Hiking in Zion National Park can be a very awe inspiring experience. Since it is such a popular National Park it can also seem a little bit crowded and totally different from what you are expecting. Here are a few general tips to make the most of your experience.

Be prepared. While it seems like a very populated area you'll still be dealing with Mother Nature. Of course you'll need hiking boots, sunscreen, and possibly metal poles. You can also bring along food and snacks. You may want to carry necessary emergency supplies depending on how far from the road you are going.

Pay attention to the weather. Some of the trails will be marked as icy. Still others will be closed entirely depending on the height of river. Flash flood warnings aren't something that you want to fool around with even if it does seem like you are in the desert. Other considerations are height stroke with the temperatures reaching well into the 100s in the spring and summer. Make sure that you bring plenty of water with you. There are also refill stations at the Visitors Center and Zion Lodge.

Be careful. Of course this is something that you always want to pay attention to but when you are having lots of fun or just being amazed by sheer red cliffs it's easy to forget. Be aware of your footing. On some of the hikes such as Angel's Landing there are chains bolted to the rock to hold on to and they are there for a reason. Some of these trails can be deadly and they may not be the perfect situation to overcome your fear of height. Make sure that you don't' roll rocks on any of the hikers that are on other switchbacks.

Protect Mother Nature. This really depends on your own personal belief system but there are some rules for this in the park. There's a fine imposed for feeding the animals. Not only is the bad for the squirrels and deer that populate the area, it can also be bad for you. There are pictures on the shuttle buses of injuries that humans have got by feeding the so called friendly woodland creatures.

Stay on the trail. Sure things can be crowded. However, there are lots of signs warning about vegetation areas. Sure, you might not think that your hiking boots will really damage the ecosystem, but imagine all of the visitors trampling over the same area. This is also for your safety as well and it keeps you from getting lost.

Overall hiking Zion can be the experience of a lifetime. It's just important to remember common sense safety as well as remember that the rules are there for a reason, both to keep you safe and preserve Mother Nature.

Be respectful. There are a few general rules to the park and one of them is don't feed the animals.