Paiute legend had it that Kinesava was a moody god given to hurling rocks and to starting fires and creating lightning high on the mountaintops.
Whether Kinesava is still up to his tricks today is unknown, but the loose rock on the standard route up the peak named for him is a grim reminder of his fabled activities. Climbers attempting this peak, especially climbers in groups, would be wise to don helmets even though the route is not technical.
Mount Kinesava is the southernmost peak on the west side of Zion Canyon and one of its guardians. In addition, it is one of the most seen and most spectacular peaks in Zion. However, probably because the approach is tedious (and because it has become longer-- see Getting There and Red Tape), it is climbed far less than one might think.
Summit views are among the most impressive in the park. To the south rise Canaan Mountain, the Eagle Crags, and Smithsonian Butte. Eastward are well-known peaks such as the Watchman, the East Temple, and Bridge Mountain. A look northwest takes in much of the Kolob Terrace area, including iconic peaks such as the North and South Guardian Angels. And just north, seemingly so close, is the massive and grand West Temple, which blocks views further into Zion Canyon but does not disappoint at all.
Near the summit is a panel of petroglyphs. Stupidly, I forgot about that when I climbed and regrettably cannot describe where they are. Maybe that is a good thing, though. If you do find the petroglyphs, please do not touch or otherwise mess with them.
I seem to recall there once being a page for this peak on SP, but perhaps it went when some member went. Well, here it is again.
Kinesava and West Temple
Two routes you will find here on SP are the following:
-- Class 4, 3200' gain (not counting ups and downs on the approach), 7-9 miles RT.
-- 5.7, can be from 6-9 miles RT depending on the approach, does not lead to the actual summit although the summit is easy to reach and not far away.
For more details on either route, please see the route page.
The southwest and northwest faces harbor long, difficult free and aid routes.
Summit Views and Views En Route
Traditionally, climbers have accessed Kinesava via Serendipity Lane and Mukuntuweap Circle in Springdale, and that approach makes the route about 5 miles RT. However, signs there now make one feel rather unwelcome, and there are stories of the property owners threatening to have cars ticketed or towed. Therefore, I will skip the specific instructions and refer to the "new" trailhead instead.
Half a mile south from the sign welcoming you to Springdale and Zion Canyon (or 0.6 mi south of Majestic View Lodge), turn onto Anasazi Way. Go a short distance up a hill and then turn right to reach a parking area for the Chinle Trail
. A sign indicates that non-residents are not allowed to park elsewhere. This point is the start of the approach.
The good news is that since access is from outside the park boundary and no entrance stations are involved, no fees are involved, either. The bad news is that this "new" trailhead makes the route at least two miles longer RT.
There is no camping at the trailhead. Camping and lodging are available in Springdale and within Zion National Park, but advance reservations for either are a good idea from spring through fall.