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West Rim Trail to Lava Point

HARD 152 reviews
#12 of 97 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

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

rocky

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this Oct. 12. Shuttled to Lava Point and solo hiked to Grotto in 8 hours with frequent short breaks. AMAZING 17 miles. Views kept getting better. Changing of the leaves was spectacular although caught the tail end. NO PEOPLE on this trail. Just the 5 of us on the shuttle. Ran into 4 others. That was it until the mob at Angels Landing. Enjoyed EVERY second. Recommend Red Rock Shuttle. They were great. Temps were cold to start then got warmer. PERFECT hiking day.

hiking
2 months ago

Just a wonderful hike with mega views from the grotto to cabin spring.

recorded West Rim Trail to Lava Point

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

shuttled to Lava Point and hiked down. Beautiful hike - first couple miles are easy, with scenery of canyon in the distance after those miles. Pretty good up and down terrain change - makes a little tougher with a full backpack. We camped at Site 2, awesome view and solitude. Spring at Cabin Creek was reliable and perfect distance from camp. Hiked out in am to Angel's Landing and more beauty. Excellent experience of Zion

hiking
bugs
muddy
no shade
rocky
5 months 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

hiking
6 months ago

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

backpacking
6 months 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.

hiking
7 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

hiking
snow
7 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!

8 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

hiking
Sat Oct 27 2018

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.

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

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.

Tue Jul 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.

backpacking
Thu Jul 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.

backpacking
Tue 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.

hiking
Wed Apr 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!

hiking
Fri Apr 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.

Thu Apr 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.

Wed Apr 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.

hiking
Sun Dec 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

hiking
Tue Nov 14 2017

Very nice trail to overlook Zion National Park

Sun Nov 05 2017

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

running
Fri Oct 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.

Thu Jul 27 2017

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

backpacking
Wed Jun 14 2017

Amazing backpacking trip!

backpacking
Sat Jun 03 2017

No words for this one but wow!!!

backpacking
Wed Apr 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.

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