To access the trail, leave from Springdale headed west toward the Kolob Terrace Road where you’ll turn left. You’ll take that road for 19 miles until the turn-off toward Lava Point. If you took the shuttle from Springdale, you’ll be dropped off at Lava Point or if you have 4WD (necessary if conditions are wet), you can continue left toward the West Rim trailhead. Here you actually have the option of using the shuttle, and Lava Point is the drop-off point. The West Rim Canyon Trail will take you between the Wildcat Canyon and the Great West Canyon systems.
The West Rim Trail is a well-loved trail deep within Zion’s National Park that offers stunning views. An adventure even the most experienced backpackers will enjoy, it’s 14.4 miles of fairly strenuous hiking, or horseback riding. The trail itself is known for its incredible views and is fairly level or downhill most of the way (a “top-down” hike). Enjoy the subtle beauty of the upper plateau and watch the vegetation and the scenery get richer with every step you take until you reach a climax upon entering the White Cliffs area into Zion Canyon.
On the trail, you’ll find lots of place to stop, take some pictures and soak up the amazing views, including many of the amazing rock formations of Great West Canyon – the Right Fork, Greatheart Mesa, Ivins Mountain, Inclined Temple and more! You’ll also find natural springs and even campsites. The last 4 miles of the trail are more dramatic, not for the scenery, but for the steep trail as you make your way down the chiseled White Cliffs into the main canyon. Once you near the end of the trail coming up on the Grotto and Angel’s Landing, you’ll find yourself with several other tourists and hikers, especially in peak season.