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 the bus at the stop Weeping rock, here is the start of the trail to Observation Point.
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.
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.
When we leave the canyon, we look back for a minute. What a great view!
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!
Almost at the top
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.
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: 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.
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 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!