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Best Outdoor Places to Visit in Utah

Utah is already  an outdoor lover’s paradise, and it’s only getting better. With five national parks, 43 state parks, and countless other natural wonders to explore, there’s no shortage of places to get your nature fix in the Beehive State.

And while Utah is best known for its world-famous ski resorts, there’s plenty to do here in the summer months too. From hiking and mountain biking to rafting and rock climbing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

So whether you’re a local looking for some new adventures or a visitor from out of state, be sure to check out some of these great outdoor destinations in Utah.

Zion National Park

One of Utah’s most popular tourist destinations, Zion National Park is a must-see for any outdoor enthusiast. With its towering red cliffs, lush canyons, and meandering rivers, Zion is a true natural wonder.

There are plenty of great hikes to explore in the park, ranging from easy strolls to challenging multi-day treks. And for those who want to take things up a notch, there’s also canyoneering, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is another one of Utah’s stunning national parks. It’s best known for its unique geology, with miles of colorful hoodoos (odd-shaped rock formations) dotting the landscape.

There are several short walks and hikes that are perfect for families, as well as more challenging options for experienced hikers. And in the winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing available.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, making it one of the most unique places on earth. In addition to its signature arches, the park also features stunning red rock formations, canyons, and desert landscapes.

There are plenty of easy trails suitable for all skill levels, as well as longer hikes that will take you deep into the backcountry. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to stargaze in one of the darkest night skies in the country.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands is a vast and rugged national park that’s perfect for those who love to explore. With four different sections (Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and Horseshoe Canyon), there’s plenty to see and do here.

From hiking and mountain biking to canyoneering and four-wheel driving, there’s no shortage of adventure to be had in Canyonlands. And with its dramatic desert landscapes, the park is also a photographer’s dream.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is yet another must-see national park in Utah. It’s best known for its colorful sandstone cliffs, but there’s also plenty of other great things to see and do here.

In addition to hiking and backpacking, Capitol Reef is also a great place for canyoneering, rock climbing, and mountain biking. And don’t forget to check out the petroglyphs (ancient rock art) and fruit orchards that dot the park.

Moab

Moab is a small town located in southeastern Utah that’s become a mecca for outdoor lovers. With its close proximity to Arches and Canyonlands national parks, as well as several state parks, there’s no shortage of things to do here.

From hiking and mountain biking to rafting and rock climbing, Moab has something for everyone. And don’t forget to check out the world-famous Slickrock Bike Trail, which is beloved by mountain bikers from all over the world.

Ogden

Ogden is a small city located in northern Utah that’s often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Salt Lake City. But Ogden is well worth a visit, especially for outdoor enthusiasts.

With easy access to the Wasatch Mountains, Ogden is a great place for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. And in the winter, the nearby Powder Mountain ski resort is a mecca for powder hounds.

St. George

St. George is a small city located in southwestern Utah that’s a popular destination for retirees. But it’s also a great place to visit for outdoor lovers, thanks to its proximity to several national parks.

Zion National Park is just a short drive away, and there are also plenty of great hiking and mountain biking trails in the area. And don’t forget to check out Snow Canyon State Park, which features stunning red rock formations.

The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere, and it’s a great place to visit for those who love the outdoors. With its sandy beaches, dramatic sunsets, and abundant birdlife, it’s easy to see why.

There are several state parks located around the lake that offer great hiking, mountain biking, and camping. And don’t miss out on the chance to go sailing, windsurfing, or kitesurfing on the lake’s famously salty waters.

Utah Lake

Utah Lake is another great place to visit for those who love the outdoors. With its sandy beaches and dramatic mountain views, it’s easy to see why.

There are several state parks located around the lake that offer great hiking, mountain biking, and camping. And don’t miss out on the chance to go fishing, boating, or Stand-up Paddleboarding on Utah Lake’s calm waters.

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time visitor, Utah is sure to have something for you. So get out there and explore all that this amazing state has to offer!