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Separation Canyon - Zion National Park

Moderate stroll through a wide slickrock wash. Includes a 4th class scramble to Separation Point if desired.
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.8 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Among the twisting turns, massive sandstone slabs and vegetative plateaus of East Zion reside some of the most enjoyable backcountry... more »

Tips:  Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

Setting the odometer on the east side of the small tunnel (note: the small tunnel is after passing through the long 1.1 mile tunnel headed east), drive 2.5 miles along hwy-9 toward Mt. Carmel Junction. Stop at a small pull-out (big enough to hold 2 cars). The trail is obvious dropping down the steep embankment to the south and into Clear Creek... More

2. Ridgeline

Turning south, walk up the short lava covered slab to the ridge line and down the other side. You have now arrived in Separation Canyon. Take a few minutes and hike down stream to where the wash passes through a series of desert tanks before it drops into Clear Creek. This is known as Twisted Falls.

3. Wide Wash Hiking

Heading upstream, follow the wide slickrock wash. There are beautiful desert tanks and the canyon stream bed narrows on occasion. Work around these areas on either the right or left following the line of least resistance.

4. Wash Divide and Decision Time

Close to the 3/4 mile point the wash divides. Directly ahead is a small outcropping known as Separation Point.

Turn left (east) if hiking to the saddle for a view into Parunuweap canyon or if you want a 4th class scramble to the Point.

Turn right (west)if you are looking for a nice 3rd class scramble to the Point.

5. 4th Class Scramble

Turn left if hiking to the saddle for a view into Parunuweap canyon or if you want a 4th class scramble to the Point. You'll notice a short black capped hoodoo on the left, just before entering a slickrock bowl. Turn right up the sandy bank to where the vegetative ridge meets the slickrock. This is the direction of travel to Separation Point. ... More

6. Separation Point Summit

The summit is a short steep scramble, the hand holds are easy to find and there is good footing. Use caution as this section of the Point is fractured and many slabs are loose. I did not find any kind of summit register.

The summit view is beautiful and a panorama of sights into Parunuweap canyon is stunning.

7. Linda Bagpiping

Nothing more beautiful than the sounds of bagpipes rolling through the canyons. (Last segment taken on East Temple Saddle). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw0SaEOOKE4&feature=youtu.be

8. 3rd Class Scramble

Turn right (as the wash divides) if you are looking for a nice 3rd class scramble to the Point. Hike up the wash until reaching a dryfall. The route to the left of the dryfall contains lots of weakness and ledge systems and the slickrock is not as steep. At the ridge line, turn west toward the Point. In either case the last 20' feet to the... More

9. Backcountry discoveries

One of the reasons I enjoy the backcountry is the unusual discoveries often made. We came across the remains of a Mountain Sheep and a fallen tree whose root system had conformed to the rock.