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Observation Point via East Mesa Trail

MODERATE 298 reviews
#17 of 97 trails in

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.

hiking
muddy
snow
3 days 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
8 days 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
9 days 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
10 days 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
23 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Go early if you want solitude. I started early to see the sun rise in the canyon. I didn't see anyone else for hours, but I did pass over 20 people on my way back. Keep your eyes peeled for side trails leading to scenic vistas.

hiking
1 month ago

Great, relatively flat trail with views galore. Amazing payoff. Wide trail, easy to follow.

Easy hike and trail is in good condition. The trail from the valley floor is closed, so more traffic here than usual but still fairly light by comparison. The access road is in pretty good shape and should be okay for a sedan, just drive slowly over the rough sections. Don’t attempt in wet conditions. The views offered at Observation Point are second to none making this a very memorable hike.

If your able to do either this route or from weeping rock (whether that’s being physically fit, logistics, or just both routes open) I would choose the later. It’s a better challenge, great views all the way, and it doesn’t have the long back road route. This is a pretty boring route until about the very end. The end is a great picture. But the route relative to many Zions hike is quite plain. Wish we would’ve hiked early or late to get better pics.

Long but easy walk with a gorgeous view at the end! Some nice overlooks off the trail on herd paths too. You can see Angel’s Landing and the entire valley below. Careful on the dirt road in—if it’s wet, do not try it.

Hike slightly boring but worth it for the final view. There is not much to see before observation point. By October 12, you have easy access by car to the trail, just drive slowly. I had a Ford Mustang, and I made it through. Come early, it's getting crowded. We started the trail at 8am. It was busy on our way back.

hiking
2 months ago

This is currently the only way to get to Observation Point. The first 2 miles are through high desert shrub. The views after that get much better! This is definitely a must do when visiting Zion. We were able to maintain about a 20 minute mile pace.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Took an hour and a half to reach Observation Point. Very easy walk there— once you really start on the decline, you’re more than 2/3 the way there. We made it okay in a rental sedan going slowly, but definitely don’t attempt in the dark with a small car. Beautiful view, ate lunch and spent over an hour at the summit.

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible views. Dirt road in was a bit rough in spots.

hiking
2 months ago

Rated a 5 as an avg. 3 for the actual hike and 7 for the view at the end. Not as good as the normal hike from canyon floor but still worth doing and a much easier hike. Long drive to get there so add Canyon Overlook right at the tunnel.

hiking
2 months ago

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING PERFECT VIEW! If you have a chance to make it out to observation point, do it. It’s the best view in the park in my opinion. Fairly easy hike considering the distance and worth every second to get to the top. If it has rained recently, do NOT try to take the dirt roads in a regular vehicle.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked this route on September 24, 2019 because the main route to Observation Point remains closed due to rock fall. The drive to the trail head was beautiful. We made the drive to the trail head with a Jeep Wrangler and didn't have any issues with the "unimproved roads". Please see the link below for a video of this hike =) Includes all kinds of great details about weather and additional fun facts. Thanks https://youtu.be/UzviXEV0kg0

Flat - easy to get to Observation Point. Not very scenic until you got to Observation Point then you just turn around and do the same boring route back. Would recommend starting at the Stave (?) Spring trailhead for a 1.4 mile longer hike out or the East Rim 7.6 mile longer hike - and possibly either staging a car to get back or seeing of you can hitch a ride back - if you want something more strenuous and scenic while Weeping Rock is closed.

hiking
2 months ago

If the trail ever opens again I high recommend getting to observation point via the canyon floor in the the park, but since that’s not an option this is a good second! The view is unmatched through out the park, and the trek really isnt bad. Mostly flat except for on section where you do most of the elevation gain/loss in one stint. Shout out to Gary from yesterday who let mentioned his rental car. We had a Nissan Rogue and was able to make the trip safely. HOWEVER, having experienced what the mud can be like here, do NOT attempt to go out there if it’s been raining. There is a real possibility that your car will get stuck. Definitely a must while at Zion.

hiking
2 months ago

Great alternate(and only) way up to observation point. Easy stroll the entire way and spectacular views at the point. Mild incline on the way back. Make sure to download GPS directions before heading out-cell service is pretty much non existent. Driving the last half mile was on rutted, rocky roads, but doable. Drove my rental Ford Fiesta there with no issues-just have to take it slow.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail but the road getting up to the parking area can be a bit rough in some areas. Wasn't incredibly crowded and we had the overlook all to ourselves on a Friday afternoon.

Not much to see on the trail itself but once you get to Observation Point it’s all worth it. And with weeping rock closed for the foreseeable future, this is your best bet.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous trail, not very crowded. Most of the hike is through woods with pretty wildflowers along the way, and the last bit opens up into a lot of sand and then the jaw-dropping view of Zion Canyon. One of my favorite trails we did in UT. We went in September and it was very windy up too, glad we brought our windbreakers.

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