Have you been to Zion National Park in Utah? If not, you need to add this to your list stat! This is one of the most beautiful parks I have been to. We went in Fall, so all the colours were changing and the weather was just perfect for hiking. We only got one hike in here and decided to do Observation Point, as it has the best views of the park.
The hike is 8 miles round trip with 2000 feet of elevation gain. To get to the Weeping Rock Trail head you need to get on the shuttle at the visitors centre and get off at stop number 7. The ride is about 45 minutes each way.
The first leg of the journey is comprised of switch backs for the first mile. This part was very pretty as there are lots of trees changing colours. You get a great view of Angel’s Landing and the park as you gain elevation quite quickly. Expect to be pretty out of breath if you keep a good place. This part is shaded, so it is not too hot.
Once up the first leg, things even out and you get to see a different side of the park. You will walk by some canyons and get some beautiful views of the mountains. There are less trees in this leg and more bushes, so things start to heat up. Not as much elevation is gained during this section, so your legs get a little break.
The last leg comprises of a narrow path that winds up the mountain. You are very exposed to the elements in this section. Things get hot and windy. I recommend dressing in layers as I ended up hiking in my sports bra. My shirt got totally soaked from hiking in the heat. I could not imagine doing this leg in the heat of summer!
If you are afraid of heights, this section might bother you a bit. Only 2 people have died on this hike, so it is relatively safe. A woman was pushed to her death from here in 1997. Her husband was trying to collect a life insurance payout, but has since been convicted for his crimes.
Once you have made it through the exposed section you will find yourself at the top and a short track through the bushes will lead you to the Observation Point lookout. I could not believe how much trees and bushes there were up here. I was expecting a more barren landscape at such a high elevation.
We brought a lunch with us and ate it at the top. There are little squirrels up there that are eager for a hand out. Not the best idea to feed these little buggers!
The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking! Pictures just don’t do it justice. You get a glimpse of the entire park from here and get to look down on Angel’s Landing. Definitely above the angels here!
It took us 4 hours to do this hike with 45 minutes at the top and lots of stops for photos along the way. We kept a very good pace despite the stops. The people from our shuttle were still walking up as we were going down. This hike is pretty strenuous, so you should be in pretty good shape to complete it. With that being said, there was a four year old that we met at the top and several families with kids that we ran into.
Our only regret was not bringing enough water. We both brought 750ml water bottles and ran out 3/4 of the way down. If you are going in the summer you will need lots of water.
If you have any questions about this hike or Zion in general please ask in the comments below.