Zion Traverse: Lee Pass to East Rim Trailhead

HARD 20 reviews
#32 of 88 trails in

Zion Traverse: Lee Pass to East Rim Trailhead is a 49.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Kanarraville, Utah that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

49.6 miles
10,252 feet
Point to Point





nature trips


trail running





wild flowers





no dogs

TEMPORARY CLOSURE: Access to portions of the Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park will be restricted due to a construction project beginning May 1, 2018. The project involves reconstructing sections of the road, repaving the entire road, and adding accessible parking, sidewalk, and toilet facilities. All of Kolob Canyons Road, the Visitor Center, and parking lot off of Interstate 15, will be closed to all traffic during the seven month project. The Taylor Creek Trail, the Timber Creek Overlook Trail, Lee Pass Trailhead and other areas served via the Kolob Canyons Road will not be available to the public. Overnight permitted hikes will be drop off / pick up only, from April 15 through April 30, 2018. No vehicles or hiking will be permitted inside the closure beginning May 1, 2018. Construction engineers and Park officials have determined that closing these areas during the project will be safest for visitors and workers, as well as expediting the work, so the area may open at the soonest possible date. Visitors will be able to access the La Verkin Creek Trail and hike to the Kolob Arch via the Hop Valley Trail. Visitors may access the Hop Valley Trailhead from the Kolob Terrace Road. Overnight trips require a permit. There are many surrounding State Parks, Forest Service and public land scenic areas to consider as alternatives to Kolob Canyons during this closure. Please check park website or call park for most up to date information. Lee Pass to Zion Canyon uses a network of trails in Zion National Park to traverse the park. La Verkin Creek Trail to Hop Valley Trail to Wildcat Canyon Trail to the West Rim Trail down into the canyon. Connect to the the East Rim Trail in the canyon to complete the full traverse.

4 months ago

Did this backpacking trip with my daughter a few years ago. We backpacked it late spring, which I recommend due to the lower heat and availability of water. I carried way too much water to make sure we wouldn’t run out and had a 60+ lb pack. Wasn’t necessary as late spring had all water sources running well.

We did learn to hate sand and I lost my favorite pair of Oakley XX ‘s, but it was a great trail. Loved coming down from Angel’s Landing in full pack toward the Grotto to get stares and whispers of, “He, how far is it to Angel’s Landing...” from those heading up.

So, keep it light. LOTS of water. Stop and enjoy the views!

4 months ago

April 2018

6 months ago

Did this in June 2011 in +40C. Most exhausting hike ive ever done solely because of the heat. Plan your days to hike out of the sun and heat; hiking early mornings, 2hr breaks in the shade near water if possible at noon, resume in the evening and hike later in the day. Not a lot water sources. Be familiar with symptoms of heat exhaustion and treat early. Otherwise a magnificent and and challenging hike.

7 months ago

I came to Kolob Canyons today to hike several of the trails and found that the park is current closed and will be so from 1 May to 1 December 2018. See https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2018/03/15/kolob-canyons-to-close-for-7-months/#.WxG_jWenpI4 It's a beautiful place and I look forward to getting to these trails.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The first 11 mikes or so are in sand. Got blisters because of that. So cover your shoes if you can. It was beautiful in October and enjoyed the fall colors.
Camped 2 nights and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the Canyons. Variety of scenery and was continually amazed at the views throughout the hike. Had camp site #5 the second night and was blown away by the views! Sunrise and sunset were amazing! We only did 30 miles and ended the hike at the Lodge in Zion. Very enjoyable after not backpacking for 20 years and just getting back into it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Beyond words. Just do it. But be prepared. It’s can be dangerous if you’re not an experienced biker

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Hiked the entire thing last year and I’m doing it again in two days. It’s amazing

Friday, July 21, 2017

To add on to Brian's awesome review: just did this as a 4 night, 5 day trip in mid-July. This is a stunning trip! Some notes regarding the summer heat: At this time of summer you definitely want to start day 2 well before 6am! We started around 6 and had about 3 hours in the grueling afternoon sun across the connector trail and coming onto Wildcat Canyon before we got to Northgate Peaks trail where we spent night 2. You'll thank yourself for every bit earlier you start. We stashed water at the Hop Valley trailhead, which I would very much recommend doing this time of year. We each drank about 3L of water before getting to the Hop Valley trailhead which we were then able to refill there. Day 3: watch out for stinging nettle in front of Wildcat Spring when you're collecting water! Won't kill you but you'll save yourself a rash. Day 4: definitely take the West Rim trail (where it splits and you have the Telephone Canyon option as well). The extra ~1.4 miles is well worth it for the stunning rim views! We did Telephone Canyon down to site 2 where we were staying that night and then took daypacks back up the west rim side so we saw both :)
Day 5 is down down and more down off the rim with incredible views. We stashed our packs at Scouts Lookout to do Angel's Landing around 8am before the big crowds got there.

Know your water sources, plan accordingly, bring lots of electrolyte sources, and start early each day for an amazing trip!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Excellent way to see the variety Zion has to offer. I completed this hike in mid April and totally lucked out on the weather. April can be frigid and snowy on the west rim, and also offer intense heat at lower elevations. I imagine that the summer time would be a particularly tough time to complete this trek- spring is recommended. I completed this as a solo adventure and it was totally worth it. Half of the campsites are available for online reservation, but are gone fast- like 10 minutes after becoming available. Sites become available two months before the dates you are looking for at 10am. I sat by my computer and starting reserving as fast as I could and still missed one campsite I wanted. All the other campsites are first come first served, and permits are picked up at the ranger station near Springdale (Main Canyon Entrance) or the northern entrance by Kolob Canyons. I would suggest leaving a car in Springdale and using one of the outfitters in town to provide you a shuttle to your starting point at Lee Pass trailhead. The trail begins with a pleasant descent, views of the canyons to the east provide a welcoming sight to the beginning of your journey. After descending for a while, the trail flattens out and heads east. There are a few campsites along La Verkin creek that make a good stopping point for day one- making it an easy first day. There are a few tributaries leading into La Verkin that provide clear water. I would recommended pumping out of these because La Verkin was a bit cloudy with sediment and gave my pump some clogging issues, although I was able to get water fairly easily. Make sure to pump here because there won't be water for a while. There's a short hump up to the intersections with Hop Valley Trail. Make sure to take your time on this one and enjoy it. Hop valley is flat, wide and lovely. As everything you read will tell you do not pump the water in hop valley. Cows graze nearby and leave the water contaminated. Even with purification, it isn't recommended. The trail can become fuzzy at times but there's no route finding to consider, just keep following the valley south, crossing the creek as needed and the trail will reveal itself. Sometimes, there are a few trail options. There's a bit of a climb out of Hop Valley that may leave you huffin and puffin. Make sure you have plenty of water before beginning this day. As you approach the connector trail, you will have to go through some gates as parts of this trek cross private property. Make sure to close the gates as to not let livestock escape into the park. The connector trail begins on the other side of the road. Some people will cache water at this junction and its not a bad idea, although clear water isn't far away at this point. The connector trail offers some teaser view of Wildcat canyon to the southeast and eventually leads to the Wildcat trail. There is at large camping along the wildcat, and I would recommended this for a day two campsite. The Northgate peaks trail is a great side trip and makes for a nice morning walk. Short, easy and offers some opportunities to scramble up to a high point for some 360 views. Wildcat trail then takes you all the way to the west rim trail. Wildcat is forested and nice, although there was some thick mud due to snowmelt, so be mindful of that. There's a final hump up to the West Rim trail but not too bad. I would recommended making this a short day and trying to camp at the northern campsites on the west rim. Get up early the next day and enjoy a leisurely walk down the west rim. Views are spectacular. I encountered a muddy descent as the trail winds its way along, so be prepared for some slip. There's one more short uphill through some trees before the trail opens up again to great views. Once again, make sure you pump water before beginning this day, its a day with a lot of sun and no water on the rim. The trail eventually descends the rim heading for the valley. There are some campsites at the southern end of the west rim that make for good spots. A spring is marked on the map but may not be a good source. I was banking on it and instead discovered a swampy pool that was not possible for drinking water. Luckily, I had plenty in tow. The path from here down is easy. There's a steep descent along a rock face that is great. The trail is wide and easy going but impressive none the less. The trail connects with Angels landing and you can follow that all the way to the Grotto and ride the shuttle back to Springdale. One last thing: make sure to ask the rangers about water sources before beginning. They change rapidly and you want to stay hydrated. Enjoy!

trail running
Thursday, April 20, 2017

This run should be at the top of all ultra-runners to do list. You will not get bored on this route.

10 months ago

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Friday, March 29, 2013