A Zion Hiking Guide For Wimps
I am a self-proclaimed wimp. I love a good hike as much as the next person and I enjoy getting out in nature, but I am not the girl who runs up the trail looking perfectly put together (I am more like that person who is red-faced and huffing and puffing their way to the top). So when it came time to head to Zion National Park, I didn't want to miss out on all of the incredible beauty the park has to offer but I also knew I couldn't make it to the top of Angel's Landing. So if you're a wimp like me, here are your best bets for hikes that are worth the effort.
I will start by saying that this ISN'T an easy hike, but the hike is well worth the effort and can be taken as slowly as you need to get there. While hiking in a river is definitely challenging, the water keeps you cool and the high canyon walls provide plenty of shade meaning you can start hiking pretty late in the day (I still recommend starting by 10 or 11 or it will be chilly coming back). While kids will have a tough time making it to the end, if you take it easy even the most novice hiker can make it to the famous "Wall Street" portion.
This trail is amazing and totally worth it. We woke up early and made the hike before sunrise so we could watch the light come across the tops of the mountains. Making it up there early meant that we had the whole landing to ourselves and that it was nice on cool for the whole hike. It was only about 30 minutes each way but going up is a lot of stairs and can be tiring.
I had some mixed feelings on this hike. There are 3 sets of pools: the lower, middle, and upper pools. The lower pools are nice but mainly for the views of the waterfalls. From the lower pools, you can take a short hike up to the middle pools. These are my personal favorite because they give you a great view of the mountains, you can stand at the top of all the waterfalls, and they are relatively uncrowded. The upper pools are a steep uphill climb in full sun and it was rough for me. Ultimately I felt like the trek to the upper pools wasn't worth the extra effort.
Most people start the Emerald Pools trail from stop #5 and return back the same way. We opted to branch off at the middle pools and take the Kayenta trail to stop #6. The route that I would recommend it starting from stop 6 and hiking the Kayenta trail to the middle pools. From there, continue on to the lower Emerald Pools and head out on the paved (and shady) Emerald Pools trail to stop #5 where you can catch the shuttle.
What are your favorite hikes in Zion?