West Rim Trail

Zion National Park, Utah 84767

Distance14.4mi
Elevation Gain9,214ft
Trailhead Elevation7,470ft
Top7,470ft
Elevation Min/Max4280/7470ft
Elevation Start/End7470/7470ft

West Rim Trail

West Rim Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Washington County, Utah. It is within Zion National Park. It is 14.4 miles long and begins at 7,470 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 29.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 9,214 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. The Campsite 3, Campsite 1, and Campsite 4 camp sites can be seen along the trail. There is also a cliff along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Sawmill Springs, Wildcat Canyon Trail, Telephone Canyon and Angels Landing.

West Rim Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks (Falcon Guides)
Erik Molvar & Tamara Martin
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"A long day hike or backpack along the top of the Horse Pasture Plateau from Lava Point to the floor of Zion Canyon. This route is the most popular backpacking trail in Zion National Park, featuring easy access to remote country with striking vistas throughout the hike. Reservations for wilderness campsites are often completely booked, so book your campsite in advance. The trail follows the top of the Horse Pasture Plateau, often skirting close to the rims to reveal views of the canyons and monoliths to the west." Read more
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
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"The diversity of this hike, combined with the magnificent views of Zion Canyon from the West Rim, make it one of the most enjoyable trails in the park. Horse Pasture Plateau, where the trail begins, is a long flat finger of sandstone that protrudes from the Kolob Plateau, on the northern park boundary, into Zion Canyon. The path meanders gently downward through the ponderosa pine and pinon-juniper forests of the plateau, dropping 740 feet over a distance of nine miles, before descending abruptly into the canyon. Spectacular views from the West Rim begin about six miles from the trailhead, where the route skirts the edge of Phantom Valley, and climax 3.5 miles later at Cabin Spring. Beyond Cabin Spring the trail drops into Zion Canyon and winds through another 4.7 miles of slickrock and canyon country before reaching the North Fork of the Virgin River." Read more
100 Classic Hikes Utah (The Mountaineers Books)
Julie K. Trevelyan
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"Some of Zion’s most amazing scenery is yours for the drinking in on this stout backcountry trail, which travels over a good section of the national park while showcasing to near perfection its sandstone monoliths, canyon-country topography, large ponderosa trees, and simply magnificent views that call for a great deal of awed appreciation. This is very pleasant hiking through high-country meadows and tall ponderosa pines, hardy juniper trees, and Gambel oaks, although some like to zip through this section to more quickly reach views of Zion Canyon. If you are doing the overnight option, the nine designated backcountry campsites to choose from are all on this plateau. After leaving Horse Pasture, you begin the descent into Potato Hollow, which harbors a spring at the 5-mile mark and good views into rugged Imlay Canyon below." Read more

West Rim Trail Reviews

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6/5/2010
If you don't have two vehicles, the Zion Adventrue Company will provide a shuttle to the trailhead of this point to point adventure. Make sure that you start early enough, and you give yourself plenty of breaks during the day as the hardest part of the hike is the last 8 or so miles. As long as you traverse the plateau, there is very little elevation gain or loss. However, once you enter the canyons, the trail changes dramatically. The views are best in the park and the experience is unforgettable. Two experienced hiker buddies completed the trail in under 8 hrs.
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10/1/2009
2 days hike. BRING A LOT OF WATER, potatto hallow spring was spoiled and poor, so we didn t refill water until the 2d day morning at spring cabin.
we took a shuttle at Zion adventure Shoop, 39$/p, we started at lava point at noon, we slept at camside 5, nice view on west canyon.
the second day is a long descent, with fun at angel landings. you can get a parkshuttle at the end. Enjoy!
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8/24/2009
Planned as a 2 day hike with reservations for Potato Hollow campsite, site #8. The trail starts as a very mild downward grade and continues in this manner for most of the first few miles, taking you through a meadowy valley. Grasses on either side of the trail were waist to chest high and eerily silent, but amazing to watch sway in the wind. We arrived at our campsite at about 11:30, but decided to continue on since at this point the hike had been rather light. After potato hollow there is a much steeper uphill section that puts you on the top of Horsepasture Plateau. From there, there is a fork in the trail where you can take the Telephone Canyon loop or continue on the West Rim. We chose to stay on the West Rim trail and were treated to some amazing canyon views. There is an overlook that has some felled trees for benches that were a great spot for lunch. Shortly after, the descent began off of Horsepasture Plateau. The descent began as the temp was starting to hit its peak and at the same time as the trail transitions from prairie/woods in to canyon. At times the descent was difficult, but this is likely due to breaking in of new boots and that I am a flatlander. As you are nearing the end, you run into "Walter's Wiggles", a series of switchbacks that are shared with the trail to Angel's Landing. I carried 120 oz water and ran out with about 2 miles remaining. There are springs, but it seemed that after the springs is where we began to consume most of the water. Great experience.
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5/27/2007
A friend and I hiked from the Grotto Trailhead to the west rim this past weekend and it was spectacular. The trail to Angels Landing is very well traveled, but past that we were pretty much alone for the rest of the hike, despite it being Memorial day weekend. Between Angels Landing and the West rim the trail is literally carved into the rock in some places, and provides views that seem to get better at every turn. The West rim spring was flowing well, and campsite 3 had good views of its own.
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4/28/2007
We did this hike over 2 days/ 1 night from Lava Point down to the Grotto. We were lucky in securing the last campsite available... but, it was also the furthest from Lava Point, making our first day grueling at over 11 miles on foot. The trail is easy to follow and well maintained, but nearly always exposed to full sun. Bring lots of water... and then some. The signs at the park station said that Cabin Spring was running, but when we finally found it, it was barely a trickle.
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3/25/2006
No go past the bridge because the CCC built the trail with impermeable cement that gets very icy. The cement is breaking up, though, and thankfully the NPS isn't repairing it. Park cops (they used to be called rangers, but they aren't anymore) never patrol this trail anyway outside of summer, so go at your own risk. Right at the summit (600 yards before the bridge, after Scout lookout) there is a flat area extending to some buttes on the south. There is a beat-out trail through the brush to get you onto the slickrock. Proceed south to the beautiful drainage and you will find a gorgeous overview of Walter's Wiggles and great lunch spots. No camping anymore, but this used to be the best camping in the park. You can also find the ruins of an old CCC trail and water diversion works. NPS doesn't mention it, sort of like when Stalin erased/airbrushed out photos of people he killed. They don't want you there because it is GORGEOUS. Have fun.
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11/1/2004
Backpacking from the Grotto to Horse Pasture was definitely strenuous, but the views are breathtaking. Looking back at Angel’s Landing from the trail north of Scout Lookout provides a new perspective of the Angel’s Landing hike.

The West Rim trail provides views of Zion that are not as easily seen on the more traveled trails. Upon reaching Horse Pasture, you have reached another world within Zion. The views near the rim are spectacular in all directions. This section of the park appears to be almost untouched by man.
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3/18/2003
If you want solitude from the crowds during the early spring this is the hike. Again, it is highly recomended that you enjoy the solitude of nature and stay a night or two on the rim of the canyon. You will be amazed if you see more than a few people. Depending on what time ou begin yor trek(Sunrise suggested), you can set you pack aside and hike out to angel's landing. The views are breathtaking along this entire journey. Enjoy it.
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5/28/2002
Don't be alarmed at the pastoral nature of the first few miles of this hike (it is Horse Pasture plateau after all). Just when you start complaining about the hike, you will soon be ambushed by one of the most spectacular viewpoints in my experience, peering down on the technicolor wonder of back country Zion. More and more jaw dropping views come with ever increasing frequency, until you are overwhelmed by constant canyon greatness. Once you have done the Narrows, definitely do not miss this! We took a shuttle to Lava point and it was worth the $
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Trail Information

Zion National Park
Nearby City
Zion National Park
Parks
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Zion National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Kolob Reservoir, The Guardian Angels, Temple of Sinawava
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018