The number one reason visitors flock to Zion National Park each year is for the incredible hiking opportunities. When it comes to different hikes within the park, Zion presents nearly endless possibilities. Hikers can enjoy strenuous hikes that take days to complete or just take a light stroll through paved walkways.
Since there are many choices of easy, moderate, or strenuous hikes, visitors of all experience and fitness levels will enjoy the trails of Zion. Even those who are not avid or experienced hikers will be able to fill many days with entertaining hiking excursions. With three difficulty levels to choose from and something different to enjoy on each trail, every hike through Zion will be an unforgettable adventure.

Easy

 Just because a hike is easy doesn’t mean it’s boring. The easy hikes throughout Zion National Park have many amazing views of the landscape. Most easy hikes take less than two hours to complete and will be on smooth trails. Hikers will not encounter difficult obstacles to overcome during these hikes, either. Though the hikes are short and leisurely, they are packed with experiences that will create unforgettable memories.

Canyon Overlook Trail

This short, easy hike has an unbelievable scenic view without having to hike for miles or drudge up steep ascents. At about a mile long, this hike takes less than an hour to complete, which means many hikers will spend more time marveling at the view than they spend hiking.
To get to Canyon Overlook Trail, visitors should go to the east end of Zion National Park. They will park their vehicles just before the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel. From here, it is a short hike from the road that leads into a large, breathtaking cave. When hikers emerge from the cave, they will be treated to an amazing view of the park. This is the perfect hike for every visitor who wants to see the best of Zion and take some Instagram-worthy photos.

Beautiful iconic scene of The watchman at sunset, Zion National Park, Utah.

Riverside Walk

This hike is about as leisurely as a stroll through Zion can get. An even walking surface and shaded environment make this trail perfect for families. There are many incredible sights to see and a refreshing surprise at the end of the trail.
Riverside Walk takes hikers from the Temple of Sinawava to the Virgin River. This two-mile-long hike is known as the Gateway to the Narrows because the end of this trail is the beginning of the popular Narrows trail. When the entrance of the Narrows is reached, hikers can wade and splash through a refreshing pool of water before they head back. This short hike, which takes most hikers around two hours to complete, is an incredible way to experience the beauty of Zion without embarking on a long, strenuous journey.

 

Watchman Trail 

Among the many beautiful rock formations throughout Zion National Park is the Watchman. This formation shoots from the ground, towering above the vast red rock landscape. The Watchman Trail doesn’t climb to the staggering heights of the Watchman, but it does give a fantastic view of the formation from ground level.
The Watchman Trail is a three-mile-long hike that is a hidden gem within Zion. It is usually not crowded, so hikers can enjoy some peace and quiet on this hike. This hike takes about three hours to complete and will lead hikers along a red rock trail which is rough in some portions but can be completed by even the most inexperienced hikers. Since this trail is not shaded, it is best done in the morning or evening to avoid the scorching midday sun. Hikers and their families will love the connection they will feel with Zion during this light hike.

Moderate 

Trails that are deemed moderate are usually difficult enough to challenge hikers of all experience levels in terms of distance and technical challenges. However, they are not so difficult that a physically fit novice wouldn’t be able to complete them. Moderate hikes can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. They can be challenging both physically and mentally, but these challenges are well worth it. After completing one of these moderately difficult hikes, hikers will feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

Zion Narrows 

There are two ways to hike the Narrows, but the least strenuous way to hike it is from the bottom up. This route doesn’t require technical skills like climbing and rappelling, but it still gives an incredible view of the slot canyon. Steep canyon walls and a floor of shallow water will engulf hikers in the Zion landscape.
The entrance of the Narrows, at the end of Riverside Walk, ushers hikers into a completely different world. The average length of this hike is anywhere from three to eight miles and takes around two to six hours. This narrow slot canyon is an out and back trail, which means hikers can turn around whenever they please. However, making it to the Wall Street portion of the Narrows should be the goal, as this portion of the canyon, with its high, smooth walls, is an unforgettable experience. Hiking any portion of Zion Narrows will be the highlight of a trip to Zion.

Observation Point

There is no better view of Zion National Park than the one found at Observation Point. For hikers that can handle it, this moderately strenuous hike is a must-see while in Zion. Not only are the views incredible, but the physical challenges along the way will bring out a sense of pride and accomplishment in all who complete it.
The Observation Point Trail begins at the Weeping Rock Trailhead and leads up to the area of Observation Point. The trail is eight miles long and will take the average hiker around four to six hours to complete. The climb is steep and leads hikers up to elevations of over 2,100 feet. The trail is hard paved rock, manmade from the canyon walls, so the rocky terrain isn’t an issue in most areas. The strenuous part of this climb is the steep elevation and the unrelenting sun. However, once the trail is completed, the view at the top is one of a kind.

views to zion national park from angel landing hike

Angels Landing 

Perhaps the most well-known trail in Zion National Park, Angels Landing is full of incredible views, staggering heights, and daring challenges. The high elevations and narrow trails on this path will test the mental and physical fortitude of all who attempt it.
Angels Landing begins at the Grotto trailhead and leads hikers along a precarious red rock ridge. This five-mile-long trail, which takes around two to four hours to complete, features switchbacks, rocky terrain, and breathtaking heights. This trail gets so high and so precarious that it is not recommended for hikers who are uneasy with heights. Once hikers have reached the end of the hike they will have an unbelievable view of Zion. Those who dare embark on this journey will find that is was well worth the trip.

Difficult

Difficult hikes are certainly not for inexperienced hikers. These hikes are long, grueling, and can take many days to complete. They often involve camping in the wilderness, using technical skills like rappelling and climbing, and having advanced knowledge of the landscape. The terrain of difficult hikes is incredibly unpredictable, ranging from steep climbs to deep pools of water and everything in between. Embarking on a difficult hike through Zion will be one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences of a hiker’s life.

Kolob Arch

 This gorgeous trail along the red rock landscape leads to a massive arch formation with a beautiful scenic backdrop. Seeing Kolob Arch, which is the second largest arch in the world, is something that experienced, physically fit hikers can do in Zion National Park. It is one of the most beautiful formations in the park and provides endless photo opportunities.
This hike will take an entire day but will not require camping overnight. The 14-mile-long trail takes most hikers a full twelve-hour day, hiking from dawn to dusk. The trail is long, exposed to the harsh sun in many places, and has moderately rocky terrain. Whether hikers take Kolob Canyons Road at Lee Pass or Hop Valley Trailhead to get to Kolob Arch, it will be a long journey with a beautiful, scenic payoff.

The Barracks 

Avid hikers who are looking to get away from the crowds on more popular trails will love hiking The Barracks. This section of Zion is on the East Fork of the Virgin River. It gives visitors all the amazing views they would see on the North Fork, but none of the crowding.
This 20-mile-long journey is not for the faint of heart. This hike takes most people two or three days to complete. Parts of this hike are along Parunaweap Canyon where the layers of red rock on the canyon walls surround hikers. Other portions are in the heat of the sun on the rocky landscape. Since this hike requires camping, hikers will need to obtain the proper camping permits and make sure they adhere to park rules.

Zion National Park, Utah, USA

West Rim Trail

 The West Rim Trail packs all the scenic beauty of Zion into one journey. Along the trail, hikers will see gorgeous trees and other plant life, small streams, wildlife, and, of course, stunning red rock. This strenuous hike is not for inexperienced hikers, but those able to make the journey will be glad they did.
This trail begins at Lava Rock and winds its way through the most beautiful areas of the park. If hikers desire, they can even take a side trail to hike Angels Landing. When hiked straight through without detouring to other trails, West Rim Trail is about 18 miles long and takes two days. The amazing sights on this trail should put it on every experienced hiker’s Zion bucket list.

Pick a Trail and Enjoy the Hike 

Hikes through Zion give visitors the chance to see many incredible natural sights, test their physical and mental strength, and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment after hiking any of the above trails. Around every turn, there is something new and exciting to experience while on a hike in Zion National Park. All visitors have to do is pick their trail and let their journey begin.

Selecting the best hiking water treatment is harder than selecting the best hiking footwear, which is generally more people are concerned about. When selecting water treatment, there are several factors to be considered including the different size, treatment time and weight, and also you should consider the difficult categories like longevity of the treatment system, filter medium, and what kind of organism is effective at removing.

Water Treatment lab
Photo Credit: Steve Ryan on flickr

Making Water Safe – Why treat Water

In olden days, many hikers used to drink water directly from an old creek when they happened to pass by. During that period, the water was clear, crisp, cold, and fresh mountain water that is refreshing. But now it is totally different scenario, more pollution and contaminated water.

First you should know what you are trying to remove from the water using water treatment and how it can help you.

In recent research, it is proved that a hinterlands source at elevation, the water is possibly still cleaner than what the researchers actually thought before. May be it is not necessary to treat all types of water. The problem is, just by look at the water you cannot tell if is contaminated. The best way to find if the water is contaminated or not is, at high elevation point where you cannot find any pack of animals, or no cattle grazing, and very less population, then you can guess the water is not severely contaminated. But, it is always better to do water treatment before drinking it to avoid the risks.

When you are filtering the water, the water goes through a facet that catches little particles and permits the water to go through. The size of the pore in the element will decide what is removed from the water.

If you pour water on a piece of tent-screen, it catches only sand and sticks, and nothing else. If you pour water through a neckerchief it catches small bugs and more dirt. If you pour water through a coffee filter (paper) it can catch more dirt and other small particles.

The above mentioned process can help you remove only the visible impurity. But, the actual impurities like bacteria, cysts, and viruses are not visible to a naked eye. To remove this impurity, you need commercial water purifiers or filters.

There are 2 types of water purifiers are available for hiking purpose.

1. Pump Filter – In this pump filter purifier one end or the hosepipe is placed in the water container and another end in water supply and the water comes out passing the filter element. This process takes a lot of effort and time, but it is very famous filtering process.
2. Gravity Water Filters – in this process the water is poured in an impure container and pace it at a high elevation. The container contains an outlet pipe through which the water comes down through filter element and fall into a clean container. This process also takes effort as the earth’s gravity is doing the job and it also takes its own sweet time to purify the water.

UV Light water treatment:

It’s a comparatively new method to purify the water. Small equipment attacks the organisms that are in the water using UV light and it destroys their reproductive system. This process is fast and very affordable and it is easy to use because it is very light weight. But you should handle it with care and you need extra batteries for the device.

Chemical Treatment:

In this process, few drops of chemicals are added in collected water. These chemicals kill the bacteria and other impurities in the water. This is considerably easy method, but it takes time and also very expensive. Light weight as you are not going to carry any device. But, it leaves all the dead organisms in the water.

Utah offers the best hiking spots in the United States. If you are a passionate individual who likes to hike in hot temperatures, then Utah is the right place that offers Arches National Park, Zion National Park and the famous Bryce Canyon National park to one and all. These three parks are unique and different geological structures which are distinct in their own ways.

Delicate Arch
Photo Credit: David Clucas on flickr

1. Utah offers the highest mountain top, you can happily hike 13,000 foot mountaintop and enjoy watching dense pine forests and the beautiful alpine lakes from that distance. You can also trek in water stream at mystical desert canyon, and also you get to see sporadic swim breaks under spectacular waterfalls, walking on the natural bridges and thinking about the famous Anasazi who lived in this place nearly a thousand years ago.

2. You can find thousands of miles of trails in the entire land of Utah. Some trails offer the most rugged trials, which suites for multi-day backpackers. Not just that, you can also find several loops and outback trials, which you can finish it in just a few hours, are it just takes one full day. You can also get guide books and browse through the websites for more information including hikes complexity ratings, cautionary advice and descriptions.

3. You should also consider the best season for hiking, only in certain seasons you can climb top of the mountains and you can enjoy your desert hiking experience. 70 percent of land in Utah is public-land. The states offers 5 National Parks, 9 million acers of National Forests and National Recreation Areas and National Monuments occupied millions of acres. And the Bureau of Land Management manages 42 percent of Utah. Altogether offers incredible choices for best hiking trails, which take complete lifetime to complete the trails.

Conclusion: No matter where you choose to hike, you should be cautious at all the time. The vital step is, do not hike alone, join a group of hikers or hike with friends or a family but never hike alone. Carry lot of water and keep dehydrated throughout the trial. Also carry some energy bars for instant energy while hiking. The important thing is have fun, be safe and have a rewarding experience. Browse the website for more information.