Best Utah National Parks

Utah is known for its stunning natural landscapes and breathtaking national parks. Home to the world’s most beautiful and diverse scenery, it’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With so many incredible national parks to explore, what are the best Utah national parks?

In this article, we will focus on some of the best national parks in Utah. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for a scenic drive, these parks are sure to impress. From the iconic Arches National Park to the lesser-known but equally stunning Capitol Reef National Park, each park offers a unique experience that will leave you in awe.

Consequently, whether you’re organizing an overnight trip or a more extended road trip, get ready to be inspired by the natural beauty of Utah’s national parks. From stunning vistas and epic hikes to peaceful lakes and hidden waterfalls, these parks offer a glimpse into nature’s raw power and beauty that will leave a lasting impression. So grab your hiking boots, pack your camera, and explore Utah’s best national parks.

Zion National Park

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Zion National Park is one of the most visited parks in Utah, and for a good
reason. It is located in the southwestern part of the state and boasts towering
sandstone cliffs, winding canyons, and lush forests that make it a true outdoor
paradise. The park is home to some of the most iconic hikes in the country, including
Angel’s Landing and The Narrows. Angel’s Landing is a 5.4-mile hike that climbs
1,488 feet to a rocky outcropping with breathtaking park views. The walk is
challenging, with steep switchbacks and narrow paths that require a head for heights,
but the payoff is worth it. The Narrows, on the other hand, is a fantastic hike that
takes you through a narrow canyon with towering walls on either side. You’ll need to
wade through the Virgin River to complete this hike, making it an unforgettable

Bryce Canyon National Park

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Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its unique geology. It includes a collection of hoodoos – tall, thin spires of rock eroded by wind and water over millions of years. The park is also home to abundant wildlife, including mule deer, elk, and pronghorn antelope. The greatest way to see Bryce Canyon is on foot, with several hiking trails taking you through the heart of the park’s most scenic areas. The Navajo Loop Trail is a popular choice, offering stunning views of the hoodoos as you descend into the canyon. If you’re looking for a longer hike, consider the Fairyland Loop Trail, which is 8 miles long and takes you through some of the park’s most remote and beautiful areas.

Arches National Park

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Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, making it one of Utah’s most unique national parks. The landscape results from millions of years of erosion, creating stunning rock formations that are unlike anything else. The most famous attraction in Arches National Park is Delicate Arch, a freestanding natural arch that has become an icon of the American Southwest. The hike to Delicate Arch is a 3-mile round trip, with a steep climb to the arch. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the park’s other arches and rock formations.

Canyonlands National Park

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Canyonlands National Park is a vast wilderness area that contains some of the most beautiful views in the American Southwest. The park is divided into several districts, each with its unique attractions. The Needles district is known for its rugged backcountry trails, while the Maze district is one of the park’s most remote and isolated areas. The Island in the Sky district is the most accessible area of the park, with several overlooks that offer stunning views of the canyon below.

Capitol Reef National Park

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Capitol Reef National Park is the least visited of Utah’s national parks, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less spectacular. The park is home to a 100-mile-long wrinkle in the earth’s crust, known as the Waterpocket Fold, which has created a stunning landscape of canyons, cliffs, and domes. The best way to explore Capitol Reef is on foot, with several hiking trails taking you through the park’s most scenic areas. The Capitol Gorge Trail is famous, taking you through a small canyon surrounded on both sides by enormous cliffs. Another must-see attraction is the Hickman Bridge Trail, which leads to a natural bridge that spans 133 feet across a deep canyon.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a vast wilderness area encompassing over 1.9 million acres of stunning landscapes. The monument is home to canyons, plateaus, and rugged mountains, making it a popular destination for hiking, backpacking, and camping. Some popular trails include the Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail, the Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Gulch Slot Canyons, and the Zebra Slot Canyon.

Natural Bridges National Monument

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Natural Bridges National Monument is home to three of the world’s largest natural stone bridges and several other stunning rock formations. Visitors can hike through the canyons, view ancient ruins, and explore the area’s unique geology. The park is known for its night skies, making it a popular destination for stargazing.

Hovenweep National Monument

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Hovenweep National Monument is a collection of ancient Ancestral Puebloan ruins in the southwestern corner of Utah. Visitors can hike through the park to explore the ruins and learn about the fascinating culture and history of the area. The park has six distinct villages, each with unique architecture and history.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a massive park encompassing over 1.2 million acres of stunning landscapes. The park is centered around Lake Powell, a gigantic reservoir offering ample boating, fishing, and water sports opportunities. Visitors can also explore the park’s stunning canyons, hike through the backcountry, and learn about the area’s rich cultural history.

Bears Ears National Monument

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Bears Ears National Monument is a vast wilderness encompassing over 1.35 million acres of stunning landscapes. Visitors can explore the park’s rugged canyons, hike through the backcountry, and learn about the area’s rich cultural history. The park is home to diverse wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep.

Overall, Utah’s national parks and monuments offer some of the world’s most stunning and unique landscapes. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or just looking for an unforgettable vacation destination, Utah’s national parks will surely leave you awe-struck and inspired. So why wait? Start planning your trip today and experience the best that Utah has to offer!