Living in Colorado for a number of years, I always heard about the Utah National Parks, and while I was so close to the area, I had to check them out for myself. One of the greatest things our country has to offer is the preservation of our natural habitats across the country, and if you love going out doors, exploring the vast open spaces, and getting a little bit of a history lesson, then the Utah National Parks are perfect for your next vacation.

Utah has a ton of opportunity when it comes to exploring the area, and with most of the states vast landscape riddled with national parks, you can easily find a resting place during your travels to kick back and enjoy the view. After visiting some of the best Utah parks, here are my recommendations when planning a top 5 must do list when exploring the state.

Top Utah National Parks

Beautiful Sunset at Arches National Park

Beautiful Sunset at Arches National Park

Arches National Park – nestled in craggy sandstone rises and pillars that resemble more of a distant castle than rock, the Arches National Park Visitor Center is the center hub for all tourists planning a trip through this majestic landscape. With a sprawling 73,234-acre wonderland, Arches showcases amazing views of eroded sandstone fins, towers, ribs, gargoyles, hoodoos, and balanced rocks. Combined with the modern roadways and rustic hiking trails, this destination is great for everyone young and old.

Overlooking Dead Horse Canyon just before sunrise

Overlooking Dead Horse Canyon just before sunrise

Canyonlands National Park – if you love deep gorges, towering mesas, and rugged landscape, then this park is a great choice when visiting the Utah area. Located just to the west of Moab, Canyonland boasts a ton of activities to choose from including day hikes, backpacking adventures, mountain biking tours, and even overnight camping for those looking to do a bit of star gazing.

Capitol Reef National Park is located in an area near to the Fremont River.

Capitol Reef National Park is located in an area near to the Fremont River.

Capitol Reef National Park – if you are looking for a bit more of a sparse environment where you’ll not run into as many people on the hiking trails, then this park is a top choice for solo adventurers. The beautiful array of colorful cliffs, hidden arches and massive domes give the visitor a multifaceted experience as they traverse the terrain.

The Stunning Red Rock Mountains in Zion National Park

The Stunning Red Rock Mountains in Zion National Park

Zion National Park – a placed carved into history by water and time, Zion National Park offers a warmer climate located in the southwestern area of the state. This 147,000-acre parkland offers dramatic landscapes, breathtaking canyons and the Virgin River. Another great destination for any age visitor, you can opt in for the scenic byways or venture out into the wild by trekking through the various trails in this beautiful landscape.

View from viewpoint of Bryce Canyon.

View from viewpoint of Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park – last but not least on the top parks in Utah is this beauty. This alpine environment is home to thousands of birds and mammals perfect for live wildlife viewing. Each year, the park wows visitors with its colorful and bright geological formations, narrow fins, and natural bridges. Visitors can explore the park through various means including day hikes, and even a challenging 11 mile round trip.

Utah has many other national parks, 13 to be exact, and while these are my top favorites for obvious reasons, many of the other parks offer just as much fun and adventure. So if you live in the area and have never taken the opportunity to venture out and enjoy what the great state of Utah has to offer, then hit the road this summer and enjoy a family outing that will last a lifetime.

 

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