The East Rim Trail leads eleven and a half miles from Weeping Rock Trailhead, through Echo Canyon, past Stave Spring to the Clear Creek Trailhead at the East Entrance station of the park. Following this path the trail ascends 2,400 feet, with most of the ascent in the first two and a half miles. Echo Canyon may contain water and a a few deep holes. Check conditions before beginning this hike. A permit is necessary for overnight camping within the park.
From the Weeping Rock Trailhead the route begins by crossing Echo Canyon before it empties into the North Fork Virgin River. It ascends slowly for the first 15 minutes then begins a steep ascent toward the summit of Cable Mountain. A short distance from the trailhead the Weeping Rock Trail leads to the left. This is a easy side trail to an interesting formation that shouldn't be missed.
Beyond the Weeping Rock Trail the track climbs several switchbacks of varying lengths. After three long legs, near 4,750 feet, the Hidden Canyon Trail forks to the right. This route leads into the bottom of Hidden Canyon then follows it a short distance up stream.
Beyond the Hidden Canyon Trail our route continues to climb along four more switchbacks before entering Echo Canyon. The trail follows the canyon bottom for approximately a half mile before beginning to climb its northern wall. The climb is moderate to the next fork in the trail. At this fork bear right and continue to follow the northern wall of Echo Canyon. (The trail leading to the left climbs to Observation Point.)
About a quarter mile from this junction the trail crosses a tributary to Echo Canyon and continues winding through the canyon. One half mile up stream from this tributary the trail crosses another small creek then turns eastward, then southward crossing Echo Canyon. After crossing the main canyon the trail begins to ascend the southern wall. Using several switchbacks the route climbs 725 feet in slightly less than one mile to reach the top of Kolob Terrace.
On the plateau top the trail levels and enters a pine forest. The elevation above the switchbacks is approximately 6,350 feet. The track skirts the eastern rim of an Echo Canyon tributary for a half mile before crossing the small drainage. A short distance beyond this drainage is a trail junction. The trail that bears left leads one quarter mile to a four-wheel drive road and the Ponderosa Ranch. Bear right at this junction and continue southward toward Stave Spring.
You'll reach the spring in less than a half mile. The trail forks immediately before the spring. Follow the left side of the fork to continue along East Rim Trail. Stave Spring is a dependable water source. From the spring to Clear Creek Trailhead is slightly more than five miles.
The trail climbs a few hundred feet in the first mile past Stave Spring. It crosses one drainage then leads between the heads of two creeks that empty into Clear Creek. From this point the trail begins to descend into Jolley Gulch. It switches back a few times then leads along the Jolley Gulch drainage heading up stream to avoid some steep cliffs. The track crosses Jolley Gulch and ascends out of the canyon rounding a ridge between Jolley Gulch and Cave Canyon. Descending into Cave Canyon the trail descends slowly to the canyon bottom leading upstream for a half mile before switching back to the creek side. The trail follows Cave Canyon to its mouth and confluence with Clear Creek. From the mouth of Cave Canyon the East Rim Trail follows Clear Creek upstream to the trailhead approximately one and a half miles.
Directions: From Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, Drive eastward from Zion Canyon on Highway 9 to the East Entrance station. Turn into the trailhead parking on the northern side of the road. The East Rim Trail leads north from the East Entrance of the park.
Elevation: 6,950 feet
Ending elevation: 6,900 feet
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Zion National Park, Utah
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