The diverse landscape of Utah is unlike any other state in the nation. Unique red rock formations, towering mountain ranges, and stunning lakes and waterfalls dot the landscape of this spectacular state. All of this beauty is a boon for hikers looking to get up close and personal with Mother Nature. Here are five of the best hikes in Utah to consider for your next outdoor adventure:
Angel’s Landing – Zion National Park: This 4.1-mile hike is one of the most popular treks in Zion National Park and for good reason. You can find the trailhead for this hike from The Grotto trailhead shuttle stop in Zion Canyon. With an elevation gain of over 1,600 feet, this hike is best suited for experienced hikers. Because the trail can become crowded, it is a good idea to start your hike early in the morning or later in the afternoon. You will begin your hike by traversing a series of switchbacks that climb up Zion Canyon, eventually sending you to Angel’s Landing. You can stop here and turn back or continue up the narrow and steep trail with sharp drops on either side.
Delicate Arch Trail – Arches National Park: With many hikes to choose from in Arches National Park, it is hard to narrow down your options. This moderate hike is a good choice for families looking for something a little less strenuous. The 3-mile hike features an elevation gain of 610 feet. You will be rewarded with sweeping views of this famous arch along the way. Many people choose to hike out at sunset to experience the most iconic views. Once inside Arches National Park, you will need to drive approximately two miles down Wolfe Ranch Road to Wolfe Ranch for the trailhead.
The Wave – Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness: You need to plan ahead if you want to experience this sought-after hiking experience. Only 20 permits are granted daily and you must secure your permit in advance of your hike. The 5.2-mile hike features an elevation gain of 400 feet as it crosses the border of Utah into Arizona. Vibrant red sandstone in a myriad of patterns is the distinguishing feature of this peaceful journey. While you may have to be patient to get your permit, you will appreciate the process once you enjoy the solitude and tranquility of this hike.
The Narrows – Zion National Park: Regarded as the planet’s best slot canyon hike, The Narrows is a bucket list experience. The extremely narrow canyon means that hikers have to wade through the waters or swim in the Virgin River to finish it. You can hike as far up as you wish, making this a versatile hike if you do not have a lot of time on your hands. This river hike is seasonal, usually opening in the spring when the waters have started to recede. The hike is especially refreshing on hot summer days.
Mesa Arch – Canyonlands National Park: Located near Moab, this is an easy and short hike for when you just want to stretch your legs and marvel at the extraordinary beauty of Utah. Measuring just a bit over half of a mile, this loop boasts colorful wildflowers and bird watching opportunities. The iconic Mesa Arch towers over Buck Canyon, providing a perfect frame for the steep cliff walls and stone spires. This hike is especially popular with photographers looking to capture the essence of some of Utah’s most dramatic features. With no shortage of national and state parks and an abundance of mesmerizing scenic spots, you will never run out of hiking opportunities in Utah. Not only does hiking allow you to see some of the natural world’s most beautiful creations, but it also improves your physical fitness, improves posture, and calms the mind. So what are you waiting for?