Backpacking Utah’s Mighty 5

Utah is aptly called the outdoor Mecca for adventurers from around the world who anticipate thrilling skiing in the north and trekking deep red rock canyons in the south. There is something for everyone. Backpackers must visit each of the Mighty 5 Utah’s National Parks as it is within its borders. It is a challenge to complete the Mighty 5, starting from Zion National Park and ending at Canyonlands while spending a few days at each park.

Delicate Arch

1. Zion National Park –From Las Vegas, Zion National Park towers high above the desert around it.  Hikers will experience most technical and challenging canyoneering they will ever face. For newbie hikers, start with a trip to Emerald Pools or Weeping Rock to get a glimpse of what Zion National Hiking those trails serve as foundation for the type of outdoor activities you will enjoy for a lifetime. Many hikers spent the time backpacking and canyoneering through some of Zion’s most remote deep slot canyons.

2. Bryce Canyon – After a taste of Zion, drive towards Bryce and while passing through Red Canyon and get a sneak peek of the red hoodoos shooting out of the ground to unprecedented heights. Reaching Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, you trek down the 1.3 mile Navajo Loop Trail that passes through the magical hoodoos. Spend the night under the star and be sure you have warm clothes in your pack because night camping is cold.

3. Capitol Reef – Capitol Reef National Park teems with red rocks, high cliffs, and natural bridges. Cohab Canyon, 1, 75 miles long, is one of the best hikes in Capitol Reef. A few hours away are your last two National Parks to cap your visit in Utah: Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

4. Canyonlands is Utah’s largest National Park and is the locale of three districts each producing different kinds landscapes. Spend time near Island in the Sky and soaring high above the desert; see stunning views below of Colorado and Green Rivers. You will also enjoy spending more time at the Maze District exploring its different flavors.

5. Arches – The last stop on Utah’s Mighty 5 is Arches National Park. This place has more arches, hoodoos and towers that you can hardly count. Arches National Park is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. You can start hiking to Delicate Arch and see the most famous arch in the world. For a different flavor, head towards Landscape, Double Arch, or apply for permit to hike towards Fiery Furnace.

Backpacker could easily spend a week in each National Park but they realized that they have not even scratched the surface of what this great National Park has to offer. It would be another wonderful trek next year.

Photo Credit: brian washburn on flickr

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