Utah, nicknamed “Beehive State”, offers some of the most beautiful and spectacular sights and places to visit! Just browse through these awesome pictures and be amazed by it’s beauty. Fun fact: The name Utah derives from the Native American Ute tribe and means people of the mountains.
1. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is one of America’s most iconic landmarks, home to huge sandstone formations that reach up to 1,000 ft tall. The desert area is a popular hiking, jeeping and horseriding location, with local guides available to navigate you through the Valley. Steeped in a rich Native American and Old West history, Monument Valley is atmospheric and unforgettable.
2. Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is home to the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. Hoodoos are unique rock formations created by uneven erosion and weathering, giving them a distinctive and unmissable appearance. At Bryce Canyon, you will also find woodland, wildlife and caves, making it a hiker’s paradise. At night, the lack of local light sources create the perfect location for stargazing with unparalleled starry skies.
3. Arches National Park
Arches National Park features over 2,000 natural stone arches as well as a variety of other strange and captivating rock formations, including balanced rocks. The stone here is a rich red, evocative of the Old West and natural America. You can also find Wolfe Ranch on site, a one-room cabin built in 1898 and largely unchanged today. The Ranch offers a glimpse into the harsh desert life for early 20th-century Americans.
4. Escalante National Monument
The Escalante National Monument has been around for millions of years, forming an incredible rock formation that we can enjoy today. The Monument features three main areas with the most famous being the Grand Staircase (Escalante). The Staircase features a number of plateaus descending like steps from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon. Perfect for hikers, Escalante also features the fossil-filled Kaiparowits Plateau at its highest point, and the Escalante Canyons at the base.
5. Red Cliffs
Utah’s Red Cliffs span a stunning and colourful 45,000 acres. The cliffs are formed from red sandstone which gives them their unique appearance and the shade of the towering formations offers some respite in the hot desert. The Red Cliffs Conservation Area offers plenty of space for tourists to explore and hike. There is an Archeological Site featuring ruins of Native American pueblos, and even dinosaur tracks from the Early Jurassic period.
6. Zion National Park
Zion National Park is Utah’s first national park and offers a slice of the Utah wilderness. The multi-coloured sandstone cliffs and desert wildlife craft an immersive environment that was once inhabited by Native Americans and pioneers alike. At Zion National Park, there are plenty of opportunities to hike, rock-climb, mountain-bike and explore. Climb to the top of the cliffs to witness a desert sunset like no other.
7. Buckskin Gulch
Buckskin Gulch is considered to be the world’s longest slot canyon, full of twisting narrow corridors formed from towering red stone. Buckskin Gulch is considered by climbing and hiking enthusiasts to be a challenge. Some points along the route are extremely narrow and dark, whilst others are filled with waist-deep water. This makes it ideal for those seeking adventure or a unique location to be active.
8. Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park features many canyons and other rock formations, carved out by the Colorado River over millions of years. Humans have been on the Canyonlands for over 10,000 years, weaving a rich Native American and pioneer history. Native American art can still be found in the Horseshoe Canyon today. In addition, the Canyonlands offer a variety of different desert environments for tourists and hikers, including the labyrinthine Maze, hiking trails, and rafting or kayaking on the rivers.
9. Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is a 22-acre lake with stunningly clear waters at the base of the towering 12,000 ft tall Bald Mountain. The Lake is a popular spot for fishing, camping, and kayaking. The lake is surrounded by forest so it is ideal for wildlife-watching. There are a number of hiking trails accessible from this serene location making it a great place to relax after a long hike – or to recharge before setting off.
10. Antelope Island
Situated in the Great Salt Lake – one of the largest lakes in the world – is Antelope Island, the lake’s biggest island. Antelope Island is situated near Salt Lake City making it easily accessible. The island is a haven for wildlife including its namesake antelope, as well as bison, sheep, coyotes and water birds. The island features a number of mountains and natural springs. You can also find the Fielding Garr Ranch here. The house was built in 1848 and is the oldest building in Utah still on its original foundations.
11. Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef is a large national park in Utah filled with beautiful rock formations. The park is a reminder of the Old West with its colourful canyons and cliffs, and the shrubbery that lines much of the desert floor. In the park, you can find the famous Waterpocket Fold which is a huge ridge in the earth formed by shifting plates lifting one side of a fault. You can also see Native American art and rock shelters alongside later settlers’ houses.
12. Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point is a collection of overlooks surrounding a portion of the Colorado River, which runs below. Dead Horse Point was originally a corral used by cowboys and got its name from the horses that frequently died of exposure. Today, the state park offers stunning views of the Colorado River and the Canyonlands, as well as a small taste of the extreme conditions that the cowboys of old would have faced. The area was also used to shoot the final scenes in the 1991 film ‘Thelma and Louise’.
13. Toquerville Falls, LaVerkin Creek
LaVerkin Creek can be found near the Zion National Park and offers hiking trails and camping opportunities. The Toquerville Falls can also be found near the Creek. The falls feature sunbaked sandstone ledges surrounding three crystal-clear waterfalls flowing into a pool. The falls are perfect for cooling off in the summer and offer a true oasis in the middle of the baking Utah desert.
14. Lake Powell
Lake Powell is a huge man-made reservoir visited by 2,000,000 people every year. It straddles both Utah and Arizona. The water is stunningly blue and the rocks contrast beautifully in hues of red, orange and yellow. In the adjacent Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, you can also find the Rainbow Bridge National Monument. This is considered to be the world’s highest natural bridge.
15. Alpine Loop
The Alpine Loop is a scenic drive spanning 20 miles through alpine canyons. On the drive, the glacier-topped Mount Timpanogos and other mountains are visible, offering impressive views. Along the way you can access the Timpanogos Cave National Monument as well as the Cascade Springs. The Springs are fed by water trickling down from the mountains. In the larger pools, the water is clear and shallow enough to see native trout swimming.
16. Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley is so-called because of its natural abundance of unique rock formations called hoodoos. These formations are locally known as goblins due to their likeness to the mythical creature. There are a number of hiking trails through the park as well as evidence of ancient Native American art in one area called the San Rafael Swell. It is also possible to see some hardy local wildlife including lizards, scorpions and jackrabbits.
17. Four Corners
The Four Corners Monument marks the location in the Southwest of America where four states meet: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. This is the only place in America where four states meet in such a way. The spot also marks the boundary between the Navajo and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe governments, making it an excellent location to learn about the indigenous culture and history of the region.
18. Golden Spike National Historic Site
The Golden Spike site commemorates the joining of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads to create the first Transcontinental Railroad. This historic event occurred in 1869 at Promontory Summit, the current location of the Golden Spike site. At this site, you can see replica working locomotives that run on a regular basis each day. In addition, the visitor centre offers souvenirs and historical exhibits that explore the significance and cultural importance of America’s first Transcontinental Railroad.
19. Timpanogos Cave National Monument
The Timpanogos Cave National Monument protects the cave system on Mount Timpanogos in Utah. The caves are accessible to visitors via a trail and guided tour during spring and summer. The cave system features a number of interesting formations and cave features including stalactites, stalagmites and helictites, which are slim spiralling cones of rock.