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Road Trip Destination: Utah

Featuring some of the most incredible landscapes in the United States, Southern Utah is the ideal road trip destination for the adventurous traveler. Spring and fall are ideal times of year to visit the five majestic national parks that reside within this majestic state’s borders. It will be a much-needed relief to be able to check out these awe-inspiring rock formations without the heat and crowds that summer brings!

 

The Travel Route

Below is a travel itinerary for visiting all five National Parks as well as the Beehive State’s capital, Salt Lake City. We suggest starting your adventure at the Easternmost park before continuing West across the state. Thus we begin our adventure!

For the first stop, with its incredible and delicate sandstone arch formations, Arches National Park is an absolutely must-see. Only half-an-hour to the South is Canyonlands National Park, known for its desert landscapes, rock formations, and breathtaking canyons. Two hours away to the West exists Capitol Reef National Park that contains monolithic sandstone formations and Waterpocket Fold–a crinkle in the Earth’s crust! Travel another two hours Southwest and you’ll end up in Bryce Canyon National Park known for the rock formation called a hoodoo. For your last stop on the National Parks tour, one-and-a-half hours away to the West remains Zion National Park with incredible canyons and waterfalls. Finally, if after all of this rugged outdoor adventure you’re ready for a big-city experience, take an urban weekend trip to Salt Lake City that’s only four-to-five hours away.


The Travel Route

Below is a travel itinerary for visiting all five National Parks as well as the Beehive State’s capital, Salt Lake City. We suggest starting your adventure at the Easternmost park before continuing West across the state. Thus we begin our adventure!

For the first stop, with its incredible and delicate sandstone arch formations, Arches National Park is an absolutely must-see. Only half-an-hour to the South is Canyonlands National Park, known for its desert landscapes, rock formations, and breathtaking canyons. Two hours away to the West exists Capitol Reef National Park that contains monolithic sandstone formations and Waterpocket Fold–a crinkle in the Earth’s crust! Travel another two hours Southwest and you’ll end up in Bryce Canyon National Park known for the rock formation called a hoodoo. For your last stop on the National Parks tour, one-and-a-half hours away to the West remains Zion National Park with incredible canyons and waterfalls. Finally, if after all of this rugged outdoor adventure you’re ready for a big-city experience, take an urban weekend trip to Salt Lake City that’s only four-to-five hours away.

 

Things to Do

With its rugged landscapes, these five National Parks offer wonderful opportunities for the outdoors enthusiasts. Any thrillseeker will get endless enjoyment by going rock-climbing, rafting, boating, biking, waterskiing, and more! For the less adventure-inclined, the landscapes are just as worthwhile to visit.

If exploring the great outdoors is less your speed, you can still appreciate nature from a distance–just drive along one of Utah’s many scenic byways for spectacular views without leaving your car!

When in Salt Lake City, be sure to check out sights like the Great Salt Lake, Red Butte Gardens, or Temple Square that features the incredible Salt Lake Temple of the Mormon Church.

 


Vocabulary

  1. Beehive State: The nickname for Utah

  2. Monolithic: While this word has multiple definitions, here this word refers to a rock formation made of one large stone block

  3. Hoodoo: A column of rock that has been weathered


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Deen is a student at Washington University in St. Louis studying English Literature, American Culture Studies, and Communication Design. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in the mountains, going to art museums, and eating ice cream.