Utah is a state where the great outdoors is relished for all its magnificence. With a dozen national and state parks, natural wonders, and top-rated ski and snowboarding resorts, Utah is the perfect destination for those who like spending their days surrounded by trees, snow, and the wilderness. But there are more things to do in Utah than seeing natural sights, such as Salt Lake City, a progressive metropolis full of youth and vibrancy. Here are the recommended 10 best things to do in Utah:
Though Zion National Park is packed with top-rated amusements, such as the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive along the valley floor or the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, which runs east to west throughout the canyon however, you do not want to miss the famous hike called “The Narrows”. Seasoned hikers will enjoy this trail that winds through the canyon alongside a river. It takes some preparation to get through the trail, but it is so worth it!
One of the most scenic parks in Utah would be Arches National Park, where more than 2,000 natural stone arches dot the area and snowy mountain peaks can be seen in the background. The most famous and regularly photographed would be the Delicate Arch. This enormous, horseshoe-shaped arch attracts hundreds of people daily. Other attractions in Arches National Park include the Fiery Furnace, Balanced Rock, Devil's Garden, and the Windows, to name a few.
The Queen's Garden/Navajo Loop is one of the best things to do in Utah, hands down. It is a trail that runs through the most breathtaking sections of Bryce Canyon National Park. First, you begin along the rim of the canyon then gradually descend beyond the massive hoodoos and rock formations to reach Sunrise or Sunset Point. Though the total length of the trail is only 2.9 miles, the elevation is about 600 feet and obstacle free. Anyone can enjoy this trail and see all the park has to offer. And if you fancy a longer walk, many hikers will do the Queen's Garden Loop reversed then take on the paved Rim Trail.
Just beyond the reaches of a dynamic city known as Moab is Dead Horse State Park, one of the best lookout locations of any state park in Utah. You might actually recognize one of the lookouts from Thelma and Louise (and is respectfully named Thelma and Louise Point). Another main viewpoint places you over a gooseneck in the Colorado River, on a cliff rising 2,000 feet high, so you can see far into the distance with no obstacles. There are also a number of hiking opportunities throughout Dead Horse Point State Park, so bring you camera and walking shoes!
Welcome to one of the greatest skiing regions in the entire United States—Park City. The resort town is full of lodgings that connect to the ring of snowy mountains. Though the wintertime is when this area is most busy, there are even summer festivals and other outdoor recreational events that happen. For the best experience, Deer Valley Resort has terrain on four mountains in Park City: Flagstaff, Bald, Bald Eagle, and Empire Canyon. In the 2002 Winter Olympics, Deer Valley was actually the venue for the slalom, giant slalom, snowboard, and freestyle events.
Address: 2250 Deer Valley Dr S, Park City, UT 84060
Because of the size of this canyon, there is a seemingly infinite amount of things you can do here. Big Cottonwood Canyon is easily reached from Salt Lake City. The drive through the region spans 15 miles and leads you through mind-blowing alpine scenery and access points for hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, and rock climbing. Will you seek out the ruins of old silver and gold mines? Or will you stop by the Brighton or Solitude ski resorts for some year-round fun?
Address: Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake City, UT 84123
Remember when you would groan about reading Shakespeare in school? It's time to revamp your thoughts on Shakespeare at this phenomenal theatrical festival. The Festival has an eight-show repertory in the summer and fall of each year. Not all works are Shakespearean, and some of the works contain musical routines, sword fights, dancing, comedy, and other elements. In the summertime, if you are looking for free entertainment, consider attending the Greenshow, which is put on by actors with minor roles in that year's upcoming Utah Shakespeare Festival.
Though somewhat out of the way from the main stay, the Natural Bridges National Monument is the perfect reason to wander off the beaten path. Ever want to see a natural bridge? This national monument has three: Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu. These bridges are all accessible after a short hike. The largest and most awesome would be Sipapu, but the hike is moderate and involves steep slopes and ladders to reach your destination. The others are less difficult to reach. Another section that attracts hikers and tourists would be the Horsecollar Ruins that used to be inhabited by Native Americans over 700 years ago.
Open year-round, this national monument is a testament to the powerful forces of nature. Cedar Breaks National Monument is smaller than Bryce Canyon but comprised of the a 2,000 feet deep crater that spans 3 miles in diameter and has thousands of colorful hoodoos. There are a handful of scenic driving routes around the monument, including the top-rated Rim Drive. For those who would rather walk and see the natural beauty, there is the Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook Trail, which is four miles long and takes you through the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater.
Set about half an hour from Salt Lake City is the largest inhale lake west of the Mississippi River. The Great Salt Lake is 34 miles wide, 72 miles long, and about 50 feet deep. Similar to the Dead Sea in Israel, where the water is super salty, you can float here without sinking at all. At the southern end of the lake, you will find bathing beaches and even a recreational park. It's the perfect place to bring the kids for some fun (and science)! Also surrounding the Great Salt Lake would be the desert, where dinosaur fossils have been routinely found.