THE SAND BENCH TRAIL
One of the Main Canyon’s less talked about trails, the Sand Bench Trail really is a great hike during the spring and fall when the temperatures are cooler than the warmer summer months. This is also a great option for Spring Break trips for kids, teens, and adults.
The Sand Bench Loop starts at the Court of the Patriarchs shuttle stop and is roughly 3.5 miles (round trip). From the shuttle stop, cross the main road and walk the access road to a large water tank and the hikers’ bridge across the Virgin River. The trail initially heads west to offer a good view of the Court of the Patriarchs, then it heads south and crosses a small stream, then climbs to the top of the landslide. The Sand Bench Loop (From the Court of the Patriarchs, a small spur trail also heads north to connect with the Zion Lodge/Emerald Pools trailhead.) Total elevation gain up to the top of the sand bench is roughly 500 feet, much lower than any hikes to the canyon rims. Be sure to do the entire loop as both parts of the trail offer unique views. The eastern trail is more rocky with many interesting boulders scattered about and good views of the main canyon and the road below. The western loop of the trail offers amazing unobstructed views of the actual ancient landslide.
For the full overview of this great hike including maps and amazing photos check out Joe’s Guide to Zion National Park by Joe Braun Photography and this hike specifically at THE SAND BENCH TRAIL (Sand Bench Loop).