The land of the North American Indians is amazing with its landscapes, as if from another world. A clear example of this is Utah, with its unique natural creations of arches, rivers, lakes, canyons, and sand dunes. This destination is a powerful attraction for nature lovers and adventurers. Therefore, it is no coincidence that Utah is full of national parks. Suffice it to mention the five so-called “Mighty 5” and ten other state parks and national recreation areas, but Utah also offers an even wider choice of holiday options for campers, tourists coming to see and learn something, or just travelers, off-road enthusiasts, climbers and more.
1. Arches National Park
Arches National Park is so named because it has the highest concentration of natural arches in the world – over 2000. They are all spectacular, in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own look and even radiance. This unique park is located high above the surrounding desert and the city of Moab, where you can see giant stone fins, towers, smooth rocks, and more natural beauty, all the way to the mountains of La Salle in the distance. You have the opportunity to take short walks and go on hiking trails that will lead you to amazing places that are pleasant for tourists of all ages.
2. Canyonlands National Park
Utah’s Grand Canyon is the Canyonlands. With its views from the Island in the Sky neighborhood of the park to the carved landscape of plateaus and canyons, it is one of the most amazing places in the entire state. Here’s a short hike to Mesa Arch – another important attraction in this great example of Utah National Parks that is not to be missed – it is on the edge of a 500-foot drop and offers stunning views. But that’s not all in Canyonlands – let’s mention Island in the Sky and The Needles, the latter is an ideal area for longer hikes and off-road, while the Island in the Sky is a place convenient for sightseeing and great views.
3. Zion National Park
Zion is simply a symbol of the United States Park, which simply takes your breath away: with its massive rock walls and mountains, it outlines the valley. From them comes the term “vertical park”, which is often used to describe Zion Park. If you are lucky enough to come here in the spring, you will see waterfalls pouring from the ledges to fill the Virgo River flowing through the canyon. Zion has a conveniently built system of hiking trails that lead through canyons and ridges. You can walk under the giant rock walls or up the Virgin River through The Narrows. If you’re not afraid, you can enjoy stunning views from more than 1,000 feet.
4. Bryce Canyon National Park
Once here, you will find yourself in a real fantasy world, located at an altitude of 8000-9000 feet: towering stone towers, balanced rock formations, so-called hoodoos, which turn into shades of orange, gold, cream, and pink. Bryce Canyon National Park is one of Utah’s most notable state parks. The landscape is almost surreal, and among the most memorable views are Sunset and Sunrise Points. To get a complete picture, take a walk along with one of the hiking trails carved through the canyon and winding around the base of these giant towers and stone formations.
5. Dead Horse Point State Park
If you have to choose just one national park in Utah, this should be Dead Horse Point, just a 45-minute drive from Moab. One of its most spectacular views is the Dead Horse Point Lookout, overlooking the Gooseneck River, 2,000 feet below. If you look down and to the left, you will be able to see what is called “Thelma & Louise Point” – this is where the last scene of the famous movie was shot, depicted as a car moving over the edge of the Grand Canyon. You will also see the famous Potassium Road, and if you take one of the hikes leading to dramatic views, you will be very satisfied, or if you like longer hikes, you will like the seven-mile trail.
6. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Dune Paradise – this is Coral Pink Sand Dunes. A place with wind-sculpted dunes of all kinds, the largest of which reaches about 100 feet in height. The sand here is a Navajo sandstone, attractive for descending, but there is also a natural path along the edge of the dunes with information boards. Of interest is the fact that Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a favorite place for people with ATVs, as the park is large enough to meet the needs of those who love silence as well as ATV owners.
7. Sand Hollow State Park
Sand Hollow – a beautiful combination of water and sand. You can spend your time on the beach, boating or kayaking, fishing or taking your OHV in the sand dunes around the water. This attractive soft sand beach forms a strip between the lake and the road, and in some areas you can drive your car right to the water’s edge, creating a great experience. Just be sure to use a four-wheel-drive car to avoid getting stuck in the sand. Of course, there are places for camping and many more beautiful views around.
8. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Here is the largest landmark in the United States – Grand Staircase-Escalante, located in a harsh, remote area in southern Utah. It looks like an endless wave of slick rock, including sections that can be seen from the views of Highway 12, which crosses the northern end of the monument. And to enjoy even more dramatic views, cross Highway 89 – a string of hills and canyons. You can also go to the ghost town of Paria and to the recreated city of the Old West, which were the setting for movies. If you decide to go inland, in front of you will be a beautiful land with colorful canyons, arches, ridges, and waterfalls, which you can reach on dirt roads and hiking trails.
9. Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks National Monument looks similar to Bryce Canyon because of its amphitheatrical towering hoodies and walls of multicolored stripes that turn orange, pink, cream and gold. Located at an altitude of 10,000 feet, this park is closed in winter because it is blocked by snow, but in summer it is the cool climate that is refreshing against the heat in the lower regions. This place is a very good place for tourism because it offers a variety of trails accessible to everyone. When it is autumn, the park turns into a beautiful spectacle of bright yellow and orange leaves.
10. Snow Canyon State Park
This is one of the most interesting state parks in Utah, offering attractions, including fields and pipes of black lava, some of which you can go down. Among the things you can do here is take a walk on the waves of petrified dunes, as well as enter the slot canyon just a 10-minute walk from the road. The beautiful views are next to you, as well as the desired privacy.
11. Capitol Reef National Park
This is one of the “Mighty 5” parks in Utah – Capitol Reef National Park. And here is a series of bizarre rock formations. If you approach from the south late in the day when the sun goes low, the Capitol Reef looks like a giant wall of pink, orange and purple shades. State Park Capitol Reef gives you a different experience, with a feeling of calm comfort, with camping opportunities, with views of orange rocks and an orchard. If you decide to just drive, you’ll get a closer look at the most dramatic part, including Goosenecks Overlook and Panorama Point.
12. Goosenecks State Park
In this small park, it is worth stopping to enjoy an exceptional view of the meander in the San Juan River, watching it from a height of 1000 feet. And to have a full view or to photograph a gooseneck showing the water, you will have to climb to the very edge of the unguarded ledge. You only need to beware of the strong winds typical of this place before approaching the ledge.
13. Natural Bridges National Monument
There are three natural bridges in this remarkable park, which are the highlight of the National Bridges National Monument. Here at your disposal, there are footpaths with, access to these high bridges with a length of 0.4-1.4 miles. The characteristic of them is that they are formed mainly by erosion by water. Apart from them, the park offers many other interesting views, such as ruins of a horse collar. The well-preserved dwellings in the rocks of Pueblo date back over 700 years and can be seen from a short path.
14. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
Flaming Gorge State Park is located in the farthest northeast corner of Utah near the Wyoming border. People in Utah typically associate water in Utah with names such as the Great Salt Lake near Salt Lake City, and Flaming Gorge State Park was created by damming the Green River. This place offers many activities: boating, sailing, water skiing, kiteboarding, lake trout fishing. If you go on a five-mile hike called the Red Canyon Rim Trail, you’ll walk along the edge of the gorge and see amazing views from the 1400-foot cliffs above the canyon floor. And here there are opportunities for camping – in Canyon Rim and in an RV Park in Manila.
15. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Monument Valley is actually a tribal park in the Navajo Indian Reservation. Here you will see huge holes and peaks rising from the bottom of the valley, red and orange sandstone against the blue sky. It is no coincidence that this is a place for photographers who can create masterpieces. It’s your choice to take the scenic 17-kilometer dirt road, pass through the stone structures, and stop at the visitor center for amazing views of the valley, or book a guided tour of places you can’t reach. get out of the way.
Utah’s national parks take you to a world where you feel like you’re on another planet, or at least as a fantasy movie set. The formidable formations of nature testify to its unattainable greatness and power, which you can only worship.
How many state parks are in Utah?
There are 44 state parks in Utah, ranging from Bear Lake's deep blue waters to Coral Pink Sand Dunes' hot, orange, and pink sands.