Utah is partially famous for one the most unique hiking experiences in the United States: The Grand Canyon. Though most of the Grand Canyon is in Arizona, those from Utah claim it as “a part of Utah”. The Grand Canyon is home to some of the finest hiking, but also happens to be the toughest hiking as well. Though most areas are “beginner-level friendly”, there are also areas that are not for the novice.
Nothing can match the beauty of Utah’s wilderness. If challenging hiking is what you desire, Utah can most definitely deliver. In addition to the well-known Grand Canyon, Utah has many other exciting hiking spots. These are isolated spots, be sure you have the proper hiking equipment, a good pair of hiking shoes and a hiking backpack for supplies.
Prepared to be amazed.
- The Narrows of Zion Canyon
This intermediate level 15.4-mile trail is known as the greatest hike in Zion National Park. An expert level hiker could ambitiously make this trek in one day, though most people chose to take advantage of one of the camping sites. Plan to get wet! Make sure you have appropriate shoes and clothing and a plastic bag to protect your electronics and important stuff. It is also advised to carry your sleeping bag in a waterproof bag to reserve a dry sleep.
If you choose to take the ultimate adventure between November and June, you must wear a full wet suit to protect yourself from hypothermia and secure a special permit. Even in late August, you can still expect to wade through waters ranging from calf level to just under head level. Bringing along a trekking stick is advisable for hikers of all levels because of the exhaustion from frequent wading in the water and finding stability among the slippery rocks. The water can be quite enjoyable, as you can wade in the pools bordered by cliffs reaching 1,500 feet. In spite of the challenge, this trail is very unique and definitely unforgettable.
- Angel’s Landing
Another gem in Zion Nation Park is the strenuous 4.4-mile Angel’s Landing trail. This hike is not a good fit for children or novice hikers, as it is very narrow and requires some technical skills along the way. It is best to avoid the trail when the weather is rainy or icy, and it can become a dangerous adventure in these conditions. The peak season is Mach to November. The rise of 1,600 miles in elevation combined with the hot temperature necessitates that you remain hydrated throughout the trek. The steep trip is well worth the view-amazing summit around 2.5 miles from the bottom. Be aware of the slippery grounds after rain. This trail is extremely popular and becomes very crowded. Plan to arrive early to try to beat the crowds.
- Buckskin Gulch
Check the weather before taking on this canyon trek, known to create vicarious situations during the common flash floods. This 23-mile adventure is essentially a 3-day strenuous trip with only 160-feet gain in elevation. The ideal season is between April and early June and a permit is required to hike. Plan to bring three days’ worth of water because finding springs is a challenge, especially on the upper section of the trail. Buckskin Gulch is a nationally acclaimed trek for those who enjoy a narrow trek. It is advisable that you bring neoprene socks, proper hiking shoes that can withstand watery conditions and 50 feet of rope for some of the more difficult portions or in case the weather takes a surprising turn for the worse. You can also expect to do a little wading along the trip. The canyon river is a camera-worthy site. The swirling of green, yellow, and red is mind-blowing. In addition to the beautiful deep canyons, you will enjoy the river shores and giant boulders.
- Mount Timpanogos
Get ready for a challenge as you rise 6,210-feet in elevation through the 16 mile Mount Timpanogos trail. This gives you an unparalleled view of the Utah skyline. Though classified as a strenuous trail, mainly for the elevation, the trail is reasonable for kids and families. The sunrise over the stunning mountain peaks is a must-see on this trip. The breathtaking summit is well worth the climb. You are likely to encounter a variety of wildlife, including deer, moose, and mountain goats.
- High Uintas Trek
This adventurous trail is not for the faint of heart. Located in the largest wilderness park in Utah, you are sure to encounter some animals in their habitats along your way. At 54-miles and a 5,500 rise in elevation, this hike will easily take six days (or more) to complete. There are various cozy camping sites along the trail. The optimal season runs from mid-July through September. Be prepared to pay an entrance fee upon your visit. In addition to the voluminous scenery from the mountaintop, you will be amazed at the gorgeous alpines along the mountainside.