From camp we can see the magnificent towering cliffs and mesas of Zion. We took a morning to hike Eagle Crags just outside the park and loved it. This hike is 7 miles with 1300′ of climbing with great views across the valley to Zion. The best part of this hike is you don’t have to fight hordes of people. We saw nobody. Warning though, the road to get to it is no joke. 4wd IS MANDATORY.
The Eagle Crags are a collection of spiked sandstone pinnacles on a high ridge that we hiked up to. I would rate the trail is moderate. There are some steep switchbacks at the end and if you’re a flat-lander then the 5300′ the trail tops out at might be difficult. We hiked through plenty of sagebrush, yucca, juniper and pine trees along the singletrack lined with rock outcroppings. After about a mile in we passed the wilderness border and were now in Canaan Mountain Wilderness.
We found a pretty sweet spot at the base of the crags to eat our sandwiches and enjoy the solitude while gazing out into the distance at the massive sandstone monoliths of Zion National Park. This hike is an out and back so after our lunch we turned and headed back down. It’s a quick hike at about 2 and a half hours but much longer with the slow going drive.