Late October 2013 my mom and I took a road trip to Utah – first stop Zion National Park. The entire park was absolutely spectacular with yellowing cottonwoods lining the Virgin River, orange-red rocks rising up on either side to meet the bright-blue sky. I highly recommend a visit during the fall to see the colours changing!
The hikes we did, listed in order of my favourite!
1. Angel’s Landing
Distance: 5 miles (8km) round-trip
Elevation gain: 1,488 ft
You’ll like it if: You have a penchant for daring adventures and like to be a little afraid – like me! The final .5 mile from Scout’s Lookout to the Landing has steep drop-offs and chains to protect you from the sheer drops. Not for those with a fear of heights or small children.
2. The Narrows
Distance: 1 mile along Riverside Walk to enter the Narrows – and then you can walk up the Virgin River as long as you want.
Elevation gain: minimal
You’ll like it if: You are looking for a different hiking experience – you will be hiking in the water! It can be challenging at times depending on the water depth, but mostly the water only slows you down and poses no real difficulty. It was pretty cold when we were there, so we rented waterproof pants and special shoes to keep warm. I can see how in summer when it is scorching this would be the hike to do!
3. Hidden Canyon
Distance: 3.2 miles (5km) round-trip to the arch
Elevation gain: 1,000 ft
Highlights: There is a section where you walk along a narrow ledge with chains and a drop-off – not as frightening as Angel’s Landing. Although the end is signified by the freestanding arch, the best part of the hike for me was just being in the slot canyon.
4. Emerald Pools Loop
Distance: About 3 miles round-trip to the Upper pool
Elevation gain: 350 ft
You’ll like it if: You love beautiful views – and who doesn’t??? Don’t be expecting large lakes – the pools were quite small when we were there.
5. Weeping Wall
Distance: About 0.5 miles round-trip
Elevation gain: 98 ft
You’ll like it if: You don’t want a long hike to see a classic Zion site. And you like rocks, and water, and growth on rocks from the water….
Zion National Park Links
- Great info at Hiking Zion National Park
- National Park Service: Zion
- Zion Canyon Visitor’s Bureau – good info on where to eat & stay in Zion and nearby Springdale. You must try Oscar’s cafe!!!! We went there 3 times!
Some more Zion pictures: