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Best Hiking Trails in Utah – USA

Overview

There is beautiful diversity in Utah with mountains throughout this southwestern US state, along with canyons in the popular national parks in the southern part of the state. Utah is known for its five popular national parks (Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, Arches and Capitol Reef), all of which have fantastic hikes to explore.  Other areas for hiking include: Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (and its many wilderness areas such as Twin Peaks, Mount Timpanogos, Mount Olympus), Ashley National Forest, Dixie National Forest, and many small, isolated mountain ranges. The best months to hike in Utah vary depending on the region.  Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Utah. 

Capital: Salt Lake City

When To Hike in Utah – USA?

March – November: The summer months are best for the mountainous areas in the north, particularly around Salt Lake City, but spring and fall are best for the southern areas. Filter through the map to see the best months by region.
Varies
Varies; December – February: Winter months are not ideal in most regions

Climate: Semi-arid.  Utah is fairly dry, but mountains can receive a lot of precipitation, in the form of snow in the winter and afternoon thunderstorms in summer. Drier weather; the national parks are in a desert environment

Note: In spring 2023, many areas of southwestern USA have seen flooding, including in Utah.  Check local forecast and warnings prior to setting out on hikes.

 

Utah Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy: Well-established trails with good maps and guidebooks.

Transportation required: Public transit to some, car for others

Where to stay in Utah for hiking:

  • Ogden
  • Provo
  • Salt Lake City
  • Springdale
  • Moab
  • Park City

Top Places to Hike in Utah – USA

The five national parks in the state (Arches, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef) get a lot of the attention in terms of hiking in Utah but the really mountainous areas are in the Uintas and Wasatch ranges, in the northern part of the state close to Salt Lake City, as well as in the many isolated mountain ranges in the western desert and other areas. Highest Mountain: Kings Peak (4123 m) in the Uinta Mountains.

Filter out hiking places of Utah – USA by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Dixie National Forest

Pine Valley Mountains

  • Apr – May; Sept – Oct
  • Signal Peak

San Francisco Mountains

  • Apr – May; Sept – Oct
  • Frisco Peak

Wah-Wah Mountains

  • Apr – May; Sept – Oct

Mineral Mountains

Canyonlands National Park

Zion National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Arches National Park

Stansbury Mountains

Cedar Mountains Wilderness

  • May – Oct

Promontory Mountains

Price Canyon Recreation Area

Antelope Island State Park

Oquirrh Mountains

  • May – Oct
  • Mountain range on the the western side of the Salt Lake City

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Manti-La Sal National Forest 

Ashley National Forest

Mount Timpanogos Wilderness

Mount Olympus Wilderness

  • June – Sept
  • Within Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Lone Peak Wilderness

Twin Peaks Wilderness

  • June – Sept
  • Located within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest – Twin Peaks

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

  • June – Sept
  • Huge national forest that encompasses nine wilderness areas
  • Hiking – Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
  • Ogden a good base for the northern part of these mountains
  • Provo and Salt Lake City good bases for further south

Silver Island Mountains Wilderness 

Newfoundland Mountains

Mahogany Peaks

  • May – Oct
  • Small mountain range in northwest corner of the state, border with Nevada
  • There are hiking trails; Yost is the main town close by

Utah – USA's Long Distance Trails

  • Highline Trail – Uinta Mountains, 78 miles
  • Zion Traverse – Zion National Park, 48 miles
  • Under the Rim Trail – Bryce Canyon National Park, 23 miles

Utah – USA's Walking & Hiking Resources

Utah Hiking Books: many books, just a small listing

  • Hiking Utah: A Guide to Utah’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, by Bill Schneider, 2022, Falcon Guides
  • Hiking Utah’s High Uintas: A Guide to the Region’s Greatest Hikes, Second Edition, by Brett Prettyman,  2015, Falcon Guides
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, 2nd Edition: Salt Lake City: Including Ogden, Provo and the Uintas, by Greg Witt, 2012, Menasha Ridge Press 
  • 100 Classic Hikes: Utah: National Parks and Monuments, National Wilderness and Recreation Areas, State Parks, Wasatch, by Julie Trevelyan, 2016, Mountaineers Books
  • 50 Best Short Hikes in Utah’s National Parks, 2nd Edition, Greg Witt, 2014, Wilderness Press
  • Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country, 90 Trails to the Wonder of Wilderness, by Kathy Copeland and Craig Copeland, 2018, Wilderness Press

 

Utah Hiking Associations/Clubs: – there are many clubs

 

Best Hiking Trails in Utah:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking guidebooks, official park websites, trail maps/apps, other websites, and tourist offices:

  • Angel’s Landing – Zion National Park
  • The Narrows – Zion National Park
  • Mount Timpanogos – Wasatch Mountains
  • Pfiefferhorn Trail – Wasatch Mountains
  • Mount Olympus – Mount Olympus Wilderness
  • Grandeur Peak – Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
  • Monte Cristo – Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
  • Fairyland Loop – Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Highline Trail – Uinta Mountains
  • Frary Peak – Antelope Island
  • Murphy Loop – Canyonlands National Park
  • Kings Peak – Ashley National Forest

Easy Hiking Trails in Utah:

  • The Wave – Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness
  • Salt Lake Overlook – Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

 

Utah Hiking Websites:

 

Utah Weather Website:

 

Utah Official Tourism Site:  

 

Utah Hiking Apps: 

 

Utah Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

Other Important Points

  • In canyon country, rain means possibility of flashfloods