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Weeping Rock Trail
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Zion National Park
Weeping Rock
Weeping Rock
Start of the trail along Echo Creek (view east)

Overview

This steep, but pleasant paved trail runs for about 0.25 miles to a rock alcove (shallow cave with a wide mouth) in the wall of the canyon adjacent to a waterfall. The waterfall often is dry, but water seeps out of the rock and drips over the opening of the alcove and down the back wall. This cool, moist area supports a variety of woody plants and spring wildflowers on the hillsides and in the hanging gardens on the canyon walls. The view down the canyon from the alcove is spectacular.

Link to map.

Weeping Rock
Middle of the trail in winter (view north)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this is a safe, well-maintained trail, but a slip from a couple of places along the trail could result in injury, so be careful and watch your kids. Most of this trail is steep. Hiking here is safe in the rain, but be careful on the wet trail.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this is a short hike, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Weeping Rock
Approaching Weeping Rock grotto (view north)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Zion National Park, about 3 hours northwest of Las Vegas.

From town, drive out to Zion National Park. From the Visitor Center (Table 1, Site 863), drive (during winter) or ride the shuttle bus north on Highway 9 for about 1.3 miles to Zion Canyon Road (Site 864). Turn left onto Zion Canyon Road and drive north for about 4 miles to the Weeping Rock parking area (Site 392). Park here; this is the trailhead.

Weeping Rock
Echo Creek waterfall in front of grotto (view west)

The Hike

The shuttle bus stops along the main road, outside the Weeping Rock parking area. From the bus stop, walk up the road under the Cottonwood Trees into the parking lot (about 100 yards). The trailhead is located on the right (south) side of the parking lot. If needed, use the restrooms at the parking area; they usually are clean, and they are the only restrooms in the area.

From the trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 1), a paved trail leads south and across the footbridge over Echo Creek, which flows down past Weeping Rock. Be sure to stop on the bridge and look for the little (3 to 4 inches long) sucker fish that live in the creek; some species of suckers are species of concern, and it is always fun to watch them burrowing into the algae or feeding on the rocks.

Weeping Rock
Birding the treetops during late spring (view south)

Immediately past the bridge, the trail forks (Wpt. 2). The fork to the left runs east and up along Echo Creek to Weeping Rock. The trail to the right runs south and leads to Hidden Canyon and the high country.

From the fork, the paved trail climbs steeply along the hillside above the creek through an area thick with trees. Initially, the trees are Scrub Live Oaks, Gambel's Oaks, Hackberry, and other species adapted to dry hillsides, but higher up, the moist hillsides support Maidenhair Ferns, a variety of flowers (e.g., Golden Columbine, Shooting Stars, and False Soloman-seal), Horsetail (called scouring rush here), and trees that require more water (e.g., Velvet Ash and Cottonwoods). During spring and summer, this area always seems to be full of birds too, and there is a pretty little waterfall on the edge of the trail just before the stairs at the end of the trail.

Signs along the trail describe the ecology of the area and identify some of the trees and other plants along the way. Technically oriented biologists with a dry sense of humor might find some of the signs particularly funny. In particular, note the signs about Gambel Oak and Plant Galls.

The trail ends (Wpt. 3) by climbing a few metal stairs to a horizontal alcove in the cliff with a man-made stonewall along the edge (so it is safe for kids). Water drips over the lip of the cave, from the ceiling, and down the back wall. When there is enough water, you even have to walk under a small waterfall at the metal stairs to get into the alcove. The main Echo Creek waterfall is beyond the alcove, but close enough to dampen the alcove when the wind is blowing.

Weeping Rock
Hanging garden above the trail (view east)

The shade provided by the high cliffs and trees, and the moisture provided by the creek and seeps along the canyon walls, make for a cool, moist environment with spectacular scenery and a great variety of plants and bird songs.

Return to the trailhead by wandering back down the paved trail to the parking area.

Table 1. Highway Coordinates (NAD27; UTM Zone 12S). Note that these are UTM-Zone-12 coordinates.
Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site Location Latitude (°N) Longitude (°W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (feet) Verified
0392 Weeping Rock parking area 37.2706 112.9377 328194 4126447 4,348 Yes
0863 Zion Visitor Center 37.2000 112.9865 323702 4118706 3,940 Yes
0864 Highway 9 at Zion Canyon Road 37.2176 112.9736 324881 4120630 4,048 Yes

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 12S). Note that these are UTM-Zone-12 coordinates.
Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Easting Northing Elevation (ft) Verified
01 Weeping Rock Trailhead 328188 4126483 4,348 GPS
02 Trail Forks 328194 4126447 4,360 GPS
03 End of Trail 328342 4126570 4,420 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120510

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