Red dirt, arches, canyons, red & pink rock valleys, and really just some of the most breathtaking sites your eyes have ever seen can be found in Utah. Utah is definitely one of my favorite states when it comes to GORGEOUS beauty. I chose to end my solo 48 road trip with a bang, and make Utah my final destination.
Woo hoo!!! State number 48!!! I had been to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks a few times, [they are in the south of Utah and only about 160 miles from Las Vegas] but hadn’t been to the other 3 since I was a baby.[BTW visiting the bright lights of Las Vegas and then the serene peacefulness of the Utah national parks back-to-back is a bit of a shock to your senses, but still super fun!]
I can’t recommend more that you make exploring Utah’s gorgeous National Parks a priority on your bucket list. Take a look at why:
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef is kind of a combination of all the rock formations that the other 4 Utah National Parks have. Cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges can be found throughout. Every single turnout from the main road has breathtaking scenic views. It is a must see, BUT as you read more of this post you will find all the parks to be this way.
Zion National Park
I wrapped up my entire road trip by hiking Angel’s Landing in Zion. It is a super intense hike that is full of uphill switch backs, but with the view of the narrow canyon you forget about your noodle-legs. AFTER the uphill part, you climb the side of the mountain by hanging on to chains…yup, chains.
It is quite intimidating, but I always wanted to do it, and boy, am I glad that I did! This is the view from the top [see photo above]…GORGEOUS!!! Pink & orange rocks with super blue skies combined with that elevated view? FANTASTIC!
Needless to say, I was stick my entire drive home from being drenched in hike sweat + was 4,5000 calories lighter [LOL] + was sore for days even after hiking throughout my entire trip. BUT totally worth it!!
Bryce National Park
There really is no where on earth quite like Bryce Canyon! The strange looking pillar-shaped rocks are called Hoodoos and here you find more in one place than anywhere else. I love these photos but it is just one of those places you need to see to believe!
It is gorgeous in any season…actually you should go twice, once with snow and once without 😉 [or more than twice!]
Arches National Park
Arches is known for having over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to lots of other awesomely odd shapes. It is definitely a red rock wonderland!
The cute town of Moab, is the gateway to both Arches and Canyonlands National Park. They have lodging, yummy eats and shops if you choose to hotel it rather than camp.
Of course, when I ate lunch there, the table next to me was full of a large group of dudes that turned out to be a traveling lacrosse team aka hotties. Why do moments like this only happen when I haven’t taken a real shower in like 4 days and I’m wearing the only remaining “kinda clean” non-matching outfit?! It really isn’t fair! 😉
Canyonlands National Park
One word – M A G I C A L ! Thankfully, the Colorado River carved its way through TONS of rock to make this simply magical land of canyons. Like, canyons galore! Teehee. Really, I will just leave it at that and let you take a look at the pics to see for yourself…
Thanks for reading! Have any favorite spots in Utah? Have you ever been to any of the state’s National Parks? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂
P.S. Read about Amy’s solo 48 state road trip [on a small budget] here.
Amy’s 48 state road trip route [starting @ home = Southern California] to: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming [again], Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada & UTAH!
Shop Amy’s Utah Inspired Favs Here: