Hiking in Zion National Park is an experience unlike any other. With its breathtaking views of steep red cliffs, narrow canyons, and lush green forests, it's no wonder why this park attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. For those looking for a challenging hike, there are plenty to choose from in Zion National Park. From day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips, the park offers something for all levels of hikers.
The Narrows is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park. Experience the breathtaking beauty of The Narrows, the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. With towering walls reaching a thousand feet high and a river that narrows to just twenty to thirty feet, this is one of the most sought-after destinations in Zion National Park. Begin your journey by hiking along the scenic Riverside Walk, which is wheelchair accessible and stretches for one mile from the Temple of Sinawava. If you're up for more adventure, venture into the Virgin River and immerse yourself in its majesty. Whether you choose a brief wade upstream or embark on an all-day hike, The Narrows promises an unforgettable experience.
For an adrenaline-packed adventure, Angels Landing should be at the top of your list. This 5.4-mile out-and-back hike starts along the West Rim Trail and ascends to Scouts Lookout. From there, you'll make it across a narrow ridge with steep drop offs on either side until you reach Angels Landing, where you can enjoy some of the most spectacular views of Zion Canyon. It's important to note that this hike is not for the faint of heart, as it involves some tricky maneuvering and steep inclines.
Observation Point is another popular destination in Zion National Park. This 8-mile out-and-back trail starts at Weeping Rock and climbs up a steep incline to the summit of Observation Point. At an impressive 6,521 feet high on Mount Baldy, Observation Point offers a breathtaking view of all the major attractions in Zion Canyon. Located near the Big Bend, this spot provides hikers with a spectacular vista of the lower end of the canyon, stretching beyond its mouth. The hike itself is steep, with some sections of pleasant, level paths through the stunning Echo Canyon. As you make your way up, you'll climb about 2,000 feet, making this a challenging trek not suitable for unfit tourists. However, if you take it at a good pace and stay hydrated, this hike can be a rewarding and memorable experience, captured beautifully in photographs.
Emerald Pools Trail
The Emerald Pools Trail is perfect for those looking for a leisurely stroll through Zion Canyon. This three-mile out-and-back hike starts at the Grotto Picnic Area and takes hikers to three distinct pools of different sizes. The Lower Pool provides a stunning view of the canyon while you take a break from your journey. Make sure to bring along your camera to capture this picture-perfect spot! The Middle Pool is the most lush of the three and features hanging gardens of ferns, moss, and other plants. Finally, the Upper Pool is a short distance away from the start and provides access to a waterfall at its peak. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as chances to stop and admire the views of Zion Canyon.
The Watchman Trail is another great option for those looking for a short and scenic hike. This three-mile round trip trail starts right outside the Zion Lodge, taking hikers through fields of wildflowers along the way to the summit of Watchman Peak. From here you can enjoy incredible views of all major attractions in Zion Canyon, including Angels Landing and The Narrows. After taking in the panoramic views, you can enjoy a stroll back to the lodge and relax beneath the shade of the trees.
The Pa'rus Trail is a great way to explore Zion National Park. It's an easy 3.5-mile paved trail that takes hikers along the Virgin River and provides stunning views of the mountain landscape. This is a great choice for those who don't want to venture too far from their car, or families looking for a peaceful nature walk. Along the way, you'll have plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including deer and wild turkeys. This trail is also wheelchair accessible and makes for a perfect sunset stroll.