Southern Utah’s Most Popular Hikes
Utah’s majestic waterfalls, beautiful arches, canyons, and mind-blowing views are some of the planet’s most magical works of art. Hiking throughout Utah’s backcountry allows nature-lovers to experience so many fantastic landscapes. Knowing where to start will be the most difficult part. Here are Southern Utah’s top three most popular hikes:
Angels Landing allows hikers to relish in unbelievable views of Zion National Park. A trail of approximately 2.4 miles in length ascends about 1500 feet up the side of the canyon. The route leads up to a series of twenty-one switchbacks, known as Walter’s Wiggles, past a short respite at Scouts Lookout, and finishes via a very narrow and exposed trail with steep drop-offs on either side. The trail is narrow, but after that final push, a fantastic view of Zion Canyon awaits.
The Narrows is another Zion National Park classic. Most often, folks will embark on a day hike through the Narrows, starting at the Temple of Sinawava and forging upstream for as long as desired before turning around and heading back. You literally hike through the Virgin River as you go, staring up at the incredibly tall cliffs bounding you on either side.
For intrepid backpackers, a 2-day/1-night trip will lead you from the top down, a 16-mile trek through the length of the Narrows. Regardless of how you attempt the hike, be sure to check weather conditions and flow rates at the Zion Visitor Center. Flash floods or high flows due to spring runoff can make the hike impossible.
The Fairyland Loop
The Bryce Canyon trail known as The Fairyland Loop is considered to be a gem of the Southwest. This eight-mile hike offers an array of views with multiple changes in elevation. Fairyland Point and Sunrise Point are two of the most well-known viewpoints.
The Chinese Wall is another breathtaking sight along The Fairyland Loop, showcasing a series of hoodoos and eroded walls that are an unbelievable sight to see.
When hiking or backpacking throughout Southern Utah, preparedness is key. It will be important to acquire any necessary permits and to research the routes, so as to choose the most appropriate time of year, understand weather concerns, and be knowledgeable of any rules and restrictions. It is often best to enlist the expertise of a seasoned trail guide through a backpacking or hiking outfitter. This allows you to enjoy the views and experience without having to worry about all of the finer details. And you might even be treated to some of the lesser-known gems of southern Utah hiking!