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 the Observation Point trail in Zion National Park is a great way to get some of the best bird’s-eye views of Zion Canyon. Zion’s iconic landscapes and unforgettable panoramic views are the prize of this relatively easy, low elevation gain hike. The East Mesa Observation Point Trail is accessed from the property of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Access to Observation Point and the access roads are open year-round. Zion Ponderosa offers paid shuttles to the trailhead. From Observation Point you can expect to see 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 just over three miles each way and offers some of the finest views of Zion National Park. The route is relatively flat and elevation gain is only 700 feet in exchange for a towering 6,500 foot panoramic view of Zion below. The outlook at Observation Point stands above Angels Landing and many of the most famous landmarks in Zion. Highlights of the trail include views of Mystery Canyon, the ponderosa pine forest, and of course the breathtaking view at the end of the trail, Observation Point itself.

The trail is an east to moderate hike with low elevation gain. The trail can be described as rocky or sandy. Most of the path is through forest but does have some exposed edges to be aware of. 

Getting to Observation Point

The East Mesa trailhead is on the eastern border of Zion National Park. There is a parking lot at the trailhead, parking at the trailhead is very limited and high clearance vehicles are necessary dependent on road conditions. East Zion Adventure Shuttles is a service provided by Zion Ponderosa and is the best option that preserves the area as well as offers easy access to the trail. The drive time from Ponderosa to the trailhead is about 10 minutes. The shuttle requires a small fee and transportation is available throughout the day.


The best time to hike this area of Utah is in the Spring/Fall but can be accessed all year, weather permitting. Summers in this area can be very hot and shade on this trail can be scarce. 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 accessibility and road conditions.

Plan Ahead

  • Check the forecast and trail conditions beforehand.
  • Dress appropriately: 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 is sheer cliff exposure, 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