If you enjoy the outdoors and hiking then you have most likely heard of the beautiful National Parks of Southern Utah. With some of the most amazing landscapes in the United States, this area is a must-see for anyone who is a fan of nature. Southern Utah is full of beautiful hikes that offer stunning views of natural red rock formations, canyons, and desert landscapes. Here are ten of the best hikes with ranging skill levels and sceneries.
- Angels Landing in Zion National Park: This strenuous 5-mile hike requires some scrambling over rocks, but it is well worth it for the incredible views from the top.
- The Wave in Coyote Gulch: This popular hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is only 3 miles long, but it can be challenging in places. The Wave is a formation of sandstone that has been eroded into swirls of red, orange, and white.
- Buckskin Gulch: This is the longest and deepest slot canyon in the world, and it offers a truly unique hiking experience. The hike is 12 miles long, but only the first 2 miles are in the canyon. The rest of the hike is on a sandy wash above the canyon.
- Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park: This easy 8-mile loop hike takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Bryce Canyon. The trail passes by hoodoos, which are rock formations that have been eroded into strange shapes.
- Spooky and Peekaboo Gulches: These two slot canyons in Capitol Reef National Park are next to each other and can be hiked together as a loop. They are both relatively easy to hike, but Spooky Gulch is narrower than Peekaboo Gulch and may be challenging for those who are claustrophobic.
- The Narrows in Zion National Park: This is one of the most popular hikes in Zion, and for good reason. The Narrows is a slot canyon that has been carved out by the Virgin River. The hike can be done as an out-and-back or as a loop, and it can be as long or short as you want it to be.
- Kolob Canyons: This is a less crowded section of Zion National Park, and it has some beautiful hikes. The Taylor Creek Trail takes you through a forest of aspens, while the La Verkin Creek Trail takes you to a waterfall.
- Big Spring Canyon: This canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is accessible only by foot, and it is a beautiful place to hike. The trail follows a stream through the canyon and ends at a spring.
- Lower Calf Creek Falls: This easy 6-mile round-trip hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument takes you to a 126-foot waterfall. The trailhead is located just off Highway 12.
- Cedar Breaks National Monument: This high-elevation national monument is home to several trails with incredible views. The Spectra Point Trail takes you to an overlook with views of the Bryce Canyon hoodoos, while the Alpine Pond Trail is a short hike to a beautiful mountain lake.
How to prepare for a Southern Utah hike
When hiking in southern Utah, it is important to be prepared for the heat and the sun. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and wear a hat and comfortable shoes. It is also a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go, and be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. thunderstorms are common in the afternoon
Most of the hikes in southern Utah are suitable for people of all fitness levels, but some may be more challenging than others. Angels Landing, for example, requires some scrambling and is not recommended for those who are afraid of heights. The Wave is also challenging in places, but most people will be able to complete it without too much difficulty.
Whether you are looking for a strenuous hike or an easy walk in the park, southern Utah has something to offer everyone. So get out there and explore!