Observation Point via East Mesa Trail

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Zion National Park

Observation Point via East Mesa Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Carmel Junction, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 695 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

As of December 2019, the main canyon is closed due to a rock fall. You can still use Stave Spring or East Mesa trailheads to access the trail and Observation Point. All wheel drive is highly recommended to make it to the trailhead. Alternatively, you can park on the road before the trail gets rocky and hike in to the trailhead.

A bit boring at first, but a rewarding end

Worth it. For sure.

hiking
closed
flooded
10 days ago

So bummed this trail has been closed for so long. By far one of my favorite hikes in the park to get a view of Zion!

Biggest “bang for your buck” trail. Great for kids and people that don’t hike. Obviously the trail itself is nothing to write about, what you’re walking all this way for is the vista. And it is absolutely spectacular. You don’t need to worry about having directions to get to the trailhead. If you just start Google Maps before you lose cell service you’ll be fine. There are lots of signs pointing you to the trail head parking. If you have a low clearance car make sure you park before the road gets rutted too badly. Save yourself some anxiety.

Super easy way to access Observation Point. I do NOT like other people slowing me down and this hike my group was being FOOLISH. I would’ve liked to run the trail.

Easy 7 miles...go get those views!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great day hike and views of the valley are worth every bit. The trail is mainly switchbacks to the top. Moderate to easy depending on fitness level.

hiking
3 months ago

Did this in the summer. Absolutely unreal views at the top. Angels Landing was closed at the time, and this one did the trick. So unreal.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Fantastic view, but the road to the trailhead was extremely muddy and definitely requires 4WD. We parked nearly a mile away (right before Fir Road) and walked an extra mile to avoid getting stuck. The trail itself was also very muddy. Highly recommend but bring hiking boots!

Half mile from the trailhead was super muddy at 11:30am.. trail in good shape with mud and snow still present.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
3 months ago

Do not attempt this if you do not have a high clearance 4WD vehicle. The road to the trailhead was very muddy and had huge ruts, so it was challenging to navigate even in a 4x4. Saw a couple stuck who tried to turn around and they even had 4WD. The trail itself is pretty crappy too. Lots of mud and snow, but we managed to make it to the point. Totally worth it! Had the whole place to ourselves, and only saw a volunteer ranger on the trail the whole day!

muddy
snow
4 months ago

Tried to access it - road is icy and muddy. Heard of people who did it but I didn't dare to drive my van there.

hiking
4 months ago

Worth the view. Lots of switchbacks. First big hike I did (back in December of 2017). Weather was perfect (in the 40s).

hiking
5 months ago

Trail update- Hiked on December 31. It hadn’t snowed for a little while but there was a significant amount of snow up there. The whole trail is covered but easy to follow. I just had normal hiking boots and will socks and was fine. My friend was wearing Nikes and didn’t have any problems. Getting there: The road is very passable (we did it in a Jetta) until the junction of Beaver Road and Fir Road. Plenty of spots to park there. Trail head is 0.6 miles from there. DONT MISS THE TRAIL! It’s not very well marked. If you take a sharp left and start going down hill then back up again, you’ve gone too far. VIEW IS BEAUTIFUL! See uploaded photos.

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

Hiked Dec 7th. Trail Conditions: Trail is snow covered (heavily in some places) so take precautions to have correct footwear (snowshoes?). I had Yaktrax and walking sticks and was struggling in some places, especially the inclines. Starts to turn into a mud/snow mix around the turnoff to Observation Point. That portion of the hike was relatively easy. But the view at the end was worth trudging there and back through the snow for 4 hours. I had Observation Point to myself and may have been the only person to go there all day. Conditions Getting to the Trailhead: The roads to the trailhead are very muddy and snowy. Getting to the trailhead will likely require a 4x4 with good off road tires and a higher clearance. I tried driving there but turned back to park further away as I didn't feel I could make it, even with 4x4. Also note with all the snow and mud, there aren't many, if any, places to park. The SUV I drove had only all-season tires on them and I needed to get winched out from where I did end up parking at a cost of $320 and the rest of the time I had to explore the park. Make sure you have a cell phone provider that gets service in the area (T Mobile does not).

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

We completed this hike in Sept 2018 and it was VERY hot — about 85 degrees. It’s also very trafficked, I think more so than usual because Angels Landing was closed so everyone was on our trail. Bring lots of water as the shade is minimal (you get a little cooler areas and shade in Echo Canyon) but then there’s a lot of switchbacks too. TONS of people at the peak which wasn’t our favorite but a great moderate-to-hard hike!

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

Hiked 11/23/19 - very muddy conditions, making it a slower but fun hike. Drove AWD Subaru Forester and still decided to park about a mile away from the trailhead. Very flat the entire way and the view from Observation Point is incredible!

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

We did it last week between the two snow storms. It was extremely muddy and sometimes very slippery. There was also a little snow and ice but nothing major. Overall it is an easy trail and the view is spectacular.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome trail and view! We drive a Toyota Sequoia that’s not all wheel drive and did the off roading just fine. I’m sure a basic vehicle can make it that’s not lowered, just watch further down the dirt road for the ruts. Once you get there and park, you follow the road still to get to the sign for Observation point, it was pretty easy to find. The trail was flat for the most part, and then we went down some declines. View was amazing, and you’re fairly close once you hit the red sand. The hike back is when you have to hike back up those previous declines, so after 3.5 miles it can be tiring for some. For the most part, the trail stays fairly flat. Definitely worth it though!

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

Trail was 4 star and mostly flat until the end of the trail. 5 star view at the end of the trail overlooking the entire main canyon of the park. We saw the juvenile condor flying around the area today! Look for him if you hike this trail!

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked 10/6. The route from within the canyon was closed due to rockfall so we started at this trailhead. A couple we met at Cable Mountain (which we hiked right before this) recommended this hike, so we decided to give it a shot. Lucky for us, our AirBnB was on the east side of the park and only about a ten minute drive from this trailhead. The hike itself is more of a nature walk. Pretty flat the whole way. Not much to it. The views at the end are...wow. Best view in the park in my opinion. Angels Landing looks like a little baby hill from up here. You basically get the same view as Angels Landing, plus Angels Landing, and at a higher vantage point. What's not to like? There were also a fraction of the amount of people on this hike which was also much more enjoyable. We hadn't originally planned to do this hike and were going to head to Bryce after hiking Cable Mountain. Man am I glad I took the time to do this. One of the best views I've ever seen.

hiking
6 months ago

This is definitely a destination hike. The trail itself is pretty nondescript until you get to the end, Then you've got one of the best views down Zion Canyon most of us mere mortals will ever see. It's amazing to see how small Angels Landing looks from there. Having hiked up to Observation Point from the canyon several years ago, this felt like cheating. But with the lower trail closed, it's currently the only way.

hiking
7 months ago

Hardest part of this trail is finding the trail head. You have to follow signs to observation point and drive on some dirt roads around private property. Our low clearance vehicle made it fine but it was a bumpy drive. The hike itself wasn't spectacular but the end view is amazing. Being on the mesa is very different than being in the canyon. There isn't much shade and the sun exposure plus the heat means more water than you are used to.

hiking
7 months ago

I successfully took a very low clearance Mercedes coupe without any bumps so you'll be fine on the dirt road. The trail is very very bland except for the last view. You get some glimpses of the other parts of canyon if you go off trail a few feet in the middle but the final view at observation point is just kind Blowing. There are lots of yellow trees along the river and present a very unique view.

hiking
7 months ago

Took this trail on Monday, drove our rental Nissan Altima up to the trailhead with no problems. Easy trail to the view point, and beautiful views at the end! We sat and had an early lunch for close to an hour. It was cool doing it after Angel’s Landing hike to be able to see it from above. Ran into about 10 other people on the trail and that was all. Give yourself extra time if heading back to the west side of Zion after. We got hung up at the tunnel and some construction so this cut into our time we wanted to spend at the Narrows afterwards. Highly recommend this trail for the beautiful view - especially those that maybe can’t complete angels landing.

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