18 of The Best Hiking Trails to Explore in Utah

Utah has some of the best hiking trails you’ll ever explore and I would know since I’ve done at least 4 road trips through this state. And every time I explore it, I try to get more and more hikes under my belt there.

In today’s post, I want to share 18 of the best hiking trails I’ve done and look to do in Utah which you can try as well. Most of them are:

  • Good for day hiking.
  • Anywhere from beginner to strenuous.
  • Some are dangerous (I’ll tell you which ones).
  • Some are inside the national parks there and some are outside of them.
  • But they are all extremely fun to try.

So if you want to explore the best hiking trails in Utah, these 17 spots will be a great way to do it!

Here is a list of the 18 best hiking trails in Utah:

  1. Windows Arch and Turret Arch trail.Best Hiking Trails in Utah
  2. Double Arch trail.
  3. Devils Garden trail.
  4. Delicate Arch trail.
  5. Grand View Overlook trail.
  6. Hickman Natural Bridge trail.
  7. Coyote Gulch (2 trails).
  8. Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyon trails.
  9. Queens Garden trail.
  10. Mossy Cave trail.
  11. El Cap trail.
  12. Observation Point trail.
  13. Angels Landing trail.
  14. The Narrows trail.
  15. The Subway trail.
  16. Chute of the Muddy Creek trail.
  17. Jeep Arch trail.
  18. Rainbow Bridge trail.

These 18 hikes are more than enough to get you started and if you do all of them, you’re going to do about 200 miles worth of hiking. Now the truth about Utah is that these 18 are just the tip of the iceberg if you’ve been to Utah, because the truth is, you’ll find 100’s and possibly 1,000’s of amazing other hikes out there, some which will take you days to complete.

So if you’re an experienced Utah hiker and you don’t mind sharing some of the hikes you recommend doing, I’d love to hear your suggestions below! But lets move onto each hike on this list so you can see why they’re so amazing!

1) Windows Arch and Turret Arch trail:

Location: Arches National Park.windows turret arch trail hike utah

Difficulty: Beginner.

Length: 1 mile loop.

Description: This is one of the shortest trails in the entire Arches National Park area and it allows you to see at least 3 different arches as well as go in through all of them.

It was one of the first spots I explored when I entered this park and you can get some seriously awesome photographs and videos in this area such as the one you see to the right.

These arches are fully accessible for hiking in, to and through and I highly recommend it as the experience of doing so is something else!

I’ve taken some awesome photos in these arches more than once and I plan on redoing it every time I revisit Arches National Park!

I suggest going early because this part of Arches National Park gets packed often.

2) Double Arch trail:

Location: Arches National Park.double arch hike utah

Difficulty: Beginner-moderate.

Length: 1/4 mile out and back trail.

Description: The Double Arch trail is literally right next to the Windows and Turret Arch trails and on the opposite end of the same parking lot.

You can’t really miss it as you’ll see the trail leading there, and if not that, then crowds headed in that direction.

The Double Arch is one of my favorite arches in this entire park and it is a delight to explore.

The first time I explored it, my friend and I were the only people there and were fortunate enough to get this amazing photo of it at the time.

But beware, there are lots of people who visit this arch, so odds are, most of the time you will see it populated with many like minded explorers!

3) Devils Garden trail:

Location: Arches National Park.devils garden hike utah

Difficulty: Beginner.

Length: 1-2 mile out and back trail.

Description: I explored this trail the second time I visited Arches National Park and it’s a really scenic area which has you cross through canyons and see some truly beautiful sights.

You can even climb up some of these spots, but the hike itself is really easy, family friendly and it’s located at the northern end of the park.

The picture you see to the right involved my friends and I crossing one of the many canyons there.

You can actually climb up some of them, but sticking to the main trail is also an awesome experience as you walk through these beautiful areas.

Arches National Park isn’t just an arch heaven, but it’s also a place with many more diverse sights to explore!

4) Delicate Arch trail:

Location: Arches National Park.

Difficulty: Beginner.

Length: 2-3 mile out and back trail.

Description: This trail and arch are located a bit south of Devils Garden and it’s one of the only trails in the park I wasn’t able to do, but you can see the arch from the parking lot and it is a very popular arch that requires a pretty long hike up a mountain to reach. It’s also very popular so expect to wait in line to get a picture under it, unless you come here during off season periods (winter is best).

5) Grand View Overlook trail:

Location: Canyonlands National Park.grand view overlook hike utah

Difficulty: Beginner-moderate.

Length: 2 mile out and back trail.

Description: Canyonlands National Park has a bunch of awesome trails, but I only chose this one because it was my favorite one.

It has you basically walk along the edge of one of the most scenic spots in the entire park and cross giant boulders and see amazing sights (see the right image).

For those wondering, you can actually hike or drive by car to the areas below this hike where all the other canyons are.

But as for hiking trails, Grand View Overlook is certainly grand in every sense of the word and as I’ve said before:

It feels like you’re walking on a balcony overlooking the best parts of Canyonlands National Park!

6) Hickman Natural Bridge trail:

Location: Capital Reef National Park.hikeman natural bridge hike utah

Difficulty: Beginner.

Length: 2 mile out and back.

Description: This trail is located inside Capital Reef National Park and it was the only one I had time to explore with the few hours I had in this area until the sun set.

It is a VERY beautiful hike to the natural bridge itself and you’re going to cross some amazing places, like little canyons, sandy beach spots, caves, a little river and much more. The trail is just as beautiful as the actual natural bridge you see at the end of it.

And Capital Reef National Park is spectacular to explore and once I do more of that, I’ll write about what else there is to see there, but it considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in the Mighty 5 National Parks of Utah.

One thing I can recommend you do is drive across the scenic route there, as it’s quite stunning! And speaking of which, here are at least 9 scenic drives to try in Utah.

7) Coyote Gulch (2 trails):

Location: Grand Staircase Escalante region.coyote gulch hike utah

Difficulty: Hard.

Length: 3-10 mile loop.

Description: If you’re not an experienced hiker, I would not explore Coyote Gulch, especially if you plan to hike it in a day (see day hike options for Coyote Gulch).

But what you’re going to do here is park your car in an area called the water tank and then hike north to an area where you’ll have to climb down to Coyote Gulch by rope.

Once you’re inside the gulch, there are some seriously amazing spots to see, like Jacob Hamlin Arch, Coyote Natural Bridge and more areas like it.

It’s tough to reach and the hike to the gulch itself is one you need to be careful with not to get lost on.

8) Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyon trails:

Location: Also Grand Staircase Escalante region.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: 3-4 mile loop.

Description: This is another spot I tried to explore, but sadly, didn’t have to. It’s 2 slot canyons located next to one another that people typically explore as a single hike.

They usually start at Peekaboo slot canyon and then walk out and into Spooky slot canyon, before looping back to the trail head and parking lot.

It gets VERY tight in this region so be aware of this, but it’s located about 20 minutes from Coyote Gulch so if you can tie in a hike there and here in one day, you’re going to be doing a lot of scenic and challenging hiking!

9) Queens Garden trail:

Location: Bryce Canyon National Park.bryce canyon national park queens trail hike utah

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: 4-5 mile loop.

Description: This is one of the most popular hikes I did in Bryce Canyon National Park in the winter (during a Western US road trip).

It was one of the only available trails to check out and it was quite a stunning one at that.

You walk through beautiful caves, natural bridges and it really takes you deep into the park itself.

I have to admit, visiting this park in the winter was a great move as we didn’t see many people, cars, or other hikers as we walked across this trail and that made it far more enjoyable as it felt like we had the park to ourselves.

The snow also added to the beauty!

10) Mossy Cave trail:

Location: Near Bryce Canyon National Park.mossy cave hike utah

Difficulty: Beginner.

Length: 1-2 mile out and back trail.

Description: I accidently saw this trail when I exited Bryce Canyon and it really is a VERY nice, scenic spot to explore.

It takes you through bridges, a waterfall and large cave at the end of the trail.

I saw all of this during the winter so the cave had massive icicles there as you can see to the right.

This is actually a very mellow, scenic and enjoyable hike that I frankly enjoyed almost as much as hiking through Bryce Canyon.

It is something that is family friendly, there is a wide variety of entertainment surrounding it and if you plan to go there with family, I am sure they will all enjoy doing it.

11) El Cap trail:

Location: Outside of Zion National Park.

Difficulty: Hard.

Length: 5-6 mile out and back trail.

Description: This is a trail I hope to explore the next chance I get. It literally came up on my suggested YouTube videos one day and the person who uploaded it said it’s better than Angel’s Landing, another awesome hike on this list.

But this is almost like a “best kept secret hike” because very few people know about it. I included the video I saw that helped me find out about this hike, but it is dangerous and difficult to do, so you’d better be in great shape if you hope to get through it:

12) Observation Point trail:

Location: Zion National Park.observation point hike utah

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: 6-8 miles out and back (2 trails available).

Description: Observation Point is one of the most beautiful and safest hikes in Zion National Park that’ll allow you to see the very top of the entire park.

I’ve hiked it through an alternate route to Observation Point when I visited Zion because the main trail was closed, but either trail takes you to the exact same overlook (right).

The alternate route I took isn’t scenic most of the way, but it only lasts 3 miles until you reach the overlook you see to the right.

The MAIN trail (which might still be closed) takes about 4-5 miles to reach the same overlook, but it is a much more scenic trail that most of the park’s visitors take.

13) Angels Landing trail:

Location: Zion National Park.angels landing hike utah

Difficulty: Hard.

Length: 3-4 miles out and back.

Description: Angel’s Landing is one of the top trafficked trails in all of Zion National Park, and that’s because it’s very scenic, very dangerous but also pretty short.

It basically gives you the same overview of the park as Observation Point, but if you were to ask me about Angels Landing vs Observation Point and which is safer, Observation Point wins. But both trails are truly stunning.

For me, I’ve only tried hiking Angel’s Landing once and I couldn’t make it past the hard part you see to the right.

This is why presently, I prefer hiking the Observation Point trail as it’s much more friendly for people with a fear of heights.

14) The Narrows trail:

Location: Zion National Park.the narrow hike utah

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: Up to 14 miles in and out trail (in water).

Description: I’ve done much of the Narrows trail (2 times) and each time I am stunned by it’s beauty.

It is an almost fully submersed in water trail that usually requires you wear some sort of safety gear like a dry suite (if you do it in the winter) and at least some sort of decent water shoes in warmer seasons.

But you basically cross a long canyon on the northern side of the park and it is often heavily trafficked.

There is also a short hike from the parking area to the Narrows trail which is also very beautiful (called Temple of Sinai).

Also worth noting: Here are 8 more trails like the Narrows.

15) The Subway Trail:

Location: Zion National Park.the subway hiking trail in zion utah

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: 12 miles one way.

Description: The Subway trail is one of the main hiking trails in Zion National Park I have yet to do and this is because of it’s length and permit requirement (due to how popular it is).

It is also a very popular trail from which you see many beautiful and iconic photos come out of the park (I think you can see why).

It’s highly recommended, but generally better for people who stay overnight near the park and can get the permit to go there ahead of time.

This trail is personally one I have not yet done because of all the pre planning necessary to go, but when I do, I’ll provide more information on it.

Just note it is beautiful and a popular hiking trail in Utah (Zion National Park).

16) Chute of the Muddy Creek trail:

Location: Near Emery County, Utah.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: Up to 15 miles in and out trail.

Description: I have yet to visit this trail, but I have seen enough videos of it to know that it is worth exploring. It is a fairly long and dirty hike that is like the Narrows in some ways, but is basically in mud. You can walk in it for as long as you like (up to 15 miles), and you can even paddle board or kayak in it when the water gets deep enough.

Here is a video of people doing it:

17) Jeep Arch trail:

Location: Outside Arches National Park (Moab region).

Difficulty: Easy.

Length: 1 mile in and out trail.

Description: While on my way to see Arches National Park for the second time, I accidently stumbled upon this giant arch that was literally off the road. The parking lot was full so we didn’t stop, but the arch requires a short hike to it and it is very popular.

18) Rainbow Bridge arch trail:

Location: Near Glen Canyon Recreational Area.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: 1-2 miles off the boating area.

Description: Rainbow Bridge is a gigantic arch that’s even bigger than Jacob Hamlin Arch in Coyote Gulch and in order to reach it, you have to travel by boat through the Glen Canyon Recreational Area, and stop near the trail head and then hike to this spot.

Glen Canyon itself is a wonder to explore but in terms of hiking, the hike to this arch is fairly simple easy to reach. It’s located on the south eastern most part of Utah (near the Arizona border actually).

More hikes in Utah coming!

The only hikes on this list that I have yet to try are:

  • Rainbow Bridge.
  • Chute of the Muddy Creek.
  • Jeep Arch (I sort of saw it).
  • The Subway.
  • Peekaboo and Spooky Gulch.
  • All of these hikes are pretty much outside the National Park areas.

And adding to this list, if you have your own suggestions, let me know about them below! And if the list of hikes I shared with you on this post was helpful, let me know which one or ones were your favorite!

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