West Rim Trail to Lava Point is a 29 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Springdale, UT that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until October.
The West Rim Trail has some of the most spectacular views that anyone could hope to see. There are beautiful canyons, springs, seeps, trees and flowers. You will not want to spend a lot of time looking at your feet during this hike. If you seek an element of danger then a side trip to Angels' Landing is for you. You can hike the West Rim Trail from the Lava Point trail head to The Grotto trail head or vice versa. You will need to rent a shuttle to take you to the trail head at Lava Point or pick you up from the trail head at Lava Point depending on which direction you hike. The shuttle can be rented from Zion Adventure Company. They have a store front near the Zion Visitor Center. The actual hiking starts at the point the road to Lava Point is closed, the road has snow and fallen trees on it. This adds about a mile to the trip. This guide details the hike from Lava Point to The Grotto trail head over the course of two days with a stop at camp site four. This direction is easier than going in the opposite direction. The guide also assumes a night spent camping at camp site four. This guide also has two dog legs: one to get water near camp site one, and one to go to Angels Landing. There is good cell service near the Zion Visitor Center, but for the bulk of the hike there is no cell service at all from any carrier. So, a PLB or Sat Phone is a good idea. Water can be pumped near camp site one and camp site eight. If you plan to do Angels' Landing make sure you leave enough time to get to the top. There are a lot of people doing this hike which slows things down considerably. I would classify the route presented here as the easy route. Nevertheless, it is still strenuous because there is some serious uphill in the last half of the hike on day one and you end up at approximately 7500ft. It is possible to do the entire trip as a day hike for those who are carrying not much and are in very good shape. If you are coming from out of town it is a good idea to camp at the camp sites near the Zion Visitor Center to acclimate before you set out to do the trail. Finally, you are in the desert so make sure you have enough water.
We just did this hike last Saturday. Started at Lava Point and hiked to the Grotto Trail head with Tom Saxon, Karl Rosette and myself. According to the map and trail markings the hike is a little over 13 miles. It took us a little over 6.5 hours to complete we only stopped a couple times. Expect full sun exposure during the majority of this hike. I took 200 ounces of water and used almost all of it. The trail is well marked super easy to follow. I would rate this hike slightly above moderate in difficulty. There are a couple steep climbs but nothing crazy if you take your time. We only seen a couple other hikers until we got near Boy Scout overlook at Angels Landing. It got really crowded at Angels landing. The views are incredible 100% worth the pain.
Just backpacked this last weekend, and I can't even describe how incredible it was. The views just never stop hitting you. It seemed like every 15 minutes we were looking at a completely different and beautiful formation. We went from Lava Point to the Grotto, which is apparently backwards from the way I'm seeing most people do it. That being said, I don't think it really matters which way you go, as you see everything either way. Definitely not an easy hike, but it is 100% worth every step.
Definitely a workout to get to the top. But it is so worth it. There was a lot of traffic on the trail but that's expected given the popularity
My family shuttled to Lava Point and included Angels Landing. Angels Landing was a mess with people but the West Rim was amazing. When we get back to Zion, can't wait to do it again.
My son, wife, and I took a private shuttle near lava point and hiked down to grotto. The hike was gorgeous with high mountain ecosystem and everything in between. We pushed through and included angels landing in one day. The mileage was approximately 15.4 ml. We loved the trail and got some incredible views, can't wait to do it again
Very long 14-mile day hike, but such amazing views and changes in terrain!
I made a loop out of the West Rim with the Telephone Canyon Trail for a 14 miler.
The section up to the Angel's Landing spur was a real zoo by 9am. I had planned to include it on my way up, but the traffic compelled me put it off til my return back down from the rim. Bad judgement. In retrospect, I should have realized the Landing would be much crazier by afternoon! I've felt less crowded in a mall on Christmas Eve.
No regrets though. The mobs evaporated instantly as I continued onward towards the rim. Lots of incredible scenery and the ascent actually seemed somewhat easier than the workout up to the Angel.
What started out as a beautiful, warm spring morning turned into a near blizzard on top of the rim, but the hike along it was stunning all the same.
If you are planning to camp, I recommend using the Telephone Canyon Trail to get to campsite 6 relatively quickly. Otherwise, I'd be inclined to do the rim trail as an up and back, simply to get the views both ways. The Telephone is more or less a forest trail with no outstanding vistas. In fact, it had a very muddy ridge section that turned out being the trickiest part of the hike.
I would have loved to have gone onto Lava Point, but was told the access was too snow-packed to arrange a shuttle. I would have far preferred doing that instead of being absorbed back into the swarm awaiting my return thru Angels Landing.
Highly recommended otherwise!
Didn't make the entire trail, but was beautiful and secluded.
If you've got two days to hike in this area of Zion and you want to bypass the crowds and neverending switchbacks, I highly recommend using a shuttle and hiking down to Angel's Landing from the West Rim. You'll be rewarded with wildlife, scenic canyon views, more temperate weather than the canyon floor. Campsites 6, 5, and 4 are the best locations to split up a 2-day hike.
What a fantastic trail! we started up at Lava Point, which I definitely recommend. A private shuttle service dropped us off- the drive up Kolob Terrace Road is beautiful. The total mileage of this trail is listed differently in different places. We decided to split it up as a 2 day hike and were glad we did. The first few miles are easy hiking and the meadow in Potato Hollow is beautiful. We camped at site number 3 which is up on a plateau with beautiful views- however it stormed in the night and we felt a little exposed. I'd try to get campsites 1 or 2- less exposed and closer to Cabin Spring! Oh, and don't forget a bag and some rope to string up your food. The squirrels and chipmunks will get into most things. Day 2 was full of fantastic canyon views. We only saw 2 or 3 other people on the trail til we got to Angels Landing and it was a bit of a change to hike with so many people again! All in all, I definitely recommend this hike!
Two days in February. great temps. Great views. Still a little snow on the North sides.
We did this later in September and apparently we went the opposite way. We started at the grotto and worked our way up to the campsite. The views were magnificent!! Absolutely stunning. This is not an easy hike, the trek up to Angel's landing has quite the elevation gain, and then the hike up to the campsites is quite a challenge. There was little water in the spring when got there, but we managed to fill up our bladders just fine! Camping was amazing, it was clear and the stars were out, we were also surrounded by a herd of deer all night long. Sunrise was spectacular! It you are looking for a little more challenging hike with views that pay off, do this!
Nice hike. Hot in summer time. Just did this trail last week. Loved the campgrounds. Zion is a must see.
Camping is amazing. Stars are bright. Sounds of nature. Like others have said bring plenty of water or bring a water filter. I went in late September and the spring to fill up at was sparse and murky.
(Edited this entry: This is not a mountain biking trail. Bicycles are not legal on this trail.)
It is a GREAT hiking trail. I hiked several miles past Angels Landing in 2011.
I guess we went the opposite way than most by starting at Angels' Landing at Scout Lookout and hiking to the campsite. This is an amazing hike as you go through many environmental changes and encounter very little, if any, crowds. Take plenty of water as it is hot and there are is no water until you get to the campsite.
Awesome one night backpacking trail. Bring plenty of water because it's hot! It ends right by Angels Landing and you can hike that if you would like.
Fantastic trip, a little unclear on the total mileage, but Id highly recommend this hike! We were dropped off by a shuttle service, at the intersection of Lava Point Rd and Kolob Reservoir Rd, as the road was too wet and muddy for the van, the driver was afraid he would get stuck. He recommend to hike to the Lava Point campground, and take the connector trail (Blarney trail) at campsite 2 to meet up with the West Rim trail. Our hike started around noon and we had reservations to stay the night in campsite 7 (West Rim Trail), but decided we would try push all the way to 1 or 2 since we hadn't seen anyone and wanted an easier day on the way out. We ended up camping at site 4 and loved it!
At first, I thought the trail would follow an old dirt double track, but the trail quickly took a turn into the back country and the scenery was amazing! Being late Nov, most of the greenery was gone, but there was plenty to look at. This trail is predominantly down hill the entire way and was very easy. Not much in the way of wild life, just a few deer spottings. I was hoping to see some of the condors that frequent the area, but no luck. We decide to camp at 4, it was getting dark, and the sunset was brilliant. I can't wait to see my GoPro footage of the pinks and oranges that flared up
There was no water until the we reached the spring at the base of campsite 1 and 2, but I'm guessing that's a result of the end of the season, I carried 5 litters of water for 2 people, and when we reached the spring, we were thirsty. Once with water, we were about 5 miles from the Grotto Trail-head, and headed out. Again, we didn't see a person on the trail until we neared the Angels Landing trail-head, and boy was there a lot of people there! I decided to push on, to the top and glad I did. The view was breath taking and worth it, even if it took double the time due to the amount of people. I wonder what a night time hike would be like to the point??
The final decent was easy to the valley floor, and once there, I couldn't resist, I dove into the Virgin River (despite the water temp was 47 degrees). It was very refreshing and I'd do it again!! There was a Park Service Shuttle there to pick us up and return us to our car at the Visitor Center