Utah Spring Hikes You’ll Love
Utah is a place defined by both its vast mountain ranges and beautiful national parks. This guide showcases the best Utah spring hikes to hit before the temperatures soar. For more options, read our story on Utah’s best summer hikes.
Zion National Park
Located near the town of Springdale in southwestern Utah, this park is slightly less busy in spring than in summer. Camp in Springdale itself, or base yourself under an hour away in St. George. The road is closed to private cars so plan to use the free shuttle services that drop you off at different bases depending on the trail you plan to take.
On this beautiful hike, you’ll walk along the Virgin River until the Canyon walls close you from all the sides, which then leads you to the Narrows at the top. You’ll need a permit to hike the overnight route from the top down but can day hike a section from the bottom up without one. Since it’s a river hike, you’ll want to check the flow and likelihood of flash floods before you plan for a hike here.
Other options to explore in Zion are the West Rim trail to Angel’s Landing, West Rim trail, Kayenta trail, and the Court of the Patriarchs.
Arches National Park
Found in eastern Utah alongside the Colorado River, the ride up to Moab and Arches National Park is full of spectacular red rock, endless arches, and a wide variety of hiking trails.
Arches National Park that has around 2000 arches and Delicate Arch is one is the most popular because it graces Utah’s license plates and has spectacular views through the arch. The 3-mile uphill hike is somewhat difficult but is very unpleasant on hot days. Wait for a day with cloud cover or bring a hat, sunscreen, and water along.
If you are planning to camp overnight at the place, the starlit sky won’t leave you disappointed.
The Fiery Furnace
This trail at the Arches National Park is full of narrow canyons and natural arches. It gets its name from the reddish-orange sunsets that resemble a furnace. A hiking permit is required here because the area is vast and complicated, so people tend to get lost easily. Plan ahead if you’re planning to visit this place as few permits are issued per day.
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park, situated at south-central Utah, is famous for its colorful cliffs, arches, and easily accessible campsites. Some prominent ones are Fruita Campground, Thousand Lakes RV Park and Sand Creek RV Park. We camped at the first one, which had a dramatic backdrop of cliffs and is near the park entrance and scenic drive.
Fruita Campground – The Fremont River Trail
This is especially a pretty hike up to the Fruita Campground and is at a distance of 2.5 miles from Torrey. It’s an easy level hike that’s suitable for most age groups. Rains may make the hiking a bit difficult, but otherwise, the rocks through the trail are quite supportive to climb. The best time to go for this would be in daylight, or just before the sun is setting.
Cohab Canyon Trail
The Cohab Canyon trail is yet another preferred trails in the Capitol Reef National Park. It is situated on top of the Waterpocket Fold, and the difficulty level is moderate.
If you are camping during winter, you’d need to insulate yourself properly at nights, or it might turn out to be a night that’s not very memorable. Check out this list of some of the best sleeping bags that we’ve curated based on my personal experience.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, also present at southwestern Utah is famous for its sunrise point that leads to the Bryce Amphitheater that’s one of the most beautiful lookouts of the place. It’s very close to the park entrance and the best way to explore this place is by walk.
Sunset to Sunrise Trail
This easy hike leads to a sunrise point with scenic views of the Bryce Amphitheater. With this trail, you get to view the hoodoos from the above and you can follow a paved path between sunrise and sunset points. It’s accessible all year-round and is famous for bird watching.
Fairyland Loop Trail
Bryce’s canyons wind through a myriad of hoodoos that glow in bright hues of pink, orange, and cream and are best hiked from going down into the canyon. While on the trail, look for a natural rock formation called the Tower Bridge that resembles a castle gate. On this moderate to difficult level hike, you’ll find fewer people so you can enjoy this place all to yourself.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is remote, spectacularly beautiful, and offers a wide variety of hiking options. The Island in the Park is one of the easily accessible districts in the park (out of the other 3: The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves ) is near to Moab and has a wide variety of hiking opportunities.
The highlight of all the hikes in this park is Mesa Arch, a beautiful natural arch with beautiful sunrise and sunset views. The head of the trail starts from a wide parking area that is located along the Grand View Point Road. It is a short trail and is well marked, making it easy to follow. It leads you to the edge of the plateau, from where you get to see an expansive view of the countryside.
If you enjoy hiking, these places in Utah are a must visit! From the beauty to the crazy panoramic views and the epic sunsets and sunrises, you’ll want to visit again and again.
Let me know which one of these Utah spring hikes you loved most in the comments.
Mark Bennett is an American writer and traveler, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site outdoorily.com.