10 Best Tourist Attractions in Utah
Utah is a state known for its stunning natural beauty, with towering mountains, vast deserts, and stunning national parks. It is a place where adventure, history, and culture all come together to create a unique experience that visitors will never forget. From skiing and hiking to exploring ancient ruins and fascinating museums, Utah has something for everyone. With so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 10 Utah tourist attractions to visit. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you discover the enchanting gems of Utah and make the most of your trip.
10. Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point State Park is an unmissable natural wonder nestled high in the Colorado Plateau of Utah. Spanning over 9,000 acres of starkly beautiful desert terrain, this iconic park boasts sweeping views of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below. Visitors can explore miles of hiking and biking trails, take in awe-inspiring overlooks from around the park, or simply marvel at its tremendously diverse landscape.
Head to Dead Horse Point for unbeatable vistas of gigantic plateaus, mountainous buttes, and breathtaking canyon walls. With activities ranging from camping, fishing, and horseback riding to stargazing and photography adventures, there’s an experience for everyone here! Whether you’re looking to connect with nature or just soak up some incredible scenery, Dead Horse Point State Park is a must-see destination in Utah.
9. Goblin Valley State Park
Step into a surreal landscape filled with whimsical rock formations known as “hoodoos.” This park offers fantastic opportunities for hiking, photography, and discovering a world unlike any other Goblin Valley State Park is an impressive and unique park packed with stunning geologic formations. The park features its namesake Goblin Valley, a striking array of mushroom-shaped hoodoos created by eroding sandstone over millions of years. Adventurers can explore these fascinating formations on foot or by mountain bike, with multiple trails available to suit any skill level.
Goblin Valley is also home to an incredible variety of wildlife, from mule deer and hawks to countless species of birds, reptiles, and amphibians. It is hard to find another spot in Utah that offers such breathtaking beauty and remarkable biodiversity as Goblin Valley State Park. With picnic sites, campsites, and cozy cabins available for rent, this unique sanctuary offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day outdoors or a thrilling exploration adventure, Goblin Valley State Park is sure to exceed your expectations.
8. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a beautiful and unique landscape found in Southern Utah. Spanning nearly 1.9 million acres, it is one of the largest pieces of intact public land in the United States. The monument is characterized by its stunningly diverse array of geology, from the layer-cake-like cliffs of the Grand Staircase to the red-rock mesas and buttes of the Escalante Canyons.
The area is home to a plethora of outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to rock climbing and canyoneering. With numerous trails through the canyons and up the mesa tops, there is something for every type of explorer. The monument also enjoys a rare diversity of wildlife, from bighorn sheep to coyotes, making it a great destination for wildlife watchers. With plenty of photography opportunities and cultural sites scattered across the area, visitors will not be disappointed. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument truly offers something for everyone and should not be missed on any trip to Utah.
7. Temple Square in Salt Lake City
At the centerpiece of Temple Square stands the iconic Salt Lake Temple, a magnificent architectural feat that took an astounding 40 years to complete. Its towering spires and intricate detailing are a sight to behold, leaving visitors in awe of the craftsmanship and dedication that went into its construction.
Exploring the grounds of Temple Square, you’ll find beautifully landscaped gardens, adorned with vibrant flowers and tranquil fountains, offering a peaceful oasis amidst the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll through the pathways, basking in the serenity and embracing the palpable sense of reverence that permeates the air.
6. Canyonlands National Park
With its vast expanse spanning over 337,598 acres, this park offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors to enjoy. From breathtaking viewpoints to thrilling hiking trails, there is something for everyone to discover. Canyonlands National Park, located in southeastern Utah, is an absolute must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This enchanting park is a sprawling landscape of awe-inspiring canyons, towering mesas, and dramatic rock formations that will leave you speechless. The park is divided into four districts, each with its own unique features and attractions.
The Island in the Sky district is known for its panoramic views of the surrounding canyons and the Green and Colorado Rivers. As you stand at the edge of the Mesa overlooking the vastness below, you’ll feel a sense of awe and wonder at the sheer beauty of nature.
In the Needles district, striking red and white sandstone spires, known as “needles,” create a surreal and otherworldly landscape that is perfect for exploration. As you navigate through the intricate network of trails, you’ll encounter ancient rock art, hidden arches, and natural bridges that will leave you in awe of the forces that shaped this majestic place.
With its labyrinthine canyons, remote trails, and rugged terrain, the Maze District is reserved for intrepid adventurers who crave solitude and seclusion. The Maze rewards those who dare to venture into its depths with breathtaking vistas and a sense of untouched wilderness that is hard to find elsewhere.
5. Capitol Reef National Park
This enchanting destination offers a breathtaking blend of natural wonders, rich history, and unparalleled outdoor adventure. As you venture into the park, you will be greeted by towering sandstone cliffs, vibrant canyons, and an awe-inspiring landscape that will leave you speechless.
One of the main attractions in Capitol Reef National Park is the Waterpocket Fold, a unique geological feature that stretches for nearly 100 miles. This massive wrinkle in the Earth’s crust creates a stunning display of colorful rock formations, including the iconic Capitol Dome and the Cathedral Valley. Hiking along the park’s numerous trails allows you to immerse yourself in this geological marvel, offering panoramic views and glimpses of ancient petroglyphs etched into the rocks by early Native American inhabitants.
Capitol Reef offers an array of activities, including hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and even canyoneering. The park boasts a vast network of trails that cater to all skill levels, from easy strolls through orchards and along riverbeds to challenging treks up rugged cliffs and through narrow slot canyons.
4. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is a breathtaking destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Known for its iconic red sandstone buttes that rise dramatically from the desert floor, this enchanting landscape has been the backdrop for countless movies and has captivated the imaginations of visitors for generations.
The towering monoliths, with names like The Mittens, Three Sisters, and Totem Pole, seem to defy gravity as they reach toward the sky, casting long shadows across the desert landscape.
Guided tours are available to explore the valley with experienced Navajo guides who share their rich cultural heritage and legends. They will regale you with stories of the land’s significance and offer insights into the sacred sites that dot the area.
3. Arches National Park
The park is renowned for its unique rock formations, including over 2,000 arches, which have been sculpted by the forces of nature over millions of years. These arches come in various shapes and sizes, creating a mesmerizing sight that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
One of the most famous arches within the park is the Delicate Arch, which has become an iconic symbol of Utah. The hike to this breathtaking landmark is a must-do for any visitor. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by stunning red rock formations and sweeping vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. And when you finally reach Delicate Arch, you’ll be rewarded with a view that will take your breath away.
But the beauty of Arches National Park extends beyond its arches. The park also boasts incredible hiking trails that lead you through towering canyons, past towering spires, and beside ancient petroglyphs. Each step you take will reveal a new and captivating scene, with every turn offering a unique perspective of the park’s natural wonders.
2. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Step into a world unlike any other as you explore the otherworldly formations that have been carved by wind and water over millions of years.
Embark on a hike along the park’s numerous trails and be prepared to be captivated at every turn. The Queen’s Garden Trail, for example, takes you on a mesmerizing journey through a maze of hoodoos, where you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a whimsical fairy tale. The Navajo Loop Trail offers a more challenging adventure, leading you down into the heart of the canyon and allowing you to witness the intricate layers of rock formations up close.
1. Zion National Park
Prepare to be captivated by the towering sandstone cliffs that seem to reach for the heavens, their vibrant hues shifting with the changing light. The park’s centerpiece, Zion Canyon, offers a mesmerizing display of natural wonders that will leave you in awe. Admire the intricate patterns carved by the Virgin River over millions of years, creating a masterpiece of geological artistry.
Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you traverse the park’s numerous trails, each leading to its own unique wonders. The iconic hike to Angels Landing will test your bravery as you navigate the narrow spine of the mountain, rewarded with panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see. For a more tranquil experience, explore the lush oasis of Emerald Pools, where cascading waterfalls and emerald-hued pools create a serene haven amidst the desert landscape.
Other Notable Attractions in Utah
Utah is just a treasure trove of natural beauty and unique attractions that extend beyond the well-known sites. While exploring the state, be sure to consider these other notable attractions and activities that will further enrich your Utah adventure.
Goblin Valley State Park
Step into a surreal landscape filled with whimsical rock formations known as “hoodoos.” This park offers fantastic opportunities for hiking, photography, and discovering a world unlike any other.
Antelope Island State Park
Located in the Great Salt Lake, this island is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Marvel at the sight of free-roaming bison, antelope, and a variety of bird species. The island also offers stunning views and leisurely walking trails.
Snow Canyon State Park
Escape to the red rock wonderland of Snow Canyon. With its majestic sandstone cliffs, lava caves, and picturesque hiking trails, this park is a hidden gem for nature lovers.
National History Museum of Utah
Dive into Utah’s fascinating past at this world-class museum. Explore exhibits showcasing ancient dinosaur fossils, Native American artifacts, and geological wonders that shaped the state’s unique landscape.
Bonneville Salt Flats
Experience the mesmerizing vastness of the Bonneville Salt Flats, where the reflective salt crust seemingly extends to the horizon. This renowned location has been the site of numerous land speed records and offers a surreal and captivating atmosphere.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
Embark on an underground adventure in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. Explore the intricate network of caves adorned with stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and helictites, while learning about the geological wonders that formed them.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
Discover the breathtaking beauty of Flaming Gorge. This expansive reservoir nestled within red rock canyons offers ample opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, and camping, all set against a backdrop of stunning natural scenery.
Natural Bridges National Monument
Marvel at the three majestic natural bridges that have been carved by the forces of nature over millions of years. Take a scenic hike or stargaze under the vast Utah sky for an unforgettable experience.
Golden Spike National Historical Park
Step back in time to the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. Visit the spot where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met, symbolizing a monumental moment in American history.
Red Butte Garden and Arboretum
Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this botanical garden, nestled at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. Explore the diverse collection of plants, stroll through scenic trails, and enjoy concerts and events hosted in this idyllic setting.
We hope you enjoyed our post on the top 10 Utah tourist attractions to visit. Utah is truly a treasure of natural beauty and unique landmarks, and we’ve carefully curated this list to showcase the most enchanting gems the state has to offer. From the stunning red rock formations in Arches National Park to the otherworldly landscapes of Bryce Canyon, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or adventure seeker, Utah has it all. So pack your bags, embark on a journey, and let Utah’s captivating attractions leave you breathless.
- 10 Best Tourist Attractions in Utah
- 10. Dead Horse Point State Park
- 9. Goblin Valley State Park
- 8. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- 7. Temple Square in Salt Lake City
- 6. Canyonlands National Park
- 5. Capitol Reef National Park
- 4. Monument Valley
- 3. Arches National Park
- 2. Bryce Canyon National Park
- 1. Zion National Park
- Other Notable Attractions in Utah
- Final Word