21 Jaw-Dropping Hikes in Utah in 2023
Where are the best hikes in Utah? Our good friend Candice from CS Ginger has the low down on the most jaw-dropping hikes this beautiful land offers, so let’s dive into it!
21 Best Hikes in Utah
Utah offers such a diverse landscape. Snow-capped mountains and crystal clear lakes. Red, hot sandstone spires and desert for days. Take the adventure into your own hands and check off some of the best hikes in Utah below – one by one!
1. Angels Landing
Angels Landing in Zion National Park is one of the best hikes in Utah. The hike is very popular because it has some of the most amazing views in the park. The trail is very narrow at times and somewhat dangerous. There are sections with chains to provide balance to hikers since there are sheer drop-offs.
A difficult hike, at 5 miles out and back, it can take anywhere from three to five hours to complete. Hiking the trail is now based on a lottery system. You can apply by using recreation.gov.
If you need ideas for where to stay in the area, be sure to check out 12 Best Places to Stay near Zion National Park.
2. The Narrows
The Narrows is the most popular hike in Zion National Park. It gets its name because hikers will traverse upstream between a narrow canyon, only twenty feet wide. The hike is fun and very beautiful.
The trail leads hikers through the Virgin River. Views upriver include Wall Street, the renowned section of the hike where the canyon gets very narrow, and the sheer rock walls close in overhead. It’s a breathtaking experience.
3. The Subway
Also known as Left Fork, The Subway hike leads explorers on a very strenuous trek. At nine miles long, hikers will venture through the Left Fork of North Creek in Zion National Park.
This route requires traveling through various depths of water and climbing over large rocks. This hike offers beautiful views of the rock formations in the slot section. A wilderness permit is required for this hike and is only granted through a lottery system.
4. Mount Timpanogos
Mt. Timpanogos is one of the most popular and best hikes in Utah. Hailed as the second-highest mountain in the Wasatch range, this isn’t a hike for the faint-hearted. At 14.5 miles roundtrip, the wildlife, waterfalls, and wildflowers along the trail make this strenuous hike a jaw-dropping option.
5. Hidden Pinyon Loop Trail in Snow Canyon State Park
The Hidden Pinyon Trail is located in Snow Canyon State Park, about 20 minutes outside of St. George, Utah. At 1.5 miles, this short trail packs a punch and is one of the best hikes in Utah!
The rocky and often uneven trail offers a variety of different flowers as hikers climb up into the rocks near the Petrified Dunes. Next, hikers are led to the Hidden Pinyon Overlook, with staggering views of the heart of Snow Canyon. This hike offers the best sights of Snow Canyon State Park.
6. Corona Arch
The Corona Arch is one of Utah’s most popular and best hikes. This hike leads to a large beautiful arch in Moab, Utah. At 2.4 miles, it is a moderate hike with a steep section with a chain railing to help hikers climb.
If you’re looking for an amazing arch to hike to in Utah with a dog, this is a great choice because it is outside the national park, and leashed pets are welcome.
There are a total of three arches in close proximity that are either on the same trail or split off from the Corona Arch Trail, making this hike a great option to take in several red rock arches.
7. Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch is a moderate, 3-mile round trip hike located in Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah. Rolling hills, steep ascents, and slick rock slopes depict the start of the trail.
While navigating these environments, you might also come across some lizards! Later, the trail flattens out and offers striking views of sandstone domes and Frame Arch in the distance. When you finally reach Delicate Arch, the view is breathtaking.
8. Buckskin Gulch via the Wire Pass Trailhead
Buckskin Gulch is a slot canyon known for its challenging narrows. The Wire Pass trail is a great route into Buckskin Gulch. At 3.4 miles, Wire Pass is a short and easy hike but boasts very strict narrows.
This tranquil area has spectacular views and scenery, making it one of the best hikes in Utah.
9. Paria Canyon
Paria Canyon is regarded as one of the world’s best hiking destinations. At 38 miles, the full trail is best optimized as a multi-day backpacking experience. Various branching trails offer different hiking routes for those looking for a shorter yet still picturesque experience.
No matter the option chosen, Paria Canyon offers remarkable sights of the Colorado River, towering cliffs, and narrow canyon passageways.
10. Coyote Gulch
Coyote Gulch is a highlight of the Grand Staircase-Escalante desert. Just shy of 17 miles, this is a difficult, narrow, winding trail. Though strenuous, the red rock country landscape makes the journey well worth it. Take in the varied sights of multiple arches and surprising lush wetlands.
11. Diamond Fork Hot Springs Trail
The Diamond Fork Hot Springs trail is a moderate hike with a welcome surprise along the way. The trail begins with a quick walk along Sixth Water Creek and then a cross-over to Fifth Water Creek.
Around this point, hikers will start to notice the sights (blue glacier water) and smells (sulfur) of the approaching hot springs. 2.5 miles into the hike, travelers will come upon a group of gorgeous hot spring soaking pools. Not something you see every day, the pools range in colors and are a wonder to behold.
The pools and waterfall at the end of the trail are definitely sights worth hiking in, making this one of the best hikes in Utah.
12. Golden Cathedral Trail
The Golden Cathedral Trail is a moderate hike leading travelers to a picturesque natural bridge in the lower Neon Canyon section of The Grand Staircase-Escalante region.
Though only 8 miles in length, the hike traverses various landscapes, including slick rock into Fence Canyon and downstream of the Escalante River, followed by a hike up Neon Canyon. The view of the Golden Cathedral is stunning and should not be missed!
13. Fairyland Loop
The Fairyland Loop Trail is a hike located in Bryce Canyon National Park. The 8.3-mile round-trip hike begins at Fairyland Point on the rim. The trail leads hikers down into the amphitheaters, offering a striking view of hoodoos and spires.
The trail is sure to impress hikers who come for the view as they travel through deep canyons of varying colors, including pink, white, and tan.
14. Navajo Loop
The Navajo Loop is a popular trail that leads hikers from Sunset Point to the floor of Bryce Canyon. At 1.4 miles round trip, this trail is short but moderate. One of the best hikes in Utah to catch notable landmarks, hikers will be privileged to see Wall Street, Twin Bridges, and Thor’s Hammer along this route.
15. Daly Trail
When visiting beautiful Park City, Utah, Daly Canyon is a great trail to explore. This trail offers a look back in time to see some remnants of the city’s rich mining history. Streams, forested hillsides, and a beautiful bridge make this moderate hike a tranquil and beautiful experience.
16. Frary Peak Trail
Frary Peak Trail is a strenuous, 6.6 miles out and back hike. An initial climb up a desert mountain offers nearly immediate views over the lake.
Hikers will also pass under a set of boulders that have created a cave as well as navigate through challenging switchbacks throughout the hike.
The journey along the trail is highlighted by grasses, sagebrush, rock formations, and wide views over all of Antelope Island.
17. Chesler Park Loop/Joint Trail
Chesler Park Loop/Joint Trail is a 5.4-mile loop, classified as a moderate hike. Rocky landscapes and steep pitches will eventually lead hikers to the staggering views of Chesler Park. The breathtaking grassy flatland and colorful spires are a sight to behold.
The view from Chesler Park Overlook offers a panoramic sight of the park and the sandstone formations throughout the area. It’s a view well worth the journey.
The Joint, near the overlook, is a large crack between rock formations. Accessible to hikers via man-made stairs and a very narrow passageway, it’s a great route for those eager for an adventure.
18. Mesa Arch
Visiting Mesa Arch is an unforgettable experience. The arch, an elegant stone structure, spans 50 feet across the top of a 500-foot vertical cliff. It’s perched atop a tall mesa, offering sweeping views of the surrounding canyon and its vivid reds, oranges, and purples. Mesa Arch is notably one of the best hikes in Utah.
The Mesa Arch trail is perfect for all skill levels, offering both a physically and visually stimulating experience. The hike itself is a very short walk, taking only 10-15 minutes each way.
Once you reach the arch, you’ll be treated to staggering views of the surrounding landscape, including the towering red rock cliffs and vast desert canyons. The iconic panoramic views carved over millions of years are quite a sight to see.
19. The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs
The Wave is located in the north section of Coyote Buttes. This area is considered part of Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness. This 6.4-mile round-trip hike is strenuous, but the landscape is unlike anything most travelers have seen before. This area offers some of the world’s most striking geologic sandstone formations.
Due to the unique setting and landscapes, The Wave is a very popular hiking destination. Due to the allure of the area, the BLM only allows access to 20 people per day in this space. Permits to hike The Wave are issued via a lottery system, and some are reserved for walk-ins. Visit recreation.gov for lottery details.
20. Dead Horse Point Rim Trail
Dead Horse Point Rim Trail is a highlight of Dead Horse Point State Park. This easy 5-mile loop leads to eight different overlook points, each offering breathtaking views of the Colorado River and canyon landscapes below.
The views here are some of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world.
21. Pfeifferhorn Trail
Pfeifferhorn Trail, also lovingly known as “Little Matterhorn ” is a beautiful, strenuous hike. One of the most renowned hikes along the Wasatch Front, the Pfeifferhorn Trail is 9.6 miles of sweeping grass fields, trees, and a lake!
FAQ: Best Hikes in Utah
Here are a few frequently asked questions that came up for us. Admittedly, our answers may be biased as we really enjoyed Utah.
What is the best hike in Zion National Park?
Angels Landing and The Narrows are great hiking options in Zion National Park.
Does Utah have good hiking?
Yes! Utah’s several national and state parks alone offer countless hiking opportunities for a variety of skill levels.
What is the most popular hike in Utah?
The Narrows is a very popular hike in Utah. But many other popular options can be found in Moab and other areas throughout Utah.
Conclusion: Best Hikes in Utah
Whether you are exploring the backcountry near Moab or staying near the city, you’re always close to one of the best hikes in Utah. It’s time for an adventure, so start planning to explore Utah’s best hikes today!