Named after the biblical figures of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the sandstone cliffs known as the Court of the Patriarchs are popular among photographers, rock climbers, and early risers. A visit here doesn’t require much time on its own, but it’s an accessible vantage point for capturing the beauty of the awe-inspiring Zion National Park.
For many Zion National Park visitors, the Court of the Patriarchs offers a quick photo stop just a few minutes up Zion Canyon’s scenic road. It’s the starting point for the Sand Bench Loop horse and foot trail, and a popular spot for rock climbing between September and February. The trail leading up to the small view point is relatively short, so it’s a great place to start if you’re a first-time visitor. You can tour independently or join a multi-day national parks tour from Las Vegas that includes Zion plus the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Court of the Patriarchs is a must-see for first-time visitors and travelers with limited time in Zion National Park.
- The walk to the view point is short but steep; expect to climb about 40 feet (12 meters) in elevation.
- Don’t forget to bring your camera; this is one of the best spots for capturing the beauty of Zion.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
How to Get There
The Court of the Patriarchs is the fourth stop along the Zion Canyon Shuttle. A short trail leads to an observation point where you can see the three “patriarchs” (along with The Sentinel and Mount Moroni) across the canyon.
When to Get There
Try to visit the Court of the Patriarchs early in the morning when the sun illuminates the sandstone faces. If you’re planning to do any rock climbing, keep in mind that the area is often closed to climbing from March to August in order to protect nesting peregrine falcons.
The Zion Shuttle System
Limited parking within Zion makes the shuttle a convenient option for exploring the park. This free service transports visitors from Springdale to the park’s pedestrian entrance near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, where another shuttle takes passengers to nine stops throughout the park. Shuttle buses arrive at stops every seven to 10 minutes, so there’s no need to rush to catch one.