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Life on the Edge: Zion’s Most Challenging Trails

by Caitlin Lamb

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May 31, 2024

Our Utah hiking tours are a great chance to see the state’s beautiful national parks’ very best views. And few views can rival those found in Zion National Park.

Zion is home to dozens of beautiful trails, each offering its own stunning views. But while there are plenty of easy or even moderate trails that are perfect for those who are new to hiking or families with children along, many of the trails are strenuous. The same rising canyon walls and peaks that give the park its incredible landscapes have created trails with frequent drop-offs and cliff faces.

Utah Luxury Tours can help you explore some of these challenging, bucket-list-worthy hikes. Our knowledgeable guides will help you learn your options and choose a trail that fits your abilities. Keep reading to learn some of ZIon’s most challenging trails that you could enjoy during one of our Utah hiking tours.

Observation Point

Topping out the list as one of the most dangerous hiking trails in Zion is Observation Point. Hikers who are able to make the 2,000-foot climb in elevation and between 4 and 6 hours of hiking are rewarded with a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the valley, hills, and cliffs far below.

However, to take in this view, many hikers stand near the edge of a sheer drop-off. The sandstone at the top can be as slick when wet, so make sure to enjoy the views from a safe distance.

Angels Landing

Perhaps the most famous trail in the park, as well as one of the most famous hiking trails in the nation is Angels Landing. Like Observation Point, this trail features a climactic view, high above the valley with sheer drop-offs all around. 

Just before you reach the plateau, you’ll have to hike across a skinny-land bridge. With only a metal chain on one side to hold onto, hikers have just over a foot of trail to walk on and 1,000-foot drop-offs on either side.

The popularity of this trail led the National Park Service to launch a permit program in 2022. Now, visitors hoping to hike this iconic trail will need a permit to do so. If you’re dreaming of hiking Angels Landing during one of our Utah hiking trips, let us know ahead of time so we can discuss the permit program and get you entered into the Seasonal Lottery.

The Narrows 

This next trail might not be quite as famous as Angels Landing, but this doesn’t mean that it is any less unique. The Narrows is a challenging trail unlike any you’ve likely attempted before. This trail takes hikers up or downstream through the Virgin River as it winds its way through the narrow Zion Canyon.

This trail starts — or ends — at the deepest part of Zion Canyon. You’ll need to hike another short trail, Riverside Walk, to get to The Narrows from within the canyon. From here, you can hike upstream as far as you’d like, before turning around to hike back out. 

For the full experience, you’ll need to arrange transportation to Chamberlain’s Ranch. From there, you’ll hike downstream for 16 miles. Many hikers choose to stay on the trail overnight.

No matter how you choose to enjoy this incredible trail, you’re guaranteed a unique and memorable experience.

Booking Our Utah Hiking Trips

Utah Luxury Tours specializes in helping guests explore some of our country’s most incredible national parks, including all of Utah’s Mighty 5. Our private and scheduled departure tours can easily become the Utah hiking trip of your dreams, allowing you to enjoy some of the park’s famous trails during your visit.

If Zion is the next park that you’re dreaming of seeing, we have several tour options to choose from. Of course, The Mighty 5 Tour is a popular choice. This seven-day, six-night trip will take you to each of Utah’s incredible national parks, allowing you to hit the highlights, including some hiking trails.

Zion is also one of the first stops on our Wonders of the West Tour. This longer Utah adventure trip is 10 days and nine nights and includes stops in Zion, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, and more.

Ready to lace up your hiking boots and start trekking? One of our Utah hiking trips, with stops in some of the state’s amazing national parks, is a great way to do so. Use our tour search tool today to start searching for the perfect tour for your next getaway.

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