Intermediate Hikes at Zion National Park
The summer months bring countless hikers from all over the world to Zions National Park. The red rock, unique topography, and beautiful scenery attract hikers of all levels of expertise. Following a recent post on beginner-level hikes at Zions, this article will highlight two intermediate hikes worth checking out while visiting Utah’s most revered national park.
If you only have an hour or two…
Check out the Emerald Pools Hike. This hike is divided into three lengths (lower, middle, and upper), each of which extends approximately 1 mile and ends in a pool. The trail meanders, winding through some of Zion’s most beautiful scenes and much of the trail is shaded by cottonwood trees, increasing in difficulty as it proceeds. The lower, middle, and upper Emerald Pools can be accessed from the same point, taking hikers through the stunning “canyon sanctuary” and riparian habitat. Hikers are not allowed to swim, though the cooler surroundings offer repose from the southern Utah heat. Take the family, this trail is not impossible for younger kids and the views are well worth it.
If you want to make a day of it…
Consider the most popular hike in the Kolob canyon area, the Taylor Creek Middle Fork hike. This hike begins just 2.12 miles on I-15 beyond the Kolob Canyon Visitor’s Center. The hike itself is 5.2 miles roundtrip, gaining 500 feet of elevation. though moderately difficult, the trail is well worth the effort. It takes hikers up through red rock scenery dotted by greenery. Hikers are rewarded for completing the hike at the Double Arch Alcove – the trail’s most renown feature. Though not actually an arch, the alcove brings hikers into the mountain where water has cut away at the rock. Visitors are surrounded by rock on almost all sides – sandstone stained with algae from water seeping through the ceiling. The experience is exquisite.
Hikers of all levels of expertise are welcome at Zion’s National Park. These two hikes are fabulous options for beginners desiring a bit of a challenge and wanting to escape the summer heat.
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