Always on the short list of best national parks, Zion has no shortage of “wow!” views. It’s also easily accessed from Las Vegas, and that combination unfortunately leads to crowds.

The famous Angel’s Landing trail is a bad place to discover your fear of heights. The final ascent is a narrow strip with a looming abyss and no guard rail. (Some places have chains you can hold, but not all.) Traffic goes in both directions, adding another complication. Crowded and gorgeous.

Near the top of Angel’s Landing. Yes, that’s really the trail.

A less frenetic option is the Observation Point Trail, which ends considerably higher and looks down on Angel’s Landing. This long hike features slot canyons (mostly looking down on them), multiple climate zones and a spectacular final payoff. This is a long hike, relentlessly uphill.

Slot canyon on the way to Observation Point
Angel’s Landing, as seen from Observation Point

Zion’s other signature hike is The Narrows, which is in the river between narrow canyon walls. It was closed when we were there because the water was running too strongly. Maybe next time.