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. 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 milesElevation gain: 330 feetDifficulty: ModerateCanyonlands National Park: Neck Spring TrailThis 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 feetDifficulty: ModerateZion National Park: Scout LookoutThere 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 milesElevation gain:, 1,093 feetDifficulty: Moderate/difficult
Bryce Canyon National Park: Hat Shop
This hike gives you great views of the national park on the way to the odd-looking balanced rocks take their name from the spires of red rock with wide, white tops.Round trip: 3.7 miles Elevation gain: 407 feetDifficulty: ModerateArches National Park: Fiery FurnaceThis hike requires permits. There are no designated trails and your GPS will not work inside the slot canyons. But the Fiery Furnace has a plethora of red rock fins, towers, spires and even a few arches. And Fiery Furnace is great for exploring in narrow canyons and up and down boulders and rock walls.