The best way to experience the diverse environment and landscapes of Utah is by hiking through Utah’s mountains and deserts. Utah is fortunate to have some of the best hiking trails in the world. With literally over thousands of trails to explore this is one of the best outdoor experiences the state has to offer. Come, let’s lace up our hiking boots and hit the trails to explore Utah in some unexpected ways.

Here are eight spectacular trails for hiking in Utah, which are in no particular order

Angel’s Landing Trail

Location: Zion National Park

Length: 4-5 miles

Duration: 3-6 hours

Elevation Gain: 1600 feet

Difficulty: Hard

Permit: Yes

Angel’s Landing, Hiking trails in Utah
Angel’s landing trail, Hiking spots in Utah

Angel’s Landing is a short but very dangerous trail for hiking in Utah. This iconic hiking trail in Zion National Park is recommended only for those who are not afraid of heights. Hiking here begins by crossing the bridge over the Virgin River. Once you get to the base of Angel’s Landing, the trail gets very exciting. A steep and narrow path with only chains to hold onto on either side opens up to 360-degree views that are sure to take your breath away! The permit is needed starting from Scout Lookout, which is a beautiful overlook. It is open to everyone to hike to Scout Lookout, and you only need the permit after that portion. Everyone who wants to hike Angel’s Landing will need a permit from April 1st, 2022. One of the scariest hiking trails in Utah which should be on every daring and adventurous hiker’s bucket list.

The Narrows Trail

Location: Zion National Park

Length: 15 miles

Duration: 3-7 hours

Elevation Gain: 206 -1017 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Permit: Permit needed only for Top-down Hike


As the name suggests, hiking through this trail takes you through the narrowest points where the Zion canyon is just a few feet wide. This is a river hike where you are literally walking along the river with twisting and curving canyon walls (2,000 feet high) extending on both sides. As you walk by, you will see dozens of beautiful swimming holes. Since this is a river hike, make sure to check the weather forecast as this trail is prone to flash floods. You can either hike from the bottom up or from the top down. Bottom-up hike is only a 9.4-mile round-trip journey to Big Spring without a permit. The top-down hike is a 15-mile hike which requires a permit and reservation if planning for an overnight backpacking trip. The Zion Narrows is one of the most celebrated trails for hiking in Utah.

Delicate Arch Trail

Location: Arches National Park

Length: 3 miles

Duration: 2-3 hours

Elevation Gain: 610 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Permit: No

Check out the hiking spots in Utah

The Arches National Park has more than 2,000 stone arches, but you will know why Delicate Arch stands out from all of them once you get there. Delicate Arch is one of the most recognized geological features in the world. The hike starts with climbing over rolling hills and then a steep ascent on a slick rock slope. The trail gets narrow as you approach the arch. The turn at the final corner gives you the view of the stunning arch with panoramic views of Arches National Park and the La Sal Mountain range. Make sure to be here before sunset to watch the horizon take on a red-orange hue. The spectacular setting and stars above this area makes for a perfect click.

Fairyland Loop Trail

Location: Bryce Canyon National Park

Length: 8 miles

Duration: 3-4 hours

Elevation Gain: 1514 feet

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

Permit: No

Utah trails

Fairyland Loop trail at Bryce Canyon National Park is another incredible trail for hiking in Utah. Incredible landscapes and mesmerizing rock formations make every movement of the day hike special. The legendary hoodoos and spires of pink rocks give one a feeling of a
f walking through a fairyland. The other highlights on the Fairyland Loop Trail are the breathtaking China Wall and Tower Bridge. This eight-mile hike can be a little challenging as it takes you up through multiple elevations. As the hiking route is a loop, you can choose to hike clockwise or anticlockwise starting from either Fairyland Point or just north of Sunrise Point.

Also Read: 16 Incredible Virtual Hiking Trails From Around The World

The Wave Trail

Location: Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

Length: 6 miles

Duration: 3-4 hours

Elevation Gain: 400 feet

Difficulty: Moderate 

Permit: Yes

Wave trails in Utah

One needs to be lucky to get to this mesmerizing trail of colorful red sandstone that crosses the Utah and Arizona border. Due to the fragile nature of the site and overwhelming popularity, the Bureau of Land Management limits foot traffic into the canyon. To preserve the integrity and beauty of The Wave, only 64 people are allowed to visit each day. The only way to get the permit is by winning it through the permit lottery. 48 permits are granted three months in advance, while the remaining 16 permits are granted one day in advance. Once you are here at this incredible trail, there will be no regrets. The gorgeous red sandstone formation created by the natural process of nature will make your jaws drop. It’s no surprise that the landscape photographers from around the world are obsessed with The Wave.

The Subway Trail

Location: Zion National Park

Length: 12 miles

Duration: 5-9 hours

Elevation Gain: 398 feet

Difficulty: Challenging

Permit: Yes

Hike in Utah

The Subway Trail in Utah is considered to be intense. It requires one to climb down waterfalls, swim through deep pools of cold water, and scramble over boulders and river crossing. There are two ways to get to the Subway: top-down and bottom-up. Hikers generally opt for the top-down trailhead because the bottom-up route is much more difficult. This is a long, challenging hike, so attempt it only if you are hiking with an experienced canyoneering guide. A series of cascading pools, and hollowed-out canyons reminiscent of a subway tunnel add to the beauty of this geologic marvel.

Dead Horse Point Rim Loop Trail

Location: Dead Horse Point State Park

Length: 8 miles

Duration: 2-3 hours

Elevation Gain: 70 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Permit: No


Dead Horse Point Trail along the rim of Colorado River Canyon takes you through some of the stunning views in the Moab area. This loop hike through the two trails, the West Rim and East Rim, takes you through picturesque viewpoints and desert landscapes with panoramic vistas. The trail here is almost entirely flat with sheer cliffs running down to your left and a handful of resilient plants hanging onto the red dirt to your right. The 360-degree views of mountains, canyons, towers, cliffs, the La Sal Mountains rising in the distance and the mighty Colorado River from the Dead Horse Point is all worth the hike. This scenically dense hiking in Utah is something that you just cannot miss.

Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail

Location: Escalante National Monument

Length: 6.7 miles

Duration: 3-4 hours

Elevation Gain: 512 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Permit: $5/car day use fee to park

Utah and its national parks

Lower Calf Creek Falls trail leads you to a hidden oasis tucked away in the remote Grand Staircase Escalante. With relatively mild elevations, this hike is considered to be easy but can be a very hot hike during summers. The Creek Falls, tumbling 130 feet down a massive sandstone wall, is one of the most photographed sites in Utah. It’s a delight to see a waterfall in the middle of a canyon surrounded by desert. Easy access from Highway 12 and spotting of different species of birds between these sloping rocks makes this trail one of the very popular hikes.

Expert Advices To Consider While Hiking In Utah 

Hiking through the most rugged and remote parts of Utah can be very dangerous. Every hiking trip, be it big or small, needs preparation well in advance so that you can enjoy the experience and return home safely. Here’s some expert advice that every hiker should consider before setting off.

Never Hike Alone – Whether it’s a friend or a family member, make sure that you have someone with you on your hike. Having someone along can mean the ability to get help if something goes wrong on the trail.  Do let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Come Prepared For Challenging Conditions – Weather changes very quickly here, hence fill your backpack with plenty of water, food, rain jacket, woollen jacket, sunscreen, headlamp and first aid kit.

Dress Appropriately – Dress in layers so that you can remove or add layers as per temperature. Sturdy footwear will help prevent blisters; helps keep balance and enable you to scale rocks easily.

Do Not Rely On Electronic Gadgets – Always carry a printed map and learn how to use it. 

Leave No Trace – Last but not least, be a responsible hiker. Don’t litter, do not disturb the trail markings, and do your bit to keep Utah Forever Mighty.

Hiking in Utah is a wonderful way to explore the incomparable landscapes this place has to offer. Plan your Utah adventure now and let us know of your experiences in the comment box below.

Which is the most difficult hike in Utah’s Mighty Five® national parks?

Angels Landing is the most difficult and challenging hike in Utah’s Mighty Five® national parks .

What is the best month to go hiking in Utah?

October to March are the best months to go hiking in Utah.

What is the longest trail in Utah?

The Paiute ATV trail is the longest trail in Utah.


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