Far more than just a state, Utah is a state of mind. Sculpted by wind, water and time, Utah's landscape is the perfect canvas for your next adventure. From The Mighty Five National Parks – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion – to the Wasatch Mountain's Greatest Snow on Earth, and all points in-between, Utah is the place where memories are made and experiences forged.
Northern Utah: ‘Peak’ Your Curiosity
A road trip in Northern Utah might include motoring up Logan Canyon – loaded with high alpine scenery, campsites, and hiking and biking trails – to Bear Lake for boating and summer festivals, and to Ogden's Union Station for a visit to its own railroad museum. On the way south through Davis County, look west and you can't miss the Great Salt Lake, and you'll want to check it out via Antelope Island State Park.
Of course, you're never far from Wasatch Mountains where you can ski, snowboard, hike, bike and camp to our hearts' delight. In Northeastern Utah, the High Uintas Wilderness invites exploration on horseback or with backpacks and fishing rods, or you can sneak a peek at Utah's Dinosaur past at sites near Vernal.
Maybe you'll just want to spend your time in the Salt Lake Valley, our largest metropolitan area. Here, you'll find Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony and Opera, plus world-class ballet, theaters, events, museums, professional sports, dining, shopping and nightlife. Park City, a resort town that famously hosts the Sundance Film Festival every January and is home to three world-class resorts, is about a half hour to the east of Salt Lake.
Central Utah: The Exhilaration of Life!
Central Utah, a transitional stretch of land between the alpine forests of the north and the red rock canyons of the south, is a vast expanse of mountain, plateau and high desert, and ideal for the traveler in search of true solitude. It is an area rich in natural resources: from vast coalfields, to hunting and fishing meccas, to rich farmlands and mystical deserts. One of Central Utah's best historic and cultural attractions in is Heritage Highway 89. South of Price, the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry has the densest concentration of Jurassic-era dinosaur bones on the planet. From there, it's an easy jaunt to the San Rafael Swell. While "The Swell" may not be a national park, it boasts remote canyons and awesome views that rival those found anywhere in the state.
Southern Utah: Inspiring, Spectacular and Unlike Any Other Place in the World
Southern Utah is a land of unsurpassed, surprising beauty, characterized by contrasting landscapes of snow-capped mountains; towering fins of orange sandstone cut by erosion into bridges, arches and strange "hoodoos" of sculpted red rock; dramatic faults where the earth twists; and gentle, rolling hummocks of "slickrock." You'll want to plan some extra time in this place. To be precise: Top 10 Bucket List Destinations and fulfilling life lists can be built around Southern Utah alone.
You might be surprised by...
Utah, known as a desert state, has a variety of water attractions. Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation area is so huge that its shoreline is longer than the entire west coast of the USA. Of Utah’s 43 state parks, 28 are based around mountain lakes, major rivers or reservoirs for boating and fishing. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy whitewater rafting and fly fishing.
Enjoy sensational vistas in Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion National Parks, and Dead Horse Point State Park, or down gravel roads to Muley Point in southeastern Utah and the San Rafael Swell in the central part of the state.
The Natural History Museum of Utah is located in the foothills of the Wasatch Range at the University of Utah. Exhibitions cover topics such as native voices, gems and minerals, Great Salt Lake and past worlds.
Want to stay up late?
Stargazers will enjoy the night-sky programmes in Bryce Canyon National Park and at Natural Bridges National Monument.
Your child will always remember...
- His or her first skiing lesson at one of Utah's 14 resorts. Ski schools offer group and private lessons for all skill levels
- Dinosaur-related attractions around the state include the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City, North American Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, the Quarry Visitors Center at Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal and the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price.
Classic road trip
Of Utah's 26 state and national scenic roads, one of the most notable is Highway 12, Utah's All-American Scenic Byway, which takes you into the heart of the American West.
- Room rates at Utah’s ski resorts are generally lower when the snow melts, and many organise summer activities such as concerts, lift-served mountain biking, hiking and ziplining
- The Salt Lake City Connect Pass offers access to the city’s top attractions for an amazing price.
Only have one day here?
Salt Lake City, the state capital, is one of the great cultural cities of the American West, yet small enough to remain friendly and accessible. With mountain backdrops to the east and west, it is bustling and vibrant, with a dynamic nightlife, warm hospitality, award-winning breweries and unparalleled access to natural recreation. Utah's largest tourist attraction, Historic Temple Square, is across the street from great shopping at the City Creek Center.
History happened here
On May 10, 1869, the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit. Golden Spike National Historic Site allows you to explore the history surrounding the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and view locomotives maintained and operated on site.
Just want to indulge?
Luxury hotels to open in Utah in recent years include Montage, St. Regis and the Waldorf Astoria in Park City; Amangiri, an Aman property near Lake Powell; and, in the St. George area, spas such as Red Mountain Resort, Green Valley Spa & Resort and Fitness Ridge Resort & Spa.