Backpacking opportunities abound in Southern Utah. Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the vast Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument dish up an abundance of backcountry trails.
Backpacking in Zion's Kolob - Favorites include Kolob Arch, a trail to one of the longest freestanding arches in the world and hiking the Right Fork of North Creek to photogenic Double Falls. Zion's main backpacking trails are the very top, if not the best trails in the entire state. Chinle, Scoggins and Coalpits Trails, on the far southern section of Zion, are good winter backpacks.
One of the most spectacular backpacks anywhere is the two day route through the Zion Narrows. Also high on the list of incredible backpacking trips is Zion's East Rim. At the top of the East Rim, spurs to Deertrap Mountain and Cable Mountain spice up the trip with impressive viewpoints. Zion's West Rim includes magnificent Angels Landing. Few trails anywhere can compare with the thrill of walking along a narrow fin of sandstone, eye level with some of the world’s tallest monoliths.
Directions to Zion National Park
From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's.
Bo Beck exploring Zion National Park. Here Bo is seen along the West Rim Trail in Zion, stopping for a moment to take in the beauty of Angels Landing.
Lodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.
North Rim Grand Canyon Backpacking -
The Ken Patrick Trail is a 10 mile hike that does not go below the rim. This trail runs through the forest along the rim from Point Imperial and can be combined with the Uncle Jim Trail for a nice backpack. The North Kaibab Trail is a 14.2 mile, one way, strenuous hike. This is the only maintained North Rim trail leading to the Colorado River. Camping at Cottonwood Campground, then visiting Ribbon Falls the next day, is an enjoyable backpack. The Rim-to-Rim Trail, down the North Kaibab Trail to the river and up Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim is a popular destination backpack. Some of the more remote backpacks include Thunder River and South Canyon.
Tuweep - (Toroweap Point) The drive to Tuweep and camping at the rim is remote and divine. Lava Falls is usually a one day adventure, but only for the most advanced hikers. There are a couple of easy strolls that do not drop into the canyon at Toroweap Point.
Bryce Canyon Backpacking - The 23 mile round-trip, Under the Rim Trail, in Bryce Canyon is a moderately strenuous and remote backpack. The backpack begins at Bryce Point and goes through the forested areas, below the rim, to Rainbow Point.
Cedar Breaks Backpacking Rattlesnake Creek Trail - The Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area includes a 10 mile, 6 hour day hike, but with so much to see and explore the hike is often stretched out to a 2 or 3 day backpack exploring the vast area below the rim of Cedar Breaks. The hike is one way and a car shuttle is required.
GSENM Backpacking- The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is not lacking in backpacking adventures. Bull Valley Gorge is a long hike through a deep gorge. Combine this slot canyon with Sheep Creek and Willis Creek and it becomes a magnificent two day adventure.The trailhead is found along the Skutumpah Road.