Top 5 hikes in Zion (some not as well known)
1. The Narrows (strenuous) - One of the most Iconic hikes in the Desert Southwest. If you're in Zion make an effort to put this hike right at the top of the list! If possible, give yourself an entire day dedicated to this hike so you can afford the time required to reach wall street where the canyon is only 30ft wide with 2,000ft walls on either side. It can be done year round so don't hesitate to pursue this hike even in the cold of winter. Don't waste the effort in trying to bring hiking shoe. Local adventure companies will outfit you with the proper gear including canyoneering boots, neoprene socks, hiking stick, and dry bibs or a dry suit for the cold days. The only thing standing in your way are potential flash floods. Take extreme precautions on any day where precipitation is possible.
2. West rim bottom up (moderate / strenuous) - On every other guide for Zion you'll see Angels Landing as a top hike. However, I think it's greatly over hyped. The hike is amazing, but there are simply to many people for it to be truly enjoyable, and no you're not going to beat the crowds, not even on the first shuttle up the canyon. Not to mention, the best view on the Angels Landing trail is at Scouts lookout, which is a few miles up the west rim trail just before the Angels Landing hike begins. My recommendation is: hike up to Scouts lookout, enjoy the views, then turn around, get back on the west rim trail, and hike up as far as you'd like. The West rim trail is 16 miles long in total and typically used for backpackers. However, doing a day hike on the magnificent trail will lead you along exposed cliffs around 1,300 feet tall and views which surpass those found at the top of Angels Landing. The best part is you'll have the entire thing to yourself. 3. South Fork Taylor Creek (moderate)- This hike is located in Kolob Canyon which is off of I-15 fifty minutes from Springdale. The visitation to this section of Zion is a fraction of the main canyon and it offers views on par with the best the main canyon has to offer. Make this part of Zion a priority if you're visiting on holiday weekends with huge crowds. The South fork of Taylor Creek is a gorgeous hike up a secluded canyon in Zion. The trail can be a little challenging to find but once you do It's an absolute gem. For those of you into rock climbing, bring your gear for some of the most unique overhanging climbing you've ever done at a spot known as the Namaste Wall. 4. Deertrap Mountain (Strenuous) - Standing at the viewpoint of this hike will gift you with one of the biggest views in all of Zion National Park. It's a humbling experience to take in the beauty. There are three routes to choose from and each vary in mileage. Ranging from 9.5 - 19.5 miles round trip. The route I recommend is starting at Stave Spring (the shortest of the three). If this hike sounds like the kind of unique experience your looking for I encourage you to do some further research and come prepared for a serious trail. Also, take a quick peak on google for some of the epic views available at this viewpoint. You can see everything from up there! 5. Northgate Peaks (easy)- I think very Fondly of Northgate peaks. It's an amazing hike because it's easy for anyone to do. It's only 4 miles round trip and the elevation change is less than 100ft. It's a casual stroll through a tall mesa Pine forest that comes out to big views of the multi layered canyons of Zion. The benefit is your presented with the most scenic drive in southern Utah just to get to the trailhead. If you want to add a little more adventure to the hike then take the bonus and scramble up to the top of the actual Northgate peak for a completely unique view of Zion. I have spent many evening sitting up there taking in the sunset, all by myself. This hike is the quietest easy trail in all of Zion.
Book your next trip to Zion and visit one of these top five. I promise you won't regret it.