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The 5 Best Backpacking and Hiking Trips in Utah

Here's what you need to know...
  • Traveling and hiking Utah is a great experience
  • Make sure you plan accordingly for every contingency
  • Having comprehensive insurance and other options will ensure you that you’re covered in any situation

Have you ever thought about visiting Utah for your next vacation? If you are an avid backpacking or hiking enthusiast, Utah is the place to be! With numerous vistas, trails, and venues to travel and see the world from, you’re in good company for nature walks, camping out, and much more.

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Utah’s Background and History


One of the most fascinating things about Utah is its history. Of particular interest is the way that Utah got its shape. Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and is predominantly Mormon in population.

They started in New York but moved West where they could practice their belief. During this time, Mexico lost the war to America, giving the United States the territory that helped form Utah, which was split into several different sections during its process of obtaining statehood.

Backpacking Checklist


If you plan to backpack, you should make a checklist that will cover all of the things you will need on your journey. Below are some important items to remember when packing for a backpacking trip in Utah.

  • Navigation – Make sure you take your GPS, a regular compass (in case your GPS doesn’t work), and physical maps. You don’t want to lose your way and need backup maps in case the technology or battery goes down.
  • Sun Protection – Utah sun can be strong and there are places that are very hot, depending on the time of year. Protect yourself with sunscreen, sunglasses, and cool clothing.
  • Insulation – If you go to Utah during the winter, the ski areas can be cold. Prepare adequately with extra clothing, gloves, hats, and ski gear that will keep you warm during the cold spells.
  • Illumination – Carry an extra flashlight with batteries to be prepared in case you have to maneuver in the dark.
  • First-aid supplies – You never know when you might run into a situation where you need First Aid.
  • Nutrition – Hiking and backpacking can take a lot out of you. Make sure to take lots of snacks to replenish your energy along the way.
  • Hydration – Water is essential when hiking and backpacking. Take plenty of extra water to be safe.
  • Tents – If you plan to camp or if you plan to hike for long distances, be sure to take emergency shelter such as tents if you encounter a storm or cold conditions.

Utah’s 5 Best Backpacking and Hiking Spots


Utah has several areas that are filled with natural wildlife, flowers and trees, and even deserts and mountains that will delight and amaze visitors.

Whether you like the tallest peaks or the lowest valleys, Utah seems to offer a wide array of different opportunities to see the sights while getting up close with nature.

Utah has several great hiking and backpacking spots to choose from. There is something for everyone, from the novice to the experienced hiking expert. Take a look at these top five hiking spots and see which one suits you.

#1 – The Subway

The Subway is a rugged track of nine miles through the Left Fork of North Creek.

It is challenging because it involves having to locate routes to make sure you’re on the right path, as well as crossing creeks and bodies of water, and even going over large boulders. It begins at the Left Fork Trailhead on the Kolob Terrace Road.

More daring travelers who like to mix a little mountaineering with their trip can choose to test their rappelling skills from the top down. You should take an experienced hiker with you due to the strenuous level and difficulty of this track. It is for day use only.

#2 – Angels Landing

Angels Landing is one of the world’s most famous hikes right in the heart of Utah.

It is a short hike, but you will be climbing some treacherous areas as you journey to the top. It’s not called Angels Landing for nothing. It is located in Zion’s Canyon and the Scout Lookout is at the top of the main cliff. It’s well worth the view unless you have a fear of heights.

#3 – Devil’s Garden

Devil’s Garden is an easy hike at the beginning but gets gradually more challenging as you proceed. It is on a primitive trail that involves some slick rock and steep drop-offs so travel with care.

Park Rangers warn travelers not to hike this route when wet. You’ll need a good map as route-finding is involved. It can also get hot so bring plenty of water along.

It’s a definite experience that you’ll want to try if you are brave enough.

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#4 – Buckskin Gulch

Buckskin Gulch is one of the most dangerous hiking trails because of the razor-thin mountain rock that forms the cliffs. There is a danger of flash flooding due to its proximity to the creeks and rivers, and flooding can trap a hiker with no way to escape. It features the longest slot canyon in the Southwest.

This is a fascinating but eerie trip with 400 foot deep corridors and narrow ten-foot openings. Be aware of weather at all times and find an escape route if heavy rain starts.

#5 – Mount Timpanogos

Mount Timpanogos is the highest mountain in the Wasatch Range and features a view that looks over the Provo, Orem, and Pleasant Grove, Utah areas. It is 7,000 feet in height in most places with a pinnacle of 11,000 feet.

Mountaineers and hikers alike enjoy climbing to its pinnacle and gazing over the towns below. The only real glacier in Utah is found on this route. The glacier is one of the highlights for many of those who summit the mountain, using it as a quick descent route.

Driving to Your Hiking Destinations


When hiking to the trail starting point, in most cases you can drive your car to the trailhead, but after that, you’ll have to walk.

Since that’s the case, you need to think about making sure you have insurance that is updated to include comprehensive and other forms of protection in case you have a theft or other accident occur while you are on the hike.

You also never know when an animal could bother your car and damage it. You may encounter wildlife on your journey who may find your car an interesting discovery.

If you drive to a trailhead that is not a loop, you’ll need to consider how you plan to get back to your car. If it’s not too much of an added hike, you can certainly walk.

Otherwise, you may need someone to either pick you up or drive your car to your destination spot. If so, be sure to check with your insurance company before allowing anyone not named on your policy to drive your vehicle.

The Right Coverage

Making sure you have the right coverage if you will be leaving your car while you hike is critical

– Comprehensive

With comprehensive insurance coverage, you won’t have to worry about theft, vandalism, or animal break-ins. Even if a bear decides he’d like to sit on top of your hood and try it out while you’re gone, you’re covered.

– Uninsured / Underinsured

Another possible problem might occur if someone dents your car then leaves the scene.

This is where your uninsured or underinsured insurance comes in handy. It will cover damages that others don’t or can’t pay.

– Collision

While a collision is unlikely during your hike, you never know when another driver might hit your car and then drive off without leaving any form of contact. In this scenario, having collision coverage could be quite helpful in covering the costs to repair the damages.

Shop and Compare Insurance Options


To make sure you have the right coverage to handle these situations, shop and compare to find the best rates and options for your insurance.

Having comprehensive insurance and making sure you have insurance that allows a friend to drive your car will ensure that you can be confident of your policy and that it will protect you in any situation.

Have fun on your trip, be careful, and remember insurance is the umbrella you must carry with you but hope you never have to use.

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