Zion is an underrated and not so well known National Park* just a few hours drive from Las Vegas airport. It’s a small canyon with some really unique hiking opportunities. No cars are allowed into the canyon part of the park, so you must use the National Park bus. It runs regularly and each stop is clearly labelled and announced. The lack of cars only adds to the park’s charm.
*When compared to the likes of Yellowstone and Yosemite
A must-do hike is ‘Angel’s Landing’. The beginning of the trail brings you up the side of the canyon. You pass through a narrow valley between 2 cliffs and reach ‘Walters Wiggles’, a set of 21 switchbacks which will test anyone’s stamina. Once at the top of the switch backs, the fun really begins. The last half a mile to the end of the trail involves scrambling across a narrow ridge where cables are securely fitted to the rock. You must use these to help yourself up. On either side of the ridge is a cliff drop. The view at the end is staggering as the ridge butts out into the canyon giving an almost 360 degree view.
Another hike well worth considering is, ‘The Narrows’. The bus only goes so far up the canyon before the canyon is just a river bed. It is at this point that you can begin walking up the river, the route known as The Narrows. There are many rental shops just on the edge of the park entrance which will allow you to take a pair of water shoes, wet-suit style socks and a sturdy walking stick up the river with you. I’d highly recommend all three as walking up the river, I lost count of the amount of stumbles I made on the boulders hidden within the water. The further you hike, the narrower the canyon becomes. Just be sure to check the weather as it’s a hike to avoid when there’s a flash flood potential.