We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hepworth and Roof Peaks - Zion National Park

A beautiful backcountry loop. This 6 mile class 3 scramble reaches the summit of two peaks in East Zion.
id_4218718
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 6.6 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  Located behind the main Zion canyon skyline of The Watchman, G2 and Bridge Mountain; hidden behind the sandstone ridges of Gifford... more »

Tips:  Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to ... more »

Take this guide with you!

Save to mobile
Get this guide & thousands of others on your mobile phone
EveryTrail guides are created by travelers like you.
  1. 1. Download the EveryTrail app from the App Store
  2. 2. Search for the Hepworth and Roof Peaks - Zion National Park guide
  3. 3. Enjoy your self-guided tour
Get the app

Points of Interest

1. Parking & Trailhead

Heading east on hwy-9 immediately as you emerge from the long 1.1 mile Zion Tunnel is a small parking lot and restroom facility on the right hand side. This is the parking lot for the Zion Overlook trail and also holds the only restroom facilities on this side of the park. If this parking lot is full, use the overflow parking lot further down the ... More

2. Hiking Gifford Canyon

Gifford Canyon is a common hiking area for people interested in a little more than an established trail. The wash is wide, with nice slickrock falls and fallen trees.

3. Dryfall and exit from Gifford Canyon

Walk along Gifford Canyon until you find a very large sandy area below a massive dryfall that enters the canyon from a shear drop off on the East side (about 3/4 mile). Walk toward the solid red sandstone wall and continue up the creek bed (note: there is a wash that enters on your right hand side, at this sandy area, avoid this wash and stay with... More

4. Exit from Gifford Canyon

Hiking up this new wash for a short distance you will be greeted with a buttress wall about 30 feet high. Continue to follow the stream bed until you emerge onto a hillside of slickrock. Sparse trees and bushes dot the hillside. Toward the skyline to your right is a very prominent cliff and to your left is a series of cliff faces with pine trees... More

5. Shelf System Scramble

Continue to work your way higher until you reach the cliff and shelf system on the South side of the hillside. If you have really good eyes, you can spot a very large solid white boulder sitting on the red slickrock near a pine tree. This serves as an entry marker for the shelf system scramble. From here look for the wash running off to your left,... More

6. Sandstone Bowl

Upon entering the sandstone bowl avoid the temptation of hiking down into the bowl. Instead work your way along the inside rim, where the red sandstone meets the white rock creating a nice walkway. Once inside the bowl pick the easiest route to the top. The closer you are to the path the water takes the easier it will be to climb up and out (about... More

7. Cryptobiotic Crust

Cryptobiotic crust can be found in this area, it is a dark, crusty-looking soil. Please do not step on it, it is alive and is a very important ecological base for desert environments.

8. Plateau

A nice class 2 walk awaits you upon reaching the Plateau. Head south. Looking east you will see Twin Hoodoo Peak on your Right and Peak 6310 on your left (These are sometimes identified as Jenny Peak and Jenny's nipples). Only 1/4 mile separates the two peaks. The saddle between the two is part of the Parunuweap Pass hike. To the south is a... More

9. Hepworth Saddle

Soon a saddle is reached at the base of Hepworth Peak. Step around onto the small ledge for beautiful views into the large sandstone bowl that marks the massive East / West drainage between the peaks.

To your left is a prominent split in the earth. Backtrack to the head of this split (20 feet). It is possible to hike directly through the split... More

10. East / West Drainage

Arriving at the large East / West Drainage between the two peaks, again staying on the uphill side makes travel easier. Rounding the corner is a breathtaking view into this massive void of pure slickrock. Punctuated by a large streaked wall with pine trees at the rear. A special note about Zion National Park; anytime you see dark stains down a... More

11. Hepworth Peak Scramble

Looking north up the slickrock slab to Hepworth Peak exists a noticeable wash and prominent ledge systems. This slickrock slab is a class 3 scramble. Use the ledge systems to work your way toward the middle Hoodoo that is the peak of Hepworth. Beautiful views below looking back toward the sandstone bowl, south to Roof Peak and east toward... More

12. Hepworth Peak

A low rock outcropping is located on the east side before you reach the summit. It is well worth the effort to climb this small Hoodoo for views east and down tracing the route below from off the saddle. Turning west Hepworth Peak is the prominent peak on the north side with a small scrub pine tree near the top. A small cairn marks the spot. ... More

13. Descend Hepworth Peak

Dropping off the peak to another Hoodoo is a small saddle that runs north / south. Descend to the west from this saddle. Use caution as the hillside is filled with loose rock and sand. Traverse to the northern ridge line and use the ledge system to drop down to more solid slickrock travel. This ridge line approaches class 4 scramble, but is... More

14. Lands End Hoodoo

Climb the Hoodoo for beautiful views into Hepworth Wash, Destination Peak, G2, G3 and ridge lines toward The Watchman and Johnson Mountain.

15. Roof Peak Scramble

Backtrack around the bowl and head to the south. Another nice slickrock slab stretches toward a saddle near a Hoodoo on the skyline. There is considerable amounts of loose rock in this area, although a class 3 scramble proceed with caution. Cryptobiotic crust is also in this area so be careful not to step on it. Damage to this organism can take... More

16. Roof Peak

Several Hoodoo peaks exists here as well. A small cairn marks the highest (only by a couple feet). Views into the Parunuweap area of Zion are stunning.

17. Saddles Edge

Backtrack once again being mindful of the loose rock and Cryptobiotic crust. Hike through the Ponderosa pine trees until you reach the eastern edge of the saddle. This area is littered with a beautiful deep purple stone I have never seen before in Zion National Park. To the left is a ledge system and fault line that can be used for down... More

18. East / West Drainage

Follow the East / West drainage as it wanders toward Gifford Canyon. This pleasant stroll is interrupted occasionally by a waterfall. Generally speaking, game trails and ledge systems, on the left hand side make for easy route finding.

19. Desend into Gifford Canyon

Soon you reach a series of waterfall buttresses that empty the East / West drainage into Gifford Canyon. Standing next to a large Ponderosa pine tree located near the edge, beautiful views up and down Gifford Canyon can be seen. Down climb to the next level then turn north (left) and proceed down the rock ledge next to another buttress. You... More

20. Parunuweap Pass Junction

A few more feet and another level to the dryfall becomes evident. Also evident is a game trail merging from the right hand side. This is the Parunuweap Pass route coming from the east also headed to the bottom of Gifford Canyon.

Use the ledge systems located on your left to once again down climb to Gifford Canyon stream bed.

21. Dryfall

Hike down Gifford Canyon until you come to another dryfall. Moving closer to the dryfall and looking to the left, you'll see a trail leading through the trees. This trail is steep and loose dirt footing, use the trees to catch your balance and in about 50 feet you arrive at the canyon floor once again.

22. Dryfall

Continue hiking down canyon until another dryfall is reached. Once again, stay on the left side (West) and work your way higher toward the pine trees which allow for weaknesses. Carefully use the weaknesses and ledge systems to work your way down this large slickrock slab. Caution loose rock.

23. Loop complete

A few more feet and the familiar pine tree wash is present. With the loop complete continue to hike down Gifford Canyon and back to your awaiting vehicle.