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Observation Point

Observation Point via East Mesa Trail

Trail Length: 6.5 mile out-and-back

Degree of Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

Elevation Change: 700 feet

Hiking to Observation Point in Zion National Park is an incredible adventure with stunning panoramic views of Zion’s iconic landscape. Observation Point is most easily accessed from the property of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Access roads are open year-round and the Zion Ponderosa offers shuttles to the trailhead. This hike offers incredible views of the Virgin River, Angels Landing, and Zion Canyon.

Observation Point Trail - Zion
Zion Ponderosa
The East Mesa trail to Observation Point is a long, but relatively flat trail with only 700 feet in elevation gain. Though the elevation gain is not extreme, the views at 6,500 feet are. Observation Point offers some of the most stunning views to be found in Zion National Park. The outlook at Observation Point stands above Angels Landing and offers unforgettable views of Zion Canyon and many of the most famous landmarks in Zion below.  Highlights of this trail include views of Mystery Canyon, venturing into ponderosa pine forest, and of course the view at the end of the trail, Observation Point.

The trail is moderate with minimal elevation gain with a rocky/sandy trail. Most of the trail is through forest but does have some exposed edges to be aware of. 

Getting to Observation Point

The trailhead is located on the east side of Zion National Park. There is a parking lot at the trailhead however, parking there is very limited and is best accessed with high clearance vehicles. East Zion Adventure Shuttles are provided by Zion Ponderosa and are the best way to access this trail and preserve the area. The drive from Ponderosa to the trailhead is 10 minutes. The shuttle requires a small fee and transport visitors all throughout the day.

Seasons

Best time to hike is Spring and Fall but can be accessed all year weather permitting. Summers in this area can be very hot and the trail does not offer a lot of shade. It is important to have sun protection and plenty of water no matter the season. Winter may require snowshoeing, be cautious of slick conditions on the trail due to ice or snow. The shuttles from Zion Ponderosa may drop-off lower based on road conditions and access.

Plan Ahead

  • Check the forecast and trail conditions before your trip.
  • Dress appropriately with good hiking shoes and layers.
  • Bring sun protection: hats, sunglasses, sunscreen.
  • Pack plenty of water and snacks.
  • This trail is suitable for families but there are sheer cliff exposure so caution is necessary.
  • Tell someone your plans and expected return.
  • Pets are not permitted on this trail. 
  • There are no restrooms at the trailhead.
  • Leave no trace.
Zion Ponderosa

Zion National Park Trails

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