The Chinle Trail
While there are many hiking possibilities in the “desert section” of Zion National Park, the Chinle Trail is the one official trail of the area. Starting at a small parking area in the “Anasazi Plateau” residential development, the trail heads northwest up onto the Rockville Bench and into national park lands. The trail continues for roughly seven miles, crossing over a petrified forest and several washes of the area: Huber Wash, Scoggins Wash, and Coalpits Wash. The trail can be brutally hot during the summer so getting out in the late fall, winter, or early spring is ideal.
The Chinle Trail (also referred to as the “Petrified Forest Trail” before the 1980s) is a fairly level and easy to follow trail, but it does go up and down several hundred feet in elevation as it crosses the various washes. The first two miles are rather bland as the trail heads up the open Rockville Bench, providing views of the impressive Mount Kinesava to the north. Once alongside Huber Wash, the scenery gets more interesting as the trail provides good views down into the wash before crossing over to the Petrified Forest. Chinle Trail Many petrified wood samples can be found right along the trail and along the bench to the west of the trail; please do not take any rocks–it is illegal to do so and it is important to leave for others to enjoy.