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Utah’s five national parksArches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zionhold some of the most awe-inspiring geology on the planet. Each park offers visitors the dramatic scenery that invites exploration and discovery.
In 50 Best Short Hikes in Utah’s National Parks, veteran hiking guide Greg Witt shares the best routes in each park, hikes that are both must see” and accessible. Park visitors who are short on time will find this book to be the ideal traveling companion, quickly helping readers identify the hikes and sights, making the best use of their time and provide maximum enjoyment.
Each hike in the book includes distances, highlights, area maps, and easy-to-follow trailhead directions to make hike selection fast and efficient. Once on the trail, the detailed maps, route description, and interpretive details insure that hikers get the most out of their trip.
Even avid hikers and experienced desert explorers will find new insights and discoveries as Witt’s interesting and approachable style details the geologic forces that created this landscape. He brings to life the human historyprehistoric cliff-dwellers, native tribes, ranchers, farmers, loggers, miners, and outlawsthat adds to the color of the Colorado Plateau where these five parks are set.
Greg Witt has lived the adventures he writes about and shares with audiences around the world. His journeys have taken him to every corner of the globe. He has guided mountaineering expeditions in the Alps and Andes and paddled wild rivers in the Americas. He has dropped teams of adventurers into golden slot canyons, trudged through deep jungles in Africa, Central America, and Asia, and guided archeological expeditions across the parched Arabian Peninsula. His passion for adventure has always focused on sharing his experience with others
Greg is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer of Alpenwild, the leading operator of hiking and trekking tours in the Swiss Alps. Some weeks, Greg hikes more miles than he drives, which means he wears out his boots faster than he wears out his tires. He has crossed the Grand Canyon on foot many times, climbed Colorado’s three highest peaks in three days, and in a recent summer in the Alps he hiked over 700 miles and gained nearly 100,000 vertical feet of elevationthe equivalent of climbing Everest 9 times.
Now he leads readers on the most breathtaking hikes and exciting outdoor adventures on the globe. He comes ready to discuss the geology, history, archaeology, weather patterns, culture, flora, and fauna of the exciting locales he loves. Other titles include 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City and Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travel. He is the US Editor of Off the Tourist Trail: 1000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives (DK Eyewitness Travel) and a contributing editor of Make the Most of Your Time on Earth, A Rough Guide to the World. He lives in Provo, UT.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS Dedication Acknowledgments The Very Best Short Hikes Introduction Using This Book About the Author Map Legend ARCHES NATIONAL PARK Arches National Park Regional Overview Hikes 1-9 1. Park Avenue Sidebar: Biological Soil Crusts 2. Balanced Rock 3. Windows Loop 4. Double Arch Trail Sidebar: How Do Arches Form? 5. Delicate Arch & Delicate Arch Viewpoint Spur 6. Sand Dune Arch & Broken Arch Sidebar: Fallen Arches 7. Devil's Garden Arches: Pine Tree, Tunnel, Landscape, Partition, Navajo, and Double O Sidebar: What Qualifies as an Arch? 8. Tower Arch Trail Sidebar: Where Are the Leaves on Mormon Tea? 9. Fiery Furnace BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK Bryce Canyon National Park Regional Overview Hikes 10-17 10. Queens Garden & Navaho Loop Sidebar: How long does a hoodoo last? 11. Bristlecone Loop Sidebar: Ebenezer Bryce 12. Sunrise to Sunset Rim Trail Sidebar: What Makes Those Colors? 13. Hat Shop Sidebar: What Is a Hoodoo? 14. Peekaboo Loop Rim Trail Sidebar: What Is the Grand Staircase? 15. Fairyland Loop Sidebar: Pinon Pine 16. Tower Bridge Sidebar: Is it an Arch or a Bridge? 17. Water Canyon & Mossy Cave Sidebar: The Tropic ditch CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK Canyonlands National Park Regional Overview Hikes 18-30 18. Horseshoe Canyon Sidebar: Petroglyphs 19. Mesa Arch Loop Sidebar: John Wesley Powell 20. Neck Spring Loop Trail Sidebar: Dead Horse Point 21. Murphy Point Trail 22. White Rim Overlook Trail Sidebar: Juniper 23. Grand View Trail 24. Aztec Butte Trail 25. Whale Rock Trail 26. Crater View Trail 27. Upheaval Dome Overlook Sidebar: The Confluence 28. Syncline Loop Trail 29. Slickrock Trail 30. Elephant Hill to Chesler Park CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK Capitol Reef National Park Regional Overview Hikes 31-40 31. Hickman Bridge Sidebar: Cottonwood Trees 32. Cohab Canyon Sidebar: Desert Varnish 33. Golden Throne Trail Sidebar: Bats 34. Chimney Rock Loop Trail Sidebar: How the Black Boulders Got Here 35. Fremont Gorge Viewpoint Trail Sidebar: John C. Fremont 36. Grand Wash 37. Capitol Gorge Trailhead to the Tanks Sidebar: Life in the Potholes 38. Rim Overlook at Navajo Knobs Trail Sidebar: What Is a Monocline? 39. Upper Muley Twist Canyon 40. Sulphur Creek Sidebar: Why Is it Called Capitol Reef? ZION NATIONAL PARK Zion National Park Regional Overview Hikes 41-50 41. Angles Landing Sidebar: Building Walter's Wiggles 42. Riverside Walk Sidebar: Flooding in the Virgin River 43. Weeping Rock & Observation Point Sidebar: Seeps in Sandstone 44. Hidden Canyon Trail 45. Emerald Pools Trail 46. Canyon Overlook Trail 47. Sand Bench Trail 48. Watchman Trail Sidebar: Leaving the Car Behind 49. Pa'rus Trail 50. Cable Mountain Trail Sidebar: Cable Mountain Draw Works Bonus: Taylor Creek Trail INDEX