The Best Hikes in Utah

Here's our comprehensive guide to the best hikes the state offers.


7/23/20236 min read

The Best Hikes in Utah
The Best Hikes in Utah

The Best Hikes in Utah

Utah, the "Beehive State," is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering many unique hiking trails that allow you to explore the beautiful landscapes in the state. Utah has everything from picturesque mountain peaks and deep canyons to dense forests and vast deserts. If you're looking for the best hikes in Utah, you've come to the right place. Here's our comprehensive guide to the best hikes the state offers.

1. The Delicate Arch Trail, Arches National Park

The Delicate Arch Trail is the most iconic hike in Utah and is a must-visit if you're in Salt Lake City. This 3-mile round trip trail takes you to Delicate Arch, the most photographed arch in the world. The hike is moderately challenging, with some steep sections, but the views at the end make it worth the effort. If you plan to stay in Salt Lake City, here is a list of the best SLC hotels you can consider.

2. Angels Landing, Zion National Park

Angels Landing is one of the most exhilarating hikes in Utah. It's not for the faint-hearted, as the trail involves some steep climbs and dizzying drops. However, the breathtaking views of Zion Canyon from the top make it one of the best things to do in Salt Lake City. Here's a comprehensive list of things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah, if you're planning to extend your stay.

3. The Narrows, Zion National Park

The Narrows is another iconic hike in Zion National Park. As the name suggests, the trail takes you through narrow canyons with towering rock walls on both sides. This is a unique hiking experience, as a significant portion of the trail requires wading or swimming in the Virgin River.

4. Bryce Amphitheater, Bryce Canyon National Park

This hike allows you to explore the heart of Bryce Canyon National Park. The trail takes you past a variety of unique geological formations, including the famous hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock. The trail is a combination of several shorter trails, including the Queens Garden Trail, the Navajo Loop, and the Rim Trail.

5. Mount Timpanogos, Wasatch Range

Mount Timpanogos is the second-highest mountain in Utah's Wasatch Range, offering a challenging but rewarding hike. The trail to the summit is approximately 14 miles long, with an elevation gain of over 4,500 feet. The top's panoramic views are breathtaking, making this hike a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

6. Corona Arch, Outside Moab

This lesser-known hike is a gem just outside of Moab. The trail is fairly easy, making it a great option for families. The main attraction is the Corona Arch, a large sandstone arch that is incredibly picturesque.

Remember to pack enough water, wear comfortable shoes, and carry sun protection while hiking. Utah's high altitude can make these hikes more challenging than at sea level.

While you're in Utah, don't miss the chance to visit the fantastic Utah State Capitol, explore the Natural History Museum of Utah, and spend some time in the Red Butte Garden. Here are more top 10 things to do in Salt Lake City.

After a day of hiking, indulge in some delicious food at the best restaurants in Salt Lake City, like The Copper Onion and The Wild Grape. Here's our guide to what to eat in Salt Lake City.

If you're planning an extended stay, consider staying in one of the many hotels in Salt Lake City or check out this list of the best Airbnb in Salt Lake City.

Utah is full of adventures waiting to be explored. Pack your bags and lace up your hiking boots for the adventure of a lifetime!

Do note that safety should always be your priority when hiking. Always check the trail conditions before you set off and be prepared with the right gear. Happy hiking!

Legal Help in Salt Lake City

If you happen to need legal assistance while in Salt Lake City, check out the Salt Lake City Bar Association for a range of resources. Whether you need a personal injury lawyer, an estate planning attorney, a real estate attorney, or a divorce attorney, the Salt Lake City Bar Association can guide you to the appropriate resources.

What is the best time of year to hike in Utah?

The best time of year to hike in Utah largely depends on the specific area and your comfort level with weather conditions. However, spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) typically offer moderate temperatures and beautiful scenery.

Are permits required for hiking in Utah?

For most trails in Utah, you do not need a permit. However, some trails in Zion National Park like the Subway and the Narrows beyond the day hike section require permits. Always check the specific requirements of your chosen trail.

Are the hiking trails in Utah dog-friendly?

While some trails allow dogs, others do not. National parks in Utah generally do not allow dogs on trails, while many national forests and state parks do. Always verify the regulations for each specific area.

How difficult are the hikes in Utah?

Hiking difficulty in Utah varies greatly. There are hikes suitable for beginners such as the Emerald Pools Trail in Zion, and there are more strenuous hikes like the Angel's Landing Trail.

Is camping allowed on Utah's trails?

Yes, camping is allowed in many areas along Utah's trails, often requiring a permit. It's important to research the specific area where you'll be hiking to find out the rules and regulations.

How do I stay safe while hiking in Utah?

To stay safe while hiking, plan your route in advance, tell someone where you're going, pack enough food and water, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and be aware of the weather.

What should I pack for a hike in Utah?

Pack plenty of water, high-energy snacks, a map or trail guide, sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, hat), a first aid kit, and a fully charged phone. Be prepared for changes in weather with appropriate clothing.

Are there guided tours for hikes in Utah?

Yes, there are several guided tours available, especially in the national parks. These tours can provide interesting information and ensure safety.

Can I hike in Utah during winter?

Yes, many trails are accessible year-round, but you should be prepared for snow and ice, and some trails may be closed.

What wildlife can I see while hiking in Utah?

Utah's diverse wildlife includes deer, elk, moose, mountain lions, coyotes, various species of birds, and many more. Always remember to keep a safe distance.

Is Angel's Landing the toughest hike in Utah?

While Angel's Landing is a challenging hike due to its steep cliffs and narrow pathways, the toughest hike is subjective and can depend on individual fitness levels and hiking experience.

What are some family-friendly hikes in Utah?

Family-friendly hikes include the Emerald Pools Trail in Zion, the Queen's Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon, and the Mesa Arch Trail in Canyonlands.

Are there any hikes in Utah with waterfalls?

Yes, there are many trails in Utah that lead to beautiful waterfalls. Some of these include Lower Calf Creek Falls, Waterfall Canyon and Donut Falls.

How can I respect the environment while hiking in Utah?

Stick to marked trails, carry out all trash, respect wildlife by observing from a distance, and follow any specific guidelines provided by the park or trail.

Can I hike alone in Utah?

While it is possible to hike alone, it's generally safer to hike with a partner. If you do choose to hike alone, let someone know your plans and estimated return time.

Do I need hiking boots for Utah trails?

While you don't need hiking boots for all trails, they are recommended for their grip and ankle support, especially for longer or more challenging hikes.

How do I protect myself from the sun while hiking in Utah?

Wear a hat and UV-protective clothing, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly, wear sunglasses, and try to avoid hiking in the peak heat of the day.

What is the longest hiking trail in Utah?

The longest hiking trail in Utah is the Great Western Trail, which extends over 4,455 miles from Canada to Mexico, with a significant portion running through Utah.

Can I hike to Delicate Arch?

Yes, there is a 3-mile round-trip trail that leads to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. The trail is considered moderately difficult.

What should I do if I get lost while hiking in Utah?

If you get lost, stay calm. If you have cell service, try to use GPS or call for help. Stay where you are if it's safe to do so. Make your location visible and make noise to attract attention.

How do I prevent altitude sickness while hiking in Utah?

Stay hydrated, eat carbs, ascend slowly, and take time to acclimate to the higher altitude. Descend if you begin to feel ill.

Is hiking in Utah free?

Entrance to many hiking areas in Utah is free, but national parks typically charge a fee. Some trails may also require a permit, which may have a fee associated.

Can I hike The Wave in Utah?

Yes, but a permit is required to hike to The Wave, and it is awarded through a lottery system due to its popularity and the need to protect the area.

Do any Utah hikes require technical climbing skills?

Some hikes, like Notch Peak and the Titan Tower in the Fisher Towers area, require technical climbing skills. However, the majority of hikes in Utah do not.

Are drones allowed on Utah trails?

Rules regarding drones vary. For instance, drones are prohibited in national parks. Always check local regulations before flying a drone.

What are some ADA-accessible hikes in Utah?

Some ADA-accessible trails in Utah include the Pa'rus Trail in Zion National Park and the Cave Spring Trail in Canyonlands National Park.

Are there restrooms available on Utah trails?

Restrooms are generally available at trailheads in most national and state parks. However, facilities on the trail are rare. If you need to use the bathroom while hiking, be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles.