Zion, Top to BottomA marvelous tour of Zion over one long day or two casual ones. The West Rim Trail is the perhaps the most geologically and botanically diverse trail in the Park, perfect for a long day-hike or an overnight backpacking trip. For those with the knees for it, the West Rim Trail is a great way to see and get to know the backcountry.
The first section of the West Rim Trail hikes out the rolling plateau of Horse Pasture Mesa and down a lush fold in the hills to a small pond at Potato Hollow. A short, steep climb leads to the second section of the Mesa, where the trail splits into two paths: the West Rim and Telephone Canyon. The West Rim fork follows - you guessed it - the rim of the plateau, featuring sexy, dramatic views of the grand peaks and canyons to the south. Telephone Canyon follows a more subtle, interior route established when settlers first laid telephone wires over the plateau and down into Zion Canyon. When the forks meet up again at West Rim Spring, the trail descends steeply to Zion Canyon.
NOTE: The route through Telephone Canyon Trail is included here, but as of 2011 is still closed after a fire destroyed the trail. At this time, only the West Rim route running along Phantom Valley is open.