Zion’s Little Detour: The Weeping Wall

As a warm-up hike our first day we did a short romp, up through a light rain, to the base of the waterfall that tumbled out of the Weeping Wall. The header image for this post shows it, near my hiking boot, seen from far above on the Hidden Canyon hike that we did in the park, later on that day.

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In this photo, you can see all the sediment in the Virgin River. The canyon is still being actively carved today.

The Virgin River runs through Zion National Park and has carved out the massive canyon there, bringing 1 million tons of sediment down a year, mostly in flash floods. Colours in the canyon come from minerals as they seep through the rock, piggybacking on the water. It’s these minerals, such as red iron, that give sandstone its variety of colours, and are responsible for the incredible manganese streaking and varnishing of its canyon walls.

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There is a viewing platform underneath the waterfall.

Sandstone is soft and porous, and the water that fell as a heavy rain the night before, soaked into the rock with no trouble. But the mineralization… that process that brings spectacular colours to the rock… also creates hard layers that the water cannot easily penetrate. Like human nature, water chooses the path of least resistance and in this rock, that means it travels laterally, on top and across that harder layer until it seeps, and sometimes pours (with tremendous force), out the sides of the rock.

The end result is a spectacular waterfall that pulses… watch the video here and you’ll see it slowed down… you’ll catch those bursts of extra water that fall heavily, like curtains coming down on a stage performance, and then almost disappear, as if by magic, into the air.

However, to truly appreciate the magnificence of this waterfall, you have to put some distance in your boots, some sweat in your clothes, and get up high on the trail to either Hidden Canyon, or Observation Point. Can you see the waterfall in the distance from this switchback in the trail?IMG_1292.jpg

If You Go…

  • This is a very short hike, no more than 20 minutes in duration, including time spent at its observation platform behind the falls. It can be seen simply as a stop along the shuttle bus route to other hikes in the park. Or it can be done as a warm-up to stretch your legs before tackling the Observation Point or Hidden Canyon hikes. These are the three hikes that leave from shuttle bus Stop # 7.IMG_1260
  • Bring water as there are signs all over the hike, encouraging you to avoid giardia by not tasting the water that seeps out of the wall there. The hike to the waterfall is short but steep. The hike to view it from above follows a hard-surfaced trail up a series of gruelling switchbacks (more on that in the next two blog posts).
  • The best viewpoint of the waterfall and of the Virgin River as it travels through Zion Canyon, is at the end of the switchbacks up to Hidden Canyon, on a trail that branches off the main trail to Observation Point. From the top of Hidden Canyon’s switchbacks, head on top of the rocky outcrop at your right. This is an excellent snack/lunch stop with the best views going! And by the time you’ve finished those switchbacks, you’ll want a rest anyway!

Read More About our Time In Zion

4 Comments on “Zion’s Little Detour: The Weeping Wall

  1. Nice photos, Sheri. We are still stuck w/ cold weather and snow is forecast for tomorrow, but I’m getting anxious to hit the road and the trails… it’s been a long winter, and I’m ready for some hiking! And southern Utah (maybe even Zion) will be in the mix, along w/ Wyoming’s Wind River Range! Thx again for your posts… looking forward to more on Zion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks (it’s amazing what you can do with just a phone be cane a now!) Sounds like you’ll have a great trip, Mike!

      Long winter is right! We’ve just hit the border, heading back home to our land of snow and ice and it is awfully cold here. Definitely not what April typically looks like, that’s for sure. What a shock it is!

      We quite enjoyed our time in Utah… you’ll see as the posts unfold. Hopefully you’ll see something that intrigues you that you want to go see or try. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder where the Giardia comes from in that seeping water. Are there herds or flocks of animals grazing nearby?

    Liked by 1 person

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