Ah yes, Zion National Park. My first time here was with Hanna. We took a road trip with the intention of spending 3 days in the park, but after hiking the famed Angels Landing, we decided that we should probably make the most use of our time in Utah and take a detour to Bryce National Park. That’s an adventure for a different blog, though. I have honestly been dying to go back to Zion to hike Observation Point. The 8mi RT hike takes you above the park where you can see Angels Landing below. Who wouldn’t want to hike that? After some delays due to weather, the bf and I finally took the drive to Utah this past weekend.
The two of us got home from work around 5pm. We packed our bags, the cooler and the car then went to sleep for about 4hrs. After a quick midnight snack, we hit the road by 12:30am. The drive was peaceful: no traffic, no blazing AZ sun, just us and the night. Sounds dramatic but it’s true! I honestly can’t even tell you what we talked about because was just spent the night blabbing on and on to keep each other awake. Eventually I drifted into a deep sleep for a little over an hour, and man, lemme tell you: best. Decision. Ever.
Once I woke up, it was my turn to take the wheel. It wasn’t long before we passed through the Utah border. The drive to Zion was about 40 minutes or so from there. When we came to the first park entrance, there wasn’t anyone at the booth so we drove right in. We had some trouble finding the Visitor Center parking…and the shuttle buses, but once we did we were good to go.
Observation Point starts at Weeping Rock Trail and is the 7th shuttle bus stop. The trail started with switchbacks and a fairly gradual incline. We passed Hidden Canyon trail on the way up, which we noticed a lot of people were heading towards. The trail was paved making it easy to walk on, but it was icy this time of year and some parts were blocked by snow piles. About a mile in, we found ourselves in awe of a slot canyon below. The water here feeds the falls to Weeping Rock. We kept walking and another quarter of a mile in, we stopped dead in our tracks. The water from the canyon had risen higher than usual and was covering the trail. There were rocks here to step on, but at this point they had become covered in ice and didn’t offer much of a grip. We debated what we should do as any wrong move could result in a freezing fall into the creek below.
At this point, other hikers had stopped to inspect the area. One couple said that the ranger station suggested just toughing the cold and taking our shoes off to get across. Well, we didn’t really have too many options, so that’s exactly what I did! The bf is tall enough to hop across- lame. We thought that was over but the hard stuff just started. We found ourselves dealing with more water as we scaled a canyon wall that offered little to no grip. The rocks were pretty slippery here, but afterwards it was easy breezy! Kind of. The trail took us through some of Zion’s bigger rock formations and we continued to climb and climb, past ice, icicles and canyon walls. Eventually we could see the very top of the mountain. Once there, we had about a mile to the actual Observation Point.
Getting to the Point was so worth the struggle. We saw Angels Landing down below and nothing but blue skies above- a few chipmunks too. Needless to say, Observation Point is one for the books! Def need an ice bath right now. And a massage.
Dani is the Founder of Mountain Chicks and the primary author of the Mtn Chicks Blog. Here you'll find outdoor tips, travel experiences, gear reviews and more.