Sand Bench Loop via Zion Lodge
The Sand Bench Loop is a low traffic sandy trail in the heart of Zion National Park. This trail is very exposed to the sun, so bring lots and lots of water and a good sun hat. This trail can also be done on horseback.
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Route Description for Sand Bench Loop via Zion Lodge
The Sand Bench Loop is a moderately strenuous hike over sandy terrain just south of Zion Lodge. The sandy nature of the trail can make this hike a bit of a slog, especially in hot weather, so it’s best to do this hike on a cooler day or in the winter season. This trail is also used by horseback riders so watch your step and keep an eye out for horses trying to pass you by. This trail is a great place to get away from the crowds of the main canyon. Due to the challenging nature of the terrain—this is a relatively low-traffic hike in the heart of Zion.
From Zion Lodge, cross over the Virgin River and take a left to head south. After 1.8 km, a trail will join in from the left. This is an alternate access route to the Sand Bench Loop from the Court of the Patriarchs shuttle stop. Continue straight ahead for a couple hundred yards and the trail will split in two. This is the start (and end) of the Sand Bench Loop. Here, we highly recommend taking a left to follow the trail clockwise. This saves you from ascending loose sand banks which can be a real struggle. If you go clockwise, your ascents will be on a firmer, rockier trail that is much more forgiving.
The loop itself is 4.2 km around. Enjoy the sand and the sun and when you’re done, follow the trail back to Zion Lodge to catch the shuttle back home.
Getting to the Sand Bench Loop via Zion Lodge Trailhead
Catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle at the Visitor’s center near Springdale—this is a free service that operates almost year-round. Hop off the shuttle at the 5th stop: Zion Lodge.
Sand Bench Loop via Zion Lodge Elevation Graph
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