West Rim from Lava Point to the Grotto | Zion National Park
***You should def do a moderate amount of physical activity, like barre, yoga, 5+ mile walk
Zion National Park is well known for some of its premier hikes such as Angel’s Landing, the Subway and the Narrows. Unfortunately, because of the popularity of these hikes, it is hard to find a moments peace along these trails. The West Rim Trail gets you off the beaten path and allows you to see sites in the park that very few have the chance to witness. If you are lucky enough to obtain a backcountry permit, then this hike is worth every mile.
This 16.2-mile hike offers views of Zion National Park that will take your breath away. With its 3600 foot descent, your joints may not be thrilled but your hiker soul will burst. There are a couple ups and downs along the way but the majority of the hike descends into Zion Canyon. The last 2 miles will connect up with Angel’s Landing. If your body is feeling up to it you can take a side trip along the chains to the top. You will end at the Grotto trailhead where the shuttle system can take you back to the visitor’s center.
If you make this a day hike, then you will not need a permit, however, if you wish to camp at one of the 9 campsites, a permit is required and will become available to obtain 3 months prior to your trip.
There are a couple of springs along the trail that have water for filtering. It is advisable to check the conditions of these springs before you begin though. It is also required that you pack out any waste that is produced so make sure that you pack the necessary equipment for this. Because this is a national park, dogs are not allowed on this trail.
The route to the Lava Point trailhead can be accessed one of two ways. If you wish to drive yourself, you will most likely need to have two cars. One to take you to the trailhead, and one waiting for you in Springdale so you can shuttle yourself back to your car. Another idea, which I personally feel is worth the money, is to rent a shuttle company in town to take you to the trailhead. I personally feel the expense is well worth the time saved.
Because of the limited permits and the limited access to the trailhead, this hike is perfect for seclusion and grand views that many miss out on when they visit Zion.