West Rim Trail to Lava Point

HARD 88 reviews
#15 of 94 trails in

West Rim Trail to Lava Point is a 28.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Springdale, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 28.2 miles Elevation Gain: 6,272 feet Route Type: Loop



nature trips

trail running

bird watching


wild flowers


no dogs

The West Rim Trail has some of the most spectacular views. 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. 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.

no shade
10 days ago

Went to Lava point from the grotto across the West Rim. I spent 2 night and 3 days hiking this route. Day one Expect a big climb up to Angels Landing and another to make it to camp site 1 and the 1st water spring. The trail across the top of the rim is flat to low accent and the trail is very rocky. You can roll an ankle if not careful . Sent the 1st night at camp site 5. Day two continued across the rim pass camp site 6. Then going over potato hollow. This is will take you down and back up hill two times. Nothing as strenuous as going up the switch back at Angels landing. Stopping and topping off my water at camp site 8. Then continued on up to Lava point. The remaining accent is pretty easy and in and out of shade. After reaching the top I double back to camp site 9. Day three this is a fast day. This was an all down hill hike with the exception of potato hollow and the two small hills you will go back over. You can choose to either travel via telephone canyon to camp site one or back around the west rim to camp site 1. Decent back down the huge switch switch backs and to Angels Landing. A short steep decent off Angels to the grotto for the finish. Permits can be reserved online on the 5th if the previous month. You can also reserve a permit 24 hours before you plan to hike at the wilderness office. That opens at 7 am and there’s a line of last minute hikers as early as 6 am. Have ready your license plate, emergency contact, number of people in your group, the number of days in the wilderness, and route you plan to start and finish. My recording will show you the locations of water and camp sites. Safe travels (o.-)=b

1 month ago

Hiked out to Little Siberia, much quieter over the back of Angel's Landing!

1 month ago

Did this trail as a top-down through hike over two days starting at Lava Point. We started with snow at Lava Point, and 17.5 miles later we were sweating in the canyon. Bring layers! Beautiful views. Trail was much muddier than we expected in some areas, especially Potato Hollow. Stayed at Campsite 2, which had easy water access but made for a long first day of hiking. As a sea-level dweller, I found Potato Hollow reasonably strenuous, but this may be routine for more seasoned mountain hikers. All in all a terrific trail if you’re new to backpacking and looking for views.

2 months ago

Excellent trail to hike.few people on trail We stopped for lunch between campsite #4 & 5 The trail was wide open no snow highly recommend this hike for beauty and serenity

3 months ago

Did this hike from The Grotto up to Campsite #1. Trail to Scouts Lookout was crowded per usual but once you pass the Angel’s Landing crowd it thins out significantly. Almost completely uphill with patches of snow about a mile past the junction. Crampons weren’t necessary but could be helpful. Trekking poles are a must to maneuver and balance through it, specially in the early morning coming back down. Dropped our packs and set up camp in site #1 (best site in my opinion) room for four small tents and in the cover of trees. Hiked the West Rim/Telephone Pole Loop, West Rim is beautiful with the best views, Telephone Pole Canyon trail gets lost in snow, crampons and Poles were absolutely necessary to make it through. Permit Station said Cabin Springs was running but dry two days ago, luckily with melting snow there is plenty of other water sources along the trail!

3 months ago

March 31 - Only did 10 miles but it's a great way to beat the madness at Angel's Landing ... follow same route to Scouts Landing and keep going left Saw 6 people after making the turn.. there was a queue at 830 AM for Angel's and mass of people waiting at 10:30 am... just a mess. Great views of the canyon up and down trail to scouts landing, beautiful views of Angel's Landing, yellow and red sandstone tufted with snow, box elder trees and ponderosa pines

8 months ago

This trail was reopened several weeks ago. It is an absolutely incredible hike and it's a shame that most people will never see anything outside of the main Zion canyon. I strongly recommend hiring a shuttle and doing it as a top-down day hike. In the top-down direction the high mileage really isn't bad. Also, my GPS put it at 16 miles, not 14, but not a big deal.

11 months ago

Did this hike as an out-and-back hike from the Grotto until the first campsite, with a detour to Angel's Landing along the way. It was a super strenuous hike, almost entirely uphill and very exposed to the sun. However, views at the end are wonderful and once you pass Angel's Landing you'll feel like you have the park to yourself (which is pretty rare in Zion). If you start early enough you could reasonably do the best parts of the trail without having to deal with permits or transport issues that come with doing the one-way version of this hike.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tried to run this one-way on July 16. A sign at the west rim trailhead indicated the trail is closed from Cabin Springs down to the Grotto due to a rockslide. The NPS website says nothing about the closure, but I decided that it would suck to run 9 miles down to Cabin Springs, find the trail to indeed be closed, and then run back uphill another 9 miles, particularly since I had only enough water for about 14 easy miles. I ended up just going 7 miles out on the trail and then back to the trailhead. Very nice trail, and was soft after some thundershowers the day or two before. Spectacular views, particularly if you start at dawn. By 9 or 10 am, the sun is high and the colors get washed out. Heat wasn't too much of an issue (I finished at 9:30 am). I'm not sure whether the springs were working -- I carried on me all the water I needed.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

We did this as a 2 day backpack starting at Lava Point and ended at the Grotto. This trail was awesome. You get some great views while being very secluded in comparison to the rest of the park. There was water at West Rim Spring. We didn’t check Sawmill Spring and the park ranger told me that Potato Hollow wasn’t flowing. We carried 4L of water each and made it just fine to the last water source which we camped near (campsite 1). If you want to do Angel’s Landing, do it at the end of the trip. The trail intersects the Angel’s landing trail and you miss having to climb all the way up there from the very bottom so it’s a good opportunity to do it. Anyway, highly recommend this trail! It’s absolutely gorgeous.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

This was day three and part of four for us on the Trans Zion Trek. My favorite part. The back portion of the trail has a LOT of burnoff. Views are amazing! We stayed at campsite 5, and while it was windy, we were able to watch the sun set on one side of the cliff, and rise on the other. We encountered a deer on our way down towards the Grotto. So beautiful! We did not do Angels Landing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How is that moderate and Angels Landing Hard?! Anyhow, add angels landing. Also, if you do it one way, I'd advise picking west rim and not telephone canyon because the view is nicer. Great hike!

Friday, April 13, 2018

We did West Rim top down to the grotto. Beautiful hike! We hardly saw anyone the first 12 miles and the last 5 began to get more crowded. A few steep sections but overall not bad. Zion is breath taking and this hike is an amazing way to see everything! We did it in a day but camping overnight wouldn't be a bad idea. It was very windy in April and cool so I recommend lots of layers. Something to cover my ears would have been nice too.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Low trafficked trail with amazing views and steep elevation gains. Wear sunscreen and waterproof shoes. The Little Siberia section will likely have snow.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

spectacular views! did an overnight hike from lava point to The Grotto many years ago with my friend and four of our kids. Although the boys were quite young at the time they still remember it to this day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

I did part of the trail from the Grotto through to the first campsite and back. Physically challenging trail due to multiple switchbacks and 3000 elevation gain but so worth it. It gets crowded on the first stretch up to Angels Landing. After that I only came across 6 people. One of them was returning from camping overnight. Another one was heading for camping. I booked one of the campsites too, but temperatures dropped to 26 F and I had to stick to a day hike and have no regrets. Gorgeous views on sunny chilly day. Due to snowfall and icing, recommend to wear some type of chains for the

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Very nice trail to overlook Zion National Park

Sunday, November 05, 2017

There is not a better way to see Zion than this trail. Expansive views of Zion to Cedar Breaks

trail running
Friday, October 06, 2017

Wow! Spectacular fall colors to go with the canyon colors made this run/hike totally amazing. We really did not expect the brilliant reds and oranges mixed with the yellows of the leaves. Totally awesome experience. We are already making plans to do it again next year. We started at the West Rim trailhead and ended at The Grotto. We were able to run over half of it easily and hiked the rest. Measured the distance right at 17 miles so a bit longer than the advertised 13-14 miles. There was some water but it definitely requires filtering if you need to get it. We took 6 hours with hundreds of photo op stops. Had the whole trail to ourselves until we got close to the Angels Rest area and then it got a bit busy.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nice trail with great views of the Canyon. Perfect if you aren't able to make it up Angel's Landing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Amazing backpacking trip!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

No words for this one but wow!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

We went up from Grotto and after Angel's Landing continued past it to the West Rim. Incredible views and terrain just past the Landing and much less crowded as well. Ended up camping out at campground #1 that was close to some water. Very challenging but rewarding with gorgeous views along the way and the top.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

did this hike in Nov 2016. days were in the 60s and nights in the low 30s. did the top down route, staying over night at campsite 4. it can be done in one day but we wanted to take our time and enjoy the amazing views. pretty easy hike until the canyons with the 5000' decent. a little rough on my knees.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

We hiked from the Grotto trailhead up past Scout Lookout, turning around just before the trail veered away from the main canyon. Most everyone is familiar with the incredible views on the way up to Angels Landing. But it is amazing how few people head even a short distance past the Lookout. The views of the upper portion of the canyon, and of Angels Landing itself, are tremendous. The trail deserves five stars for just the short portion that we tackled. I can't fathom how amazing it must be to complete the entire 13 miles. I definitely envision a shuttle to Lava Point and a return hike being a top priority for the next visit, whenever that might be!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Did this one from the bottom up to Horse Pasture Plateau on a solo day hike. It was my favorite hike of the week we hiked in the area and top 10 of any hike I've ever done. There were some areas up top that were a little dangerous with huge drops and a lot of debris on the trails. There some very nice long climbs and some of the best views any where I've seen. Once I was a mile past Angel's Rim I never saw anyone until I came back down. My only regret for the week was not just putting on my backpack and just hiking everywhere we could..........#276

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Backpacked this and enjoyed it. The trail from Lava Point to Angels Landing was so quiet. It felt great to get away from the crowds. Stayed at campsite 2, excellent overlook. Was happy to explore a new trail at the park.

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