East Rim Trail
Trailhead Google Map:
21 miles out and back
5000 feet of vert gained
Trailhead Bathrooms: YES
No dogs allowed
Wildlife seen: 2 Rattlesnakes, 2 hares, 1 dead turkey
Salomon Sense Ultra trail running shoes
Salomon hydation pack with 1.5 liter bladder plus 16 oz water bottle
The trail is 10.5 miles one way. The best thing to do is to organize a shuttle because you do not want to hiking this trail in the middle of summer in the middle of the day. It will get in the 100s and cook you! But if you're a strong trail runner then it should be no problem to start at the East Rim Trailhead at 5:00am and an out and back.
http://www.zionadventures.com/ offers a shuttle service to the East Rim Trailhead, too.
There's multiple water sources along the way. Jolly Gulch is 3 miles in, Staves Spring is 5 miles in, and the bottom of Echo Canyon has some still water.
You will reach the top of Echo Canyon 7 miles in and that's where the 3.5 mile descent starts into Zion Canyon. The change of scenery is also a welcome change from all the sagebrush fields.
Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes!