If there is any place that could be considered the best state for an outdoor adventure, Utah would undoubtedly be a top contender and needs to be on the bucket list of every outdoor enthusiast. Indeed, those who would explore any of the thousands of hiking trails that the Beehive State has on offer will undoubtedly be rewarded with the adventure of a lifetime.
Utah is undoubtedly one of the best-hiking destinations in The United States. The Beehive State boasts unique topography that cannot be found in any other state. There are thousands of hiking trails to be explored in Utah. Popular hikes include Delicate Arch and The Narrows, to name a few.
From seasoned outdoor adventurers to first-time trail trekkers, Utah promises to be the most adventurous, scenic, and unique experience of a lifetime. From forests to deserts and mountains to canyons, Utah has no shortage of incredible opportunities for hikers of all skill levels. Find out why Utah should be the destination for your next hiking adventure.
The Best Hiking Trails In Utah
Alright, now that we have all of the preparation covered, you are undoubtedly bursting at the seams waiting to know where all the spots to go hiking in Utah are. We will help you to plan for your next hiking adventure by showing you some of the best hiking trails in the Beehive State that you cannot afford to pass by.
Located in the mighty Zion National Park, The Narrows is undoubtedly one of the most famous hikes in Utah and The United States as a whole. You will want to have some waterproof shoes for this hike, as this is a river hike that involves trekking through narrow slots in the canyon – hence its name – that is too narrow for any dry riverbanks.
The Narrows hiking trail is roughly ten miles in total and is definitely for the more experienced hiker, as there are many parts to this hike that can be rather challenging. There are overnight options if you want to have a multi-day hike; however, you will need a permit for that. Overall, this is a “see it to believe it” kind of hiking trail, as its beauty is almost otherworldly. If you are a seasoned hiker, do not miss out on hiking in The Narrows. You can also camp in Zion National Park.
If you’ve been to Utah, you have undoubtedly seen this beautiful, natural arch on the car license plates of the locals. Also, if you have ever searched for pictures of Utah, the Delicate Arch has undoubtedly come up. The Arches National Park is home to this famous hiking trail, and it is not to be passed by for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Delicate Arch trail is rated as moderately difficult, meaning that most hikers should be able to handle it without any issues. The hike itself is roughly three miles in total, and once you reach the arch (roughly within the first two miles), you will be greeted by the most breathtaking view that Utah is so famous for.
Undoubtedly the name alone already has your interest peaked, and rightfully so. Angels Landing is another one of the highly popular hiking trails found in the Zion National Park. This trail is definitely better suited to experienced hikers, and more specifically, those who are not afraid of heights.
The reward of this challenging hike is the lookout from the pinnacle of Angels Landing. The view over Zion Canyon is undoubtedly one of the best in all of Utah. Indeed, the Angel’s Landing hiking trail needs to be on your bucket list of must-visit hiking trails.
Hiking In Utah
The Beehive State, Utah, is undoubtedly home to some of the fascinating topography in The United States. Both national and state parks ensure the protection and preservation of Utah’s natural wonders, and because of that, Utah is undoubtedly a paradise destination for hikers regardless of their overall fitness and physical capabilities.
Indeed, there is something about the Beehive State that leaves many with the sense that the state was somehow made for outdoor enthusiasts. From fascinating rock formations to wide, breathtaking canyons and scenic forests to rushing rivers – Utah is undoubtedly the state that has it all, and a hiking experience here is not to be passed by.
Probably one of the exciting parts is that Utah’s thousands of hiking trails are not reserved for the fittest, seasoned hikers. Indeed, the Beehive State has a seemingly endless list of hiking possibilities for both novice and expert hikers. From short, scenic strolls to strenuous multi-day hiking trails, Utah is well equipped for whatever hiking mood you are in.
When we say endless hiking possibilities, we really do mean it. One of the incredible aspects of a hiking experience in Utah is that since there are so many possible hiking trails, you could literally hike a different trail every weekend for the rest of your life and never experience them all. Indeed, Utah requires many repeat visits to soak in all of its beauty.
Preparing For A Hike In Utah
One key aspect that we will continue to unpack as we learn about hiking in Utah is that adequate preparation for a hike is vital. Hiking is undoubtedly one of the most accessible and popular outdoor activities, especially because it is often a free adventure. However, because of this, there are many people that end up in situations that they are physically not prepared for.
The first and most vital way to prepare for a hike in Utah is to thoroughly research the trails that you are considering embarking on to determine whether you will be able to handle it at your current fitness and physical level. The easiest way to have a terrible hiking experience is to embark on a hiking trail that demands fitness and physical capability well beyond your own – which can, of course, also be a dangerous situation.
There is no shame in having to start off with some of Utah’s shorter, less challenging hiking trails. In fact, you will not be missing out because even the shorter trails are surrounded by the breathtaking scenery that does not fall short of the more strenuous trails. Start with easier hiking trails and slowly work your way up from there as you get more comfortable.
Another aspect of preparation that will be included in your hiking trail research is permits. Most of the Beehive State’s hiking trails require no permit to explore; however, some do. Ensure that you provide yourself with sufficient time to acquire a trail permit before embarking on the relevant hiking trail.
There are also some trails with sections that do not require permits, but once you go past a certain point, you are going to need one. Preparation and research should be your best friends and highest priority when it comes to hiking to ensure that you have the greatest adventure possible.
What To Wear For A Hike In Utah
The next vital aspect in preparing for any hike is ensuring that you wear the appropriate shoes and clothing. From the outset, some things to avoid at all costs would be flip-flops and clothing made of cotton – we will get into the why shortly. Wearing the appropriate shoes and clothing will undoubtedly go a long way in making your hike a pleasant experience.
Let us dive into what shoes and clothes you will need for your exciting hike in Utah.
Since you are going to be on your feet for a minimum of hours at a time – obviously – it is vital that you have a pair of shoes that is going to provide you with adequate strength, comfort, and support. This, of course, rules out flip-flops entirely. A pair of trainers or walking shoes should suffice for an easier hike with minimal challenging terrain.
However, for a more strenuous hike and multi-day hikes, it is highly recommended – if not essential – that you invest in a good pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots. The strength, stability, grip, support, and comfort that hiking shoes provide are second to none since they are literally designed for outdoor adventure.
Even if you are only attempting shorter, less challenging hikes, for now, hiking shoes are still recommended if you have the extra budget for them. They will undoubtedly become an essential asset to your hiking lifestyle. Getting a waterproof pair of hiking boots is also a great idea for when you need to trek through relatively deep water – a common occurrence on many hiking trails.
For the most part, particularly during the warmer months, a standard pair of shorts and a t-shirt that you are okay with getting dirty should more than suffice for the average hike in Utah. However, there are some suggestions we have to make your experience more pleasant and more comfortable.
For many hikers, long sleeve shirts and long pants are preferred for added protection from the surroundings, bugs, and even the sun. While you do not have to go this route, it sure does have its benefits. Most importantly, ensure that your clothes are made using a breathable material that is going to keep you cool and, most importantly, dry.
Having layers is a great idea for the colder months. Even in the summer, the temperatures in Utah can plummet once the sun has gone down in certain parts of the state, so make sure to be overprepared for the least ideal situation. Lastly, a folded, pocket-sized rain poncho will be your best friend if you experience a sudden downpour, so be sure to take one of those with you.
What To Bring For A Hike In Utah
The next part of your preparation for a hike in Utah is knowing the essentials that you should bring with you for your hike. Since you will be out for a few hours, there are a few things that you will need to help make your hiking experience a pleasant one.
Before we dive in, the first thing that you should have is a size-appropriate backpack to carry and transport everything that we will be mentioning. We recommend a backpack that has a waist-strap to ensure that not all of the weight is sitting on your shoulders alone but rather more evenly distributed. A vital rule to follow is to pack as light as possible.
Here are a few essentials that you will need for your hike in Utah:
Water And Snacks
The most important thing to take with you on any hike is water. Ensuring that you stay properly hydrated is a vital part of hiking. No matter how fit you are, a general rule to follow is that you should have one liter of water for roughly every two hours of hiking. However, bring as much as you are comfortable carrying, remembering that it will get lighter and lighter throughout your hike.
Bringing some snacks is a great way to keep your energy levels up while hiking. You will undoubtedly be burning through a lot of your body’s resources, so make sure to replenish them throughout your hike. Good examples of hiking snacks are things like protein bars, trail mix, and jerky. These are great and are easy to store in your backpack.
Easily one of the most commonly forgotten essentials, sunscreen is yet another vital aspect of any hike – you really do not want to go without it. It is best to apply sunscreen before embarking on your hike and then continue to apply it as you need to, depending on the overall duration of your hike. SPF 30 or higher will more than suffice – just do not forget to put it in your backpack!
Many people might not consider a hiking pole to be essential; however, anyone that has ever used one before will know what a great asset they can be. Many of Utah’s hiking trails are very rocky and uneven, and hiking poles are a fantastic way to give you extra support, stability, and are also great for testing out rocks before standing on them.
While we cannot say it is essential, bringing a hiking pole is highly recommended and will undoubtedly transform your hiking experience.
We mentioned this a little earlier, but bringing extra clothing, particularly for a longer duration hike, is a fantastic idea. When we say extra clothing, we are talking about layers. Always be prepared for weather conditions to change. Rather have too many layers that you can remove or add as you need than be left needing what you were not prepared for.
Lastly, make sure to bring a camera! Utah is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places to enjoy a hike – the scenery is breathtaking! Make sure to have a camera, or even your phone, to take a few snaps of the wonderful memories that you will be making.
All in all, Utah is unquestionably a haven for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. There are so many more incredible hiking spots that you can enjoy, but the ones that we have mentioned should be considered essential! A hiking experience in the Beehive State will be one of the best and most memorable experiences of your life. Do not pass by on the opportunity!