What to expect

Utah has 2104 trails including medium, easy, difficult, and extra difficult trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Virgin River Walk and the one with the least climb is the Mount Peale Trail. The longest trail is Southwestern Horseshoe Trail at 2840 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 159 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Newspaper Rock a t 70 m. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include PC Hill Trail, Sevenmile Rim Loop Trail, Queens Garden Trail via Rim Trail, Yellow Fork and Yellow Fork West Loop Trail, and Portal Trail.

Guide to hiking in Utah

Be prepared for hiking in Utah with the HiiKER app

FAQs about hiking in Utah

What is the climate like for hiking in Utah?

Utah's climate is distinct across its varied landscapes, from desert regions to high mountains. Generally, the state experiences a semi-arid to desert climate, with significant seasonal variations. The summer (June to August) can be scorching in desert areas like Moab, demanding adequate sun protection and hydration for hikers.
In contrast, winter (December to February) brings snow, especially to mountainous regions, making certain trails inaccessible or suitable only for winter sports. Hiking in spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) is often the most comfortable, with milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
Overall, spring and fall are considered the best periods for hiking in Utah, particularly in popular spots like Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon. For comprehensive hiking information, the Utah State Government's tourism site provides useful resources. Link: https://www.visitutah.com/


Do I need a permit to hike in Utah?

Permits may be required for hiking in certain areas of Utah, especially for overnight stays or hiking in national parks like Zion. These can be obtained from individual park services or the Bureau of Land Management. Applying ahead of time is recommended. For more information, https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/passes-and-permits/lotteries-and-permit-systems/utah


Is wild camping allowed in Utah?

Wild camping or "dispersed camping" is generally permitted on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and National Forests in Utah. However, campers must follow "Leave No Trace" principles and specific area regulations. For comprehensive information on wild camping, the BLM Utah website is a valuable resource. Link: https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/camping


Are there mountain rescue services in Utah?

In Utah, mountain rescue services are provided by county sheriff's offices and volunteer search and rescue teams. In case of emergencies, hikers should dial 911. The Utah Search and Rescue (USARA) provides additional resources and safety information for outdoor enthusiasts. Link: https://secure.utah.gov/rescue/


Are there dangerous plants in Utah?

Hikers in Utah can encounter diverse flora from desert cacti and juniper in southern regions to coniferous forests in the higher mountain ranges. Each presents unique beauty and challenges, with some areas prone to wildfires. The Utah Native Plant Society offers extensive information on the state's flora. Link: https://www.unps.org/


What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Utah?

While hiking in Utah, you might encounter wildlife ranging from smaller creatures like lizards and insects to larger animals like elk, mule deer, or even cougars in mountainous regions. Proper precautions should be taken to avoid unwanted encounters. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources offers detailed information. https://a-z-animals.com/animals/location/north-america/united-states/utah/