Best Hikes in Zion – The Desert Lowlands

La Verkin Overlook

Desert Lowlands hikes can be particularly hot during the summer, which is why hikers choose to hike this section during winter. The Southwest Springdale and North, or Route-9, is a very dry and hot section of ZNP. It is considered to be isolated by many hikers, though they drive to and from the main canyon, they ignore this part of the canyon completely.

The lower altitude of the desert is pleasant and has subtle views only during the winter months, but numerous washes are worth of exploring in this isolated section of the ZNP.  South of Rockville and beyond ZNP in the BLM land, trails to the Canaan Mountain and Eagle Crags offer outstanding backpacking and isolated hiking experiences.

Chinle Trail

Rated as a moderately strenuous backpacking or a day hike, hikers experience several hiking possibilities in the desert section of ZNP. One of the official trails is the Chinle Trail. The trail starts at “Anasazi Plateau” (a residential area), which then leads to the northwest Rockville Bench and then into the National Park itself.  The trail is approximately 7 miles, crossing over several washes of the region and a petrified forest. The washes include Huber Wash, Coalpits Wash and Scoggins Wash. Remember, the trail gets extremely hot during the summer months. This trail offers several opportunities to hikers to get away from their routine experiences.

  • Huber Wash

    This tough day hike, is one of the major effluents in the southern section of Zion’s desert.  This wash is always dry and it is only about 2 miles in length stretches between the Chinle Trail and Route-9. It is a short trail, taking half-day to complete the trial.   Like any other desert section, this section also gets extremely hot during the summer. It is suggestible to explore the desert part of Zion during the winter months.  Hikers who enjoy scrambling hiking can take the Huber Wash challenge trail as an alternative start to other famous trails such as the Chinle Trail.

  • Coalpits Wash

    This backpacking route, has it’s main drainage located in the southern desert part of ZNP.  When you take a Route-9, driving from La Verkin to Springdale, you can pass the drainage easily. From Coalpits Wash the road may appear to be desolate and boring drainage, but if you want a long day hike or little mild cannoneering adventure, be sure to try this Coalpits Wash. About 9 miles in length this hike takes you to the sublime and isolated surroundings, where you can witness some of the grand Zion formations firsthand.

  • Scoggins Wash

    Scoggins Wash is a branch of the largest Coalpits Wash and contains extra areas to explore. Hikers can experience more exciting hikes within this section.  You can observe the small water flow in the upper part of this empty wash. Although it is not a target hike, hikers can still experience unique hikes.

Crater Hill to Coalpits Wash

Considered as a fairly strenuous trail, Crater Hill can also be an alternative start to explore the desert section of the Zion National Park through a collaring Dalton Wash Road towards the west of Coalpits Wash.  Crater Hill trailhead begins at Western Park border to the north Carter Hill and it provides easy access to the Upper Coalpits Wash.  This section gets very hot and due to it’s barren landscape, and may look unappeased, especially during the summer months.

  • Best of the Desert Hike

    This hike is like a dream come true. If you planned to complete your favorite hikes including Huber wash, Chinle Trail, Coalpits Wash and Scoggins Wash all in one single day, you may think it’s not possible; or if you wanted to escape the loop hikes, then the Best of the Desert Hike is the hike that you are looking for. You can get more information about this hike at the section in the ZNP.

  • Grafton

    This easy family trail, is located at the southern banks of the Virgin River exterior of Zion National Park. Also known as the Ghost Town of Grafton, it was first established in 1859.  After a flood in the year 1862 and an Indian attack in 1866 the place was abandoned. This section, now maintained by the Grafton Heritage Company, includes various historic buildings and an old graveyard. You can learn more about it’s history when you visit this trail.

Eagle Crags Trail

Towards the South Springdale, you may have observed the jagged rock structures of the Eagle Crags intimidating in the distance.  It is located in the BLM land of south Rockville. It is considered as an easy half-day trail that loomed and rounded the east Vermillion Cliffs ending at the striking Eagle Crags structures.  The surroundings offer great views all along the north Zion Canyon to the east Parunuweap canyon.

Water Canyon & Canaan Mountain

This strenuous trail is located on BLM land at the Arizona borders in south Zion National Park; it is accessible from the isolated town of Hildale. Water Canyon is a gorgeous little sanctuary located in the middle of the desert.  Similar to the Subway, Water Canyon is a narrow canyon with a quick trail that leads to the Westside of the water canyon to follow the mountains above.  Once you’ve crossed the canyon and proceeded to the Canaan Mountains your expectations will be met with an amazing hiking experience.

La Verkin Overlook Trail

The La Verkin Overlook trail, rated as a fairly strenuous trail, is approximately a 19 mile trail. The trail starts at the West part ZNP, using Route-9 to go through the adjacent towns of La Verkin and Hurricane and climb down the Hurricane Cliffs structures to the east.  It is an older, short, trail on BLM terrain leading to the cliff edges offering spectacular views down into an inspiring section of canyon by the Virgin River that flows in the below the towns.  The La Verkin Overlook is not a popular hike among hikers; most choose the trial to explore the surroundings.

The above mentioned trails are the best of the Desert Lowland trails in the Zion Desserts. The best time to visit these trails is during the winter season. It is advisable not to visit these sections in summer months as the summer is extremely hot, and it’s not easy to hike on hot summer days.  Most of these trails are exciting but few of them are not target hikes and may be boring for certain age groups. Before you start your trip make sure to gather all information about each trial and choose the right one for your hiking trip.

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