is definitely not for beginners but totally possible, just take your time. After hiking over 17+ miles the day prior (with a few souvenir blisters we received thanks to the Narrows), the climb seemed to never end.
About a 1.5 miles into the hike, we entered Echo Canyon. This part of the hike was absolutely stunning.
We were surrounded by beautiful red canyon walls with accents of green trees. This section of the hike is much cooler which allows us to regain our strength and motivate us to continue forward.
There is a gorgeous slot canyon here as well. If you’re lucky, there may not be any water in it and you’ll be able to explore this section.
Once we left this section, the canyon opens up and the climb continues. This next part of the section has very little shade. There is a 75-100% chance that cursing will increase significantly as you continue your journey up the trail.
The trail continues with a bunch of switchbacks but the amazing views along the way made the entire experience worth it. We definitely enjoyed the scenery on this trail more than Angel’s Landing.
Once you’ve reached the dirt trail at the top and see trees and shrubbery around you, you’re almost there! The ground is also pretty flat most of the way so you can slowly regain your energy before making it to the final stop.
20 minutes later… what a relief to have finally made it! The view is absolutely breathtaking. We hiked Angel’s landing the day prior and from this view, we could make out the tiny ant hikers on the peak below us. It was such a rewarding feeling to be able to climb to even higher lengths and see the height that we accomplished just the day before!
Take your time and relax here! You didn’t hike all the way up just to leave right away. Enjoy the view and get to know your fellow hikers! Brandon over here decided to show off his headstanding skills… wish we could do them too 😦
Now, if only there were a zipline from the top of Observation Point that’ll take you all the way back to your seat on the shuttle bus… Is that too much to ask for? Or maybe a zipline to Hidden Canyon… ;D Since that’s out of the question, we continued our way back down the trail to Hidden Canyon.
We won’t be giving Hidden Canyon it’s own article but we highly recommend visiting this “hidden” gem. There was definitely some cursing involved when we reached the turnoff for it because it was another climb up the mountainside… but we pushed ourselves through! Almost as amazing as Angel’s Landing but half as difficult, Hidden Canyon can be an easy adventure if you’re just doing this hike. With rock steps, chained sections, tree balancing, etc, we made it to the free-standing arch and called it a day – an extremely tiring, blisterful, successful day :):)
So if we had to choose which hike to attempt….. that’s a really tough decision. It’d really depend on what you’re looking for. Are you looking for danger and a great view? Or are you more interested in a scenic trail to a better view? Or you can be like us and do both! Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed! Get out there and just have fun 😀
- Go early! The sun can be pretty torturous… The lines can be pretty torturous too.
- Bring lots of water, we ran out towards the end of the hike!
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