Sagebrush flats under Mt. Kinesava
Zion's South Side.Part of Zion's beauty its great geological diversity and the resulting variety of plant and animal communities. The Chinle Trail highlights Zion's Lowland Desert habitat, the warmest, driest ecological niche in the Park. At 4,000 ft. above sea level, this hike can be brutally hot after 9 AM during summer. Fall through spring, however, the Chinle Trail makes for a comfortable day hike of any length you like. Wildflowers are particularly stunning in the washes and creek beds March thru May.
The Chinle is a long trail, and you can approach the hike in a few different ways. Some hike Chinle as an out-and-back, traveling the full length and then doubling back. Others spot a car at Huber Wash, then hike Chinle to Huber, following Huber down to their shuttle car. Still others spot a car at Coalpits Wash and plan a long one-day hike or a more comfortable two-day overnight backpacking trip connecting to the Scoggins or Coalpits Wash Trails. Backpackers typically camp in the vicinity of the Coalpits Wash Trail Junction, though some travel further up Coalpits Wash to find wonderfully isolated territory under Cougar Mountain, The Bishopric, and the Towers of the Virgin.