Zion’s Best Hikes
Although many people from Seattle will probably consider this blasphemous (especially coming from a Seattle-native), I have discovered that my new favorite National Park is located in Utah. Though the PNW boasts numerous national parks, state parks, and other similarly gorgeous areas to explore, Zion was the top pick for me. Let me tell you why:
7 Awesome Hikes in Zion
Despite being mostly a desert climate, there are tons of areas full of water to enjoy. Top adventures include the “Emerald Pools” hike, which is located along the river. The sandstone walls of the canyon form interesting viewpoints, one of my favorites dubbed “The subway”. Check out my favorite water-filled Zion hikes below:
An easy 3-mile round trip hike at the foot of the spires and peaks the surround the park, WatchMan trail is often overlooked by most tourists. Many drive by without even realizing that this trail overlooks the entire Springdale area, and is located only a half hour from the Southern Entrance.
The Narrows has been named One of The 10 Best Hikes on Earth! I wish I knew this before spending a few days in Zion…..but now there’s even more reason for a third return visit!
Coming in at 16 miles long, The Narrows hike is by far the longest Zion hike in this list….and can be done in a single day, or stretched out into 2 by staying at one of the camp sites overnight.
There are 2 ways to access The Subway. The Outbound has a great article on the “bottom-up” route, which I recommend. Otherwise you’ll need extra skills…..check out the photo below:
Emerald pools is also a super easy stroll- Just 2 miles in (Note: Rappelling not required)
View Exclusive Flora
With over 900 trees, flowers, and other plants that are found exclusively in Zion, it’s hard not to feel like you stepped into another dimension. Due to the intense geological diversity of the park, trees and flowers you find in the canyon are going to be extremely different than ones you find, say, at the top of the pinnacles. Attention plant nerds: Keep your eyes peeled for some of the rarest flora in the world.
Tip: Make sure to check out the hanging gardens in Zion to view the lush foliage made possible by the saturated wetlands.(Whaaaat? Wetlands in the middle of the desert? Yep. I told you Zion was cool!)
Chances are, you might have heard of a hike called “Angel’s Landing”. While not as dangerous as other hikes I’ve completed (Mt. Huashan, anyone?) 6 people (since ’04) have unfortunately passed away while trying to complete this hike. So be careful and mind the signs.
Canyon Overlook Trail
If you aren’t feeling like risking your life, or just don’t feel like dedicating the time needed to achieve that view, make sure you check out the Canyon Overlook Trail, located near the East entrance to Zion National Park. You can drive up to the trail head, but be mindful that parking is extremely limited, so you will most likely be forced to park along the road and walk quite a ways in.
Theres almost too many good hikes to include in one post…. I really wish that I had the opportunity to do Hidden Canyon. Some of the photos I’ve found on instagram give me a bit of vertigo. Dangerous! Just my style:
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A Note About Fauna
Please stop feeding the rock squirrels and chipmunks, people. It’s a little funny to see the fat little buggers run about, but they get far too friendly with people when repeatedly fed, and can spread diseases to tourists easily! So don’t contribute to the problem, cool? Cool.