Best Hiking Trails in Utah
Its time to get outside, grab your pack and take your friends or family on some amazing hikes right here in beautiful Utah. Here we share with you our favorite local hikes that everyone can enjoy. If you have a favorite spot near by, share with us in the comments – we’d love to hear from you.
Stewart Falls Trail – Northern Utah
This is one of the most scenic and pictorial waterfalls in the northern Utah. It basically falls in two tiers and is over 200 ft tall. Stewart Fall trail is a temperate hike through a beautiful forest on the east side of Mt Timpanogos, and is well-marked and easy to follow. The fall from the ridge down to the base of the waterfalls is very steep, therefore youngsters should be held in check at this point. The best time to make the trek is over the summer, and falls are even better as colored leaves are really impressive.
Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon Nation Park – Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park is an exceptional place offering a lot of incredible scenery in a very short period of time. There are several unbelievable trails below the rim, particularly in the area between Sunrise Point and Bryce Point, and several variations of this hike are practically possible. The route I will describe falls down below the rim via Wall Street Canyon; a narrow gorge. The street then follows the Queens Garden Trail through an area that is filled with the odd and multicolored geologic formations, commonly known as hoodoos. This is quick hike is 0.8 miles into one of the most breathtaking – amazing places in Bryce Canyon Nation Park. The decent is only 320 ft which makes for a easy hike in and out.
As always, be prepared in any hike trip you make, on this hike to Queen’s Garden, bring a headlamp and try to be done before the sun it at it’s max. It can get very hot here.
Arches National Park Trails – Southern Utah
This is a popular destination for mountain bikers; therefore you can expect to see a few of them on this hike. Nevertheless, don’t expect all of them to be riding because there is a major 2,100 foot elevation gain from the trail head to the lake, and walking uphill is much easier than riding a bike. The lake is unbelievably located at the bottom of what looks like an old volcanic crater; 550-foot-deep. The crater is in fact a large bowl that was scooped out at the head of Mill D North Fork Canyon by a glacier during the last ice age. Viewing from the crater rim can be impressive, particularly in early September when the aspen trees on the northwest side of the lake start displaying off their fall colors.
Its best to hike this during the Summer months (May to September) so that you can enjoy the meadow flowers and all the colors you will see up there. The hike is 7.4 out and back which makes this a perfect weekend hike with a nice picnic at the lake.
Some of the best trail you should consider hiking while in the Arches National Park are:
So obviously this is going to be on everyone’s bucket-list that visits the park. This 4-mile round trip hike will provide you unforgettable views of the park and desert floor. This is one of the park most popular hikes, so plan ahead. If you are like me at all and hate crowds and specially, crowds outdoors, plan this hike for early morning and do it during the off-season of the tourist.
This hike is going to finally help you escape the masses, and get away from it all. To get to the Tower Arch trailhead, you are going to take an well maintained dirt road. The signs will indicate when you arrive at the trail so don’t worry, its kind hard to get lost – so don’t worry about it. The trail is a short 2.6 mile round trip, in which you will hike past some beautiful sandstone fins, and some rock formations that look like fingers sticking out of the earth.
This quick hike is great for family that are looking for a quick out and back loop-hike. This hike starts at the Sand Dune Arch Parking lot found at near here (38.764752, -109.583393). The hike itself is only about 3 miles with less than a 300 foot gain. You will see two amazing arches, and hike through sandstone fins and towers that are amazing.
This hike is going to different the the rest I’ve shared today because it’s don’t have any designated trails. Don’t bother planning on using your cell phone or GPS unit here because the cliff walls are so high that it blocks all signals out. But the Fiery Furnace has some of the most exciting and fun trails to hike in the park with super narrow slots that you can explore and fins and large rocks to climb on and around. Remember to be RESPECTFUL of the park and other hikers. This area of the park requires you to have a permit to hike. To get a permit for a non ranger guided tour, you’ll need to go to Arches Visitor Center during businesses hours and take care of that.
Donut Falls Trailhead – Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah
This refreshing hike skirts the Mill D South Fork Creek to Donut Falls, making it an admired and well known destination for kids of all ages. This craggy little canyon is shaded with pine and quaking aspen, therefore an interesting place to pay a visit because it has much to offer to families that visit the area. At the falls, water rushes from the small stream above into a donut like hole that is carved in stone. These water splashes out below, pouring over the boulders and spraying a cool mist to visiting hikers. The slight challenges such as a short drop-off to the stream below the fall keep the trail more interesting to visitors.
The trail head is located at (40.6395598, -111.6534167).
This is a very easy hike which makes it a popular destination for family and groups of hiker looking to get out of the busy rush of the Salt Lake Valley. I should let you know that some of the terrain on this hike can be a bit challenging for small kids and the elderly. Be careful up there and use your ‘smarts” and you’ll be fine.
Take I-215 South (freeway will become I-215 East) until you reach the 6200 South exit. Turn right onto Wasatch Boulevard, then turn left at Big Cottonwood Canyon. The intersection is clearly signed. You will see a 7-11 store to your right.
From the north or south ends of the valley, take I-15 to I-215 East and follow the directions above.
Getting to the Trailhead:
Travel up the canyon road 9.0 miles. Here, the turn-off to the right will take you to the trailhead one mile further, past the Jordan Pines picnic area and some private property. The trailhead is at the south end of the parking area. (Lat:40.63957 Lon:-111.6512)