discovering God's creation

Rock Field, Zion East

This is a remote trek into the wilderness on the East side of Zion National Park. Travelling South from SR9 you reach an interesting rock field about 2 miles in. The canyon of the East Fork of the Virgin River can be seen in the distance. For ambitious hikers you can hike a further couple of miles to view this canyon.

The route is mainly over slickrock with some sandy hill climbs. On the return route there is a steep slickrock climb of about 100 feet vertical distance.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = moderate

Distance: 4.3 miles total – moderate
Elevation gain: ~1240 feet – extreme
Terrain: Open Slickrock with a few scrambles and some sandy hills – moderate
Exposure: Fairly steep slickrock ascent – moderate

To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System

Getting There

If coming from the west take SR9 through Springdale, Utah, into Zion National Park. Turn right on SR9 at the Canyon Junction and take the switchbacks up and through the Main Zion Tunnel. Travel through the second tunnel and park in the small two car parking area 2.3 miles from the second tunnel exit.

If coming from the east turn onto SR9 at the Mount Carmel Junction and drive into Zion National Park. From the East entrance gate drive 1.6 miles to the Parking area.

Directions to Rock Field Trek

Directions to Rock Field Trek

The Trail

The route begins on the south side of SR9 about 100 yards east of the parking area.

Travel about 200 yards south from the road along the level slickrock shelf and then drop down into Clear Creek. On the far side of the creek you will encounter a sand trail leading up the far cliff side. Follow the switchbacks up to the top of this cliff.

From here, travel south along the slickrock above a sandy wash to the west. You will pass an interesting rock perched on a small sandstone pillar and thence pass to the right of a large hoodoo. After some distance along the slickrock, the trail is visible where it climbs over two sandy hills.

At about 2 miles you come to a large open slickrock area. The rock field is off to the right across an impassable ravine. Travel south out to the end of the prominent slickrock promontory and then drop down on the right side into the ravine. After coming up a sandy rise on the west side of the ravine travel north hugging the large rock hill to your left. Just beyond this hill is the interesting rock field.

The return to SR9 is up a steep slickrock bowl shaped hill just to the north of the rock field. This is the most strenuous climb on the trek. From the top continue north over some sand hills eventually dropping down into a small wash and then back up onto the slickrock to retrace the original route.

GPS Track on US Topo Map

GPS Track on US Topo Map


Rock Field Location

Here are some pictures along the trek.