Unsure of which state to cross off your bucket list next? Go over this list of the most beautiful places to see in Utah! Known for its incredible state parks and impressive landscapes, there’s no wonder why Utah is considered to be one of the nation’s greatest outdoor state.
Utah derives its name from the Native American Tribe called Ute which mean “people of the mountains”. The best way to go around Utah is by the road. If you’re looking for a culture-filled trip, head to Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, for outdoor adventures, go over at Moab and St. George.
One thing’s for sure– you’re in for an unbelievable time in this magnificent state.
1. Zion National Park
Located less than three hour drive from Vegas, this national park is one of the most visited places in the state. The Zion National Park features magnificent water falls, rock cliffs, and vistas which are a such a delight in the eyes.
Along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive lies a number of the park’s most stunning sites. All year round it provides a scenic view for tourists who are travelling across the park. The transportation varies by season:
- During spring until fall, a bus takes visitors through the park for sightseeing and stops at all the major sites and trail heads.
- Come winter time, you can make this drive in the comfort of your own car.
Speaking of which, you should also check out the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway that runs through east to west through the park. This route will take you above the valley and will give you amazing view of the park.
This park is also popular for its wide range of outdoor activities, such as:
- Hiking is widely know here due to its sheer vertical walls, you’ll find a variety of trails ranging from the simple ones to the extreme. If you’re brave enough, try the Angels Landing trail. It’s not for anyone with a fear of heights!
- Campgrounds are also spread across the park perfect for your picnic and camping trips.
2. Monument Valley
The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Expect to drive until you reach southeastern Utah near the Arizona border, one of the most beautiful places to see in Utah.
Famous for its iconic landmarks, and huge sandstone formations, it is a favorite shooting location of numerous commercials and films. Its impressive stone pinnacles and red mesas are straight out of an old western film. Imagine those broody scenes where a rider and his horse rises up to the orange desert floor!
A 17-mile, one-way dirt road runs through the buttes and the dramatic landscape, known as the Valley Drive. It is perfect for photo opportunities, or just for you to appreciate the beauty of this park.
- Guided tours can also be arranged at the Monument Visitor Center. This is an excellent choice especially when it’s your first time to go to this one road exploration.
- If you’re not up for a drive, the view from the visitor center is one of the best viewpoints in the entire Monument Valley.
- Other activities that you may try include hiking, horseback riding, and camping.
3. Arches National Park
Settled just outside of Moab is this national park filled with massive stone arches and rolling sand dunes. The Arches National Park boasts its collection of over 2,000 natural stone arches to its visitors, making it one of the most beautiful places to see in Utah.
One of these popular stone arches is the Delicate Arch, which looks like a horseshoe sticking out of the ground. Other arches include Double Arch, Broken Arch, and Sandstone Arch, each offers a unique character among the others.
What to do:
- A number of walking and hiking trails are also present in the area. These trails will lead you to some of the most interesting rock formations in the park, as well as a glimpse of the art of balanced rocks.
- There is also the Wolfe Ranch, a one-room cabin that has remained unaltered since it was built in 1898. It offers a view of how the 20th century Americans lived in the harsh desert setting.
4. Canyonlands National Park
The state’s version of the Grand Canyon is naturally one of the most beautiful places to see in Utah. Featuring three sections, this massive park caters to a bunch of visitors who would like to be amazed by this wonder of nature.
One of the main sections of the park is called Island in the Sky. Located not far from the town of Moab, this area features amazing vistas overlooking at the carved canyons and across the snow-capped mountains. The other two sections, the Maze and the Needles District although more remote, are as equally impressive as the main one.
The Mesa Arch is one of the main sites in the Island in the Sky. It features a stunning stone arch, particularly in the early mornings or late afternoons. The gap opens to the buttes, canyons, and the landscape below.
Another site to take note of is the White Rim Road. It follows a dirt road of switchbacks along the many cliff walls and stretched over from the park to the valley below.
- Check out a glimpse of the road from the Island in the Sky Visitors Center!
5. Natural Bridges National Monument
If you are in Utah and you have not had a glimpse of a natural bridge before, then this one is perfect for you. The Natural Bridges National Monument is located just south of Canyonlands National Park. It is known for its outstanding rock formations and picturesque landscape.
There are three natural bridges here that are known to be the main attractions of the monument. If you’re ready for a quick hike, The Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu. Below is a quick guide:
- Kachina Bridge is about 1.5-mile hike round trip, it offers a simple trail although a few steep sections are present.
- The smallest of the three is the Owachomo Bridge, which also happens to be the easiest to reach with less than a mile round trip hike.
- No time to visit all three? The locals recommend that you just spend your time hiking to the Sipapu Bridge- the largest of them all. You’d have to be prepared though because the hike going here is much harder than those of the other two, with sheer sections and ladders you’d have to climb.
Adding to that list is the Horsecollar Ruins which exhibits the ruins of ancient Native American buildings from more than 700 years ago.
Utah’s collection of natural bridges, canyons, and hoodoos are undoubtedly one of the best in the world. This massive land will offer you the best outdoor experience you will ever have in your life. Head over to Utah and see it for yourself!