Last Updated on June 26, 2021 by Helen E. White
There are tons of amazing places to see in Utah. On your route along the west coast of the United States, you cannot miss a stop in this state, one of the most beautiful in the country. Surely many attractions sound like Zion, Monument Valley or Bryce Canyon, but Utah has incredible and not-so-well-known places. In this post, we tell you The 25 Best Places to Visit in Utah so you can enjoy its beauty.
- 1 The 25 Best Places to Visit in Utah
- 1.1 1. Zion National Park and Its Hiking Trails
- 1.2 2. Monument Valley and Its Sunrise
- 1.3 3. Bryce Canyon, One of the Most Spectacular Places to See in Utah
- 1.4 4. Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
- 1.5 5. Salt Lake City, its Temple and… the Utah Jazz!
- 1.6 6. Rainbow Bridge and Glen Canyon
- 1.7 7. Reflection Canyon, a Spectacular Site to See in Utah
- 1.8 8. Canyonlands National Park, the Grand Canyon of Utah
- 1.9 9. The Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island
- 1.10 10. Bear Lake and Its Crystal Clear Water
- 1.11 11. Goblin Valley State Park and Its Landscapes From Another Planet, Something Impressive to See in Utah
- 1.12 12. Salar de Bonneville
- 1.13 13. Dead Horse Point and Its Views, a Spectacular Site to See in Utah
- 1.14 14. Homestead Crater and Its Thermal Baths
- 1.15 15. Park City and Its Ski Slopes
- 1.16 16. Natural Bridges National Monument and Its Stone Bridges
- 1.17 17. Grand Staircase-escalante National Monument, One of the Most Iconic Places to See in Utah
- 1.18 18. Flaming Gorge, a Gem in Northern Utah
- 1.19 19. Coral Pink Sand Dunes
- 1.20 20. Kanarra Falls
- 1.21 21. Yant Flat Cliffs, One of the Most Curious Places to See in Utah
- 1.22 22. Goosenecks State Park and River Views
- 1.23 23. Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon’s Little Brother
- 1.24 24. Mount Timpanogos and the Views, a Very Nice Place to See in Utah
- 1.25 25. Cathedral Valley at Capitol Reef National Park
The 25 Best Places to Visit in Utah
1. Zion National Park and Its Hiking Trails
Utah has a ton of national parks, some of the best in the United States. And Zion is one of them! If you like nature, in this park you can enjoy a wide variety of hiking routes that will allow you to see movie landscapes. If you want to have the best views, we recommend reaching the Observation Point. It costs its thing, but it is one of the most beautiful sights to see in Utah.
2. Monument Valley and Its Sunrise
It is one of the most spectacular places to see in Utah. Well, in Utah and Arizona, since this valley is on the border of both states. You’ve probably seen it hundreds of times in movies, including Forrest Gump. It’s like you are in the west!
We recommend staying in Monument Valley for at least one night in order to see the sunset and sunrise the next day. You won’t forget them easily!
3. Bryce Canyon, One of the Most Spectacular Places to See in Utah
This national park is another of the most visited in Utah. It stands out mainly for the pointed shape of its geological structures, also known as “hoodoos”. They are very curious!
Like most national parks in the United States, it is very well maintained and very pleasant to visit. You can choose between several hiking routes. We did the Navajo Loop and ended up watching the sunset from Sunset Point, the start and endpoint of the Loop.
4. Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
If we talk about the Best Places to Visit in Utah, we cannot forget to mention, probably, the most famous. This arch is the emblem of the state and is located in Arches National Park. It is best known, although this park has more than 2000 natural stone arches. It’s one of our favorites!
Getting to the Delicate Arch is easy. The path that will take you there is 4.8 km round trip and rises only 146 meters. It’s sucked!
5. Salt Lake City, its Temple and… the Utah Jazz!
Salt Lake City is the largest city to see in Utah. Although the state has other attractions, it is worth knowing the capital and its main attractions. The Salt Lake City Temple stands out, built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Impress!
It also has other gems like the Capitol, several trails in the surrounding area and… the Utah Jazz! Albert is a Jazz fan, so if you have time, don’t forget to watch an NBA game on his field.
6. Rainbow Bridge and Glen Canyon
The Glen Canyon area is one of the most spectacular to see in Utah. Surely you have seen the famous Horseshoe Bend or Lake Powell a thousand times, as the landscape is very similar.
The Glen Canyon Recreation Area stretches from Arizona to southern Utah, offering geological wonders and incredible scenery.
7. Reflection Canyon, a Spectacular Site to See in Utah
It is a place with difficult access, but if you have the time and desire, you will not regret getting there. You will have to walk a 30-kilometer path (round trip) without water sources. It is not recommended to do it in summer since there is a great risk of heatstroke and dehydration.
That canyon is very close to Lake Powell and is a real treasure. In fact, it is considered an extension of it, although Lake Powell falls in Arizona and not Utah!
It is very important to note that it is not a path suitable for all audiences. You have to be prepared! Of course, once you get there you will enjoy a lot.
8. Canyonlands National Park, the Grand Canyon of Utah
They say that the comparisons are odious, but for Utah, it must do a lot of damage to have the Grand Canyon of Colorado so close but that for a few kilometers, it is out of state. But they have Canyonlands! Although it is not so spectacular, it offers incredible panoramic views.
The most visited part is the Island in the Sky sector. From there you will have spectacular views of the canyons carved by the river and of the mountains. Also, the positive about the Grand Canyon is that it is much less popular. But you must visit both!
In Canyonlands also do not forget to visit Mesa Arch, a beautiful stone arch or the other two sectors, Needles and Maze. For example, in Needles, the Elephant Canyon is also spectacular.
9. The Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island
Leaving southern Utah a little behind (much more touristy), we went to the north of the state. The Great Salt Lake is one of the main attractions to see in Utah since it is very close to Salt Lake City. It is the sixth-largest lake in the United States and its main characteristic is its salinity, much higher than that of the sea.
In fact, it is easy to float! Antelope Island is the most famous part of the lake. There you can see, among other things, bison and have beautiful views of the lake and mountains. Without a doubt, one of the most interesting places to see in Utah.
10. Bear Lake and Its Crystal Clear Water
As we go upstate, we swap the reddish desert landscapes for green ones. The Great Salt Lake isn’t the only interesting lake in northern Utah. Right on the border with Idaho is Bear Lake, known as the Caribbean of Utah for the crystalline color of its waters. Although sadly, the most beautiful part is at the edge of Idaho. But you can cross!
Once there, we recommend taking a boat trip, renting some kayaks or simply walking along the shore to enjoy its beauty.
11. Goblin Valley State Park and Its Landscapes From Another Planet, Something Impressive to See in Utah
You can’t leave Utah without visiting this site. It looks like from another planet! Like Bryce Canyon, the hoodoos are its main protagonists. They are like a kind of rocks that have shapes similar to those of mushrooms (although the ill-wishers will say that they look like something else).
Enjoy its trails, Mars has never been so close! It is likely to meet typical animals of the area, such as scorpions and lizards. So watch where you step!
12. Salar de Bonneville
Near Salt Lake City, you can visit this huge salt flat. It has more than 260 square kilometers and is a very curious place to visit. In winter, there is likely to be a thin layer of water creating a beautiful reflection, while much of the year it is dry.
When it is dry and, thanks to its completely flat profile, great speed events such as Speed Week are organized. Incredible records have been broken! In fact, brands like Triumph and Pontiac have models with the name of the salar.
13. Dead Horse Point and Its Views, a Spectacular Site to See in Utah
This State Park offers one of the most spectacular views in Utah. The main viewpoint has a perfect view of the Colorado River carving the landscape with cliffs of more than 600 meters. Almost nothing!
Throughout the park, you will find a series of viewpoints surrounding a part of the Colorado River. As a curiosity, the area was used to shoot the final scenes of the 1991 film “Thelma and Louise.”
14. Homestead Crater and Its Thermal Baths
On your visit to Utah, you can’t miss the hot springs at Homestead Crater. There is a curious geothermal spring owned by the Homestead Resort. This crater was formed more than 10,000 years ago when melted snow in the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep into the earth.
15. Park City and Its Ski Slopes
If you like skiing, in Park City you will find your little paradise. This city is located just 45 minutes from Salt Lake City and is home to some of the best ski resorts in Utah.
If you visit Park City in late January, you can’t miss the Sundance Film Festival.
16. Natural Bridges National Monument and Its Stone Bridges
Natural stone bridges are one of the top attractions to see in Utah. Near Canyonlands, you can visit this protected area that is home to some beautiful natural arches. Among them, Kachina, Owachomo and Sipapu, easily accessible by short walks. Perhaps the last one is the most impressive!
17. Grand Staircase-escalante National Monument, One of the Most Iconic Places to See in Utah
If you want to continue seeing landscapes dominated by canyons, arches, waterfalls and more, you must visit this place. It is the largest national monument in the United States! As you can imagine, we are talking about a huge area with countless attractions.
The best way to get to know this monument is through its hiking routes. One of the best known is the Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail, which offers postcard scenery.
And in the southern part, don’t forget to visit Paria Badlands. It is amazing to see the wavy, multi-colored shapes of the geological formations! Also getting there is super easy.
18. Flaming Gorge, a Gem in Northern Utah
Right on the border of Utah and Wyoming, you will find this gem that reminds us of a fjord. The views are better from above, although it is also possible to take boat trips on the river. This will give you another perspective and perhaps you will value the height of the cliffs more.
Although we believe that you will have the best view from the Red Canyon Visitor Center. There are several viewpoints, simply spectacular.
19. Coral Pink Sand Dunes
In Utah, you can also visit dunes! And not normal dunes, but very curious for their pink color. That’s because they are formed from the erosion of Navajo sandstone, which surrounds the park and is pink in color. Of course, they are never in the same place! It is estimated that, with the wind, these sand dunes can move up to 15 meters per year.
20. Kanarra Falls
If you like waterfalls, you cannot miss the Kanarra Falls. The site became popular with locals and tourists through Instagram. So now a permit is required to keep the site and they “only” let 150 people pass per day.
The waterfalls are spectacular since they are inside a really beautiful canyon. Prepare to get wet, be well equipped and avoid going with small children, as there are some technical difficulties.
21. Yant Flat Cliffs, One of the Most Curious Places to See in Utah
Surely you have seen several times on the internet the famous The Wave, which is located in Arizona. Well, Utah has a similar one! Although it is not so spectacular, we believe that it is worth visiting.
To reach the famous sandstone formations with wavy shapes and a great variety, you will have to complete a simple hiking route. The wavy shapes are presented in shades of orange, red, yellow, pink, and white when combined with various rocky shapes and textures, create a highly photogenic landscape.
22. Goosenecks State Park and River Views
In the south of the state of Utah, you can visit this beautiful state park. It is famous for the panoramic view you can have of a meander of the San Juan River. The shapes are amazing! From above, you can contemplate it from more than 300 meters high.
Unlike other state and national parks, this one is not overly enabled and there are no great options for visiting beyond the views.
23. Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon’s Little Brother
It can be considered as the little brother of Bryce Canyon, as it also has hoodoos similar to those of the national park. Its amphitheater is incredible!
As snow is frequent in winter, the scenic drive is closed from mid-November to the end of May or June. We recommend walking the Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook trail for the best views of the amphitheater.
24. Mount Timpanogos and the Views, a Very Nice Place to See in Utah
If you like the mountains, Utah is a perfect state for you! You can climb Mount Timpanogos, one of the highest mountains in Utah. Its 3582 meters of altitude impose, although the best are the landscapes it offers.
It is the most popular mountain for locals, who come to climb it often. We recommend you go up the Timpooneke Trail. It’s about 12 miles each way, but it’s less steep than the Aspen Grove Trail.
25. Cathedral Valley at Capitol Reef National Park
And finally, to finish this post about the Best Places to Visit in Utah, we did not want to forget to mention this national park. It is a hidden treasure full of cliffs, canyons, bridges … In our opinion, it is very underrated, so visiting it is a great idea since it is not as popular as the previous ones.
The most spectacular section of the park (and also the most difficult to access) is Cathedral Valley. It is famous for its huge monoliths. The most famous is the so-called Temple of The Moon and the Sun. It is also a paradise for lovers of night photography. There are several trails and campsites to enjoy the stars.
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