Utah Travel Guide
If you like rugged, desert landscapes, it is hard to beat the beauty of Utah. Visit the state’s five stunning National Parks, stand among iconic US monuments, kayak on the Great Salt Lake, and climb through photogenic slot canyons. This state is a great one for road trippers as there are many panoramic views and short hikes to enjoy. And Utah is a playground for extreme hikers, as there are plenty of astounding and unique expeditions this state has to offer.

Utah Itineraries

If you are planning a trip to Utah and don’t know where to start, here are a few travel itineraries to help get you started.

Zion National Park

From the top things to do in the park, to the best trails to hike, and sample itineraries to help you plan your time, here are our articles about Zion National Park.
Zion Travel Guide
In our Guide to Zion National Park, learn about the best things to do, the best hiking trails, where to eat, and where to stay. 
Featured image for “Angels Landing Survival Guide: Things to Know Before You Go”

Angels Landing Survival Guide: Things to Know Before You Go

Angels Landing is the most popular hike in Zion National Park. This hike, along with The Narrows, draws thousands of…
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10 Great Hikes in Zion National Park: Which One Will Be Your Favorite?

Zion National Park is one of the best spots in the United States to go hiking. From the awe-inspiring hike…
Featured image for “Zion National Park Itinerary: How to Spend 1 to 6 Days in Zion”

Zion National Park Itinerary: How to Spend 1 to 6 Days in Zion

If you are planning your Zion National Park itinerary, this is a great place to start. Zion National Park is…
Featured image for “The Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Zion Narrows”

The Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Zion Narrows

The Zion Narrows is one of Zion’s most popular hikes, for good reason. This is the quintessential slot canyon hike.…
Featured image for “5 Things to Know Before Visiting Zion National Park”

5 Things to Know Before Visiting Zion National Park

Zion National Park and its epic hiking trails have become an extremely popular place to visit in recent years. This…
Featured image for “How to Day Hike the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park”

How to Day Hike the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park

The West Rim Trail is a long distance hike through Zion National Park. Starting at Lava Point, the trail slowly…
Featured image for “The Canyon Overlook Trail, One of Zion’s Essential Hikes”

The Canyon Overlook Trail, One of Zion’s Essential Hikes

The Canyon Overlook Trail is a gem of a hike in Zion National Park. It’s short, it’s fun, and it…
Featured image for “Hiking to Observation Point in Zion National Park”

Hiking to Observation Point in Zion National Park

For jaw-dropping views over Zion National Park, it’s hard to beat Observation Point. The entire hike is a beauty, but it…
Featured image for “Hidden Canyon: An Unexpected Surprise in Zion National Park”

Hidden Canyon: An Unexpected Surprise in Zion National Park

The hike to Hidden Canyon blew away our expectations. This hike is tons of fun, with trails that cling to…
Featured image for “Journey through the Zion Narrows in Photos”

Journey through the Zion Narrows in Photos

For millions of years, the Virgin River has been carving its way through layers of rock, forming the Zion Narrows.…
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10 Things to Do in Zion if You Don’t Want to Ride the Shuttle

Zion is one of the most popular national parks to visit in the USA. Recently, this park has been drawing…
Featured image for “Zion Narrows Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up: Which One Should You Choose?”

Zion Narrows Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up: Which One Should You Choose?

Hiking the Zion Narrows is a very unique experience. For miles you hike through an endless slot canyon with the…
Featured image for “How to Hike the Watchman Trail in Zion National Park”

How to Hike the Watchman Trail in Zion National Park

The Watchman Trail is a relatively easy hike that offers nice views over Springdale and the southern end of Zion…

Bryce Canyon National Park

From the top things to do in the park, to the best trails to hike, and sample itineraries to help you plan your time, here are our articles about Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce Canyon Travel Guide
In our Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park, learn about the best things to do, the best hiking trails, where to eat, and where to stay. 

Capitol Reef National Park

Everything you need to know to plan your visit to plan your visit to Capitol Reef National Park.
Capitol Reef Travel Guide
In our Guide to Capitol Reef National Park, learn about the best things to do, the best hiking trails, where to eat, and where to stay. 
Featured image for “14 Amazing Things to Do in Capitol Reef National Park”

14 Amazing Things to Do in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef, often an overlooked national park, is full of many wonderful surprises. With an amazing scenic drive, hiking trails…
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Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks: 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary

Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks are three spectacular parks to visit in Utah. With 10 days, you can…
Featured image for “Complete Guide to the Cathedral Valley Loop: Things to Do, Driving Route & Maps”

Complete Guide to the Cathedral Valley Loop: Things to Do, Driving Route & Maps

Cathedral Valley is a rugged, remote district of Capitol Reef National Park. Few people travel out this way, to see…
Featured image for “Capitol Reef National Park: Best Things to do With Limited Time”

Capitol Reef National Park: Best Things to do With Limited Time

With sandstone cliffs, white domes, arches, and slot canyons, Capitol Reef National Park is a rugged, extraordinary place to explore.…
Featured image for “How to Loop the Fold in Capitol Reef National Park”

How to Loop the Fold in Capitol Reef National Park

Desert vistas, slot canyons, colorful hills made of bentonite and sandstone, marine fossils…these are just a few of the things…
Featured image for “Cassidy Arch, An Essential Hike in Capitol Reef National Park”

Cassidy Arch, An Essential Hike in Capitol Reef National Park

The hike to Cassidy Arch is one of the most thrilling trails in Capitol Reef National Park. Easily accessible from…
Featured image for “One Perfect Day in Capitol Reef National Park (3 Different Ways)”

One Perfect Day in Capitol Reef National Park (3 Different Ways)

If you only have one day in Capitol Reef National Park, what should you do? There are several different ways…
Featured image for “The Ultimate Capitol Reef National Park Itinerary”

The Ultimate Capitol Reef National Park Itinerary

With beautiful scenic drives, slot canyons, backcountry roads, historical sites, thrilling hikes, and stunning landscapes, Capitol Reef is an unexpectedly…
Featured image for “16 Epic Day Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park”

16 Epic Day Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park

If you are looking for a great hike to do in Capitol Reef, the list is surprisingly long. In Capitol…
Featured image for “Rim Overlook & Navajo Knobs Trail | Capitol Reef National Park”

Rim Overlook & Navajo Knobs Trail | Capitol Reef National Park

The hike to Navajo Knobs is our favorite hike in Capitol Reef National Park. It’s a long, tough hike but…

Arches National Park

From the top things to do in the park, to the best trails to hike, and sample itineraries to help you plan your time, here are our articles about Arches National Park.
Arches Travel Guide
In our Guide to Arches National Park, learn about the best things to do, the best hiking trails, where to eat, and where to stay. 

Canyonlands National Park

From the top things to do in the park, to the best trails to hike, and sample itineraries to help you plan your time, here are our articles about Canyonlands National Park.
Canyonlands Travel Guide
In our Guide to Canyonlands National Park, learn about the best things to do, the best hiking trails, where to eat, and where to stay. 
Featured image for “10 Best Things to Do in Canyonlands National Park”

10 Best Things to Do in Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is a sprawling park that is located near Moab, Utah. This national park is made up of…
Featured image for “12 Amazing Things to Do in The Needles, Canyonlands National Park”

12 Amazing Things to Do in The Needles, Canyonlands National Park

The Needles is an often overlooked section of Canyonlands National Park. But those who take the time to visit the…
Featured image for “Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks: 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary”

Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks: 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary

Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks are three spectacular parks to visit in Utah. With 10 days, you can…
Featured image for “Best Things to do in Island in the Sky: Canyonlands National Park”

Best Things to do in Island in the Sky: Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is an underrated park located near Moab, Utah. Compared to its smaller and more popular neighbor Arches…
Featured image for “Best Way to Spend One Day in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks”

Best Way to Spend One Day in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

Canyonlands and Arches are two national parks that sit side-by-side near Moab, Utah. Since these parks are neighbors, it is…
Featured image for “Hiking the Gooseberry Trail in Canyonlands National Park”

Hiking the Gooseberry Trail in Canyonlands National Park

There are a number of hikes in Canyonlands National Park that offer sweeping views over the White Rim. Grand View…
Featured image for “How to Drive Shafer Canyon Road and Potash Road | Moab, Utah”

How to Drive Shafer Canyon Road and Potash Road | Moab, Utah

Have you seen photos of the Shafer Canyon switchbacks and said to yourself, wow, I’d really love to drive on…
Featured image for “How to Drive the White Rim Road in One Day”

How to Drive the White Rim Road in One Day

Driving the White Rim Road is one of the best experiences in Canyonlands National Park. For 100 miles, this road…
Featured image for “How to Drive the White Rim Road: Map, Photos & Driving Tips”

How to Drive the White Rim Road: Map, Photos & Driving Tips

Driving the White Rim Road is the experience of a lifetime. If you are looking for adventure, solitude, incredible views,…
Featured image for “How to Hike the Chesler Park Loop Trail in the Needles | Canyonlands National Park”

How to Hike the Chesler Park Loop Trail in the Needles | Canyonlands National Park

If you want to get an up-close look at the “Needles,” the sandstone spires that make the Needles district of…
Featured image for “How to Hike the Syncline Loop in Canyonlands National Park”

How to Hike the Syncline Loop in Canyonlands National Park

For years, I heard amazing things about the Syncline Loop. This tough hike is known for its outstanding views, and…
Featured image for “One Perfect Day in Canyonlands National Park”

One Perfect Day in Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands is an enormous National Park. Over 330,000 acres are filled with arches, buttes, mesas, canyons, hiking trails, dirt roads,…
Featured image for “White Rim Road: Detailed Planning Guide and Checklist”

White Rim Road: Detailed Planning Guide and Checklist

Driving the White Rim Road is a bucket list adventure. Over the course of 100 miles, you will circle around…

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is one of the USA's most iconic landscapes. Learn how to plan your visit and explore off-the-beaten-path places.

Grand Staircase - Escalante

Grand Staircase-Escalante is a huge area of protected land in southern Utah. Here are a few things to do in this wild, rugged wilderness.

More Places to Go in Utah

Here are a few more state parks and hidden gems to visit in Utah.

More Information about Utah

Here are a few more articles about things to see and do in and around Utah.

Top Experiences in Utah

Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City is a modern and bustling metropolis set amongst mountains and on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. This city is a great place to take a break from Utah’s desert, as you can go sailing on the Great Salt Lake, ski down nearby slopes in the winter, eat at gourmet Asian and barbeque restaurants, and go bar hopping between famous breweries.

Moab.  Moab is a quaint and outdoorsy city located in between Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. It is the perfect town to stay in if you are traveling to either of these parks. And Moab is packed with adventure activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, canyoneering, horseback riding, rafting, and hiking. The town itself is a beautiful one to walk around, and it has many delicious local restaurants, cafes, and breweries to enjoy after a day of adventure.

Park City. Park City is a quaint ski town nestled amongst large mountains and open wilderness. It is a popular destination to go for skiing, but they also have great outdoor activities all year round such as mountain biking, hiking, and kayaking.

Monument Valley. With sandstone buttes, colossal mesas, and panoramic vistas, Monument Valley is one of the USA’s iconic landscapes. You can take a scenic drive through Monument Valley independently or with a Navajo tour guide.

Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is an enormous National Park. Over 330,000 acres are filled with arches, buttes, mesas, canyons, hiking trails, dirt roads, campgrounds, and overlooks. It would take days, weeks even, to fully explore all that Canyonlands has to offer.

Arches National Park. Arches National Park is a wonderland of desert vistas, short hiking trails, unique rock formations, and you guessed it, arches. Not only will you find over 2,000 arches here, but you will also see hoodoos, fins of sandstone rocks, massive mesas, and balanced rocks. Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, and Balanced Rock are three popular sites to see here.

Capitol Reef National Park. Capitol Reef, often an overlooked national park, is full of many wonderful surprises. With an amazing scenic drive, hiking trails that rival those in Zion, rugged, remote areas to explore by 4×4, short, easy slot canyons, historical landmarks, and even delicious pie, this national park is absolutely amazing.

Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon National Park…a fantasyland of hoodoos, bizarre rock formations, and sandstone pillars. This is a beautiful place, and its unique landscape sets it apart from other national parks. Although Bryce may not have the same sweeping, expansive vistas as the Grand Canyon, it’s still a breathtaking experience the first time you see gaze across this landscape.

Zion National Park. Zion National Park is a hiker’s paradise. This relatively small park is packed with some of the most thrilling hikes in the United States. From the awe-inspiring hike up Angels Landing to the bucket list-worthy Zion Narrows to the family friendly Riverside Walk, there is something here for everyone.

The Narrows. The Zion Narrows is one of Zion’s most popular hikes, for good reason. This is the quintessential slot canyon hike. For miles, you hike in the North Fork of the Virgin River, surrounded by sheer rock walls and amazing beauty. It’s challenging, it’s unique, and it makes for a very memorable experience. If you are looking for a hike that will astound you, test your limits, and give you a greater appreciation for the beauty of the American Southwest, the Zion Narrows is perfect for you.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Grand Staircase-Escalante is a huge area of protected land in southern Utah. It is one of the last unmapped areas of the United States. Scramble through slot canyons, drive on dusty, dirt roads, and be amazed at the diverse beauty of this part of the United States.

Dead Horse Point State Park. Dead Horse Point is a beautiful park that has all of the ingredients of a perfect outdoor destination: easy but fun hiking trails, low crowds, and a jaw-dropping view that just may be better than anything you would get in the nearby national parks. Plus, its small size makes it easy to explore if you are short on time. This state park has many hiking trails and viewpoints overlooking buttes and mesas. You can also go mountain biking here.

Goblin Valley State Park. Goblin Valley is an easy to visit state park that is located in southeastern Utah. With its hoodoos, toadstools, “goblins,” and short but sweet hiking trails, this park is pure fun to visit. Kids, and kids at heart, will LOVE this park!! The main section of hoodoos and goblins is free to explore…there is no need to stick to a designated hiking trail. Which means that kids are free to explore, play hide and seek, and discover the nooks and crannies of this magical place.

Little Wild Horse Canyon. Little Wild Horse Canyon is one of the most thrilling slot canyons in Utah. With tight passageways, curving, scalloped walls, and short sections of easy rock scrambling, this hike is fun for both kids and adults. You can hike the narrowest (and most fun) section of Little Wild Horse as a fast out-and-back hike, or do this as a loop, adding on Bell Canyon. And, this Canyon is only 10 minutes from Goblin Valley State Park.

Snow Canyon State Park. Snow Canyon is a beautiful state park with colorful sandstone cliffs to rock-climb and lava caves to explore. There are many hiking trails in this park that will take you to spectacular overlooks over the canyon, as well as some through slot canyons to see ancient petroglyphs. Snow Canyon is a relatively uncrowded park, and it serves as a great place to enjoy outdoor activities without having to fight through packs of tourists.

Best Time to Visit Utah

The spring and fall months are the best times to visit. Weather conditions are pleasant and you can avoid the big crowds that flood the park in the summer.

During the summer months, expect soaring temperatures, large crowds, expensive prices for hotels, and lots of traffic at viewpoints and on hiking trails.

In the winter, the parks are much less crowded, but temperatures can get below freezing and snow is likely (especially in Bryce Canyon).

October is our favorite time to visit Utah. The temperatures were wonderful, crowds are lighter than the summer months, and the fall colors make several of the parks look even more beautiful than they normally are (notably Zion and Capitol Reef). Surprisingly, I also really liked our November and December visits. Temperatures were cold, but while hiking we never got hot or needed to bring much water. Plus, like the fall colors in October, the snow was an added bonus.

US National Parks

The US National Parks make an excellent travel destination, whether you are planning a cross-country road trip or a weekend getaway. In our guide to the national parks, get detailed trip planning information, advice on which parks to visit by season, and itineraries to help simplify your travel planning process.
Plan Your National Park Trip
Glacier National Park

Visit More of the USA

Learn more about places to go and things to do in the USA in our United States Travel Guide.