Why is Utah so awesome? From its majestic national parks to its stunning mountain ranges, there's something for everyone in the Beehive State. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a culture lover, Utah has it all.
Here are more than 201 reasons why we say “Utah is awesome”!
11 fun outdoor activities to do in Utah
- Hiking in Utah's national parks - Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands offer some of the best hiking trails in the country.
- Skiing and snowboarding - Utah has some of the best ski resorts in the world, including Park City, Deer Valley, and Alta.
- Camping - There are many campgrounds and RV parks throughout Utah's national parks and state parks.
- Mountain biking - Utah has some of the best mountain biking trails in the world, including Moab's Slickrock Trail and Park City's IMBA Epic Trail.
- River rafting - Utah's rivers, including the Colorado River and the Green River, offer excellent whitewater rafting opportunities.
- Rock climbing - Utah's diverse landscapes offer a variety of rock climbing experiences, including desert towers and mountain crags.
- Hot air ballooning - Take in the stunning scenery of Utah's red rock formations from the sky on a hot air balloon ride.
- Horseback riding - Horseback riding is a popular way to explore Utah's scenic backcountry.
- Wildlife watching - Utah's national parks and state parks are home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, elk, and mule deer.
- Stargazing - Utah's remote areas offer some of the best stargazing opportunities in the country, including the Dark Sky Park at Cedar Breaks National Monument.
- Scenic drives - Utah's scenic byways, including the Scenic Byway 12 and the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, offer stunning views of Utah's mountains, canyons, and deserts.
9 Utah historical sites and landmarks to see
- Golden Spike National Historic Site: Commemorating the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the US in 1869, this historic site in Promontory Summit is a must-visit for history buffs.
- This is the Place Heritage Park: This living history museum in Salt Lake City showcases Utah's pioneer heritage, with historical buildings, exhibits, and hands-on activities.
- Cove Fort: This historic site in Beaver was a waystation and fortress for travelers on the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail in the 1800s.
- Hole-in-the-Rock: Located in Escalante, this site marks the spot where Mormon pioneers made a treacherous descent into the Colorado River gorge to reach the fertile lands of southeastern Utah.
- Brigham Young Winter Home: This historic home in St. George was once the winter residence of Brigham Young, the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Natural Bridges National Monument: This national monument in San Juan County features three natural bridges that were formed over thousands of years by erosion and weathering.
- Dinosaur National Monument: This national monument on the Utah-Colorado border features over 800 paleontological sites and over 1,500 dinosaur fossils.
- Cedar City Historic District: This district in Cedar City features over 100 historic buildings, including the Iron Mission State Park Museum, which tells the story of Utah's early iron industry.
- Fort Douglas: This former US Army post in Salt Lake City played a significant role in the settlement of the West and served as a training center for soldiers during World War II.
11 of the best hiking trails in Utah to try this year
- Angel's Landing - Zion National Park
- Delicate Arch - Arches National Park
- The Narrows - Zion National Park
- The Subway - Zion National Park
- Fairyland Loop - Bryce Canyon National Park
- The Wave - Coyote Buttes North
- Cathedral Valley - Capitol Reef National Park
- Mount Timpanogos - Wasatch Mountains
- Calf Creek Falls - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- Kanarraville Falls - Kanarraville
- Devil's Garden - Arches National Park
These hiking trails offer a variety of difficulty levels and range from short day hikes to longer multi-day adventures. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a beginner, there's a trail in Utah that's perfect for you. Don't forget to pack plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen, and always practice Leave No Trace principles to help protect Utah's beautiful natural landscapes.
10 spooky Utah ghost towns to visit
There are several ghost towns in Utah worth exploring. Here are some of the best:
- Thistle - This ghost town is located in Spanish Fork Canyon and was abandoned after a devastating landslide in 1983.
- Grafton - This ghost town is located near Zion National Park and was abandoned in the early 1900s after a series of floods.
- Ophir - This ghost town is located near Tooele and was once a mining town. It was abandoned in the 1930s.
- Frisco - This ghost town is located near Milford and was once a booming mining town. It was abandoned in the early 1900s.
- Silver Reef - This ghost town is located near St. George and was a silver mining town in the late 1800s. It was abandoned in the early 1900s.
- Cisco - This ghost town is located near the Utah-Colorado border and was a railroad town in the early 1900s. It was abandoned in the 1950s.
- Mercur - This ghost town is located near Tooele and was a gold mining town in the late 1800s. It was abandoned in the early 1900s.
- Iosepa - This ghost town is located near Skull Valley and was a Mormon settlement in the late 1800s. It was abandoned in the early 1900s.
- Gold Hill - This ghost town is located near Tooele and was a mining town in the late 1800s. It was abandoned in the early 1900s.
- Sego - This ghost town is located near Green River and was a coal mining town in the early 1900s. It was abandoned in the 1950s.
11 fun things to do in Utah’s “Mighty 5” National Parks
- Zion National Park: Hike Angels Landing, an iconic trail that offers stunning views of the park.
- Zion National Park: Explore The Narrows, a slot canyon hike through the Virgin River.
- Arches National Park: Visit Delicate Arch, the iconic natural arch that is one of the most photographed landmarks in Utah.
- Arches National Park: Hike the Devil's Garden Trail, which features several arches along the way.
- Bryce Canyon National Park: Take a scenic drive along the park's famous Bryce Amphitheater.
- Bryce Canyon National Park: Hike the Navajo Loop Trail, which offers stunning views of the park's famous hoodoos.
- Capitol Reef National Park: Hike the Hickman Bridge Trail, which takes you to a natural bridge made of sandstone.
- Capitol Reef National Park: Drive the scenic Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, which offers breathtaking views of the park.
- Canyonlands National Park: Take a 4x4 tour of the park's backcountry and explore the rugged terrain.
- Canyonlands National Park: Hike the Island in the Sky Mesa Trail, which offers panoramic views of the park.
- Canyonlands National Park: Go whitewater rafting on the Colorado or Green River and experience the park from a different perspective.
10 iconic Utah waterfalls to check out
There are many beautiful waterfalls in Utah. Here are 10 of the best:
- Bridal Veil Falls - located in Provo Canyon, this 607-foot waterfall is one of the most popular in Utah.
- Lower Calf Creek Falls - a 126-foot waterfall in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
- Stewart Falls - a 200-foot waterfall in Provo Canyon.
- Donut Falls - a unique waterfall that flows through a hole in a rock formation in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
- Upper Falls - a 120-foot waterfall in the beautiful Zion National Park.
- Lower Falls - located in the same area as Upper Falls, this 30-foot waterfall is another must-see in Zion.
- Adams Canyon Trail - located in Layton, this trail leads to a stunning waterfall that cascades over a cliff.
- Fifth Water Hot Springs - located near Spanish Fork, this hike offers views of several beautiful waterfalls.
- Battle Creek Falls - located near Pleasant Grove, this waterfall is a popular spot for hikers and families.
- Provo River Falls - located in Provo Canyon, this waterfall is easily accessible and offers beautiful views of the river and surrounding mountains.
11 fun things to do in Salt Lake City
- Visit the Temple Square - the city's most iconic landmark and headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Take a tour of the Utah State Capitol Building - a beautiful building that offers great views of the city.
- Explore the Natural History Museum of Utah - a fascinating museum that showcases the region's geology, history, and wildlife.
- Visit the Hogle Zoo - a popular attraction that features over 800 animals from around the world.
- Go shopping at City Creek Center - a modern shopping mall located downtown.
- Enjoy a picnic or take a stroll in Liberty Park - the city's oldest and largest park, featuring a pond, a playground, and many picnic areas.
- Catch a game or concert at the Delta Center - home of the Utah Jazz NBA team and a popular venue for concerts and events.
- Discover local art and culture at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts - a great museum with a diverse collection of art from around the world.
- Take a scenic drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon - a beautiful canyon with stunning views, hiking trails, and skiing in the winter.
- Explore the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum - a beautiful botanical garden featuring over 21 acres of plant collections, walking paths, and trails.
- Visit the Great Salt Lake - the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, featuring a unique landscape and a variety of outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, and birdwatching.
10 wonderful places to go Utah wildlife watching
Utah is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and there are many great places to observe them in their natural habitat. Here are some of the best places to see wildlife in Utah:
- Antelope Island State Park: This park is home to a herd of bison, as well as pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and a variety of birds.
- Zion National Park: Here, you can see desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a variety of birds, including the California condor.
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: This area is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, and mule deer.
- Bryce Canyon National Park: This park is home to a variety of birds, including the rare California condor, as well as pronghorn antelope and mule deer.
- Wasatch Mountain State Park: Here, you can see a variety of wildlife, including moose, elk, and mule deer.
- Hogle Zoo: This zoo in Salt Lake City has a wide variety of animals from around the world, as well as a strong focus on local wildlife.
- Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge: This refuge is home to over 200 species of birds, as well as a variety of mammals, including beavers, muskrats, and coyotes.
- Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area: Here, you can see a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope.
- Fishlake National Forest: This area is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, mule deer, and black bears.
- Great Salt Lake: This lake is home to a variety of birds, including American white pelicans, Wilson's phalaropes, and black-necked stilts.
11 fun things to do all year at ski resorts in Utah
- Skiing and Snowboarding: Of course, the most popular activity at ski resorts is skiing and snowboarding, and Utah boasts some of the best ski resorts in the country.
- Snowshoeing: Take a break from skiing or snowboarding and go snowshoeing through the winter wonderland landscapes.
- Tubing: Many ski resorts have tubing hills, which can be a fun activity for people of all ages.
- Sleigh Rides: Enjoy the beauty of the winter landscape on a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
- Snowmobiling: For thrill-seekers, snowmobiling can be an exciting activity to try out.
- Ice Skating: Many ski resorts have ice skating rinks, so bring your skates and enjoy some time on the ice.
- Zip Lining: During the summer months, some ski resorts offer zip lining courses through the mountains.
- Mountain Biking: Once the snow melts, many ski resorts open up their trails for mountain biking, providing a unique and challenging experience.
- Hiking: Many ski resorts have trails that are open year-round, offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- Summer Concerts: During the summer months, many ski resorts host outdoor concerts and events, providing entertainment for visitors.
- Scenic Chairlift Rides: Enjoy a leisurely ride on a chairlift and take in the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
5 of the greatest Utah horseback riding places
There are many great places to go horseback riding in Utah, but here are 5 of the best:
- Bryce Canyon National Park: Horseback riding in this iconic park is a must-do activity. The views from the saddle are breathtaking.
- Zion National Park: There are several companies that offer horseback tours in Zion National Park. The towering cliffs and stunning vistas make this a truly unforgettable experience.
- Moab: The area around Moab is famous for its red rock formations, and there are several companies that offer guided horseback tours through this stunning landscape.
- Park City: The mountains around Park City offer some of the best horseback riding in Utah. You can take a guided tour or rent a horse and explore on your own.
- Antelope Island State Park: This island in the Great Salt Lake is home to a herd of bison and is a great place for horseback riding. There are several trails that offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
11 of the best Utah hot springs to check out
- Homestead Crater Hot Springs - located in Midway, Utah, it's a natural geothermal spring inside a limestone cave.
- Fifth Water Hot Springs - located in Diamond Fork Canyon, it's a series of hot springs cascading into a stream.
- Mystic Hot Springs - located in Monroe, Utah, it has several hot spring pools and also offers overnight camping.
- Meadow Hot Springs - located in Meadow, Utah, it has three pools with varying temperatures.
- Diamond Fork Hot Springs - located in Spanish Fork Canyon, it has several natural hot spring pools along the Diamond Fork River.
- Baker Hot Springs - located in Delta, Utah, it has two large hot spring pools and several smaller ones.
- Saratoga Hot Springs - located in Saratoga Springs, Utah, it's a natural hot spring pool with a great view of the surrounding mountains.
- Crystal Hot Springs - located in Honeyville, Utah, it has several pools with varying temperatures and also offers overnight camping.
- Lava Hot Springs - located in nearby Idaho, it's a series of hot spring pools with varying temperatures and also offers other activities like water slides and zip lines.
- Mystic Hot Springs of Monroe - located in Monroe, Utah, it offers hot spring pools and overnight camping.
- Onsen Hot Springs - located in Cedar City, Utah, it offers hot spring pools and lodging in a peaceful and scenic setting.
10 of Utah’s best river rafting areas
Utah has many beautiful and exciting rivers that offer great opportunities for rafting. Here are some of the best Utah river rafting areas:
- Colorado River: The Colorado River runs through the heart of Canyonlands National Park and offers spectacular views and challenging rapids.
- Green River: The Green River is a popular destination for multi-day rafting trips that offer stunning views of the desert landscape and challenging rapids.
- Weber River: The Weber River is a popular spot for both beginners and experienced rafters, with exciting rapids and stunning scenery.
- Provo River: The Provo River is a great option for families and beginners, with gentle rapids and beautiful scenery.
- San Juan River: The San Juan River offers a relaxing float trip through beautiful red rock canyons, with occasional small rapids to add excitement.
- Yampa River: The Yampa River offers a unique rafting experience with stunning scenery and challenging rapids, including the famous Warm Springs Rapid.
- Green River Daily: The Green River Daily is a popular day trip for rafters looking for a fun and exciting experience without committing to a multi-day trip.
- Cataract Canyon: Cataract Canyon is one of the most popular rafting destinations in Utah, offering thrilling rapids and stunning scenery.
- Westwater Canyon: Westwater Canyon is a challenging and exciting rafting destination with stunning red rock scenery.
- Dolores River: The Dolores River offers a remote and challenging rafting experience, with beautiful scenery and exciting rapids.
11 of the best Utah mountain biking trails to try
Utah is a mecca for mountain bikers, with a variety of trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. Here are 11 of the best Utah mountain biking trails to try:
- Wasatch Crest Trail - a challenging trail that offers stunning views of the Wasatch Mountains.
- Slickrock Trail - an iconic trail in Moab with challenging terrain and amazing views.
- Dead Horse Point - a beginner-friendly trail with amazing views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.
- The Whole Enchilada - an epic 26-mile trail in Moab with a mix of technical and flowy terrain.
- Thunder Mountain - a fun, flowy trail with great views of Bryce Canyon National Park.
- Gooseberry Mesa - a technical trail with slickrock and sandstone features.
- Intermountain Cup Trails - a series of cross-country trails in the Salt Lake City area.
- The Red Canyon - a scenic trail with red rock formations and views of Zion National Park.
- Mag 7 Trails - a set of trails in Moab with a mix of technical and flowy terrain.
- JEM Trail - a flowy trail with great views of Zion National Park.
- Moab Brand Trails - a set of beginner-friendly trails with amazing views of Moab and the surrounding area.
10 challenging Utah rock climbing destinations
Utah is known for its incredible rock formations and challenging rock climbing routes. Here are some of the best Utah rock climbing destinations:
- Indian Creek - This area near Moab is known for its challenging crack climbing.
- Maple Canyon - This canyon near Fountain Green is known for its unique cobblestone rock formations.
- Little Cottonwood Canyon - Located near Salt Lake City, this canyon has numerous challenging routes for experienced climbers.
- Joe's Valley - This bouldering destination near Orangeville has a wide range of routes for climbers of all skill levels.
- Zion National Park - The towering sandstone cliffs of Zion offer some of the most challenging and beautiful climbing routes in the country.
- Moab - This area is known for its sandstone towers and challenging routes, including the iconic Fisher Towers.
- St. George - With its warm climate, St. George is a popular winter climbing destination with a variety of routes for all skill levels.
- San Rafael Swell - This remote area in central Utah has numerous climbing opportunities, including the famous Crack Canyon.
- American Fork Canyon - Located in the Wasatch Mountains, this canyon has a variety of routes for both sport and traditional climbing.
- Castle Valley - This area near Moab is known for its stunning rock formations, including Castleton Tower and The Rectory, which offer challenging routes for experienced climbers.
11 incredible Utah scenic drives to take
Utah is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the United States, and one of the best ways to experience them is through scenic drives. Here are 11 of the best scenic drives to take in Utah:
- Alpine Loop Scenic Byway
- Logan Canyon Scenic Byway
- Mirror Lake Scenic Byway
- Nebo Loop Scenic Byway
- Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway
- Highway 12 Scenic Byway
- Manti-La Sal Scenic Byway
- Mount Nebo Scenic Byway
- Energy Loop: Huntington and Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway
- Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway
- Scenic Byway 143 (Brian Head-Panguitch Lake)
Each of these scenic drives offers a unique perspective of Utah's natural beauty, from towering peaks and alpine lakes to colorful canyons and rock formations.
11 awe-inspiring Utah stargazing spots
Utah is home to several incredible stargazing spots, thanks to its dark skies and remote locations. Here are some of the best spots for stargazing in Utah:
- Natural Bridges National Monument
- Goblin Valley State Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Cedar Breaks National Monument
- Hovenweep National Monument
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Great Salt Lake State Park
Each of these locations offers a unique stargazing experience, with stunning views of the Milky Way and constellations visible to the naked eye. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced astronomer, Utah's stargazing spots are sure to leave you in awe. Remember to bring a telescope or binoculars, a red light flashlight, and warm clothing for chilly nights.
11 family friendly activities in Utah
- Visit Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City to see exotic animals from all over the world.
- Take a scenic drive through Bryce Canyon National Park and marvel at the towering hoodoos.
- Explore the Natural History Museum of Utah, where you can learn about the state's fascinating geology and wildlife.
- Have a blast at Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, which features thrilling roller coasters, water rides, and more.
- Take a scenic chairlift ride at one of the state's many ski resorts, such as Park City or Snowbird, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Go on a family-friendly hike in one of Utah's many state parks, such as Antelope Island or Goblin Valley.
- Visit the Living Planet Aquarium in Draper and see thousands of fish, sharks, and other marine life.
- Take a trip to the Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City and observe over 130 species of birds from around the world.
- Explore the Children's Museum of Utah, where kids can learn through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities.
- Visit the Great Salt Lake and enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or picnicking on its sandy beaches.
- Go on a family adventure at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, where you can try your hand at bobsledding, ziplining, and other exciting activities.
11 Utah festivals and events that happen every year
- Sundance Film Festival - A premier independent film festival that takes place in Park City every January.
- Utah Arts Festival - A four-day event in Salt Lake City that celebrates visual, culinary and performing arts.
- Utah Shakespeare Festival - Held in Cedar City, this festival presents several Shakespearean plays each year as well as other theatrical productions.
- Timpanogos Storytelling Festival - A family-friendly festival that celebrates the art of storytelling in Orem each September.
- Utah State Fair - A two-week event in Salt Lake City that showcases agriculture, livestock, entertainment, and food.
- Moab Music Festival - A unique music festival that combines chamber music with stunning natural settings in Moab each September.
- Cherry Days - A celebration of local cherry harvest in North Ogden each July.
- Utah Pride Festival - A vibrant celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and community that takes place in Salt Lake City every June.
- Lagoon Amusement Park - A popular amusement park located in Farmington, featuring roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly attractions.
- Thanksgiving Point - A family-friendly destination in Lehi that features botanical gardens, museums, farm animals, and other attractions.
- Holi Festival of Colors - A colorful and lively celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi, held in Spanish Fork each year.
11 fun things to do at Utah state parks
- Boating and fishing at Bear Lake State Park
- Hiking the trails and exploring the sandstone formations at Goblin Valley State Park
- Camping and stargazing at Dead Horse Point State Park
- Swimming and picnicking at Sand Hollow State Park
- Horseback riding and rock climbing at Wasatch Mountain State Park
- Exploring the historic buildings and pioneer artifacts at This Is The Place State Park
- Fishing and paddleboarding at Deer Creek State Park
- Taking a scenic drive and enjoying the red rock scenery at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
- Bird watching and hiking at Antelope Island State Park
- Mountain biking and geocaching at Jordanelle State Park
- Enjoying the waterslides and wave pool at Cherry Hill Water Park, located within the bounds of Willard Bay State Park.
These are just a few examples of the many fun things to do at Utah's state parks, which offer a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all ages and interests.
11 amazing Utah camping spots you need to check out
Utah is home to many beautiful camping spots that offer stunning scenery and outdoor activities. Here are 11 of the best camping spots in Utah:
- Zion National Park: Watchman Campground
- Arches National Park: Devil's Garden Campground
- Bryce Canyon National Park: North Campground
- Canyonlands National Park: Willow Flat Campground
- Capitol Reef National Park: Fruita Campground
- Fishlake National Forest: Johnson Valley Reservoir
- Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest: Mirror Lake
- Wasatch Mountain State Park: Little Deer Creek Campground
- Goblin Valley State Park: Goblin Valley Campground
- Dead Horse Point State Park: Kayenta Campground
- Antelope Island State Park: Bridger Bay Campground
Each of these camping spots offers unique and beautiful scenery as well as plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, and stargazing.