The West Rim Trail
The West Rim is one of the classic backcountry trails in Zion: a 16-mile long trail along the upper west plateau that connects Lava Point (the highest point in Zion) with the main canyon. Most visitors to Zion are familiar with the lower section of the West Rim Trail that leads to Angels Landing, but those willing to hike further will be treated to more wonderous views as the clever trail makes its way up to the canyon rim. From atop the plateau, continuous majestic views can be seen to the east and west. Alternatively, a top-down hike from Lava Point is time well spent and can be done either as a long day hike or as a leisurely two-day stroll!
Our Recommendation – Day Hike down from Lava Point:
Starting from Lava Point, you can hike down the West Rim Trail as a long 16-mile day hike. While most of the trail is level or downhill, it is still a long day and should be considered fairly strenuous and could take anywhere between 7-12 hours. The top-down hike is very aesthetically pleasing as the scenery starts out fairly benign, but each viewpoint gets better and better than the last until the grand finale of the trail making its final descent into the main canyon. Strong hikers can still squeeze in a side trip up to Angels Landing.
There are a few other options for doing this hike from Joe’s Guide to Zion National Park. For a complete overview of the West Rim Trail and detailed information click here for Joe’s Guide to Zion National Park West Rim Trail.