Getting ThereFrom the south entrance of Zion National Park (in Springdale, Utah), drive 7.3 miles west on Route 9 to a dirt pullout on Route 9. You will likely see a sign for Coalpits Wash on the road. Park in the dirt area by the road.
Route DescriptionTrailhead Coordinates: 37 Deg 10.233 Min North
……………………………….......113.Deg 04.883 Min West
Round Trip Distance: 11.2 miles
All distances are per my GPS
You will start your hike on the east side of the Coalpits Wash. From the parking area, follow a dirt road a very short distance north. Find the gate that goes through the barbed wire marking the park boundary, go through the gate and enter the park. You will find yourself in a wide valley covered by desert bushes. A few cottonwood trees can be seen on the banks of the wash and the Smithsonian Butte can be seen behind to the south.
You will find a trail on the east side of the wash. Follow it north among the desert shrubs. You will note many colorful slopes around you that give the area the nickname: “The Painted Desert”.
After 1.9 miles of easy hiking, you will reach a major split in the valley. Right goes to Scoggins Wash. Take the left fork and enter a small canyon. You will not find an established trail here and will have to bushwhack your way up the canyon. The bushwhacking is not hard but will slow you down.
You will eventually reach an area of “Narrows” where you will have to walk in the shallow stream (In the warmer months, the streambed might be dry). To avoid the mud, in one spot, we chose to climb out of the narrows onto the slopes above.
After the narrows, you will reach the junction of Chinle Trail. The valley will open up and you will find yourself in a much greener environment in a beautiful forest. Spectacular slick rock peaks can be seen all around. Follow the stream another 2 miles to reach the oil well ruins.
Red TapeCheck out http://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm for all fees and regulations.
Weather and When to ClimbSee the forecast for Springdale, UT
Due to very hot summers, October through May is the best hiking season.