Thousands of miles of hiking trails run through Utah's public parks, forests, and wilderness areas, which account for nearly 70 percent of the state's lands. To help you see the best of the Beehive State we've highlighted five of the best hiking trails based on recommendations from Trails.com, so find your waterproof boots (you're going to need them), grab some snacks, and head out!
Queens Garden Trail
The Queens Garden Trail is a 2.6-mile loop that descends from Sunset Point on the rim of Wall Street Canyon down a sloping ridgeline into the narrow gorge to treat hikers to some of the best scenery in Bryce Canyon National Park. This trail leads hikers across several ravines to Queens Garden, a sheltered basin accented with beautiful geological formations known as “hoodoos,” before linking up with the Navajo Trail, Peekaboo Trail, and part of the Rim Trail.
The Narrows of Zion National Park
One of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park is through The Narrows, a 16-mile journey through the narrowest part of Zion Canyon, which features fluted walls hundreds of feet tall and some areas that are only 20 feet wide. You will definitely get your feet wet (if not more) hiking The Narrows since it is a wading route that follows the Virgin River at the bottom of the gorge, so dress and plan appropriately.
Coyote Gulch Loop
Following the entire 26.6-mile loop through Coyote Gulch (a series of stunning canyons in Navajo Sandstone that have been carved out by the Escalante River) is a unique experience that takes hikers at least three days to complete from start to finish. Hikers cross a natural bridge, pass two arches, and see several springs and waterfalls along a perennial stream while exploring the Coyote Gulch Loop.
Angel's Landing Trail
The 5-mile trail to the summit of Angel's Landing, a rock formation that stands 1,488 feet tall, is one of the best hiking experiences in Utah for fit adventurers who aren't afraid of heights. Angel's Landing Trail takes hikers up a narrow, uneven ridge flanked by deep chasms (with the help of a series of chain handrails that are bolted into the rocks) to the summit to take in unparalleled views of Zion National Park.
There are two well-maintained trails that take hikers through the pristine sub-alpine and alpine zones of Mount Timpanogos: the 6.9-mile Aspen Grove to Emerald Lake Trail and the 7.5-mile Timpooneke to Emerald Lake Trail. Both connect to the trail to the summit, which gives hikers clear, unobstructed views of the Wasatch Mountain Range, Mount Timpanogos Wilderness Area, and Utah Valley below all year long.