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(Tribune File Photo) Hikers are dwarfed by the tall red spires as they descend the the Wall Street section on the Navajo Loop Trail, the most popular trail in Bryce National Park. Admisison is free to all national parks on Veterans Day weekend.
10 great national parks hikes in Utah

First Published Aug 09 2012 09:58 am • Last Updated Aug 10 2012 09:45 am

August is a big month for national parks. For a lot of people, it’s the last chance to take a vacation or spend time with the kids before school resumes.

That can mean crowds. But here are some national park trails in Utah that get relatively few hikers, even on summer weekends, and still offer great scenery and a dose of solitude.

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Arches National Park: Devils Garden

The trail takes you near five arches. It’s distance scares away a lot of park visitors, but school-aged children and fit adults should not have a problem as long as everyone packs enough water.

Round trip: 5.5 miles

Elevation gain: 330 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Canyonlands National Park: Neck Spring Trail

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This loop hike in the Island in the Sky District has good views of the park and the valleys below. There’s a little bit of shade. My family and I hiked this on Memorial Day weekend and we saw only two other hikers.

Round trip: 6 miles.

Elevation gain: 364 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Zion National Park: Scout Lookout

There are great views of the valley and, if you dare to continue, support chains to grab if you wish to ascend the thin cliff to Angel’s Landing.

Round trip: 3.6 miles

Elevation gain:, 1,093 feet

Difficulty: Moderate/difficult

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