Angels Landing, Zion National Park

One Incomparable Place: Hiking and Backpacking in Zion National Park

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   6 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Even in the Southwest, a region where the extraordinary becomes ordinary, Zion National Park stands out. Other places have natural arches, spires, and ancient cliff dwellings, but no place really matches Zion’s grandeur: cliffs up to 2,000 feet tall stretching for miles, the rock’s purity of white and deep burgundy, and patterns of striations rippling across a span of stone that dwarfs Man’s greatest buildings and monuments. Perhaps that’s why it was Utah’s first national park, designated in the same year, 1919, as Grand Canyon and Acadia.

Zion deserves the attention of every avid and casual hiker, backpacker, and parent wanting to raise a child with a love for America’s greatest natural heritage: our parks. And experiencing the breadth of opportunities Zion offers demands a serious commitment of time, with hikes ranging from short and easy to multi-day backpacking, including a classic north-south traverse of the entire park. Then there’s the technical canyoneering possibilities in Zion, which open up an entirely new world.

The photo gallery below spotlights images from the many hiking and backpacking trips I’ve taken in Zion.


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For more photos and tips on planning your trip here, see a menu of all of my stories about Zion National Park, including my feature stories about a family backpacking trip, a 50-mile dayhike across the park, and hiking Zion’s Subway, and this photo gallery from hiking in Zion’s Kolob Canyons.

See also all of my stories about national park adventures, hiking and backpacking in southern Utah, and family adventures at The Big Outside, and these stories:

The 10 Best Backpacking Trips in the Southwest
10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit
My 25 Most Scenic Days of Hiking Ever
Gear Review: The Best Gear Duffles


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6 Responses to One Incomparable Place: Hiking and Backpacking in Zion National Park

  1. Phil Stanton   |  February 17, 2017 at 11:41 am

    I overnighted on the East Rim Trail last year with my son. It was right before Memorial Day, so the main Canyon Road area was packed, but the trail was quiet and free of crowds. One of the best days ever. Your pictures remind me of it.

    • MichaelALanza   |  February 17, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      I’m sure you and your son will always remember that one, Phil.

  2. michaellanza   |  February 16, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks vacationcoffee, I’m glad you found my blog and I hope you subscribe. See the box in the left column or at the bottom of this page:

  3. michaellanza   |  February 16, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Leigh, I completely agree. I can’t get enough of Zion.

  4. vacationcoffee   |  February 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I just discovered your blog and I am so pumped to use it while researching family trips – we love hiking and exploring national parks! just started a teeny tiny blog myself. thank you for compiling your advice and stories and tips!!

  5. leigh423   |  February 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    There is just something magical about Zion! I’ve only had a few days there each time (as part of a larger trip) but would love to backpack there someday.

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Grand Canyon Hiker