What makes Zion one of the most popular national parks in the country? While we like to think that the incredible resorts near Zion National Park are a factor, it’s likely that the park’s stunning landscapes are a big reason. And one of the best ways to experience those landscapes is with some hiking.

Zion National Park has over 100 different trails to choose from. They range in difficulty from flat, paved walkways to rugged backcountry hiking trails that will challenge even experienced hikers.

Ready to start planning your next Zion resort getaway? Keep reading to learn the 7 best hikes to enjoy in Zion National Park.

1. Angel’s Landing

Perhaps the best-known hiking trail in the park, Angels Landing has previously attracted more than 300,000 hikers a year. While the hike is over 5-miles long, one half-mile section gets most of the attention. This section—the final half-mile before you reach the trail’s summit—follows a narrow ridgeline. Bolted-in chains give hikers a handhold as they carefully cross the ridge, facing down steep drop-offs on either side. Brave the heights and the rigorous climb before it, and you’ll be rewarded with the best views in all of Zion—and arguably one of the best in the world!

The narrow ridge section as well as the high number of annual visitors lead the National Park Service to start a lottery system for the trail. Beginning April 1, 2022, those hoping to hike Angels Landing now need to enter a lottery for a permit. If you’re lucky enough to get a spot, this iconic hike is a must for experienced hikers, though it may not be a good choice for families or those new to hiking.

2. Canyon Overlook

While Angels Landing offers incredible views of Zion, it isn’t for everyone. The strenuous hike isn’t a good choice for new hikers, families, or anyone not up for a 3 to 5-hour, steep and challenging climb. Luckily, there’s another trail that offers views that rival Angels Landing, but that comes with a far easier hike.

Canyon Overlook Trail is just 1-mile long. After exciting the Mount Carmel Tunnel in the Upper Canyon section of the park, you’ll find the trailhead for this popular hike. You’ll cross a relatively flat and easy section, before coming to an overlook with incredible views of the canyon far below. Whether you’re short on time or looking for an easier hike, this trail is a great choice.

3. Weeping Rock

While shorter than Canyon Overlook, this next trail is more challenging. Weeping Rock, an overhanging canyon wall named for the water that drips from the edge, is located at the top of a steep uphill walk. The trail itself is just .4-miles long, and is a popular stop on the Zion Canyon Shuttle. But when you stay at resorts near Zion National Park, you can hop on the shuttle early in the day and beat the crowds to this popular spot!

4. Emerald Pools

This trail’s location just across the road from Zion Lodge, as well as its photo-worthy views, makes it one of the most popular trails in the park. It’s also one that’s easily adaptable, depending on your group’s abilities and how much time you have for a hike.

Emerald Pool Trail includes two sections; Lower Emerald Pools and Upper Emerald Pool, with Middle Emerald Pool marking the halfway point between the two. Depending on whether you hike to the Upper Emerald Pool, this hike is anywhere from 1.5 to 3-miles. If you do continue past the Lower Pools, this easy hike becomes more challenging as well.

Regardless of where you turn back, you’ll enjoy views of the waterfalls that feed the 3 step pools, which may be stronger or weaker depending on the time of year that you visit and how much rain the region has had

5. Riverside Walk

Much like Angels Landing, The Narrows is another iconic hike that may be too challenging for many visitors to the park. But if you’d like to see where this popular hike starts, and experience some of the views that hikers on that trail get to see, head to the Riverside Walk instead.

Riverside Walk is a 2.2-mile roundtrip, paved, flat trail located at the end of the Lower Canyon. During the off-season for the Zion Canyon Shuttle, you can park right at the trailhead in the lot. Otherwise, hop off the shuttle at the last stop and enjoy this shaded walk. At the end, where you’ll turn around to head back, is the start of The Narrows. 

Choosing Resorts Near Zion National Park for Your Outdoor Adventure

Whether you’re ready to put your skills to the test with a challenging hike to Angels Landing or are looking for more family-friendly options, these trails are some of the most iconic and popular in the park.

While you’ll want to make time for some of these incredible hikes, keep in mind that during the summer months or around holidays, they can get busy. The best way to experience the best hikes without the crowds is to stay at resorts near Zion National Park. With a Zion resort located right on the Springdale Shuttle loop, you can get to the park before most visitors, and enjoy some of the park’s most popular trails before the crowds descend for the day. 

You can even hop back to your room in the afternoon—the busiest time of day in the park—for a nap or a dip in the pool. Then, head back to the park in the late afternoon, and take in a relaxing evening hike to Canyon Overlook or a quiet stroll on Riverside Walk. Ready to book the best Zion resort? Book your stay at Flanigan’s Inn today to start planning your own summer adventure to one of the nation’s most beautiful national parks!

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