Spending a day exploring the Eagle Crags trail and formation is a perfect day adventure for someone with a healthy dose of ambition. It is a beautiful hike that will visually keep you on your toes as you rise and fall in a pinyon and juniper forest offering spectacular vistas of the Virgin River and Parunaweap Canyon. Start early to watch the sunrise light up the west temple and to avoid the midday heat.
The trail itself is an easy to find and fairly easy to follow 6-8 mile out and back romp along the jagged Vermillion Cliffs. It begins on easy and level terrain heading east slowly gaining elevation until you pass into the designated wilderness area. Here the trail becomes a bit more serious as you climb with more consistency. If you can hang in there you will soon come across some of the best scenery short of immersing yourself in Zion Canyon and some great picnic spots beneath numerous boulders along the way. After taking in the sights and grabbing a snack, continue up until you are below the rock formations and breathe in the world at the end of the trail (No clear Marker).
For those who are looking for more, it is possible to continue hiking to find a climbers trail marked by Cairns heading up the east erosion slope to a stance beneath a 3 pitch rock climb that ascends the most captivating structure of the entire formation. The trail is strenuous, steep, sandy and littered with loose boulders. If you are not attempting the climb what is known as Toele Tower I would not recommend expending the extra effort.
To get there, follow Highway 9 into Rockville and turn on Bridge Road. Drive across the river to a dirt road. Follow this straight passed a dilapidated trailer to a very well made trail head.
Author: Bryan Teaters, Paragon Adventures Guide & Manager of The Spot Bouldering Gym
Photographer: Charlie Kessner
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