Why Utah May Offer A More Unique Array of Hiking Choices Than Any Other State In the US

For individuals like myself who enjoy hiking in Utah... despite the claims from some rural Utahns... it quickly becomes apparent that the Utah wilderness isn't only for the rich, the elite, or the young. No, far from it.

Get out on one of Utah's countless hiking trails and you'll soon see people of all ages, sizes, shapes, and ethnic backgrounds. What a fantastic low-cost way to enjoy Utah's stunning scenery.

If you are able to walk, you can enjoy hiking in Utah. And backpacking. And even if you can't, there are adventures for you to enjoy also. You don't have to be in great shape. And you don't need a lot of equipment.

Sure, if you want to spend money, you can drop hundreds... even thousands... of dollars. Expensive shoes. State-of-the-art backpacks. And all the latest gadgets sold at REI can all add up.

But what do you really need? You can get by with a good, comfortable pair of walking or hiking shoes. And little else. I still use a 5'6" walking stick I made when I was a young boy in Canada many years ago.

If you go on overnight trips, of course the investment is higher. Motels, food and gas can add up. And the initial outlay for some good equipment. But think about it. After those expenses, what's left?

You can use that same equipment over and over, year after year. And the best part? You get to enjoy millions of acres of unbelievable, roadless country with little or no outlay.

By today's standards, hiking in Utah is as close to free as you can get. Have you taken a vacation to Disneyland or Disney World lately? Wow! That will drain your wallet.

But even better. Think of the freedom. The lack of stress and regulation...being told what to do... so prevalent in our society. No TSA. No body scans. No groin and breast groping uniformed Gestapo to deal with.

When I'm on a trail, none of that exists. It all gets left behind. No TV, no internet, no smart phone. Well, I do carry a camera.

Of course, when I say you have to be minimally fit to hike, I have to qualify that statement. I am fully aware of the physical condition of the average person in our country. And other countries.

Minimal fitness doesn't mean what it used to. But there really are hikes available for people of almost all physical capabilities. Of course, the better condition you're in, the more you'll enjoy it.

Utah hiking offers unparalleled opportunities to escape. To look up and see a bald eagle soaring majestically overhead while grasping for something to hold onto to keep your balance.

To hear a bugling bull elk in the middle of a stand of golden quakies in the fall. To see a monster mule deer buck look at you like it's never seen a human being - that's happened to me. To come face to face with a bull moose standing right in the middle of your trail. And not moving.

To hear... and feel... the wind howl over the Colorado Plateau like a freight train. To throw a line into a high-country trout stream and pull out a trout that wasn't planted. Maybe see a mountain sheep walking up the trail towards you on an island in the middle of a salt lake. I've seen that too.

How about standing on top of the highest peak on that island and having a 360 degree view of... what seems like... all of northern Utah.

You can enjoy all this and more by hiking in Utah.

Hiking in Utah can be grouped into three main levels of difficulty: beginners, families, and experienced backpackers. You can drive to... or real close to... the trailhead of most of the hikes you'll read about on this site.

Utah offers a unique mix of hiking terrain. From high-altitude alpine hikes in various mountain ranges throughout the state. To desert and canyon country hiking. A truly diverse mix.

Choose from hikes in:

  • the Wasatch Mountains
  • the Uinta Mountains
  • the Great Basin
  • canyon country
  • national parks
  • state parks
  • Antelope Island
  • the Book Cliffs
  • many other places throughout the state.