Hiking Guide Photos 1 2

Joe's Best of the Desert HikeHave you ever wanted to hike the Chinle Trail, Huber Wash, Scoggins Wash, and Coalpits Wash all in one day but you didn't think it was possible? Don't you wish you could do a loop hike that doesn't involve backtracking over scenery that you have already seen? Are you tired of dishwasher spots on your glasses? Well, your problems have just been solved because this narcissistically named hiking route is just what you have been looking for!

I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, but after hiking the Chinle Trail and several of the drainages in the desert section of Zion, I realized that you could easily piece together the best sections into one nice long day hike. Why is this route cool? 1) You get to see the best parts of all three washes in the desert section; 2) You get to hike the Chinle Trail without having to do the awkard start in a residential community; and 3) This is a loop hike, so you don't need to backtrack or use a carspot.

The "Best of the Desert" hike is roughly 11.5 miles and could take 7-10 hours to complete and can broken down into several sections. Be sure to bring map/GPS/compass to aid in navigation; bring plenty of water and allow plenty of time. Click on any of the links below to get more detailed information:

  1. Huber Wash:
    Park at the Huber Wash Trailhead and hike up Huber Wash. When you get to the grotto dryfall, backtrack and scramble up the west side of the wash to bypass the dryfall obstacle. Walk the rim and follow the wash to join up with the Chinle Trail.
  2. Chinle Trail:
    Follow the Chinle Trail north through the Petrified Forest bench for two miles until it crosses over Scoggins Wash.
  3. Scoggins Wash and the Old Scoggins Stock Trail:Coalpits Wash
    Leave the Chinle Trail and follow Scoggins Wash downstream as it turns from flat to a more scenic wash with some flowing water. Beyond the boulder field section as the wash begins to lose its charm, look for the Old Scoggins Stock Trail to the right (west). Follow it back up to the top of the bench where it joins with the Chinle Trail.
  4. Chinle Trail (again):
    Back on the Chinle Trail, follow it northwest as it gives views down into Coalpits Wash and then eventually heads down and ends at the junction with Coalpits Wash.
  5. Coalpits Wash:
    Follow Coalpits Wash downstream. You will pass Coalpits Spring and the narrow boulder-filled section of wash. By the junction of Scoggins Wash, the canyon opens up and the going gets easier. Hike the banks of the stream south to the border of the park and Route 9.
  6. Hike along Route 9:
    Now it's time to pay the piper and hike along Route 9 east for roughly 1.3 miles to return to Huber Wash and pick up your vehicle. Now wasn't that fun?
Joe's Best of the Desert Hike Map Joe's Best of the Desert Hike Map.
Note: While viewing the map, click on the map to return to this page.

Joe's Spin:

This hike might not be for everybody, but I loved doing this hike as it's a great workout and it hits most of the interesting landmarks in the desert section of Zion. As with all hikes in the desert section, this could be brutally hot during the summer months, so save this for the cooler seasons or a cloudy/rainy day.

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