Planning to stay at Zion National Park vacation rentals this summer? If it’s been a few years since you last visited—or even a few months—there’s one big change you’ll want to know about.
Starting on April 1, 2022, any hikers hoping to make their way past Scout Lookout on their way to Angels Landing will need to have a permit in hand.
Previously, there were no limits on how many people could hike this iconic trail each day. As a result, crowds formed, especially during busy summer days and holiday weekends. Hikers were often left waiting hours in the hot sun for their turn to cross to the summit. Not only was this dangerous for visitors, but it was also leading to damage to the plant and animal life that live on and around the trail.
The National Park Service has begun issuing permits to hikers to limit the daily number of people on the trail. To get a permit, you’ll need to enter one of two lotteries; a seasonal lottery and a daily lottery. If you’re lucky enough to get picked in one of those, you’ll get to hike Angels Landing on your selected date. But if not, you’ll need to choose an alternative hike.
Planning your next visit to Zion? Check out these awesome alternative hikes to try if you don’t get a permit for Angels Landing.
Cable Mountain Trail
Experienced hikers disappointed about not being able to hike Angels Landing should consider this trail. Cable Mountain Trail is a 7.6-mile roundtrip hike that features a steep climb from the bottom of the canyon to the very top.
The trail and the mountain are named for the cable system that once helped loggers haul lumber from the bottom of the canyon to the rim. It was built in 1901 and later abandoned when the logging operation moved out in 1930 when the national park was founded. While much of the equipment has been removed, you can still see some remnants on this trail.
If your only experience with hiking in Zion featured crowded hikes and lines at trailheads, you likely aren’t straying far from the shuttle stops located in the lower canyon. Here, you’ll find many of the park’s most popular trails—and as a result, you’ll find most of the park’s daily visitors here, too.
Choosing an accommodation near Zion National Park and spending a few days in the park is a great chance to experience some of the park’s overlooked trails. Whether you got a permit to hike Angels Landing during your stay at the best Zion National Park vacation rentals or not, this next trail is one you’ll definitely want to put on your list.
Watchman Trail is easier than Cable Mountain Trail. At around 3-miles roundtrip, this hike is relatively flat and easy. You’ll find it at stop 1 on the Zion Canyon Shuttle. While you won’t be trekking to the top of the mountain, you will enjoy some incredible views of Watchman.
Kolob Arch Trail
Angels Landing might be Zion’s most famous hike. But it’s far from the park’s only famous landmark. Many visitors don’t know that Zion National Park is home to the world’s second-largest natural arch—the largest is located in Arches National Park. This is largely because the arch is located in the park’s lesser-known section, called Kolob Canyons. The only way to see the arch for yourself is to take on this moderately difficult 7-mile one-way hike.
While it may not be the most challenging hike in the park, it is one of the longest. Experienced hikers can expect to take a full day to get to the arch and back. Pack plenty of water and food, and don’t forget to pack emergency gear like a first aid kit, flashlight, and extra clothing to hike this scenic trail.
Taylor Creek Trail
Another often-overlooked alternative to Angels Landing is Taylor Creek Trail. Also located in the more remote Kolob Canyons section of this park, you won’t have to worry about any crowds or lines. Instead, this 4.5-mile roundtrip hike is often pretty empty. This is a great chance to enjoy some incredible views in peace. This trail will also take you to another natural arch, Double Arch Cove, though this one is much smaller than Kolob Arch.
Choosing the Best Zion National Park Vacation Rentals for Your Stay
Whether you’re planning to take on a challenging day hike or want to enjoy a few shorter hikes throughout the day, the perfect trip starts with choosing the perfect Zion National Park vacation rentals.
There are plenty of different options for accommodation near Zion National Park.