Zion National Park is a beautiful network of forest covered mesas, ocean-like deserts, sky-scraping canyons, and over 90 miles of hiking trails. An incredible 84% of the park is preserved as wilderness. It’s located in Southwestern Utah and has some of the best day hikes in the region. Here is a list of the can’t-be-missed hiking trails.
Zion Narrows (Easy, 3.1 miles)
The crème of the crop! This canyon trail winds through stunning sandstone reaching as high as 2,000 feet above your head. Hanging gardens and Ponderosa Pines grow from seemingly impossible nooks and crannies. All the while, hikers are walking through the Virgin River in up to waist-high water for a technical twist. If that sounds a little difficult, there are other parts of the trail that almost anyone can do just a short stroll from Zion Canyon without a permit. However, if you are able, I highly recommend the full hike, which requires a permit. If you plan your hiking experience in advanced (up to 3 months is possible online) check out how to get a permit here. You’ll need one even for the day hike option.
Angels Landing (Dangerous/Exciting, 2.6 miles)
Angels Landing is one of the most outstanding, thrilling, and dangerous trails in the US and other than the Zion Narrows it is the most popular hiking trail. Hikers should be careful if they are afraid of heights because the last ½ mile of the trail weaves along a steep edge of the mountain. The trail starts in the Grotto parking lot in Zion Canyon and ends with a sensational view of Zion Canyon.
The Subway (Hard, 4 miles)
History dorks beware: The north bank of the Left Fork Creek has real dinosaur tracks! The Subway is a piping gorge sending you back in time with keyhole cascades all along the way. Hikers will need to cross water at a few points so they should bring proper footwear.
Observation Point (Hard, 8.1 miles)
It’s the highest point in Zion National Park so obviously it draws crowds of people. One look DOWN at Angels Landing will leave hikers breathless. The panorama setting on the camera will fit in nicely here. The sights are heavenly.
Emerald Pools (Super Easy, 3 miles)
This is the one that everybody, their parents, and their parent’s neighbors do when they come to Zion National Park. It’s a signature trail that’s great for the family because it’s easy yet offers spectacular scenery. Some of the trails enchanting beauty will be ruined by the bumper–to-bumper traffic, but it’s hands down the best family hike out there.
Zion West Rim Trail (Adventurers Only, 18.6 miles)
This is not a day hike. Backpackers will find some of the most dazzling viewpoints they could ever hope for. Hikers need to get a back country permit before undertaking this grand hike that takes them through both the Great West Canyon and Zion’s main canyon.
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