The Observation Point trail is recognized as a Zion National Park classic hike. There are two ways to get to Observation Point. One trail leads from the bottom of the canyon and is a 4 mile hike, each direction, with approximately 2,500 feet of elevation gain. The other trail is from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort on top of the Zion plateau and is a more leisurely stroll through the forest and is just three miles each direction and with very little change in elevation.
As you hike starting from Weeping Rock Trailhead up to the Observation Point, the trail is recognized as a Zion classic. The trail has a viewpoint as you finish the trail and it provides an iconic image of the Zion National Park. It is estimated that the trail is about an 8 miles (round trip) that may take about 4 to 6 hours depending on your speed. There is a steep uphill walk on the hard paved trail. Through this trail, the hikers can have a glimpse of the mysterious and dark Echo Canyon with the amazing slick rock formations as well as the White Cliffs. Here is a photo we found of hiking Echo Canyon itself that perfectly shows off these amazing rock formations from an up close view.
Photo Credit: Roland Lacson on 500px.com
Though the Observation Point Trail hike is not as fearful as the Angels Landing, it still provides a good workout as it has an elevation of above 2,100 feet.
Right from the start at Weeping Rock Trailhead, the Observation Point Trail is inclined but is snakes its way up those eastern walls of the Zion Canyon. Within no time, you will be several feet high from the canyon floor and a good view to the Weeping Rock and Angel Landing. Halfway up the trail is a diversion trail up to the Hidden Canyon. This can provide a good diversion on your way Observation point but keep in mind that the only problem is that you will not have enough time to explore the area before needing to continue onto Observation Point.
As you continue along the trail and in a steep incline, you will reach the Echo Canyon. This is a huge side canyon pantheon that is about 1000 feet high from the valley floor. The place is surrounded with canyon walls and has cooler temperatures as the visitors get a glimpse into the dark slot canyons of the Echo Canyon. There is a dry stream bed to cross over to the other canyon’s side. After a mile in the Echo Canyon, you will come across a junction to East Rim Trail, less defined but more difficult.
Past this junction, you will resume with the Observation Point Trail which is still characterized with its snaky steep ascents to the White Cliff formations. After 2100 feet of height, you will be on the rim of a sandy plateau. From there, the land is relatively level and you will come across one more junction with East Mesa Trail and then continue with the journey. Soon enough, you will be standing at Observation Point, a place full of trees and sandstone and a great place to enjoy lunch.
Accessing Observation Point From Zion Ponderosa Ranch
When you are at Zion Ponderosa’s property, you’ll find a park boundary trail-head that goes through the forest to Observation Point. It’s a 7 mile round trip walk that will give you some of the best views in Utah. Once you exit the scrub oak and pines you’ll be greeted with this incredible view.