The Top 5 Southern Utah Hiking Trails

Apr 10, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments


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Utah is truly a hiker’s paradise. With so many national parks, monuments, state parks, and more, there are amazing hiking trails located throughout the state. Southern Utah is no exception.

This part of the state is home to some of the best Utah hiking trails. If you’re planning a stay in the Springdale vacation rentals at Watchman Villas, keep reading to learn a few of the top hiking trails you could take on during your visit.

1. Angels Landing, Zion National Park

Angels Landing is one of the most famous Utah hiking trails, and perhaps even the country—and for good reason. This incredible trail takes hikers to the top of a 1,500-foot-high sandstone peak, with stunning views of Zion’s Lower Canyon far below. 

But the trail’s iconic view might not be its most famous feature. Instead, it may be the harrowing ridgeline walk, which has hikers traversing a narrow ridge with 1,000-foot drops on either side and only a metal chain handrail to hold onto. Other features, like the trail’s steep climb and Walter’s Wiggles, a set of narrow, steep switchbacks, make this 5.4-mile trail a challenging feat.

It’s no surprise that this incredible trail draws a crowd. To help cut down on crowding, the National Park Service implemented a new permit system in 2022. Under the Angels Landing Permit Program, hikers must enter a lottery to get a permit for the date of their hike. There are two lotteries; the Seasonal Lottery, which opens four times each year and awards permits for the following season, and the Day-Before Lottery, which opens daily for permits for the following day.

2. The Narrows, Zion National Park

This next iconic Utah hiking trail is also located in Zion National Park. The Narrows is actually two very different hikes. The first is the Top-Down hike. This challenging 16-mile hike requires hikers to get their own transportation to Chamberlain’s Ranch, about an hour away from the park. From there, you’ll hike downstream through the Virgin River, staying overnight in the backcountry.

While a Top-Down hike of The Narrows requires the right gear and training, anyone can experience the other portion of this trail. After riding the Zion Canyon Shuttle to the end of the line, hop off at the last stop and hike the short Riverside Walk. At the end, take a few steps down to the banks of the Virgin River. You can hike up the Virgin River to get a taste of this unique trail, and turn around to hike back whenever you’re ready.

3. Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

If you’re planning a side trip to Arches National Park after your stay in our Springdale vacation rentals, you’ll definitely want to check out this next Utah hiking trail. Delicate Arch is a symbol of Arches National Park. 

The Delicate Arch trail takes hikers close to this incredible natural landmark. The trail is three miles roundtrip, with a moderate amount of elevation and some scrambling on slickrock required. You’ll not only enjoy awesome views of the arch but also panoramic views of the park. This trail is especially popular at sunrise and sunset.

4. Bryce Amphitheater, Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is an easy day trip from our Zion rentals. This often-overlooked national park offers views that rival Zion, but with far fewer crowds at the height of the summer.

The park’s central landmark is the massive natural amphitheater, which is filled with hundreds of rock formations called hoodoos. The Bryce Amphitheater Trail takes hikers eight miles around the amphitheater. This longer trail has some challenging elevation changes and switchbacks but is one of the most beautiful trails in all of Utah.

5. Observation Point, Zion National Park

If you didn’t get a permit to hike Angels Landing during your visit to Zion National Park, this next Utah hiking trail is a great alternative. This challenging trail is four miles one-way, or eight miles roundtrip. It stretches between Weeping Rock Trail, which is located at Shuttle Stop #7, and Observation Point. The trail has more than 2,100 feet of elevation gain and takes hikers through canyons and along a ridge with incredible views of the park far below. 

Observation Point Trail does close from time to time due to rockslides and dangerous conditions caused by snow and ice melt in the spring. But if it’s open during your stay at our Springdale vacation rentals, this is one Utah hiking trail you won’t want to miss.

Choosing the Best Utah Hiking Trails

From the iconic Angels Landing to The Narrows, one of the most unique trails in the U.S., these are just a few of the best Utah hiking trails. Many of these trails are challenging, and require hiking experience and the right outdoor gear. If you’re traveling with your family or you just want an easier hike to enjoy on an afternoon away from our Zion rentals, don’t fret; there are plenty of other trails to choose from. Click here to learn some of the best Zion hikes your family can enjoy together.

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