Zion National Park is one of Utah’s most visited treasures. Nothing compares to the magnificence of its steep red cliffs in addition to the valleys below carved by the Virgin River. In recent years it’s been getting more and more crowded in the summertime. While it’s a little sad because it’s hard to find any solitude, it’s hard to get actually upset because it’s completely understandable why it’s one of the most popular parks. You just can’t find views like this everywhere.
One of the best hikes in the park is Angel’s Landing. You essentially climb up 1,500 feet to the top of one of the cliffs in the middle of the park. It gets extremely narrow and steep, but once you get to the end, you are rewarded with gorgeous views of the park on every side of you. I am terrified of heights but it was completely worth pushing through my fear for the views at the end!
I also recommend hiking the Narrows: a gorge in the narrowest part of Zion Canyon. You walk through the water of the Virgin River, which can get thigh-deep at certain points, and there are massive canyon walls on both sides of you that measure hundreds of feet high. The further you go down the river, the less people you encounter, and the better the views get. So don’t be discouraged by the large crowds towards the beginning! A lot of people don’t go further than a mile or so in.
You’ll find yourself in a large, flat desert area surrounded by huge red cliffs, mesas, and mountains. And there is a river spot only a short walk away where you can go cliff jumping! The best part is that it’s completely secluded and FREE! This spot is worth checking out even if you don’t make it to Zion (I don’t know why you wouldn’t, but just in case…) It’s that good.
Location: Zion National Park