Anyone who is planning on going to the western part of the United States, should consider visiting Zion National Park. This spectacular spot is only a short drive away from Las Vegas and with its red rocks and canyons, it’s one of the most popular national parks in the US. Today we’re sharing our five favorite (day) hikes in the park with you.
Together with The Narrows, this is definitely the most popular trail in the park. The rock you are about to climb is one of the famous sights in Zion and is called like this because they believed angels used this as their landing spot. The trail isn’t very long, only about 9 km return, however it can get pretty nasty, especially if you have a fear of heights. Apart from the fact you are only walking up for at least 2.5 hours, the last bit of the track will lead you along a very narrow trail that’s not even wide enough for 2 people at the same time. You can opt to hold on to chains, one wrong step can be fatal and make you drop hundreds of meters into the depth. Our advise is to start as early as possible to stay out of the sun as much as possible and also to avoid the crowds. We started at about 6.00 am and had to trail to ourselves most of the time, however on the way back it already got extremely crowded. If you have a fear of heights, you will most likely not enjoy this trail and you’re better off doing another one. You can read our full report here.
Another one ofthe best hikes in Zion National Park is The Narrows. It’s not really a trail because basically you are just wading through the Virgin River most of the time, only with a few rocks or sandy spots every now and then. Check with the Visitors Center if the water level is safe to make the walk, when it becomes too high or the current becomes too strong, the track will be closed. If you are walking all the way to the end, it will take you all day. Unfortunately we only had a couple of hours but it was long enough to give us a good first impression. Packing your camera and other electronics waterproof may be convenient because you wouldn’t be the first one to fall and ruin your stuff… the Visitors Center also rents out wading shoes and trekking poles if you need them.
A short yet fine trail that will only take you about 30 minutes. It will bring you to the weeping rock and the number of tears it’s pouring, depends on the waterlevel. No matter how little, it will be impressive anyway. The walk over is relatively easy (no need to wear your hiking boots) however there are some small climbs. We made this hike at the end of the day when it was cool and very quiet.
Emerald Pools and Kayenta Trail
The Weeping Rock Trail can easily be extended with a hike to the Emerald Pools and also the Kayenta Trail. These are a bit harder with some steep climbs and narrow tracks not for those with a fear of heights but everyone who hikes occasionally should have no trouble with these tracks. The Emerald Pools were somewhat disappointing, which may have had to do with the fact that we were there quite late and it was too dark to take good pictures. If we are ever lucky enough to go back to Zion, we’d love to hike this trail during the day…
Canyon Overlook Trail
This is the only hike on our list that is not along the busroute, which makes it easily accessible by car. The track is about 1.5 km long and will lead you to the most stunning vistas all over Zion Canyon. It’s a very popular trail and unless you are here really early (which we were not) you’ll have to share it with the rest of the crowds. You will first walk through a small canyon that was formed by erosion and eventually you’ll reach the viewpoint. If it would have been up to us, we would’ve stayed here all day, but we had to continue our journey to Bryce Canyon that same afternoon…
Want to read more hiking tips? Then check these:
– The 15 best waterfalls in Utah (a blog bij American SW Obsessed)
– Negro Bill Canyon Trail – a must-do hike in Moab
– Hiking Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail
– Tramping New Zealand: the Bushline Hut
Thanks for sharing!