Shuttle Stop 1, [Zion Canyon Visitor Center]
Estimated Roundtrip Time: 0.5 hours
Distance: 0.4 miles/0.6 kilometers
Elevation Change: 80 feet/24 meters
Description: Short,but steep.Starts across from the entrance to the visitor center parking lot. Climbs to the outlines of several prehistoric buildings. Trailside exhibits.
The Archeology Trail is located just inside of the main entrance into Zion National Park, located near the Visitor Center. The Archeology Trail is one of the lesser known trails in the area, but it is still a very interesting walk. It sits at the heart of the Zion Canyon, begins just southeast of the Visitor Center.
There are plenty of trailside exhibits explaining the history of the area that follow the length of the trail. It is a relatively short walk that leads to the remains of an Ancestral Puebloan food storage camp. The Archeology Trail runs east initially, then loops around a hill. Along the north side of the hill are the remains of the previously mentioned food storage area. Beware, though, as the walk up the hill does become steep towards the end.
The park has taken over 1,600 relics from the Puebloan ruins and put them on display in the Zion National Park Museum. Among these relics are different kinds of ceramic containers, stone tools for preparing food, and other tools related to producing food. The ruins on the north side of the hill have two large storage rooms (about 7 ft by 4 ft wide and 3-1/2 ft tall), as well as two large hearths and three large boxes for storing processed foods.
The trail is 0.4 miles long, which is very short, and is estimated to take half an hour to finish in its entirety. There is an eighty-foot increase in altitude over the course of the trail. However, most of the incline is near the end of the trail. Hikers find that the Archeology Trail is great for those with kids or pets, as it is a short trail.