The hikes every one has heard about in Zion fit in this category. These jaunts feature steep stretches, long distances and usually take longer than 2 hours to complete.
Many have aspirations of making it up the 1,500-foot elevation gain from the floor of Zion Canyon to Angels Landing. Many ignore the strenuous label placed on the hike and the fact that people with a fear of heights should consider avoiding the trip to the top. As a result, there is often a traffic jam on the final approach to the landing as people sit down and cling to safety chains and walls for fear of falling. Be prepared for a long, heart-thumping climb and a 5.4-mile round trip when taking on Angels Landing. Plan for at least 4 hours to complete the hike. Hidden Canyon (2.4 miles) and Observation Point (8 miles) are excellent alternatives.
For an entirely different, but equally challenging, adventure many people head to the Narrows for a 9.4-mile and day-long hike with at least 60 percent of the journey spent wading in a cold, and often deep, Virgin River. The rocks are slippery and proper equipment is necessary for fun, and more importantly, safe journey through the Narrows. The day hike is not to be confused by the 2-day hike, from the top to the bottom, which requires a permit.
Any wilderness camping accessed while backpacking in the park require permits. Reservations are required for some overnight trips and groups sizes are limited. Click here for more information about wilderness permits or visit the Wilderness Desk at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
Angels Landing: 5.4 miles (8.7 km) round-trip. A spectacular out-and-back day hike and scramble to the summit of Angels Landing, suitable for well-conditioned hikers who have no fear of heights.
Cable Mountain Trail: 15-18 miles. Escape the crowds and find amazing views of Zion Canyon on this challenging hike to the summit of Cable Mountain.
Coalpits Wash Trail: 16 miles. A quiet paradise in Zion, this trail provides solitude and stunning views of crimson walls, rushing brooks, and waterfalls.
Eagle Crags Trail: 5.7 miles round trip. Stunning views of Zion National Park can be had along this beautiful out-and-back hike.
East Rim Trail: 10.8 miles one-way. This challenging trail has steep ascents and descents, and promises beautiful views along the eastern rim of Zion Canyon.
Hidden Canyon: 2.4 miles. An intriguing hike into a beautiful secluded “hanging” canyon, reached via a spur trail that leaves from the Observation Point Trail.
Kolob Arch: 14 miles. A long day hike or short overnight backpack up La Verkin Creek to Kolob Arch, one of the largest freestanding arches in the world.
The Narrows: 9.6 miles. An out-and back day hike up the lower section of famous Zion Canyon Narrows, where the North Fork Virgin River runs beneath thousand-foot walls of Navajo sandstone that centuries of erosion have sculpted into fluted and whorled forms.
Observation Point: 8 miles. This popular trail offers a long and steep climb from the floor of Zion Canyon to the rimrock that soars high above it. There are excellent views all along the way.
Orderville Canyon: 12.3 miles. Permit required. Canyoneers love this technical one-way day hike through a desert slot canyon that takes you into the heart of Zion National Park.
Trans-Zion Trek: An epic 50-mile adventure through pristine wild lands and awe-inspiring canyons all within the bounds of Zion National Park— it’s one of the grandest hikes of them all.
Located about an hour from Zion National Park, just north of St. George, the sprawling 60,000-acre Red Cliffs Desert Reserve (which includes the designated Red Cliffs National Conservation Area) contains a one-of-a-kind convergence of multiple different desert ecosystems, jaw-dropping scenery and protected species seldom seen elsewhere.