Often referred to as one of the best outdoor states in the US, Utah offers about a million postcard-worthy sights and attractions to explore. You’ll find everything from unique natural wonders to renowned national parks to world-class outdoor recreation. Whether you’re looking to do some serious snowboarding, hiking, or camping under the stars, Utah has plenty to offer!
Hikers will love Zion National Park, while skiers and snowboarders will flock to the 10 top-rated ski resorts that surround Salt Lake City. For offbeat adventures, you can take a memorable trip to Utah’s otherworldly attractions such as Coral Pink Sand Dunes and the Bonneville Salt Flats. And don’t forget to add the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere to your Utah itinerary!
Dynamic cities like Salt Lake City, Moab, and Ogden offer gourmet dining and cool cultural attractions, while almost every corner of the state is a photographer’s paradise. It’s no secret that this state is a hiker’s nirvana. If you really want to go big, you can even combine your trip to the Mighty 5 national parks on an epic road trip.
With so many things to see and do, you might not know where to begin. It’s almost impossible to see it all, so we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best things to do in Utah for you. Stick to our curated list of top-rated Utah bucket list recommendations for a chance to explore the best parks, natural sites, and family-friendly attractions.
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 25 Best Things to do in Utah
- 25 Cool and Unique Thing to do in Utah
- 1. Explore Salt Lake City
- 2. Float on the Largest Saltwater Lake in the Western Hemisphere
- 3. See the Bison at Antelope Island State Park
- 4. Take a Winter Trip to Park City
- 5. Visit the Quaint Mountain Town of Ogden
- 6. Soak Up the Sun in the “Caribbean of the Rockies”
- 7. Adventure on the Land and Water at Sand Hollow State Park
- 8. Marvel at the Bonneville Salt Flats
- 9. Enjoy a Steamy Soak in Fifth Water Hot Springs
- 10. Take a Step Back in Time at Dinosaur National Monument
- 11. Get Lost in the Hoodoos of Goblin Valley State Park
- 12. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping in Moab
- 13. Admire the Scenery in Arches National Park
- 14. Explore the Picture-Perfect Canyonlands National Park
- 15. Visit the Iconic Dead Horse Point
- 16. Photograph Beautiful Landscapes in Capitol Reef National Park
- 17. See Impressive Formations in Natural Bridges National Monument
- 18. Take a Hike in Zion National Park
- 19. Trek Through “The Narrows”
- 20. Plan an Adventure in St. George
- 21. Go ATVing at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
- 22. See the Colorful Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon
- 23. Follow the Scenic Rim Drive at Cedar Breaks National Monument
- 24. Hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls
- 25. Gawk at the Star-Filled Skies at Kodachrome Basin State Park
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25 Cool and Unique Thing to do in Utah
1. Explore Salt Lake City
Known as a religious hub for Mormons, Salt Lake City is a surprisingly vibrant and diverse destination. The capital city offers an ideal home base for exploring Utah’s top ski resorts and renowned red rock country. Dubbed the “Crossroads of the West,” you can also visit this dynamic city en route to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
You’ll find many top attractions to explore, from the one-of-a-kind City Creek Center mall to Utah’s largest library, The City Library. Add Temple Square to your itinerary to learn about LDS history or head straight to one of the ski resorts, as there are 10 within an hour of Salt Lake City International Airport!
The downtown area features historic architecture and a bustling shopping, restaurant, and nightlife scene. For a dose of culture, visit the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, National History Museum of Utah, and the Red Butte Gardens.
If you’ve got extra time, browse the 9th and 9th district to see the trendy espresso bars and bakeries. You can also explore Sugar House, one of Salt Lake’s oldest neighborhoods. The hip area is dotted with boutique shops, bookstores, and art galleries. Alternately, opt for a quiet picnic in Liberty Park, Salt Lake’s largest public park.
2. Float on the Largest Saltwater Lake in the Western Hemisphere
Visiting Great Salt Lake State Park is easily one of the coolest things to do in Utah. Not only can you see the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River and the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, but you can also float on it!
The salinity of the water averages about 12%, making it two to seven times saltier than the ocean. Easily accessed from Salt Lake City, many travelers flock to Bridger Bay to float on the salt water and experience this unique phenomenon. If you want to leave the shore without getting wet, you can also bring a kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
Sailing is also a popular activity on the lake and full-service marinas are available at Great Salt Lake State Marina and nearby Antelope Island. If you feel like spoiling yourself, guided sunset cruises are a luxurious way to take in the spectacular sunsets.
This is also a great spot for birdwatchers, as Great Salt Lake State Park is home to millions of migrating waterfowl in spring and fall. Utah’s state bird, the California Seagull, can be seen here as well as endangered falcons and bald eagles. You might even spot them as you’re floating in the lake!
3. See the Bison at Antelope Island State Park
Located 25 miles north of Salt Lake City, Antelope Island State Park is rich in natural beauty. It’s a must-do in Utah if you enjoy wildlife watching.
This unique park offers the chance to spot free-roaming bison and antelope herds as well as mule deer and bighorn sheep. The park also hosts several events and activities throughout the year, including guided hikes and an annual Bison Roundup.
You’ll also find numerous opportunities for outdoor reaction, including white sand beaches that lure in sunbathers. The 36 miles of hiking and biking trails lead to spectacular views of the lake and island scenery. The one-mile Buffalo Point hike offers beautiful views overlooking Salt Lake, Antelope Island, and the park below.
Water sports lovers can rent kayaks and paddleboards at the on-site marina. Many travelers also enjoy swimming in Great Salt Lake’s salty waters. You can also spend a memorable night under the stars in one of the several primitive campsites. This park is an internationally certified dark sky park so the stargazing is incredible here.
4. Take a Winter Trip to Park City
Speaking of legendary winter sports destinations, Park City is one of Utah’s most famous. This picture-perfect mountain town has a deep appreciation for the outdoors. Its snow-covered slopes were even featured in the Winer Olympics in 2002.
Park City is home to 426 downhill trails across almost 10,000 acres, offering endless possibilities for adventure. Park City Mountain is the largest ski resort in the US, while Deer Valley is known for its luxurious amenities and outstanding skiing.
Woodward Park City is a new attraction with Mountain Park, a chairlift-accessed ski and snowboard facility with base area learning zones and large freestyle zones. Alternately, cross-country skiers can visit nearby Soldier Hollow Nordic Center.
After hitting the slopes, take a stroll down Park City’s quaint Main Street and browse its collection of restaurants, bars, shops, and Victorian buildings. You can also hit the road and follow the Guardsman Pass Scenic Byway or Provo Canyon Scenic Byway for spectacular alpine scenery surrounding Park City.
If winter sports aren’t your favorite, Park City is also a lovely destination to visit in warmer months. Its beautiful mountains and nearby state parks transform into an excellent spot for hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.
5. Visit the Quaint Mountain Town of Ogden
Known for its access to world-class skiing, biking, and hiking trails, Ogden is a popular outdoor destination in Utah. It also offers a wide range of attractions near its charming downtown area, from interesting museums to gourmet dining and an energetic nightlife.
History buffs will want to visit Hill Aerospace Museum, which features military aircraft, missiles, and aerospace vehicles from across the globe. Next, head to Ogden’s Historic 25th Street to browse the collection of museums in Union Station, including the popular Utah State Railroad Museum.
Kids will love the dinosaur exhibits at George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park and ice skating at Ice Sheet. Active travelers can hike the Waterfall Canyon Trail to see a display of cascading waters or stop and smell the roses with a stroll through the landscaped lawns at Ogden Botanical Gardens.
6. Soak Up the Sun in the “Caribbean of the Rockies”
For fun in the sun in Utah, head to Bear Lake State Park. Dubbed the “Caribbean of the Rockies” due to its beautiful turquoise-blue water and sandy beaches, Bear Lake is a 20-mile long and eight-mile wide natural lake with charming towns dotting its shoreline.
The lake’s natural beauty combined with its modern facilities make it an ideal destination for families, offering outdoor recreation such as boating, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and camping. Away from the shore, outdoor enthusiasts will find more than 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and ATV adventures.
Bask in the sunshine at Rendezvous Beach or try your hand at jet skiing on the calm waters. You can also drive part of the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway, which is the most scenic route from Northern Utah to Yellowstone and runs right through Bear Lake State Park.
If you come to Bear Lake in the winter, expect a snow-filled wonderland. Ice fishing and snowmobiling are popular activities in the colder months. Don’t forget to sample the local raspberries, as this fruit is famous at Bear Lake!
7. Adventure on the Land and Water at Sand Hollow State Park
Renowned for its red sand beaches, Sand Hollow State Park boasts dazzling red rock formations and a 1,322-acre reservoir. It offers a wide range of activities for all ages and skill levels, including water sports such as boats, jet skis, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
From May to September, the reservoir’s waters are pleasantly warm and make it a great spot for swimming and other water-based activities. Fishing enthusiasts can cast from the shore or from a boat and try their hand at reeling in bluegill, crappie, bass, or catfish.
On land, ATV riders flock to this easily accessible park near the town of Hurricane to traverse its open sand dunes and 62,000 acres of technical trails. The 12-mile Sand Hollow Reservoir OHV Trail is ideal for all skill levels, while the Maze OHV Trail boasts steep ascents and cliff exposure. ATV rentals are available on-site.
Families love this year-round destination, as kid-friendly activities like picnicking, hiking, and camping are popular. After a long day in the sun, the Beach at Sand Hollow (BASH) offers an enticing menu of burgers, sandwiches, ice cream, frozen drinks, and a shaded place to rest.
8. Marvel at the Bonneville Salt Flats
Many travelers say that Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the coolest things to do in Utah… if not the entire United States! Located about an hour outside of Salt Lake City, the 30,000-acre expanse is by far one of the most unique natural attractions in Utah.
The history of the salt flats is just as fascinating, with the formation dating back to the end of the last ice age. The 12-by-5 mile stretch of land features a salt crust ranging from a few inches to five feet thick to create a dazzling white plain as far as the eye can see.
One of the most impressive places to marvel at this natural wonder is along I-80, about 10 miles east of Wendover. Take Exit 4 and follow the signs to the Speedway and you’ll find a parking area at the end of the road (40°45’45.3″N 113°53’46.3″W). There’s also an established rest stop called Salt Flats Rest Area Westbound, where you can walk out onto the soil.
While the salt flats are open year-round, there are a few annual events held throughout the summer, including the popular Speed Week. Make sure to pack accordingly, with layers for changing temperatures and sunscreen and sunglasses because the salt crust reflects the sun upwards.
9. Enjoy a Steamy Soak in Fifth Water Hot Springs
Fifth Water Hot Springs, also known as Diamond Fork Hot Springs, features multiple pools with enticing blue waters. Surrounded by a stunning canyon encompassed by red rock cliffs, it’s one of the most unique things to do in Utah.
Located about an hour drive from downtown Salt Lake, the quick 2.5-mile Three Forks Trailhead to the hot springs boasts a gradual 700 feet of elevation gain. It’s an easy-to-follow route, with the first half hugging the side of Sixth Water Creek.
A footbridge crosses Sixth Water Creek about a mile in, where you’ll continue to Fifth Water Creek. This is where you’ll catch your first glimpse of the cobalt-blue waters.
You’ll reach a series of picture-perfect soaking pools, which range in color from milky blue to emerald green. Just beyond the section of pools, you’ll see a cascading waterfall with several more tubs, which marks the end of the trail.
Dip your toes in the pools to choose which temperature fits your preference best. This remote hot spring can get busy during the weekend, so a weekday visit is recommended for those looking for a quiet experience.
10. Take a Step Back in Time at Dinosaur National Monument
The Dinosaur National Monument near Jensen is as cool as its name implies. Yes, dinosaurs once roamed here! Best of all, their remains are still visible and embedded in the rocks.
Dinosaur history comes to life at this unique attraction, where its geological wonders have eroded the earth’s crust to reveal ancient fossils. Kids will love touring the dinosaur quarry for a chance to peek at the 1,500 fossils on display and embarking on a driving tour around the park.
Along the short auto tour, you can see rock formations while enjoying stunning views of Green River. You’ll also have a chance to marvel at ancient rock art, including petroglyphs and pictographs created by pigments.
Outdoor adventures here include hiking nature trails, backpacking, and whitewater river running, as well as more leisurely activities such as birdwatching and fishing. The Fossil Discovery Trail, Sound of Silence Trail, and Desert Voices Trail offer a look at the park’s geology and are family-friendly.
11. Get Lost in the Hoodoos of Goblin Valley State Park
Known for its fascinating formations, Goblin Valley State Park boasts a unique landscape covered with sandstone “goblins” that is often compared to Mars. Its surreal appearance is like nowhere else in Utah, creating a maze-like playground with nooks and gnomes.
It’s a showcase of geologic history with its exposed cliffs and layers of rock that date back to 180-140 million years ago. Not only is it one of the best places to stargaze in the US, but it’s also an exciting destination for hiking, mountain biking, and camping.
The main attraction is the Valley of the Goblins, a three-square-mile area covered in hoodoos that is open for on-and-off-road trail exploration by foot. There are more than a dozen trails to follow, ranging from easy to moderate and one to four miles roundtrip.
If you want to explore on two wheels, there are seven miles of beginner to intermediate singletrack mountain bike trails, while canyoneering is also a popular activity for thrill-seekers. Goblin Valley State Park remains relatively unknown and makes a great alternative to the popular national parks of Utah.
Book a stay at one of the park’s 26 campsites or two yurts for a chance to see the goblin formations contrasted with the starry skies.
12. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping in Moab
Moab is an adventure lover’s paradise and one of the coolest places to visit in Utah. It’s a major hub in the United States for outdoor recreation, where hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, climbing, and canyoneering are popular.
It’s also an ideal destination to make as your home base for exploring Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks. From here, it’s easy to access Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Zion National Park.
Moab’s slickrock and rugged terrain offer an endless list of trails for 4×4 tours, while professional guides can take you to where the Green River meets the Colorado River, which is the biggest white-water section in North America.
Moab is also famous for its region’s sandstone formations that lure in climbing and canyoneering enthusiasts from around the world. Wall Street and Longbow Arch are two favorites. Alternately, take a scenic drive to Dead Horse Point Scenic Overlook.
After an adventure-filled day, spend your time browsing the locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries that dot the charming Main Street area.
13. Admire the Scenery in Arches National Park
Utah’s red-rock wonderland, Arches National Park offers unique landscapes of contrasting colors, arches, and interesting rock formations. With its range of impressive sights, it’s a no-brainer to add this park to your Utah bucket list.
You can follow the 19-mile Arches Scenic Drive and stop at various viewpoints. The La Sal Mountains Viewpoint is one of the most popular, offering 360-degree panoramic views of the park and the La Sal Mountains in the distance. The Balanced Rock formation is another pull-over-worthy pit stop.
Get out and stretch your legs on one of the park’s iconic trails. Delicate Arch is one of the most photographed spots in Arches, especially at sunset. If you’re not up for a strenuous hike, visit the Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint for an easy view of Delicate Arch.
The Devils Garden hike offers a wealth of unique formations, including the chance to see the 290-foot sandstone Landscape Arch. On the way, Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch are bonus sights. The family-friendly Windows Section is another favorite, as it’s a short, easy trail.
For a non-arch view, add the Fiery Furnace to your itinerary to see a labyrinth of rock fins. The ranger-led hikes to this site are popular, as they boast maze-like landscapes of challenging terrains.
14. Explore the Picture-Perfect Canyonlands National Park
Considered an absolute must-do in Utah, Canyonlands National Park boasts endless landscapes of deep canyons, towering mesas, pinnacles, cliffs, and spires. Stretching across 527 square miles, it is the largest park in Utah and one of the most diverse.
With such a wide variety of travel experiences on offer in this park, you’re spoiled for choice! Start your journey by embarking on an epic hike through The Needles district for access to over 70 miles of trails. Be sure to marvel at the colorful sandstone spires poking up from the desert floor along the way.
Afterward, get up-close with Mesa Arch, one of the most photographed landforms in the West. The 50-foot stone window sits atop a 500-foot cliff and offers sweeping views of the valley, canyons, and the distant La Sal Mountains.
One of the most famous vistas in Canyonlands is at Grand View Point. It’s on the edge of Island in the Sky mesa at the end of a one-mile sandstone staircase. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of Monument Basin.
If you’ve only got a few hours to explore, drive the park’s 20 miles of paved roads and savor the stunning views. Sunrise and sunset are both beautiful times of day to capture the park’s otherworldly natural beauty.
15. Visit the Iconic Dead Horse Point
Considered one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world, Dead Horse Point State Park is one of Utah’s most popular parks. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the famous Dead Horse Point Overlook boasts stunning vistas of the pinnacles and buttes.
Often compared to the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon, this park sits above the beautiful White Rim Trail and offers beautiful views of Canyonlands National Park. You can capture these views along the eight miles of trails that wind around the park.
The trails lead to eight different overlooks and are flat and easy. The West Rim Trail offers jaw-dropping views across the Colorado River, while the section between Dead Horse Point Overlook and Meander Overlook is said to be the most photogenic in the park.
Mountain bikers can explore the Intrepid Trail System, which offers 16.6 miles of trails with varying degrees of difficulty. In addition to slick rock sections, looping singletrack, and sandy washes, you’ll discover incredible scenery around every corner.
Before you start your journey, stop at the visitor center and art gallery for an overview of the park’s overlooks. The best time to visit is during spring and fall, as the summer is hot and the winter offers the possibility of snow.
16. Photograph Beautiful Landscapes in Capitol Reef National Park
While Utah is home to an array of impressive national parks and monuments, none quite compare to the expansiveness of Capitol Reef National Park. Packed with endless landscapes of desert rock, this less-visited destination deserves a spot on your Utah bucket list.
Start your journey by driving along the eight-mile Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, the main road that runs through the park. The road trip offers a glimpse of the park’s natural beauty. You’ll pass massive domes and immense red sandstone mountains.
Home to an array of remote desert hikes and slot canyons, it’s a perfect destination for hikers who find peace in seclusion. The moderate 3.4-mile Cassidy Arch trail is one of the most popular, offering stunning scenery overlooking the Grand Wash.
Another favorite is the 1.8-mile Hickman Bridge hike, where you can follow along the Fremont River and enjoy beautiful overlooks. For an aerial view over Fruita, follow the more strenuous 3.4-mile Cohab Canyon trail.
You can also visit Cathedral Valley, a remote desert area and the northern district of Capitol Reef with sandstone monoliths and colorful Bentonite hills. You’ll find solitude here along Cathedrals Trail, which offers panoramic views of the interesting rock formations.
17. See Impressive Formations in Natural Bridges National Monument
Made famous for its iconic bridges, Natural Bridges National Monument offers a nine-mile paved loop drive dotted with scenic overlooks. The main features of this park are the three natural bridges: Sipapu Bridge, Kachina Bridge, and Owachomo Bridge.
Rubberneck your way through the one-way loop via the Bridge View Drive. Along the way, you’ll find numerous overlooks and trailheads that lead down to each bridge. The easiest hike is at the last bridge, Owachomo, which boasts a half-mile trail where you can stand under the landmark.
The bridges have Hopi Indian names: delicate Owachomo means “rock mounds,” while Sipapu means “the place of emergence” (it’s also the second-largest natural bridge in the world). Lastly, the massive Kachina means “dancer.” After seeing the natural bridges, you can also explore Horse Collar Ruin, a preserved ancestral Pueblo site or check out the Solar Panel field.
For a more comprehensive look at the area, stop by the visitor center. You’ll find a variety of interpretive displays that describe the attractions in more detail and it’s also where you can sign up for talks on astronomy in this International Dark Sky Park.
18. Take a Hike in Zion National Park
One of the most beautiful parks in the US, Zion National Park is home to massive sandstone cliffs, a history museum, and numerous hiking trails. It’s one of the best things to do in Utah if you’re an outdoor lover. The park offers endless opportunities for adventure, including horseback riding, rock climbing, and canyoneering.
Explore the sights along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive for a chance to get an up-close look at the canyon floor and towering cliffs. The park’s shuttle bus offers a hassle-free way to explore. You can hop off and explore trailheads along the way.
You can also drive along the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway for dramatic views of the valley as it hugs the cliff wall. Make sure to stop at the Canyon Overlook Trail, a one-mile round trip hike to an incredible viewpoint.
Angels Landing is one of the most famous trails in Zion, a strenuous hike that leads to a viewpoint overlooking Zion Canyon. The easier 2.2 mile Riverside Walk follows the Virgin River and displays waterfalls in the spring. The Lower Emerald Pools is family-friendly and features majestic views of a weeping wall and glistening pools.
19. Trek Through “The Narrows”
If you’re looking for a true adventure, plan a hike through The Narrows in Zion National Park. It is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, with walls that are 1,000 feet tall and a river that is 20-30 feet wide.
It’s one of the world’s best slot canyon hikes and can be tailored to suit any ability level. It even features the paved, wheelchair-accessible Riverside Walk. However, if you wish to see more, the trail basically becomes the Virgin River and you’ll have to slosh through the water to get through it.
The best way for first-time river hikers and those with only a limited time to explore The Narrows is to hike the Bottom-Up route. In the summer, it’s an easy to moderate hike, depending on the water flow, and kids four feet or taller can do it.
For seasoned backpackers, there is an option to hike The Narrows in its entirety. The Top-Down hike from Chamberlain’s Ranch includes 16 miles downstream over one or two days, exiting at the Temple of Sinawava. Permits are required for this option.
Most people hike The Narrows in the late spring and summer when the water is at its warmest and the water level drops. Fall is another ideal time, offering stable weather but shorter days.
20. Plan an Adventure in St. George
Less than an hour from Zion National Park, St. George is Utah’s warm-weather retreat. Its beautiful landscapes of red rock mesas and lush waterways offer the perfect setting for a weekend getaway. The city is home to excellent outdoor recreation options, shopping, golf, and luxury spas.
A trip to St. George is one of the best things to do in Utah during the winter, as its relatively warm temperatures offer respite from the rest of Utah. Golfers can tee off at the top-rated Entrada at Snow Canyon, while the Red Hills Desert Garden is Utah’s first interactive desert garden with more than 5,000 plants.
If you’re looking for a hiking adventure, add Snow Canyon State Park, Pioneer Park, Green Valley Gap, or Moe’s Valley to your itinerary. Quail Creek State Park is another great spot for outdoor fun, and a popular spot for fishing, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, and boating.
Top family-friendly attractions in St. George include the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm and the St. George Children’s Museum. Those interested in the area’s pioneer heritage can tour Brigham Young’s winter home and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum.
21. Go ATVing at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Get off-the-beaten-path and discover real adventure in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. It’s a playground for off-road excursions, featuring a picture-perfect landscape of orange-red sand dunes that are said to be 10,000-15,000 years old.
Located just southeast of Zion National Park near the town of Kanab, the park and its dunes were formed by the erosion of pink-colored Navajo sandstone. The 2,000 acres of sand are open to OHVs and four-wheelers, while hiking and kid-friendly playing are also popular.
Four-wheelers can check out the Sand Highway, which is a one-way trail in a small canyon set on the boundary of the dunes. The South Boundary Trail is another favorite, offering a stretch of several miles that continues along the eastern side of the main dune area.
The park is open year-round and a campground and primitive camping are also available. The best time to visit is spring, early summer, and fall, as when temperatures are at their most mild.
22. See the Colorful Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its multi-colored rock pinnacles called “hoodoos” and a series of natural amphitheaters. One day is all you need to explore this top-rated park. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to hike past unique formations and take in the landscape from multiple viewpoints.
This national park is filled with short, scenic trails that wind past beautiful canyon vistas. Navajo Loop is one of the most popular in the park. It starts with incredible views at Sunset Point and makes its way to Silent City and Wall Street, where you can catch a glimpse of a range of colorful hoodoos.
Sunset Point is one of the most easily accessible overlooks, offering stunning vistas over the park without having to trek down a trail. Other popular viewpoints to marvel at the hoodoos include Inspiration Point and Bryce Point.
You can sign up for a guided horseback excursion through the park. Or if you want the perfect chance to see the spectacular formations at sunrise, you can spend the night at one of the two campgrounds.
23. Follow the Scenic Rim Drive at Cedar Breaks National Monument
Set at an elevation of 10,000 feet, Cedar Breaks National Monument was nicknamed the “Circle of Painted Cliffs” by early Paiute people. Just a short drive from Brian Head, the naturally carved amphitheater sits atop the Markagunt Plateau and is truly a sight to behold.
The coliseum plunges 2,000 feet to its floor and its surrounding landscape is home to spectacular hiking trails with over-the-top views. Around every corner, you’ll find something new, from unique arches and towers to hoodoos and canyons in brilliant shades of red, yellow, and purple.
Stretch your legs along the two-mile Alpine Pond Trail, which follows a loop into a forest of spruce trees. For a walk along the amphitheater’s rim, hike to the scenic Spectra and Rampart Points to get a closer look at the geology of Cedar Breaks.
If you’re ready for some serious backcountry hiking, the Rattlesnake Creek Trail in the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness is a 2-3 day hike that drops into the amphitheater below the canyon rim. Overnight adventures can be enjoyed at the modern on-site campground. Cedar Breaks is a certified Dark Sky Park so expect spectacular star-speckled skies!
24. Hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls
Home to narrow slot canyons, picturesque waterfalls, prehistoric village sites, and abandoned Western movie sets, the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument is an oasis for adventure-seekers. Spanning nearly one million acres, this remote location and dramatic terrain was the last part of the continental US to be mapped!
Capturing a view of the plunging waters at Lower Calf Creek Falls is a must. It’s a rewarding treat after the six-mile round trip hike past towering red cliffs and rock formations. You might even spot some ancient petroglyphs along the way!
If you have exploring slot canyons on your Utah bucket list, check out Willis Creek Slot Canyon and Buckskin Gulch. Zebra Slot Canyon gets its name from its distinct stripe patterns, while Spooky Gulch is a short slot canyon located on the Hole-in-the-Rock road.
Other attractions to tick off your list include the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Escalante Heritage Center, and the Escalante Natural Bridge. The Devil’s Garden is a natural playground for little ones, where they can climb over rocks and families can take advantage of the picnic tables.
25. Gawk at the Star-Filled Skies at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Utah’s beautiful scenery makes it a top spot for camping in the United States. With this, you’ll also find the highest concentration of certified International Dark Sky Parks and Communities and endless opportunities for stargazing.
One of the most popular places to experience the natural wonders after the sun sets is at Kodachrome Basin State Park. Boasting unique pillars in shades of red, pink, white, yellow, and gray, this 2,240-acre park also has the perfect recipe for a night of stargazing.
With its blend of geographical remoteness, excellent air quality, high elevation, and distance from urban areas, Kodachrome Basin has one of the darkest skies remaining in the continental US. You can even marvel at the Milky Way with the naked eye!
Time your visit right for one of the astronomy events and star parties, or sign up for a ranger-led constellation tour for a chance to peer at the distant nebula, galaxies, and star clusters through a telescope. During the day, you can hike to the top of the 3.5-mile easy Panorama Loop Trail for panoramic views of the park and its sandstone layers that date back 180 million years.
That’s it – 25 of the best things to do in Utah! What’s your favorite thing to do in the Beehive State?
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