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    Sand Bench Loop via Zion Lodge

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    9.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    284 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    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.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Sand Bench Loop via Zion Lodge Elevation Graph

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