Utah Top 10 Attractions

With 2.9 million people in the state, Utah attracts thousands of visitors each year. A large number of those who head to Utah look forward to exploring the outdoors in national parks, going river rafting, or skiing. There are also plenty of activities for those who are less adventurous or prefer to be somewhere with comforts. The most popular attractions in Utah, however, remain those that involve outdoor activities, whether they are hiking or seeing natural beauty. Here are the top 10 attractions in the state that you don't want to miss on your next trip to the Beehive State.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Photo Courtesy: PDPhoto.org

1: Bryce Canyon National Park

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Address: Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Website: www.nps.gov

Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its hoodoos, which are rock pillars in odd-shapes that are the result of erosion over time. It is possible to spend as much or as little time as you want in the park. There are numerous hiking trails in the park, each of which is divided into one of three levels: easy, moderate, or strenuous so you can select appropriately. You can also go horseback riding on certain trails depending on the time of the year or spend the night camping with your family. There are guided moonlight hikes and telescope stargazing as well as other ranger programs to enjoy.

Arches National Park
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2: Arches National Park

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Address: Moab, UT 84532
Website: www.nps.gov

Arches National Park is home to more than 2,000 natural arches made of stone, in addition to large balanced rocks, massive fins, and huge pinnacles. No matter where you look in this park, you will see unique textures, landforms, and colors that almost make it seem like another planet. If you plan on visiting between March and October, be prepared for crowds. Depending on the time of the year, you can drive along the 18-mile road with scenic views, go backpacking, biking, canyoneering, horseback riding, hiking, or rock climbing. There are trails of all lengths and you can also spend the night camping or attend a ranger-led program.

Zion National Park
Photo Courtesy: NPS Site

3: Zion National Park

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Address: Springdale, UT 84767
Website: www.nps.gov

This was the first national park in Utah, making it one of the top attractions for those who enjoy the outdoors and history. There are gorgeous cliffs made of sandstone spanning red, pink, and cream as well as a narrow slot canyon. Zion National Park also has unique plants and animals. Those who want to get some exercise during their visit can backpack, bike, canyoneer, climb, hike, horseback ride, or go boating. For a more relaxing trip, go bird watching or attend a ranger-led activity like a walk or talk.

Canyonlands National Park
Photo Courtesy: NPS Site

4: Canyonlands National Park

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Address: 2282 SW Resource Blvd. Moab, UT 84532
Website: www.nps.gov

This is another of the best National Parks in Utah to visit, with numerous canyons as well as buttes that the Colorado River has carved throughout the years. There are four districts to explore: the rivers, the Maze, the Needles, and the Island in the Sky. The last of these is the most accessible with a scenic drive, a route for four-wheeling, and multiple hikes. To explore the park's backcountry, hike through the Needles or if you want to prove your skills, head to the Maze. You can also find panels of Native American rock art in the Horseshoe Canyon Unit or take a flatwater or whitewater trip.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/kenlund

5: Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

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Address: 669 South Highway 89A, Kanab, UT 84741
Website: www.blm.gov

This National Monument covers 1.7 million acres of land and was the first monument that the Bureau of Land Management administered instead of the National Park Service. Throughout the monument, you will find an incredible range of geological formations and features as well as world-class paleontological sites. There are three main sections of the park, including the Canyons of the Escalante, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Grand Staircase. All have difficult terrain and a feeling of remoteness. Some key features worth visiting throughout this park include the White, Gray, and Pink Cliffs within the Grand Staircase, Buckskin Gulch (the longest of all slot canyons around the world), and Boulder Mountain, which is 11,000 feet tall.

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