"a great place for the novice hiker" Top 5 Page for this destination Utah Sports & Outdoors Tip by richiecdisc
Utah Sports & Outdoors: 16 reviews and 8 photos
If you were thinking of trying hiking our, Utah is a great place to start. Trails in the National Park's of the southern part of the state tend to be short to medium length. You're not going to put in any 12+ hours days in. Also in your favor is your elevation pick up is not great either with a gain of 1500 feet a big day. That's not a lot compared to climbing out of the Grand Canyon for 5000 feet.
Trails are well marked and maintained as a rule in the National Parks of Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park offers great short hikes with rewarding views. Arches National Park has some very easy walks with amazing vistas. Zion National Park has a lot of hikes of all levels from easy strolls along the Virgin River to the adventurous chained climb up to Angel's Landing. Capitol Reef also offers some longer trails that still are of an enjoyable length.
The more advanced hiker will find some interesting trails as well in parks like Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Canyonlands. In the former's case, there isn't much elevation but navigation is the obstacle, with The Wave requiring a special map from the park service to make your way out. Canyonlands offers up some steep trails down to the Green River, a great tune-up if doing the Grand Canyon later.
Hikes are often quite busy so best to do them early morning. Not only do you escape the crowds but the temperatures are more pleasant and there's better light for photography. The Wave requires a special permit so numbers are limited. Check out my individual Utah pages for more information on how to hike Utah to the fullest.
Equipment: Good sturdy boots are a must when hiking over slick rock and the often abrasive sandstone that defines Utah trails. Don't skimp socks, your feet will appreciate the extra money you put out for the padding. Desert hiking is best in long light pants and shirts for sun protection and best for changes in the weather that occur. Utah is not a real backpacker's mecca though there are some multi-day hikes in the Staircase for those experienced in slot canyon trekking. So, a day pack will suffice for most people. Sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat will also come in handy in this very sunny state.
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