National and State Parks

sugarhouse parkWith Five National Parks and Monument Valley—a spectacular Navajo Tribal Park—Utah is America's national parks capital. Utah’s National Parks are close geographically…but the sights each park offers vary drastically.

From Bryce Canyon’s spiky hoodoos to Arches’ breathtaking sandstone arched formations to Utah offers some of the world’s most iconic vistas inside and out of the national parks. Come for the soaring sandstone cliffs, ancient rock-art, the parched desert, open woodlands, and some of the most untamed and desolate land left anywhere.

Arches National Park, located near Moab, contains some of the most iconic images of southern Utah’s desert formations. From the Window Arches to Delicate Arch, the 73,000-acre park features more than 2,000 arches.

Bryce Canyon National Park—not a canyon at all—sits on the eastern slope of the Paunsaguant Plateau. Millions of years of erosion have left the park with stunning rock formations. Utah’s Scenic Byway Highway 12 provides a gorgeous approach to the park’s red-rock spires.

Canyonlands National Park is a true outdoor paradise for recreation. Canyonlands offers some of the state’s best whitewater rafting, hiking, biking and off-roading trails. The Colorado and Green rivers has created breathtaking land features like The Doll House, located in the park’s Maze District.

The youngest national of Utah’s National Parks, Capitol Reef National Park features truly stunning formations such as Capitol Dome and Hickman Bridge, as well as ancient petroglyphs and many other sights worth seeing.

Zion National Park is the state’s most popular national park. Located near St. George, Zion offers some of the country’s most challenging and exclusive hiking, climbing, and recreation. Zion’s trails and slot canyons—from the Subway and the Narrows to Angel’s Landing make this park a national treasure.

And Utah’s National Park experience isn’t limited to the parks in Utah. Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are within close range for northern Utah residents. Utah is the beginning, the end, and the heart of the ‘Grand Circle’. This region in the Southwest U.S. has the nation’s highest concentration of national parks and monuments. In fact, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park and Zion National Park all lay within a day’s drive of each other. Grand Circle parks are open year-round and the entire circuit can easily be done in one week—though the scenery is so beautiful that two or more are recommended.

Even amid some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth, the Grand Staircase stands out. Stretching from the Kaibab Uplift of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the pink cliffs of Bryce Canyon, the Grand Staircase is a series of multi-colored cliffs and benches that rise gradually upward to over 6,000 feet of elevation and display hundreds of millions of years worth of geological formations.

With 95,000 acres of undeveloped land and more than one million surface acres of water, Utah’s 43 state parks that range from wind-swept dunes to thick-forested mountains, highlight the state’s wildly diverse regions.

 

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