Scoggins Wash

Scoggins Wash is one of the little known trails located in the far southern, low elevation, section of Zion National Park. This is a good trail to hike in the winter but most of the rest of the year it is too hot for comfortable travel. This trail can be used for a backpacking trip and there are nice views of Zion's mountains from a distance.

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkAt a Glance
Photo Album:
Scoggins Wash Photos
Topo Map: Scoggins Topo Map
Trail Map: South Zion Trail Map
Day Hike:
Yes, but often done as a backpack.
Camping: Stay at least .25 miles from springs and stay out of site of the trail. Do not camp near the trailhead. Use previously used sites or slickrock to reduce impact. A permit is required for camping.
Trail Distance: 11 miles round trip
Average Hiking Time: 10 hours
Trail Usage: Low use, but it gets some use in the winter when people want to backpack and the West Rim and East Rim Trails are closed due to snow or ice.
Horse: Pack animals (6 per group) are allowed in the off-trail areas of Coalpits Wash, Huber Wash, Scoggins Wash, Crater Hill. Call NPS for restrictions. 435.772.7616
This is a moderate trail. There is little elevation change, but its a long trail, Route finding skills are required. There is some bouldering near the end of the trail.
Sun Exposure: This trail is not recommended during the hot days of summer due to the low elevation and exposure to full sun.
Required for camping.

Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Trail Conditions: The trail is a dirt path that requires some stream crossing and bouldering. Do not hike if the ground is wet.
7.3 miles south of the south entrance gate. Look for the Coalpits Wash sign. Turn off on the right side of the road and park in the flat area. The Coalpits and Scoggins hikes share the same trailhead and the first 1.6 miles of the trail.
Trailend: Same as trailhead.
Trail Access: Located along Highway 9, outside the main section of Zion National park, on the far south side of the park.
Best Season: Avoid this trail in the summer due to the low elevation and full sun. This is a good winter hike when the ground is dry. Do not hike if the trail is wet.
Starting Elevation: 3666'
Highest Elevation: 4600'

Restrooms: None. Pack out all toilet paper.

Directions to Zion National Park

From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's.

Zion National Park Maps

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Zion's Scoggins Wash

When water flows in Scoggins Wash the trail is pretty charming, but this would be a hot hike to do in the middle of summer. The trail is used often in the winter and cooler months of the year.


Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.


please link to mePass through the gate and locate the dirt path. The water flow is to your left and becomes distant during some parts of the initial trail. The first couple of miles are uneventful as the trail goes past sagebrush, roundleaf buffaloberry, yucca, prickly pear, junipers, Zion milkvetch and under power lines and through ditches.

Along the first 1.6 miles of the route watch for two basalt rock formations. The first black basalt rock will become evident high on the left, prior to the Coalpits and Scoggins confluence and the other basalt is located across from the junction.

The trail will pass closer to low rock formations on the right, now distant from the water, the moenkopi formation can be seen up high on the left. Before long the trail begins to meander closer to the water. The first water crossing is near a large tree, at 1.3 miles before the Scoggins and Coalpits confluence.

Coalpits Wash and Scoggins Wash Junction
The Coalpits and Scoggins confluence is directly in front of the second basalt mound. At the Coalpits and Scoggins Wash junction, follow the path (right) east. This junction is 1.6 miles into the hike and the elevation is 3794'.

Old Scoggins Stock Trail
Note that this is not part of the Scoggins Wash trail, but can be added as an option. From the Scoggins and Coalpits junction it is 1.5 miles  to the Old Scoggins Stock Trail.This steep .3 mile trail is very hard to spot from the Scoggins Wash. Even though there is a sign, it is close to the water (north) on the bank and not along the walking path. There is usually a cairn near the base of the hill, and the path up looks like a water drainage rather than a trail. This route was used by early settlers for taking livestock from the wash to the above mesa. This area is heavy with clay so be aware that if the ground is wet the clay will stick to boots with each step. At the top is a sign directing the way to the Chinle Trail and Coalpits Wash.

Scoggins Wash Trail continued
Continue along the Scoggins Wash, past the Old Scoggins Wash trail. The trail gets more interesting as the Zion National Park landmarks, Altar of Sacrifice and the West Temple, that were far in the distance are now close and low cut red cliffs close in.

The trail is through the wash now and soon large boulders block the way. Climbing the boulders is now a requirement to continue along the path. Lichens and thick green moss cover the rocks in this section. When water is flowing in Scoggins, the waterfalls are very nice. Large flat boulders trap water for a short time before it falls to the wash below. Small boulders are jammed into waterways between large boulders making a bedrock water park.

Scoggins Wash and Chinle Trail Junction
The junction of Scoggins Wash and the Chinle Trail is found 4.5 miles into the hike. Again this is an easy spur to miss. There is often a cairn stacked near the Scoggins watercourse and the elevation had increased to 4224'.

Final section of Scoggins Wash
To continue up Scoggins Wash follow the wash to where it joins a tributary. Follow Scoggins headed northeast. Scoggins Wash is a tributary of Coalpits that begins below the Altar of Sacrifice. Keep headed towards this monolith.

The Trail: The Scoggins were early settlers in the area who the trail was named after. Rattlesnakes are common along this trail during the hotter months of the year. Do not hike the trail when it's wet.

zion National Park CanyoneeringBest Trail Features: This trail is a good winter hike. Starting early is a must if the plan is to finish the trail in one winter day.

GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Scoggins Trailhead
Elevation: 3666'

Junction of Coalpits and Scoggins Wash
1.6 miles/2.57km
Elevation: 3794'

Junction of Scoggins and Chinle
4.5 miles/7.24km
Elevation: 4224'

Options: Exploration of the Chinle Trail, Coalpits Wash or Huber Wash.

Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and author Mary Cisneros.

To post trip reports, offer corrections, updates, or for more information please visit the Zion National Park Forum

Suggested Gear: A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend to hike the trails in Zion National Park. Many quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury.


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