Pick A Hike
So we recently wrote a post about Labor Day 2023, with some helpful tips on how to choose which national park you should visit for this upcoming Labor Day Weekend. Now we thought we’d give you a list of our number one, very best, top day-hikes for each of the parks – Labor Day-Hikes if you will.
Arches National Park
So you’re heading to Arches. Excellent choice. You might think we’d recommend Delicate Arch as our top day hike in the park. And while you should probably check it out (it’s very famous after all) but we actually like to suggest Sand Dune and Broken Arches.
Sand Dune and Broken Arch | Easy | 2-miles Roundtrip – Sand Dune Arch is hidden away in a little canyon. It’s a fun, easy hike which is perfect for families with children. It’s also small enough for kids (and adults) to walk underneath, reach up and touch the underside. (Please don’t climb onto the arch.) And it’s within walking distance to another cool arch: Broken Arch. Just walk across a beautiful, flat meadow, listening to the meadow larks, and you’ll find yourself at Broken Arch. This trail has the added benefit of not being super popular, so you can enjoy nature in relative solitude. Check out this official page on the NPS website for more details.
Bryce Canyon National Park
A whole park full of hoodoos, so there’s lots to explore here in Bryce Canyon! We think it’s worth hiking down into the amphitheater to see the hoodoos up close. So we like to recommend Peek-a-boo Loop.
Peek-a-boo Loop | Strenuous | 5-miles One Way – This trail loops right through the middle of the park. So you’ll get to see a bunch of the good stuff, like the famous Wall of Windows, and your fill of hoodoos. This is a very popular trail for horseback riding, so if you’re interested, you can book an excursion with a equestrian tour company and see Peek-a-boo on horseback. Either way, you’ll get a great taste of Bryce Canyon all in one trail. More info about the trail is available here.
Canyonlands National Park
This is the most remote, the wildest, and the least trafficked national park in Utah. It’s also some of the most rugged land you will likely encounter. So get ready for a great weekend of exploring the great unknown! And start with the White Rim Overlook Trail!
White Rim Overlook Trail | Easy | 1.8-miles Roundtrip – This is one of the best reveals in Southern Utah. You walk through a flat mesa of scrub and pinyon pines, and then, suddenly, the world falls away at your feet and you can see into the expanse of canyons and monoliths far below you. There are 300-degree views of the best of Canyonlands from the White Rim Overlook. Honestly, it’s not to be missed. Here is a little more information from the park’s website.
Capitol Reef National Park
Hey! That’s our backyard! Maybe we’ll see you while you’re here! Ok we’ve written about almost every trail in the park, and there are so many great ones. But for our top day hike in Capitol Reef we have to go with Cohab Canyon.
Cohab Canyon | Moderately Easy | 1.75-miles One Way – This is a neat little canyon that connects the two main roads in the Fruita section of the park. There are a couple of mini slot canyons that offshoot from Cohab, which you can poke around in. The big payoff comes when you reach the end of the canyon and see the fantastic red rock cliffs that frame the orchards of Capitol Reef. Park a vehicle at both ends of the trail, if you want to skip the walk back the way you came. You can get more details on Cohab Canyon here.
Zion National Park
The most popular park in Southern Utah, you’ll be in good company. There are some truly iconic trails in Zion (like the oft Instagrammed Angel’s Landing) but for us, the best day hike in Zion is the Canyon Overlook Trail.
Canyon Overlook Trail | Moderate | 1-mile Roundtrip – The hardest part about this hike is finding a spot in the very small parking lot at the trailhead. So you may have to try a couple of times. But once you do get on the trail, you’ll quickly realize why we love it! You’ll get fantastic views of Zion Canyon – views that rival Angel’s Landing – from a much shorter, easier, and less crowded trail. Here’s the link to the trail page on Zion’s website for more details.