Utah – One Sight More Beautiful Than the Other
Most people have very little to say about this state, but the nature lovers among you will know that Utah is well worth a visit! Utah is not home to any well-known cities in the US, and may appear rather dreary at first glance. It is, however, a paradise for hikers and photographers looking for a new adventure in the great outdoors.
In this article, we’ll tell you what makes Utah so special, where to visit, and why the state is not to be underestimated.
Everything You Need to Know About Utah
Utah is located in the western part of the US, bordered by Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. While other states flaunt their major cities, skyscrapers, and millions of lights, Utah has less of a metropolitan atmosphere. This, however, is no reason to overlook this state.
Its natural beauty, which is defined by massive salt lakes, rivers, desert landscapes and spectacular red rock landscapes, is unique and unlike anything else on the planet. If you’re planning a trip across the American West, Utah is a must-see.
Must-Visits in Utah
It’s easy to lose track of the numerous destinations because the state is so diverse. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most intriguing and worthwhile destinations for you below.
Salt Lake City – The Capital of Utah
Although we’ve been gushing about Utah’s natural beauty and will tell you about its quirks soon, we’ll first highlight Salt Lake City, one of the few places in the state where you’re most likely to get a taste of the big city. Utah’s capital is famous for its diversity. It’s located in the state’s northwestern corner and is directly bordered by the Great Salt Lake. It is known for its special colouring and its salt content is higher than the sea’s. In addition to the lake, the surrounding peaks, covered with snow in both the spring and winter months, contribute to the unique environment.
The city is practically brimming with culture. We highly recommend a trip to the Natural History Museum, as it has gigantic dinosaur skeletons as well as astronomy and geography exhibits. The Mormon Church has its headquarters in Temple Square, and the large malls are also fantastic places to go shopping. While Utah is primarily a summer destination due to the frigid winter weather, Salt Lake City and its huge ski resorts provide a wealth of wintertime activities for visitors as well.
Zion National Park
If you’ve had your fill of the big city and want to get a closer look at Utah’s natural wonders, head to one of the national parks. These are the state’s most well-known landmarks, stretching across much of the terrain. The Zion National Park, located around four and a half hours by car away from Salt Lake City, features both the steep red-rock walls of Zion Canyon and lush greenery.
It attracts millions of tourists each year because it is great for hiking. If you visit at the right time of year and the weather holds up, excursions through the Zion Narrows are a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Hiking into the cold Virgin River, which is responsible for the park’s deep gorges, gives you a completely different perspective. The following day, instead of steep canyons, you can navigate your way along the cliff faces.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Not far from Zion Canyon is Bryce Canyon National Park, famous for its so-called hoodoos and about a two-hour drive from Zion. Hoodoos are pointed rock formations that are found en masse in Bryce Canyon National Park. They can reach a height of 60 meters and are a true natural wonder. Long hikes in the national park are a great way to see the orange stone formations.
Canyonlands National Park
Another well-known national park is Canyonlands National Park. It’s one of the largest in the state, measuring 1,336 square metres, and offers equally magnificent hiking trails. The Sky and Needles Districts are particularly interesting, making them popular tourist destinations. There’s plenty to see on its largely solid roads – including the stone arch Mesa Arch, which attracts bus-loads of tourists on some days. The easily accessible stone arch has a particularly red tint, especially at dawn. It’s an excellent destination for less experienced hikers! But the Needles District, with its needle-shaped rock formations, also offers unique easy-to-reach viewpoints even for beginners.
Arches National Park
One of Utah’s most popular national parks is Arches National Park. It is located in the northern part of the state and is home to roughly 2,000 additional sandstone arches. Utah’s landmark, the Delicate Arch, is also located here. Every evening, the sun illuminates the stone arch, making it glow red while a large crowd of people admire it. And the Double, Turret or North Window Arch, miraculously created by nature, are equally beautiful to behold. You can also visit the False Kiva if you want to follow in the footsteps of the Native American tribes that used to live in the state. The ruin is difficult to reach, but both the ruin itself and the view from its location are spectacular.
Dead Horse Point State Park
Another beautiful and special view can be found at Dead Horse Point State Park. It’s in the northeast, along the Colorado River. Here, the river makes a 180-degree turn. See this for yourself from a vantage point in the park at a height of 1,731 metres. The view is truly unforgettable.
The state’s southeastern part has a lot to offer as well. Monument Valley’s scenery may look familiar to you because it served as a backdrop for western movies such as “Once Upon a Time in the West.” The sight of the mesas whisks you away to the Wild West and makes for a great photo backdrop.
Natural Bridges National Monument
If you’ve had enough of the red rock arches in the north, then head to the southeast of the state to admire a different scenery, as the rock is noticeably lighter here. Make sure to visit the Natural Bridges National Monument, a popular tourist destination. A long road runs through the area of naturally formed bridges, but it is also possible to take one of the hiking trails to admire the bridges up close.
The House on Fire
Staying in the southeast, another Utah landmark can be found here that is unlike anything else in the world: The House on Fire, a historic ruin hidden beneath a rock wall. The ruin appears to be on fire in the morning light due to the gradients in the rock. So if you want to go for an easy hike early in the morning and enjoy a spectacular view afterwards, then the House on Fire is the place to go.
Waves in Utah? This may sound strange at first, but this is one of the state’s most popular destinations. By waves, we mean the truly impressive sandstone formations with wave patterns. However, the number of visitors who may enjoy the sight of the waves is limited in order to preserve the natural stone formations. While the southern section of the area merely requires registration a few months in advance, you’ll need to take part in a lottery for the northern part. To admire the sandstone formations, you need both patience and luck – but if you are blessed with both, then you will be able to enjoy a truly unique sight.
Although it doesn’t look like it at first, Utah is full of interesting places to visit. The state’s rocky landscapes are one-of-a-kind, making it a hiker’s heaven and a photographer’s paradise. We are happy to have helped you in your search for your next vacation. Have fun in Utah!