Five Must-Visit Spring Hiking Destinations in The Western US
For the avid hiker, spring-time means it’s time to get outside and hit the trails! With the snow melting, milder temperatures and alpine flowers, it’s the ideal time to explore the wilderness in the western United States. So, to help you plan your first of the seasons adventures, here are five must-visit spring hiking destinations in the western US.
1. Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park
For a hike that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, Angel’s Landing is it! Starting at the Virgin River, the intense red Zion rock contrasts starkly with the bright blue sky as you weave your way up Walter’s Wiggles, a set of 21 steep stonework switchbacks. Then, you’ll head out on a thin, rock saddle with a 1,000ft drop on either side, using carved-out foot holes and an extensive set of chains to reach Angel’s Landing. At the end, you’ll find a wide flat, rock platform that’s a perfect pit stop to admire the stunning 360° view of the Virgin River snaking its way through the Zion Canyon.
Pro tip: For some shade, start this hike early!
Difficulty: Intermediate, Advanced
Pros: Incredible views, well-marked, fun trail, plenty of places to take breaks, restrooms halfway
Cons: Can be crowded, strenuous climb, dangerous drop-offs, hot and exposed
Total Distance & Duration: 5.4-mile round trip, 4 hours
Ideal Time of Year to Hike: Spring, Summer, Fall
Trail Uses: Hiking
Recommended Gear: CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Hydration Day Pack, Brooks PureGrit lightweight Trail Running Shoes with trail running shoes with rock plates and good grip, Columbia OMNI-Shade UPF 40 sun protection, long roll-up sleeve shirt
Elevation (at trailhead): 4,300ft
Costs: $12 per person for 7 day pass
Directions to trailhead: Park at the Zion Canyon Visitors Center or in Springdale to take the free shuttle to the Grotto from which the trailhead is clearly marked.