Canyoneering Route Description

Echo Canyon (middle) - 3B II
Zion National Park, Utah.

Quick Facts

08-16-09, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 6 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 5 to 7 hours
Distance - 4.7 miles Total, 0.9 miles Technical
Rappels - 7 Rappels, Longest Rappel 20 feet.
Elevation Range - 4360 - 5620 Feet
Shuttle Required -No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - Yes

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 20 feet and 50 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Wet suits are needed even when it is hot out.  Portions of the canyon get very little sunlight so the water stays cold.

General Comments

Echo Canyon (middle) starts out a bit bland and is not too technical but the lower half of the canyon gets very scenic.  The echo chamber is a must see if you like to yell and scream and let your inner child out.  There are some sections where the water may be pretty nasty.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

Park a car at the Zion Visitor Center then ride the shuttle to the Weeping Rock bus stop.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as an out and back route.  After returning to the Weeping Rock trailhead, take the Zion shuttle back to the visitor center and your vehicle.

Maps

GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom.  For information about waypoint naming and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the entire route.

Details

The Approach:
From the Weeping Rock bus stop, walk up to the trailhead for both Weeping Rock and East Rim trail, on the other side of a small bridge.  From the trailhead follow the East Rim trail.  This first section of the trail is up a long series of switchbacks.  About 0.6 miles up will be the junction for the Hidden Canyon trail (jHiddenCynBt).  Stay left to continue on the East Rim trail.  About 0.4 miles beyond the Hidden Canyon junction, the trail will level out and pass between the high close walls of Echo Canyon.  The water course for lower Echo Canyon will be below and to the left (north) of the trail.  There is also more vegetation in this section.   

The trail will soon cross the water course as it continues up the left side of the canyon.  A short distance after crossing the water course, there will be a point where the trail starts to go up above the canyon floor on the left.  This is where you will later exit the Echo Canyon (middle) technical section and be back on the trail (yEcho-MidBt).  Continue on the trail on the left as it climbs along the canyon wall above the canyon floor.  

Shortly after leaving the canyon floor and getting through the echoing section the canyon opens up giving wide open views of the area as it continues up the East Rim trail.  About 1.8 miles from the start is a trail junction for the East Mesa trail to the left.  Stay right (south east) and continue on the East Rim Trail.

Follow the East Rim trail.  There are sections of defined trail and sections of slick rock with cairns to follow.  About 0.6 miles from the East Mesa trail junction the trail crosses a drainage (yEcho-MidTp).  Where the trail crosses the drainage is the top entry for Echo Canyon (middle).

The Canyon / Technical Section:
Where the trail crosses the drainage (yEcho-MidTp) start south down the drainage.  The drainage starts out as a wide easy to walk in wash.    Shortly down canyon after leaving the trail will be a down climb of about 10 feet over some boulders wedged between the canyon walls. 

Shortly down canyon after leaving the trail will be a down climb of about 10 feet over some boulders wedged between the canyon walls.  Shortly after that will be another down climb of about 10 feet down some boulders with a couple logs to climb under at the top.  The logs make a good spot to throw up a hand line.  

Rap 1 is about 700 feet down canyon after leaving the trail.  Rap 1 is anchored from a downed tree just above the rap and drops about 8 feet over a boulder with some overhang before reaching the ground.  Shortly after rap 1 the canyon starts to narrow and get the winding twisty walls.  

Rap 2 is about 150 feet down canyon of rap 1.  Rap 2 is anchored from a choke stone just above the rap and drops about 20 feet to a water filled pothole.  The pothole looks as though it will be a little trouble to escape as you look at it from above.  When you get to the other side it is very easy to climb out the other side even when water levels are low.  Just after rap 2 there is a tight section then the canyon opens a little but just briefly.  

About 150 feet down canyon of rap 2 is a slick rock slide down to a pool.  It looks like you may need a rap here and someone has taken the time to make a cairn style anchor at the top.  The slide is at a gentle angle and is easy to slowly slide down into the pool.  No rap is needed.  A short distance down canyon of this slide is another slide into a pool.  Both of these look very inviting as you look back at them but not so much looking down them.  

Shortly after the 2 slick rock slides to pools is another down climb of about 10 feet to a pool.  This down climb has a dead man anchor holding a hand line to help drop over the edge.  The first part of the down climb is a bit awkward.  The first person down should be the better climber or be assisted with a belay then they can assist others from below.  

Rap 3 is about 600 feet down canyon of rap 2.  Rap 3 is anchored from a choke stone at the top of the rap and drops about 15 feet to a pool.  The start of rap 3 is a bit awkward since the anchor is right at the edge of the rap.  After rap 3 are a couple pools to get across that are not so inviting.  The water is covered in a nasty slime that sticks to you as you come out.  

Next the canyon opens up briefly until you are faced with what appears to be a fork in the canyon (wEcho(mid)RP-1) about 350 feet down canyon of rap 3.  It quickly becomes obvious that the right side continues down canyon.  Continuing down canyon of the fork, the canyon goes through a tall tight twisty narrow section that makes you want to take lots of pictures.  

About 600 feet down canyon from the apparent fork in the canyon is a series of raps.  Raps 4, 5, 6 and 7 are all squeezed in close to each other.  

Rap 4 is anchored from a choke stone under a boulder RDC about chest high.  Rap 4 drops about 20 feet down sloped slick rock to a large pool.  

Rap 5 is a few feet down canyon of rap 4.  Rap 5 is anchored by a set of bolted hangers LDC about shoulder high.  Rap 5 drops about 15 feet to a large sandy area or pool depending on water levels.  On the other side of the pool is a drop off to a pothole with water in it.   

Rap 6 is on the other side of the pothole at the bottom of rap 5.  The anchors are two bolted hangers and high over head RDC on the other side of the pothole.  Getting down into the pothole is more trouble than getting out the other side.  A meat anchor is a good idea to get everyone down but the lightest person.  Then the last person can be assisted with climbing down into the pothole.  Getting out of the pothole is a pretty easy task.  Rap 6 drops about 12 feet to a pool.  

On the other side of the pool at the bottom of rap 6 is a log jammed between the walls.  Climbing up and over the log, reveals another down climb to a big pool.  Raps 6 and 7 are in a dark cavern like area.  Very little light gets in here.  

Rap 7 is on the other side of the pool.  Rap 7 is anchored from a set of bolted hangers RDC and drops about 15 feet to a large pool still in a cavern like area.  This will be the last rap of the canyon.  

After rap 7 is a section where sun gets into the canyon and you can warm up a bit if the last section got you chilled.  Down canyon are more tight narrow sections that are quite photogenic.  Travel is fairly easy with a few minor down climbs along the way.  

About 0.2 miles down canyon from rap 7 is the Echo Chamber section of the canyon.  When you get to an area that echoes a lot as you talk loud, you are there.  Take a moment to yell a little and let your inner child out!  It is amazing how long the echoing continues.  

Down canyon of the echo chamber the canyon stays narrow and scenic.  There is noteworthy down climb of about 8 feet over a log jam.  Most of the travel from here to the exit is easy with a couple down climbs and some small pools to cross.  Just before reaching the end of the technical section and dropping back to the trail, there will be a man made dam.  The dam looks like it might have provided a nice private swimming hole for someone in the past.  After the dam the canyon drops you back out onto the trail (yEcho-MidBt) where you can de harness and get ready for the hike out.

The Exit:
Once back on the trail, follow it about 1.4 miles back to the Weeping Rock trailhead where you can catch the shuttle back to the visitor center.

GPS Waypoint Information

GPX Files Available for DOWNLOAD.
Downloadable GPX files for many of the canyons listed here are now available at the BG-Gear Store.  In addition to the waypoints, the GPX files also offer routes and tracks for the canyon.  Over time more GPX files will be added.

If you want to avoid manually adding waypoints into your GPS or mapping software, want the additional routes and tracks or simply want to support the efforts put into BluuGnome, head over to the BG-Gear Store and grab the files that interest you.

Elevations are approximate.  Waypoints with no elevation data will display NaN in place of the elevation.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Notes for GPS information:
BEFORE
entering coordinates from this website, please ensure your system (GPS or mapping software) is set to the same datum used here.  Waypoint coordinates are listed with WGS84 datum and in Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° format.  Entering coordinate information with inconsistent datum's can result in the waypoints being off by hundreds of feet.  It is important to keep this in mind when entering waypoints from any source.

Echo (middle) (1) - Approach
  1. wBusStpWeepRock          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27098   W -112.93942        Elev: 4,360 Feet
    Weepeing Rock and East Rim trail bus stop.
  2. tObpntWpRk          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27053   W -112.93855        Elev: 4,371 Feet
    Trail head for Weeping Rock and Observation Point.
  3. jHidnCynTrlBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26949   W -112.93615        Elev: 4,760 Feet
    Junction off the Observation trail where the Hidden Canyon trail starts.
  4. yEcho-LowerTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27049   W -112.93247        Elev: 5,250 Feet
    Of note there is a USDI - NPS elevation marker here that says the elevation is 5194.
  5. yEcho-MidBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27237   W -112.93107        Elev: 5,320 Feet
    Bottom Exit of Echo Canyon.
  6. jEastMesaTrl          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27427   W -112.92827        Elev: 5,620 Feet
    Junction where the East Mesa trail starts off the East Rim trail and heads toward Observation point.
  7. yEcho-MidTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27762   W -112.92148        Elev: 5,600 Feet
    Top Entry for Echo Canyon 16-AUG-09 10:50:16AM
Echo (middle) (2) - The Canyon and Exit
  1. yEcho-MidTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27762   W -112.92148        Elev: 5,600 Feet
    Top Entry for Echo Canyon 16-AUG-09 10:50:16AM
  2. dEcho(mid)R1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27585   W -112.92206        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 in Echo Canyon (middle). Anchored from a downed tree just above the rap and drops about 8 feet to the floor.
  3. dEcho(mid)R2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27563   W -112.92256        Elev: 5,520 Feet
    Rap 2 in Echo Canyon (mid). Anchored from a choke stone and drops about 20 feet to a water filled pothole below. Easy escape of the pothole.
  4. dEcho(mid)R3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27538   W -112.92420        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 in Echo Canyon (middle). Anchored from a choke stone at the edge of the rap so it is a bit of an awkward start and drops about 15 feet to a pool.
  5. wEcho(mid)RP-1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27466   W -112.92496        Elev: 5,440 Feet
    The canyon appears to have a fork in it. It is quickly obvious the right side continues down canyon.
  6. dEcho(mid)R4-7          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27400   W -112.92636        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 4 - 7 for Echo Canyon (mid). Rap 4 anchored from a choke stone RDC and drops about 20 feet to a pool. Rap 5 anchored LDC from bolted hangers and drops about 15 feet to a pool (sometimes dry). Rap 6 anchored RDC from bolted hangers and drops 12 feet to a pool. Rap 7 anchored RDC from bolted hangers and drops about 15 feet to a pool.
  7. yEcho-MidBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27237   W -112.93107        Elev: 5,320 Feet
    Bottom Exit of Echo Canyon.
  8. yEcho-LowerTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27049   W -112.93247        Elev: 5,250 Feet
    Of note there is a USDI - NPS elevation marker here that says the elevation is 5194.
  9. jHidnCynTrlBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26949   W -112.93615        Elev: 4,760 Feet
    Junction off the Observation trail where the Hidden Canyon trail starts.
  10. tObpntWpRk          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27053   W -112.93855        Elev: 4,371 Feet
    Trail head for Weeping Rock and Observation Point.
  11. wBusStpWeepRock          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27098   W -112.93942        Elev: 4,360 Feet
    Weepeing Rock and East Rim trail bus stop.