17 Exciting Things to do in Utah | Ultimate Adventure Guide

Welcome to Utah, a land of diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and a uniquely vibrant culture! Imagine you’re traversing vast deserts with towering sandstone cliffs, then suddenly finding yourself in a bustling city brimming with exceptional cuisine, fantastic museums, and a buzzing nightlife scene.

Sounds amazing, right? Well, it’s not a product of imagination – it’s Utah, and it’s waiting for you. Here, we’re about to embark on a journey to discover 17 outstanding things to do in Utah.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, nature enthusiast, culture vulture, or foodie, there’s something for everyone in this incredible state. Buckle up – adventure awaits!

1. Hike in Zion National Park

When in Utah, you can’t skip Zion National Park, the state’s resident show-off.

From the towering cliffs to the narrow canyons, Zion is Mother Nature’s red rock runway. It’s a fashion show and we’re all just spectators.

Traveler’s tip: Remember to pack water. You’re going to need it.

2. Explore Arches National Park

Arches National Park is like a theme park designed by Salvador Dali. Over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, balancing rocks that could give you a heart attack just by looking at them.

If Mars had a tourism board, it would probably look like this.

Traveler’s tip: The park gets hot, like “I’m in a frying pan” hot. Visit during the cooler months or early morning and late evening in summer.

3. Ski at Park City

Park City: a winter wonderland minus the talking snowman.

With ski resorts like Deer Valley and Park City Mountain, you’ll feel like an Olympic skier, even if you spend half the day tumbling down the mountain.

Traveler’s tip: Check the weather ahead of time and dress in layers.

4. Whitewater rafting on the Colorado River

For those adrenaline junkies who like their rivers like they like their relationships – fast and unpredictable – there’s whitewater rafting on the Colorado River.

Traveler’s tip: Always listen to your guide’s safety instructions, even if you’re a certified rafting master.

5. Visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City

Welcome to Utah’s Disney World, minus the talking mouse.

Temple Square offers enough history and architecture to keep you busy for a day.

Traveler’s tip: Dress comfortably. There’s a lot to see and explore on foot.

6. Experience Bonneville Salt Flats

Think Utah’s all mountains and Mormons? Think again.

The Bonneville Salt Flats are Utah’s answer to “What the hell is that?”

It’s like walking on a giant saltine cracker, minus the crunch.

Traveler’s tip: Sunglasses are a must. The glare from the salt can be intense.

7. Drive Scenic Byway 12

Car commercials got you jealous with those winding roads and epic landscapes?

Have your revenge on Scenic Byway 12. 124 miles of pure scenic overload.

Eyes, prepare to be spoiled.

Traveler’s tip: Make sure your camera or phone is fully charged. You’re going to want to take a lot of pictures.

8. Explore Dinosaur National Monument

If you thought T-rex was a bad houseguest in Jurassic Park, you should see his cousins in Dinosaur National Monument.

Spoiler alert: they’re all fossils, but still awesome.

Traveler’s tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat. It can get hot out there.

9. Discover Natural Bridges National Monument

If Arches National Park left you hungry for more, get a second helping at Natural Bridges National Monument.

Who knew rocks could be so… artistic?

Traveler’s tip: Pack some snacks. There’s no food available in the park.

10. Visit Bryce Canyon National Park

Who needs Dr. Seuss when you have Bryce Canyon?

With its Hoodoos and otherworldly landscape, you’ll think you’ve stepped into a book.

Traveler’s tip: Don’t forget your camera. You’re going to want to capture this.

11. See the Great Salt Lake

It’s like the ocean, but without the sharks.

Or the tide. Or the… look, it’s a big salty lake, okay?

Traveler’s tip: Bring water shoes. The shoreline can be rocky.

12. Explore Capitol Reef National Park

If you want to feel like you’ve landed on another planet without leaving the atmosphere, Capitol Reef is your spot.

Mars, eat your heart out.

Traveler’s tip: Carry plenty of water and sunscreen.

13. See the sights at Monument Valley

Cowboys and Aliens wasn’t just a mediocre movie, it’s a day at Monument Valley.

From John Wayne to E.T., this place has seen more stars than the Milky Way.

Traveler’s tip: Book a guided tour for a more immersive experience.

14. Hike in Canyonlands National Park

You liked Zion?

Then you’ll love Canyonlands.

It’s like Zion’s more rugged, less mainstream brother.

Traveler’s tip: Remember to stick to the trails.

15. Enjoy the waters of Lake Powell

Lake Powell: where Utah and Arizona join forces to give you an awesome day on the water.

Traveler’s tip: Rent a boat for a day to fully appreciate the lake.

16. Check out the Antelope Island State Park

Wildlife, beaches, and mountains, all in one place?

Antelope Island says yes.

Traveler’s tip: Don’t miss the bison herd.

17. Go stargazing in Dark Sky Parks

Utah is home to several Dark Sky Parks, where city light pollution doesn’t reach.

Look up, that’s what the night sky is supposed to look like.

Traveler’s tip: Bundle up, it can get chilly at night.

Key Takeaways

Utah’s got it all: national parks, skiing, hiking, history, and even a salt lake. 

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a history buff, there’s something for everyone. 

From the red rocks of Zion to the frosted peaks of Park City, Utah offers a smorgasbord of adventures waiting to be explored. 

The state’s unique and diverse landscape provides endless opportunities for memorable experiences. 

Just remember to pack your sense of humor along with your hiking boots. You’re going to need both.

David Kingston

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