Roughly 19 miles west of Zion National Park, Route 9 passes through the neighboring towns of Hurricane and La Verkin and ascends the Hurricane Cliffs formations to the east. The La Verkin Overlook Trail is a short old trail on BLM land that skirts the edge of the cliffs and offers good views down into an impressive section of gorge that has been cut by the Virgin River as it flows to the towns below.
From the junction of Route 9 and Route 17 in La Verkin, drive Route 9 east roughly 2.5 miles up into the Hurricane Cliffs (or if coming from Springdale, drive Route 9 west 3.8 miles from the town of Virgin), then turn south on an easily visible dirt road; there is typically a sign pointing to the "La Verkin Overlook." Drive 1.5 miles south on the main dirt road to the parking area and a nice vantage point looking down on La Verkin. The trail starts to the south.
The La Verkin Overlook Trail is roughly one mile long (one way) with an elevation difference of 650 feet between the overlook/upper trailhead and the lower trailhead. The hike may take 1-2 hours at a leisurely pace. The trail is very easy to follow with fiberglass stakes marking the way as it continues down the narrowing ridgeline and slowly descends to the southwest. Along the way, great views are had looking down at the town of La Verkin to the west and into the gorge to the east. (Please keep to the trail as much as possible to preserve the delicate desert vegetation.)
At .65 miles from the overlook, the trail abruptly turns west and descends into the residential neighborhood below, but there is an unofficial spur trail to the south that continues to the end of the ridgeline and then swings east to end at a large rock formation that looks like an island in the sky. This spot offers the best views of the Virgin River as it rounds the corner of the gorge. Retrace your steps when you have had your fill; the uphill hike back to the overlook will be a bit more taxing on the legs.
|La Verkin Overlook Trail Map.
Note: While viewing the map, click on the map to return to this page.
While this isn't a destination hike for tourists visiting Zion National Park, the viewpoint and trail can be a fun diversion for those looking to do something a little less touristy and get a good leg workout. The area is best enjoyed during the cooler months or at sunrise or sunset.