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

1: Bryce Canyon National Park

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Website: www.nps.gov

Photo Courtesy: PDPhoto.org

Address: PO Box 640201 Bryce, UT

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

2: Arches National Park

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Website: www.nps.gov

Photo Courtesy: PDPhoto.org

Address: PO Box 907, Moab, UT 84532

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

3: Zion National Park

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Website: www.nps.gov

Photo Courtesy: NPS Site

Address: Springdale, UT 84767

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

4: Canyonlands National Park

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Website: www.nps.gov

Photo Courtesy: NPS Site

Address: 2282 SW Resource Blvd. Moab, UT 84532

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

5: Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

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Website: www.blm.gov

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/kenlund

Address: 669 South Highway 89A, Kanab, UT 84741

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.

Park City

6: Park City

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Website: www.visitparkcity.com

Address: Park City, UT

When you need a break from outdoor adventure, Park City is one of the top attractions to enjoy. This resort area is known for skiing and snowboarding with its snow-covered slopes, but it is popular year-round. There are more than 400 miles worth of trails through the woods to bike or hike as well as concerts and plays to enjoy. You can also walk around the Historic Main Street for a bite to eat or to go shopping. As with the rest of Utah, there are also numerous outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, fly fishing, river rafting, horseback riding, and a zip line.

Temple Square

7: Temple Square

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Website: www.visittemplesquare.com

Address: 50 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150

Temple Square is an iconic site within Salt Lake City and it covers 10 acres of beautifully landscaped land, where you can go on tours. This attraction is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the South Visitors' Center has numerous exhibits that discuss the importance of families as well as the temple itself. Just some of the buildings within Temple Square include the Beehive House, Church History Museum, Family History Library, Salt Lake Temple, and Tabernacle.

Dinosaur National Monument

8: Dinosaur National Monument

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Website: www.nps.gov

Photo Courtesy: NPS Site

Address: Maybell, UT 81640

Dinosaur National Monument shows clear evidence that the dinosaurs once lived in this area, with fossils still in the rocks. The land also has petroglyphs to give you a glimpse into earlier cultures and a rich history of being home to outlaws and homesteaders. While at this attraction, visit Carnegie Quarry, a world-famous site with almost 1,500 visible dinosaur fossils. If you want more adventure, try river rafting, hiking, or camping. As with the other Utah National Parks, this one also has multiple ranger-led programs, such as guided tours for the whole family.

Capitol Reef National Park

9: Capitol Reef National Park

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Website: www.nps.gov

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/miguelvieira

Address: HC 70 Box 15, Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, UT 84775

Capitol Reef National Park is in the middle of red rock country in south-central Utah. It hosts the Waterpocket Fold, which is a geological monocline or wrinkle along the earth which spans nearly 100 miles. Ranger programs take place throughout the spring, summer, and fall and there is even a Junior Ranger Program. You can also visit the Gifford House Store and Museum, have a picnic, go fishing, hiking, or biking.

Lake Powell

10: Lake Powell

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Website: www.lakepowell.com

Address: Lake Powell, UT 86040

Lake Powell has almost 2,000 miles along the shore, giving you plenty of chances to enjoy the water or beach. This is a popular location to rent a houseboat or you can just visit for a day. You can go fishing, kayaking, skiing, or boating, or hike or boat your way to Rainbow Bridge. You can also rent one of the idyllic villas at the resort, lounge by the shoreline with your family to soak up the warm Utah sun or go on a guided boat expedition with one of the resort's tour experts.

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