With its cascading mountains, red rock and shimmering fresh-water lakes, there’s no question Utah offers world-class outdoor recreation. Although particularly famous for its skiing, Utah’s majesty is hard to beat any time of the year. The best way to admire its beauty? Take a hike! Start here with our list of the 15 best hiking trails in Utah.
If you’re looking for vibrant wildflowers at high elevation and a surreal view of Utah Valley, Mount Timpanogos is your peak. Definitive of striking, this mountain will give you a run for your money if you come unprepared. Sore legs and chapped lips? Totally worth it.
A Salt Lake City classic, hiking to Ensign Peak is a casual but delivers a phenomenal view of the city. Just above the capitol building, this easy trek is perfect for a summer picnic. Accessible any time of the year, you can revel in Utah’s expanse just as Mormon settlers did some 150 years ago.
There’s nothing quite like a fresh-water lake to cool you down in the summer time. Located in the Uinta Mountain Range, this hike is only 2.2 miles round trip.? With an inner tube in one hand and a chunk of watermelon in the other, you’ll surely enjoy the experience.
One of Provo’s best-loved hikes, this seven-miler starts in the beautiful Rock Canyon and takes you to the very top of the world. Although it may be close to civilization, Squaw Peak definitely delivers in difficulty (think steep, forested inclines) so make sure to wear appropriate hiking gear.
Scorching in summer, sweet in fall, chilly in winter and lovely in spring, Calf Creek Falls is worth the trek any time of year. Even in the hottest of months, a dip in the falls is a Southern Utah tradition worth celebrating. Although not particularly steep, this scenic hike definitely necessitates adequate fuel and sunscreen.
The most experienced hikers know that a trip to Utah is incomplete without experiencing the wonder of slot canyons. The Subway trail in Zion National Park is the slot canyon hike of all slot canyon hikes. At 9.5 miles round trip, this hike takes some serious maneuvering and isn’t very suitable for outdoor newbies. In fact, only hike this trail if you’re in the company of an experienced canyoneer.
Blessedly iconic for a reason, the Angel’s Landing trail in Zion National Park is as exhilarating as it is terrifying. When you’re checking out a magnificent red rock view while holding onto a chain bolted to a cliff, sweaty palms are inevitable. That said, this trail is an experience like none other and if completed carefully, a positive memory for the books.
Much easier than the Subway trail, the Narrows is one of Utah’s most famous hikes. Why? You’ll spend the majority of the hike wading in clear, mountain-spring water, wandering through a slithering slot canyon. Don’t worry though—there are no snakes!
Stalagmites, anyone? You’d be hard-pressed to find any better than at the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. That’s right, this switch-back hike will make you break a sweat, but a professional tour of some dark, chilled caves will have you cooled off in no time.
If you’ve ever seen a Utah license plate, you’ll recognize Delicate Arch: One of the state’s most iconic images and top tourist destinations. If you’re looking for a scenic, rewarding hike at a shorter distance, the Delicate Arch trail in Arches National Park is right up your alley.
Back in the Wasatch Mountain Range, the Albion Meadows Trail offers both hiking and mountain biking. Located near Sandy in Little Cottonwood Canyon, this trail is reminiscent of the Swiss Alps and provides serenity unparalleled.
Although not as big as Zion or Arches, Bryce Canyon National Park is arguably the most visually stunning of Utah’s national parks. The Navajo Loop Trail offers visitors the perfect means by which to get a well-rounded taste of what the park has to offer.
Located in American Fork Canyon, this trail is named for Tibble Fork Reservoir, where it starts. Taking you through dense forests of spruce and pine, this trail is not only accessible, but will give you a taste as to what Utah is all about.
The tallest mountain in Utah, King’s Peak has earned its gnarly reputation over decades of committed backpackers. Located in the Uinta Mountain Range, this peak requires some fierce discipline but rewards those who come out on top.
Overlooking the cities of Alpine and Highland, Lone Peak’s jagged edges prove less frightening on the trail. Make sure you’re in decent shape, lest you end up the lone hiker as your buddies forge ahead.