Best Hikes in Zion National Park

Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah, is a paradise for hikers with its stunning red rock landscapes, deep canyons, and towering sandstone cliffs. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker looking for a challenging adventure or a casual explorer seeking scenic trails, Zion offers a variety of hikes suitable for all skill levels. Here’s a glimpse into some of the must-do hikes in Zion National Park:

Angels Landing

Angels Landing is perhaps the most famous hike in Zion, known for its breathtaking views and exhilarating exposure. This strenuous 5.4-mile round-trip hike ascends 1,488 feet to a lofty viewpoint perched atop a narrow sandstone ridge. The final section of the trail involves navigating along a narrow spine with sheer drop-offs on either side, aided by chains bolted into the rock. The panoramic views of Zion Canyon from the summit are nothing short of spectacular, making this hike a bucket-list experience for many visitors.

The Narrows

For a unique and immersive hiking experience, look no further than The Narrows. This hike takes you deep into the heart of Zion Canyon, where you’ll wade through the cool waters of the Virgin River as towering cliffs rise on either side. The Narrows can be hiked as a day trip or an overnight adventure, with options for various distances depending on your time and skill level. The scenery is ever-changing, with narrow slot canyons, hanging gardens, and natural arches around every bend, making it a photographer’s paradise.

Observation Point

For those seeking panoramic vistas without the exposure of Angels Landing, Observation Point is the perfect alternative. This challenging 8-mile round-trip hike climbs 2,148 feet to a lofty perch overlooking Zion Canyon. Along the way, hikers traverse switchbacks and sandstone ledges, passing through diverse landscapes of slickrock, scrub oak, and ponderosa pine. The reward at the top is well worth the effort, with sweeping views of Zion’s towering cliffs and the winding Virgin River below.

The Subway

The Subway is a unique slot canyon hike that offers a thrilling blend of canyoneering and scenery. This 9-mile round-trip hike requires a permit and technical skills for route finding, rappelling, and swimming through cold water. The highlight of the hike is the subway section itself, where the canyon walls narrow to form a series of sculpted pools, cascades, and potholes. The ethereal beauty of the subway’s curved walls and emerald waters make it a favorite among adventurous hikers and photographers alike.

Emerald Pools

For a more family-friendly option, consider exploring the Emerald Pools trail. This easy to moderate hike offers a series of three interconnected trails leading to a trio of lush oases nestled in the heart of Zion Canyon. Along the way, hikers pass by cascading waterfalls, fern-lined alcoves, and colorful sandstone cliffs. The lower, middle, and upper emerald pools each offer their own unique scenery and tranquility, providing a peaceful respite from the desert heat.

Conclusion: A Hiker’s Paradise

From adrenaline-pumping ascents to serene canyon strolls, Zion National Park offers a diverse range of hiking experiences for adventurers of all ages and abilities. Whether you’re seeking panoramic vistas, hidden oases, or thrilling slot canyons, Zion’s trails are sure to leave you awe-inspired and eager to explore more of this natural wonderland. So lace up your boots, pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the scenic splendor of Zion National Park.