Not Too Bad. Observation Point Canyon is a fun adventure, a canyon many people SEE (from the East Mesa Trail and Observation Point), but few have descended. Not destined to be a classic, but a good day out with a bunch of long rappels. It faces south, so it could be oven-like in hot weather.
With one car
From Weeping Rock, hike up the Observation Point Trail, about 4 miles and over 2,100 feet of elevation gain. Once at the Point, check out the canyon to the east and south, this is Observation Point Canyon.
You can decrease the elevation gain of the Observation Point Trail by parking or shuttling to the East Mesa trailhead on Zion Ponderosa Ranch and hiking in on the East Mesa Trail, finishing at the Grotto.
From Observation Point, backtrack along the trail to the sharp notch where the very head of the canyon is closest to the trail. Continue on the trail another 100 feet, then cut over to the rim. The watercourse itself could be descended, but looks very brushy. Select a tree on the rim that offers a clean rappel down steep rock and into a grove of trees. Make sure your rope reaches.
R1: Rap about 230' to 300' to a grove of trees.
Hike and downclimb to the top of a bowl, then work your way carefully down slabs with bushes for perhaps 45 minutes. When the slope below drops off, select a sturdy bush near the edge, rig carefully for best pull, and rappel.
R2: Rappel 260 feet to the canyon floor. You might rappel past an old RT (Royce Trappier) bolt, 20 feet short of the canyon floor (bad day out for RT)..
Rig carefully! The many plates and loose rock make rope retrieval a bit tricky.
Continue downcanyon through trees and brush. The canyon then slots up 100 feet from the end.
R3: Short rap from a chockstone, then a downclimb to a small pothole. Through another small pothole. Water level could make for a swimmer.
R4: 120 foot rappel from bolts.
R5: 30 foot rappel down to a ledged anchor station.
R6: Rap from the anchor station (two pins and a bolt), 300 feet to the ground, to the left of the Weeping Rock wall.
A printable canyon descriptionand map you can take with you.
This canyon is NOT in the book yet. 2nd edition?
Angels Landing, Hidden Canyon & Observation Point
Click on any map to browse a larger view,then right-click to save and print.
East Mesa Trailhead - Observation Point, Mystery Canyon
Deluxe maps are available in two formats:
• 1 Mb files in the Map Download Center, designed for printing on 11" x 17" paper • Canyoneering Maps for Purchase in the Canyoneering USA Store. Printed maps are 13" x 19", nicely presented on 24 lb. white paper.
Zion: Central Canyons and Trails
Observation Point Canyon, 11/24/08 - Tom and Sarah get one last canyon in before winter arrives.