Jolley Gulch – 5.8mi / 9.4km
A shorter hike along the East Rim Trail near the East Entrance takes you along slickrock and desert landscapes to a fantastic slot canyon. Jolley Gulch is a great viewpoint with a dramatic, deep fissure that writhes its way out into a broader valley.
Starting on the East Rim Trail near the East Entrance of Zion, you travel along a broad trail through slickrock and desert shrubbery. The trail starts off fairly level with some soft, sandy spots along the way. The trail switchbacks at Cave Canyon and begins to climb. You wrap around the point that separates Cave Canyon and Jolley Gulch, with the latter being an impressive canyon.
At almost three miles, the trail crosses Jolley Gulch. At the crossing, you stand on a rock slab that looks straight down into a writhing fissure. Years of water eating away at the sandstone have created a dramatic slot canyon to enjoy from a great vantage. Turn around here and head back to your car. (For more extended trips along the East Rim Trail, check out Deertrap Mountain, Cable Mountain, and the East Rim Summits hikes in the 15+ mile section.)
Trailhead: From Springdale, take Highway 9 east through the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Tunnel. Make a left at the turnoff on the north side of the road just before the East Entrance. The trail starts at the gate at the end of the parking lot.
Elevation Gain: 700ft / 210m – Elevation Loss: 700ft / 210m