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Hidden Gem: The Bowl

Zion National Park is awesome. We all know that. But Zion has gotten pretty busy, and there are some pretty spectacular things to see and do, with less crowds, in the southern Utah area. I’ve created this series of gems outside of Zion. On this second installment, we’re taking a look at a great hike I did a couple weeks ago called The Bowl.

For me, there has to be some element of a hike that makes it really special in at least one of three categories: the actual hike or trail itself, some special geographical element, or an incredible view at the end.

The Bowl achieves a higher-than-average score on its trail, but nothing spectacular. You start in a high desert terrain and quickly cross a wash into sandstone slickrock and sand. It’s a lot more stone than sand, luckily. Sand can be a real pain after a very short distance.

Sign on mountain trail reading Wilderness

But what really makes The Bowl special is its geographical formation at the end of the hike. After a short mile or so in, you will loop right onto a large sandstone rise. It doesn’t seem like the right thing to do when looking for a huge hollowed-out bowl in sandstone, but it is. I learned the hard way by overshooting it and climbing to the highest point I could find in order to get a better vantage point. This is a good time to mention that more preparation and planning is always a good idea.

Once you climb up the sandstone tower, you’ll notice a shallow bowl filled with sand and grass and, depending on the recent weather and season, maybe even some water. That’s not the actual Bowl with a capital B, but it’s still a cool additional feature. As you head further up the tower, you’ll come to the real Bowl.

Bowl-shaped rock formation

It’s really amazing what nature is capable of, and it’s also amazing what we would miss if we only go to the spots that are internationally known. I really enjoyed exploring this spot and look forward to taking friends and family back with me sometime.

Trails Map

Map & Directions

For a good map of the hike and specific directions visit our trails website and use the interactive map.

Visit Our Trails Website

Learn More about Hiking

Read about hiking in Greater Zion and explore trail guides in the area.