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Coalpits Wash
Route

Coalpits Wash

 
Coalpits Wash

Page Type: Route

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.17055°N / 113.08138°W

Object Title: Coalpits Wash

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
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Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Dec 17, 2010 / Jan 24, 2014

Object ID: 685578

Hits: 3762 

Page Score: 82.48%  - 15 Votes 

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Overview






Map
Map

Coalpits Wash is a small stream that originates in the highlands of Zion National Park near the 7300 ft mountain known as The Bishopric. It then heads south and eventually empties into the Virgin River at a spot a few miles to the west of the town of Rockville. The lower parts of Coalpits Wash Canyon have been traditionally used for an 11.2 mile roundtrip day hike. The hike starts at an elevation of 3650 ft in a desert environment. As you hike north along the banks of the stream, you will go through a small canyon and eventually find yourself in a mixed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees among the rugged slick rock mountains of Zion National Park. The usual end point for the day hike is a spot at an elevation of 4320 ft where you will find the decaying ruins of an old oil well (the wash continues many more miles into the mountains to end on the slopes of the Bishopric).

Getting There

From 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 Description

Trailhead 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















Place
Elevation
Distance
Trailhead
3650 ft
zero miles
Scoggins Wash Junction
3800 ft
1.9 miles
Chinle Trail Junction
4100 ft
1.7 miles
Oil Well Ruins
4320 ft
2.0 miles
Total
5.6 miles




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.







Smithsonian Butte
Smithsonian Butte
Beginnings of the Hike
Wide Valley
Beginnings of the Hike
Wide Valley


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”.






Painted Desert
Painted Desert
Painted Desert
Painted Desert
Painted Desert
Painted Desert
Painted Desert
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.













In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon/Cougar Mountain
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 
In the Small Canyon
 



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.







The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows
The Narrows



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.














Upper Valley
 
Altar of Sacrifice
Altar of Sacrifice
Upper Valley
 
Upper Valley
 
The Bishopric/Upper Valley
The Bishopric
Upper Valley
 
Upper Valley
 
Upper Valley
 
Upper Valley
 
Upper Valley
 
Upper Valley
 
Cougar Mountain/Upper Valley
Cougar Mountain




Red Tape

Check out http://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm for all fees and regulations.

Weather and When to Climb

See the forecast for Springdale, UT

Due to very hot summers, October through May is the best hiking season.

External Links

Coalpits Wash.

Images