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Off the Beaten Path: Alternate Adventures on Zion National Park’s East Side

A guest is seen canyoneering through the chambers of Elkheart Canyon and captures a photo-worthy moment

East Zion offers a wide range of adventures for those who want to explore beyond the beaten path. While many visitors focus on visiting Zion Canyon’s main tourist stops  inside Zion National Park, East Zion offers unique alternate adventures to experience Zion’s beauty and adventure.

Observation Point

Observation Point has gained attention for the stunning views and exciting hike. This alternate adventure leads to a breathtaking overlook of Zion Canyon and Angels Landing! That’s right, Observation Point sits at 6,507 feet above sea level—700 feet higher than Angels Landing for a whole new perspective on Zion. The view from Observation Point is nothing short of spectacular, making the 6-mile hike well worth the effort. Keep in mind that we offer an easy and affordable shuttle to the trailhead from Zion Ponderosa!

a canyon with a mountain in the background

Cable Mountain Hike

Another noteworthy alternate adventure on the east side of Zion National Park is the hike to Cable Mountain. This trail leads to what remains of the historic Cable Mountain Lodge and offers stunning views of Zion Canyon and the surrounding mountains. Bonus: Guests staying at Zion Ponderosa can hike or snowshoe to Cable Mountain right from their vacation home!

Cable Mountain Hike

Elkheart Canyon

For those who prefer guided tours, East Zion Adventures offers a variety of excursions that allow you to explore the hidden gems of the east side of the park. Our Elkheart Canyon & UTV Adventure is an exciting and scenic tour that combines off-roading with the thrill of rappelling. This beginner-friendly tour begins with a backcountry adventure on one of our custom UTVs to a private access backcountry slot canyon. There, adventurers of all skill levels will have the opportunity to experience three rappels, including the longest  descent of 100 feet. The tour departs from the Sinclair gas station in Orderville, UT, and lasts for 3-4 hours. Add this one to your bucket list, no matter what time of year you visit.

Coral Sands Canyon Adventure

This guided adventure features five rappels, with the longest descent over 70 feet tall. We recommend a high level of fitness and the ability to hike four miles. Coral Sands Canyon is a challenging but rewarding opportunity to explore stunning slot canyons and experience the thrill of rappelling in Zion National Park’s East side.  

a person in a canyon

White Sands Sunset Horseback Ride

On our newest horseback tour, you’ll saddle up on one of our majestic horses and watch the sunset while overlooking the rolling hills near the town of Orderville. Enjoy amazing red rock views as you ride along the base of Red Hollow and White Mountain. Book your White Sands Sunset Horseback Ride today!

Person riding a horse in east zion

Abandoned Mine Hike

This family-friendly hike takes you to an abandoned mine where you can explore the past and learn about the history of the area. The hike is educational and fun, making it a great activity for families with kids.

People hiking an abandoned mine in Utah

Zion Mountain Jeep Tour

Our Zion Mountain Jeep Tour offers stunning views of Parunuweap Canyon and the towering mountains of sandstone and red rock that make this area so unique. With knowledgeable guides and a mild to rugged terrain, this tour is perfect for all ages and skill levels. Best of all, no overcrowded shuttle and no permit required. Just you and your crew, and an amazing view. 

Jolley Gulch

Finally, for those who want to combine hiking with a stay at Zion Ponderosa, the hike to Jolley Gulch is a must-do. This moderate trail takes you through stunning scenery and is perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of Zion National Park without the crowds. You can hike to this viewpoint via the East Rim Trail or you can take the fun route by joining us on a guided UTV adventure! If you’re wanting to ditch the crowds of Zion Canyon, Jolley Gulch is a great addition to your East Zion itinerary

Jolley Gulch Jeep Tour

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a family adventuring with kids, there’s something for everyone in East Zion. Come explore this hidden gem and enjoy the alternative adventures on the peaceful side of Zion!

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