Cable Mountain |

Zion East Side

Hiking Cable Mountain - Zion East Side Hiking Cable Mountain
Zion East Side

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


TICKS & TODOS: 7 Todo Lists / 0 Ticks
RATING: Moderate Hike
MAPS: Temple of Sinawava, UT;
WATER: None.
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall
NOTES: The trailhead is generally reachable by most vehicles, but can be quickly impassable when wet.
Mon Hi:48 Lo:32 Tue Hi:50 Lo:34 Wed Hi:48 Lo:30 Thu Hi:52 Lo:31 Fri Hi:60 Lo:34
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Cable Mountain towers over the Zion Main Canyon and offers endless views of the park. The mountain is named Cable Mountain because in 1901 David Flanigan began building, then operating a 2000' cable system to lower timber from the East Rim down to the Zion Main Canyon. Incredibly, getting lumber from the East Rim to the Main Canyon took ten days round trip before the cable system, and just a few minutes after the cable system was installed. A lightning strike destroyed the cable system in 1911, but it was re-built and used up until 1926. The cables have long since been removed, and all that now remains is the wooden foundation at the top of Cable Mountain.

Visiting Cable Mountain for the views alone would be a very highly recommended outing, but throw in a bit of fascinating history and this is one of my favorite hikes in the park. Note, you can visit Cable Mountain from the main canyon by starting at the Weeping Rock shuttle stop and following the Echo Canyon trail up to Stave Spring. Starting in the main canyon more than doubles the hiking distance to about 16 miles total and adds about 2000' of gain. Starting from Stave Spring (this description) offers the easiest approach and makes Cable Mountain a very moderate outing.

Panorama from Cable Mountain

Getting There

The trailhead is off the North Fork road, which starts 2.2 miles east of the east entrance of Zion National Park on highway 9. It is signed.

  • Turn onto the North Fork Road. ( 12S 337340mE 4122961mN / N37° 14' 20" W112° 50' 02" )
  • 5.1 miles - left toward Zion Ponderosa. Stay straight on the main road through this section. ( 12S 333927mE 4126810mN / N37° 16' 23" W112° 52' 23" )
  • 5.8 miles - Go left, then stay right at the immediate junction. ( 12S 332982mE 4127143mN / N37° 16' 33" W112° 53' 02" )
  • 6.4 miles - Go left, then an immediate right. Stay straight on this road to its end. ( 12S 332410mE 4126361mN / N37° 16' 08" W112° 53' 24" )
  • 6.9 miles - Park Boundary. Park anywhere here. ( 12S 331606mE 4126257mN / N37° 16' 04" W112° 53' 57" )


From Stave Spring Trailhead, follow the trail a few minutes to a signed junction. Go left here (right goes down to the Zion main canyon). The trail ambles across gently rolling terrain then reaches the Stave Spring junction. Go right here, climbing a bit up. At about the 1/2-way point, the final major junction is reached. Go right on the signed Cable Mountain Trail. The trail crosses and descends the mesas to the old Cable Mountain Draw Works foundation.

From the Cable Mountain Works foundation ruins, Observation Point is visible just to the north across Echo Canyon. You can see the trail cut in the steep sandstone heading up to the point. Below is the Zion Main Canyon and Big Bend, with Angels Landing across the main canyon to the West.

The large flat mesa across to the west above Angels Landing is the West Rim trail area.

Return the same way.


Printable Maps:
Stave Trailhead

12S 331651mE 4126275mN

N37° 16' 04" W112° 53' 55"

Junction - Left

12S 330830mE 4126092mN

N37° 15' 58" W112° 54' 28"

Junction - Right

12S 330965mE 4125650mN

N37° 15' 44" W112° 54' 22"

Junction - Right

12S 329995mE 4124625mN

N37° 15' 10" W112° 55' 01"

Cable Mountain

12S 328543mE 4126398mN

N37° 16' 06" W112° 56' 01"


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