East Rim Trail, Zion, UT
Zion’s best backpacking route has a bite-sized section along Zion Canyon that has long been a popular trail run — a stiff 11 miles through slickrock formations and high above steep sandstone walls, with killer canyon views. From the park’s east entrance, you kick things off with a climb to the mind-blowing vistas of Checkerboard Mesa. Then, after another steady five-mile slog up (the trail tops out at 6,725 feet), the final mile offers up views of Zion’s greatest hits — Angels Landing, Cathedral Mountain, and The Organ — until you gradually descend through Zion Canyon to reach Weeping Rock, where you’ll find free shuttles back to the east entrance.
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