. Visiting Utah's Mighty 5-Zion National Park - Budget Travel Adventures : Budget Travel Adventures

Visiting Utah’s Mighty 5-Zion National Park

This past year the state of Utah came out with a very successful marketing campaign promoting Utah’s 5 National Parks. They featured ads in various locations throughout the United States and came up with an amazing commercial highlighting some of the amazing sites visitors could see as they toured the parks around Utah.

Growing up in Utah I have visited each of these fantastic parks numerous times so I thought it would be fun over the next 5 weeks to take everyone through some of my favorite hikes and activities in each park. I figured I would start off with Zion National Park since I know it the best.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is located 45 minutes from St. George, Utah and about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas. Zion National Park is one of the most popular National Parks in the United States with nearly 3 million visitors a year. Zion is an outdoor mecca with activities ranging from family friendly hikes to advanced canyoneering.

The two most popular hikes are Angels Landing and the Zion Narrows. Both offer amazing views so make sure to take your camera.

Angels Landing

Angels Landing takes hikers from the canyon floor to 1500 feet in just a few miles and offers 360 degree views of the park.
The hike starts off fairly easy as hikers walk the path near the Virgin River.
Virgin River Zion
After about 10 minutes of flat hiking the trail starts up its first set of switchbacks.
After completing the first set of switchbacks there is a little relief from the switchbacks as the hike passes through Refrigerator Canyon. Then on to 21 famous steep switch backs called “Walters Wiggles”.
After hiking up Walters Wiggles, hikers reach Scout Lookout which is where the West Rim Trail splits off from Angels Landing. There are also some awful smelling restrooms for anyone that has to go.
From Scout Lookout it is only another half mile to the top of Angels Landing BUT beware this last half mile is extremely steep and requires the uses of chains to help hikers with 1500 foot drop-offs on either side in some spots.
After completing the last half mile hikers reach the top of Angels Landing and stunning views.

The Narrows

The Narrows is probably the second most popular hike in Zion, although most people actually don’t complete the 16 mile one way journey, they only complete a portion of it. The Narrows is a portion of the park that has been carved out by the Virgin River that narrows to only a few feet wide in some parts and has walls of nearly 2000 feet high.

Most people start at the Temple of Sinawava and hike up the Narrows a couple hours and then return.


The hike itself is not extremely hard except that you are walking in and out of flowing water with slippery rocks. Make sure to bring a walking stick and have good footwear.



Many people who only want to hike a few hours of the Narrows go until the waterfall and then turn around.


Zion National Park is full of amazing hikes like the two above that twist and wind through slot canyons or take hikers to dizzying heights overlooking the canyon floor. For more information or pictures on the different hikes in Zion visit zionnationalparkguide.com.

All pictures in this post are used with permission from zionnationalparkguide.com and may be used with proper link attribution.


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Michael is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to travel. He has lived in the US and abroad. He is constantly looking for great new places to explore. He also writes for the The Carefree Traveler and Zion National Park Guide.

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Filed Under: North AmericaTraveling Thoughts

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  1. Larry says:

    The Narrows hike reminds me of a popular trek that’s similar in Jordan … and as for the Angel’s Landing hike, the powder blue water amidst the rusty red cliffs is one of the most surreally beautiful things I’ve seen in my life!

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