The Poverty Wash Road, also called the Poverty Gulch or Poverty Flat, is a scenic and moderately challenging trail in the East Zion area just outside Zion National Park. It descends into a beautiful part of Parunweap Canyon above the East Fork of the Virgin River and the Barracks. Multiple side roads access spectacular overlooks on the canyon rim and an overlook of the Virgin River in the Barracks area. Much of it is inside the Parunweap Canyon Wilderness Study Area.
The road surface is a mix of sand and slickrock, though it can be muddy after recent precipitation. Most of it is moderate, but steep and rocky wash crossings near the end of the trail challenge stock vehicles. The trail starts flat along the canyon rim before descending steeply into the canyon with sections of rocky shelf road. It then flattens out as it skirts around the mesa's base and into the Poverty Flat area, where it winds through juniper forest and has a series of wash crossings of varying difficulties. Near the end, the trail follows the base of the spectacular White Cliffs, with great views of the cliffs and up into Zion National Park. It dead-ends about a mile from the park boundary.
While abundant dispersed campsites are off various side roads near the top of the trail on the canyon rim, there are few legal camping opportunities at the canyon bottom. The best place for camping there is on a parcel of SITLA land where camping is technically prohibited but not signed as such, so people likely camp there anyway. Camping should be avoided along the portion of the road in the Wilderness Study Area to minimize impacts.
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