Hiking to Observation Point

Hiking to Observation Point | Zion National Park, Utah (USA)

Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the southwest of the United States. Last spring I hiked to Observation Point, one of the best viewpoints in the canyon.

Let’s get started!

We take a shuttle bus from the visitor center in Zion National Park. Driving in the canyon is amazing, the views are beautiful. We even spot a couple of bighorn sheep on the side of the road. We get out of the bus at the stop Weeping rock, here is the start of the trail to Observation Point.

Start trail

Lots of switchbacks

After walking on the flat canyon floor for a couple of minutes, it’s time to climb. At first, it’s not very steep, but after a while, we see the first switchbacks.  It’s getting much steeper and we often stop for a minute to catch our breath and enjoy the view. Some parts are really difficult to walk because the snow hasn’t melted yet and there’s a lot of ice on the trail. At some point, we ask ourselves if it was a smart idea to do this hike at the beginning of March because it’s so slippery. But we meet a lot of other people on the trail, so we continue. 

More switchbacks

Echo canyon

Observation Point - tussen de rotsen

After climbing for quite some time, the trail levels and we walk into Echo Canyon. This place is absolutely gorgeous! We decide to take a break and make a lot of pictures.

Echo Canyon

When we leave the canyon, we look back for a minute. What a great view!

Echo Canyon from above

The landscape changes

We have to start climbing again, but it’s not as steep as in the beginning. We take our time and enjoy the views. The landscape changes at every corner. The colors of the rocks change from red to yellow and white and we see some trees, cactuses and, shrubs. Slowly we see the sun coming in and it’s getting a little warmer. It feels good!

Hiking to Observation Point | Zion National Park, Utah (USA)
Observation Point - verder omhoog 3

Almost at the top

Observation Point - rand van de berg

We reach the side of the mountain and we make multiple stops for pictures. You have a great view of Zion Canyon from this part of the trail.

Observation Point - uitzicht rand van de berg

We reach the top of the mountain and are surprised to see the landscape change again. It’s completely flat, filled with grass, shrubs, and trees.

Observation Point - Op de berg
Observation Point - laatste bocht

Observation Point: what a view!

Finally, we reach our goal: Observation Point. Here we almost spent an hour enjoying the view and eating our lunch. We get attacked by many squirrels, but we couldn’t care less. The view is absolutely breathtaking, it feels like we’re on top of the world.

Observation Point - observation point

Practical tips

The trail to Observation Point is 13 kilometers (8 miles) long and it’s a 700-meter climb in altitude. It took us about six hours to go to the top and back to the trailhead again. We probably would’ve been a lot faster if there wouldn’t have been snow on the trail. The temperature in March was perfect for hiking though, between 1 and 15 degrees Celcius (33 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s a good idea to start as early as possible. In the morning the first part of the trail with all the switchbacks will be in the shade.

Where to stay?

The town of Springdale near the entrance of Zion is the perfect place to stay before you start the hike. Booking a room is really easy when you use Booking.com.

I’ve stayed in two hotels in Springdale for visiting Zion National Park:
Bumbleberry Inn – in the center of town, with a swimming pool. There’s a stop for the shuttle bus to Zion in front of the hotel.
Flanigan’s Inn – also with a jacuzzi and a swimming pool. It’s only a 10-minute walk to the entrance of Zion National Park.

I can highly recommend both hotels!

Would you like to read more about Zion National Park?

Check out these articles:
Zion National Park Travel Guide – tips for your first visit
Angels Landing: the scariest hike I’ve ever done
Utah National Parks: nature at its best!

Or check out one of these amazing guides:

Zion: The Complete Guide: Zion National Park

Lonely Planet Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks


As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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