The most interesting and beautiful parts are within the first few miles on either side and many choose to just walk the trail to those points and back again. For an even longer route, this trail is part of the Trans-Zion Trek of roughly 47 miles. If you want to walk the entire East Rim Trail, here’s what you can expect:
Starting from the East Rim Trailhead, you won’t have as steep a hike up the mesa. Once you’re on top, you have great views down to the canyon and across to nearby cliffs, including Checkerboard Mountain. You’ll continue on top of the cliff, passing Jolly’s Gulch, with a sharp drop-off, where many choose to enjoy the beautiful views before turning back (for an approximate 6-mile hike). From there you’ll continue on, passing through Ponderosa Pines until you reach the halfway point at Stave Spring. Here you can take your choice of spur trails leading to overlooks and breathtaking vistas over Zion Canyon on Deertrap and Cable Mountains. Also, if you’d like a short hike through East Rim, you can start from the Stave Trailhead (where you’ll also find access to the Deertrap Mountain and Cable Mountain trails).
You’ll know you’re in the final stretch as the trail begins its nearly 2,400 descent through Echo Canyon. Note that as you pass through Echo Canyon, you’ll pass through open slickrock and will need to look for cairns to mark the path. From there, you’ll pass another junction, this time with the Observation Point Trail, and finally finish the trail at the Weeping Rock Trailhead.
To access the East Rim Trail from the east end, start just east of the East Entrance Station off of Route 9, or access the Trail via the Stave Spring Trailhead behind Zion Ponderosa Resort of of the North Fork Road.
A secluded and strenuous nearly-11-mile trail connecting the East Entrance Trailhead to the Weeping Rock Trail at the west end of the park, the East Rim Trail is as varied and beautiful as they come.