In 2022, Zion National Park once again earned the title of the third most-visited national park in the country. Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone seeking breathtaking views and incredible adventures, Zion should be on your bucket list.
One of the most popular ways to explore this unique national park is by hiking. The park is home to dozens of hiking trails in a wide range of difficulty levels and lengths. This means that there’s truly a hike for every type of visitor.
If you’re ready to start planning your next visit to Cliffrose Lodge, keep reading. We’re breaking down the best hikes in Zion National Park to enjoy during your stay.
Kicking off our list of the best hikes in Zion is the park’s most famous and iconic trail. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping hike with panoramic views that are certain to take your breath away, Angels Landing may be the trail for you. But be warned; from the steep climb to the sometimes treacherous ridgeline you’ll hike to get to the summit, Angels Landing isn’t for everyone.
This challenging trail isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s five-miles roundtrip, with more than 1,500 feet of elevation change. You’ll climb 250 feet during the short Walter’s Wiggles alone, a set of 21 narrow switchbacks. Near the trail’s peak, hikers traverse a narrow ridgeline, with 1,000-foot drops on either side and only a metal handrail to help you keep your balance.
If you do want to hike Angels Landing during your stay in the best hotels St George and Springdale have to offer, you’ll need to plan ahead. Angels Landing is the only trail in the park that requires a permit to hike (with the exception of an overnight hike on The Narrows). Hikers can enter the Angels Landing Lottery online ahead of their stay. The lottery is open four times a year, and awards permits for the following season. You can also enter the Day Before Lottery for a last-minute chance to snag a permit during your Cliffrose Lodge stay.
If you can’t snag a permit for Angels Landing, want something a little less challenging, or are just looking for another unique experience, head to The Narrows. No list of the best hikes in Zion National Park would be complete without this truly unique trail.
This iconic hike takes you deep into the narrowest part of Zion’s Lower Canyon, as you wade or walk through the cool waters of the Virgin River. A thru-hike of this trail is even more challenging than Angels Landing. It’s 16 miles long, and most hikers stay overnight on the trail. You’ll also need to get a backcountry permit and arrange for transportation to Chamberlain’s Ranch, a private plot of land with access to the Virgin River.
But unlike Angels Landing, anyone can experience the Narrows without hiking the whole thing. To do so, simply ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle to the last stop. From there, hike the short Riverside Walk. At the end of the trail, take a few short steps to the banks of the Virgin River. You can then hike upstream as long as you’d like before turning around to hike back.
For a more relaxed hike that’s suitable for families and hikers of different skill levels, the Emerald Pools Trails offer a great alternative to other trails. This hike actually consists of three interconnected trails that lead to a series of emerald-green pools and waterfalls that vary in size depending on recent rainfall.
The Lower Emerald Pool is the easiest to reach, while the Middle and Upper Emerald Pools require more effort to get to, but also better views. Each of these hikes is even more magical during the spring and early summer when the water flow is at its peak in the park. The pools and falls create a lush green oasis in the heart of the red rock desert.
If you’re looking for the best hikes in Zion for families with kids during your stay in our Springdale resort, you won’t want to miss Pa’rus Trail. This paved trail starts just past the park’s entrance, near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. It winds its way along the banks of the Virgin River, with some shade from trees and incredible views of Zion’s peaks.
Pa’rus Trail is open to bikes, and strollers. This makes it great for families pushing little ones or for enjoying a fun e-bike ride. It’s also the only trail in the park that’s open to pets, as long as they remain on a leash.
Choosing the Best Hikes in Zion for Your Springdale Resort Stay
From challenging Angels Landing to the family-friendly Pa’rus Trail, these are a few of the best hikes in Zion National Park. Choose one, or take on all four during your stay at Cliffrose Lodge!
Ready to start planning your next stay in our Springdale resort? Book your stay today!