Zion National Park: The epic hike to Observation Point

Hiking to Observation Point in Zion National Park In April, I went to Zion National Park for the first time. Man was I impressed….

Zion National Park Observation Point Hike

Hiking to Observation Point in Zion National Park

In April, I went to Zion National Park for the first time. Man was I impressed. With the towering monoliths, crazy sandstone formations, and epic views, I easily could have spent a few weeks here exploring. But out of all of the things we did, the East Mesa Trail hike to the top of Observation Point stood out as one of my favorite hikes. It was way less crowded than the hike up Angel’s Landing, and there’s nothing like hiking up the side of a sheer cliff face, with zilch between you and the valley floor. While the morning started out a little grey, eventually sun broke through, making for some fine photo opportunities. Here’s a map and a collection of some of my favorite shots from the hike.


















If you are headed to Zion and want more information about the hike to Observation Point and the other best trails in southern Utah, I highly recommend checking out the book Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country. Every hike I’ve done in southern Utah from this book has been nothing short of awesome. Or just leave any questions or comments below, and I’ll be sure to respond.

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    1. Jake – It all depends on the weather. I just saw that it’s been snowing in Zion, so right now there is snow on the trail. That said, a week of warmer weather between now and your trip could easily clear things up. I recommend checking the National Park website the days leading up to your trip to see what the forecast says. http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/weather-and-climate.htm Also, it’s probably worth stopping into the Visitors Center and inquiring there. Have fun! Zion is such a beautiful place.

  1. Finally got a chance to do this hike this past weekend! LOVED it!! I thought it was better view than Angels Landing and a great overall scenery along the way 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. First, thank you so much for the info and pics. I needed this page haha. Second, im going to utah in July (arches to canyonlands to bryce to escalante to zion) for 9 days. If you had two days in Zion, which hikes do you do? Thanks! 🙂

  3. Roughly how long is the east mesa trail to observation point roundtrip would you say? Thanks so much for all of this great info. I love your site!!

  4. I’m curious why you did the East Meda Trail up there rather than the Observation Point Trail? How long was it round trip? We plan to do Observation Point this May. Thanks! Love this post!

  5. Just returned from UT and AZ! Thank you for recommending this hike! The 3rd mile was hard but we pushed through and enjoyed Ramen for lunch atop of Observation Point’s beautiful vistas!

  6. This is just the website I needed!! Me and my kids (11 and 13) have been hitting the National Park scene as much as possible. Great to see all the ones you have been to and help us plan for the future. Next year we are doing Dry Tortuga’s (second time), souther Utah, and Isle Royal. We are based out of Wisconsin. So my question is about Utah. We have 7 nights total for camping and would love some recommendations. Zion is a must and the Narrows hike and camp is the highest on our list…i have the three month reservation alarm set on my phone and everywhere else:) So do you think we should spend our entire trip there or go to any of the others also? We are going out the second week in June. Thank you so much!!

    1. Hi David! Your trip sounds great. I haven’t been to Isle Royal yet, I’d love to hear what you think about it post trip. In terms of your Utah trip, Zion is definitely a must. If you kids love an awesome challenge I would also put Observation Point high on your list but it is a tough and long hike. Bryce is a MUST. For 7 days I would divide my time between the two. If you feel like you have some extra time then Arches is also great for a day. We are actually posting a Utah roadtrip itinerary soon so stay tuned.

  7. We will be visiting Zion NP in June. Is this hike to Observation Point exposed? Is it doable for people with fear of height? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it is exposed but the path up to the point is fairly wide. I have actually done it with people who are fearful of heights; it really depends on personal fear level but you could at least give it a try. It is definitely not as scary as Angel’s Landing.

  8. Do you have any recommendations for working through vertigo issues for some of these vertical drop trails areas? I have managed through some tough vertical drop trail areas before but wondered if you have any tips.

    1. Hi Paula, is your vertigo caused by sinus issues? I actually had a 2 year issue with vertigo due to pressure in my sinuses. I now take Flonase and that has helped drastically.