Even though I've done this hike several times, it's always a classic and a must do for every visit, and this time we were treated to fall colors in the valley.
You'll barely have time to catch your breath on the steep switchbacks for the first part of the trail, and then your palms will definitely sweat looking at the steep drop offs on both sides while climbing the chains on the ridge up to the peak. A must do for anyone visiting Zion National Park!
Miles: 4.8 roundtrip
Elevation Change: 1,500 ft
Trail Type: Out and back
Photos in this post by: Kyle McBurnie
After packing up camp at Watchman campground, we parked our car at the visitor center and hopped on the shuttle to the Grotto. It was quite chilly before the sun came up, and we were outfitted in scarves, gloves, and beanies. The steep grade quickly got our heart rates up, and as the sun came up over the ridge, we got quite warm.
We quickly made our way to the top of the first section where most of the hikers who chose to not continue onto the dangerous ridge waited and relaxed. There were even bathrooms all the way up here. We continued on, for the views would get even better!
Since it is a popular trail, you will find yourself waiting for the slower hikers either in front of you or coming the other way. Since the ridge is so narrow, there really is only room for one hiker at a time.
After lots of scrambling on all fours (I definitely feel more comfortable closer to the ground), we finally emerged at the top!
There was quite a crowd enjoying the view. While we had a snack at the top and were taking photos, a very eager chipmunk reached for Kyle's bar and he managed to snap an awesome underbelly shot.
All of the people made it quite loud at the top, so we climbed down to a lower portion of the peak to get a little bit of isolation and quiet.
The top was a little windy, so be sure to bring layers in case it is colder up there. After enjoying the views and taking a short siesta, we headed back down.
We were excited to see some fall colors in the canyon, but it seemed we missed the peak by a couple weeks. The main canyon had just started to change color, with most of the color being right near the river.