Utah is known for its wide range of beautiful landmarks from the Mighty Five National Parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reed and Zion) and breathtaking red rocks to expansive salt flats, and some of the freshest smelling pine trees in the country. Getaways in the beehive state can introduce you to ethereal landscapes, make the most of your time in the great outdoors, and instill a sense of adventure. Here are some of Utah’s most photogenic spots for destination getaways you and your family are sure to remember for a lifetime.
This 20-mile drive follows Utah Hwy. 92 up the American Fork Canyon and then continues through Uinta National Forest into Provo Canyon on U.S. 189. This route winds through the jaw dropping alpine canyons of Wasatch Range showing off many sharp-carved peaks and the popular Mount Timpanogos.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Open year-round for a variety of tours and camping, this National Park is home to large natural amphitheaters and thousands of multi-colored rock pinnacles called “hoodoos.” These formations shine brilliantly under sunny skies, but glow most exquisitely under the soft light of the rising or setting sun. Located near the junction of Utah Scenic Byway 12 and U-63, Visitors often drive through the 20-mile-long park, stopping to take in scenic viewpoints while on the road.
Lake Powell is a massive, adventure playground with breathtaking scenery. This is a very busy and popular area. This stunning lake is 186 miles long as it twists and winds through 96 side canyons. It hugs a spectacular, ever-changing, eroded coastline of nearly 2,000 miles. Use extreme caution when viewing the iconic Horseshoe Bend from the rim viewpoints, especially in areas where safety rails have not been installed. To avoid disappointment, be sure to make reservations well in advance for tours, river rafting, accommodations and houseboating on Lake Powell.
Provo River Falls
The Provo River tumbles over a series of scenic waterfalls as it flows along Hwy 150 in the Uinta Mountains. The water is enjoyable to wade it all summer long but be aware it moves swiftly in early summer so take caution. This area is very scenic, in a tall fir forest with craggy peaks in the background. Trails run up and down the river to the various waterfalls where wildlife is commonly seen throughout the area.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is one of the most famous places to visit in Utah with more than 2,000 stone arches that range from thin cracks in the rock to the magnificent 300-foot long Landscape Arch. Take the 18-mile long scenic road, or see much more by hiking one of the narrow unmarked trails. Witness the result of millions of years of erosion, deposition, and other geological events that have affected the soft sandstone in this National Park.
Bonneville Salt Flats
The Bonneville Salt Flats are one of the most unique natural features in Utah, stretching over 30,000 acres of hard white salt located near the Utah-Nevada border. The Salt Flats were formed when ancient lake, Lake Bonneville dried up. Aside from the beautiful views, the salt flats are an international hub for car racing. Several speed records have been set at the flats, including the one-time land-speed record of 630 mph.
Capitol Reef National Park
Known for its sense of expansiveness, of broad, sweeping vistas, of a tortured, twisted, seemingly endless landscape, or of limitless sky and desert rock, this National Park is an impressive sight. Established in 1971, Capitol Reef National Park in south-central Utah covers an area of 241,904 acres. One of the most amazing features of the park is the Waterpocket Fold which is a surface warp that dates back 65 million years.
Fishlake National Park
Fishlake National Forest is a recreationalist's paradise known for its beautiful aspen forests, seasonal wildflowers, scenic byways, motorized and non-motorized trails, elk hunting, and mackinaw and trout fishing. Fish Lake, from which the forest takes its name, is the largest natural mountain lake in the state. In addition to excellent fishing opportunities in the forest, the mountains and plateaus that form the Fishlake National Forest provide myriad roads and trails popular for high-clearance vehicle use. For those who prefer the comfort of a car, the Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway travels along the beautiful Bear River lined by aspen, spruce, and fir trees. It ends at a lovely mountain lake.
Nicknamed the “Caribbean of the Rockies”, this unique turquoise colored freshwater lake covers an area of approximately 109 square miles and is one of Utah's top attractions. Located on the border between Utah and Idaho, Bear Lake is over 250,000 years old, the properties of the water in the lake have produced several species of animals that can’t be found in any other place in the world.
Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point is a rock peninsula located on top of the steep sandstone cliffs. Only the 300-yard wide strip of land or “neck” connects the mesa with the peninsula. The point showcases a spectacular vista of the surrounding rock formations, created by sediments left behind by ancient oceans, streams, lakes, and sand blown by sharp winds. There are 16.6 miles of fairly easy hiking trails over slickrock and through juniper and pinions. The view from the top of the trail is worth all the sweat and muscle cramps.
The Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island
In addition to the epic national parks, Utah also has some excellent state parks for your weekend trips. Antelope Island State Park offers spectacular views, starry night skies, and lots of recreation. You may see the free-ranging bison and bighorn sheep here, camp at a primitive campsite, and view the millions of birds that gather around the island’s shores.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a very popular destination in Southern Utah that encompasses some 150,000 acres of wild canyon country. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Zion National Park is a great place to enjoy sunny skies, fresh air, plenty of red rocks, lush greenery, and stunning waterways. The Narrows and Angel’s Landing are famous hikes here, but you can also go canyoneering with a guide in Zion and go biking along the Pa’rus Trail and Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
Located up the beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, the Brighton Lakes are reached from the trailhead at Brighton Resort Lodge at the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. Take one designated trail up to any of the four lakes: Dog Lake, Lake Mary, Lake Martha, and Lake Catherine from lower to higher elevation. Wildflowers will be in full bloom mid to late July which transform to warm yellows, orange and reds at the turn to fall.
Canyonlands National Park
This world famous National Park is one of the best places to visit in Utah. Catch a glimpse of the Colorado or Green river from the rim or feast your eyes on sandstone pillars, canyon mazes, and unbroken scarps on the canyon sides. Check out the Island in the Sky, a headland about 2,000 feet above the rivers or travel south to the Needles boasting red and white striped pinnacles that tower over sheer-walled valleys and grassy parks, 400 feet up.
Ready to Call Utah Home?
Utah is a state full of majestic landmarks and destinations that will leave your adventurous side satisfied and your travel senses tingling. Are you interested in making the beautiful state of Utah your permanent home? We are here to help! Visionary Homes has premium housing communities throughout the state to accommodate those looking to make Utah home. Begin your experience by calling (435) 228-4702 or by filling out the form below.