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Utah Travel Guides

Welcome to Utah, the Beehive State!

Utah is located in the mountain west subregion of the United States, bordered by Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada.

This is the 13th largest state by area and is considered to be one of the greatest outdoor regions in the United States.

Capital City: Salt Lake City

Population: About 3.2 million

Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time (MST)

Sun setting behind a large red rock in Zion National Park
Stunning sunset at Zion National Park

Utah Travel Highlights

If you are looking for adventure travel, magnificent landscapes and one of the best US road trip destinations, look no farther than beautiful Utah.

At each National Park you can hike amazing trails, stargaze, spot wildlife and take incredible photographs. Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are both excellent cities to begin and / or end your journey.

Use our detailed Utah travel guides and itineraries to help plan your visit to perfection.

National Parks In Utah:

  • Arches National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Zion National Park

Want more National Parks? Visit our National Parks page.

best places to visit in Utah with Mesa Arch in background
  • Moab
  • Kanab
  • Park City
  • St. George
  • Salt Lake City
  • Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Monument Valley
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
  • Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Keep in mind this small list just scratches the surface, but you can read about more things to do in Utah here.

Arches National Park entrance sign
Mark and Kristen at Arches National Park

Arches And Canyonlands

Arches and Canyonlands National Park can easily be visited in one day. Below you will find the easiest way to see the best areas of both parks.

Stunning viewpoint into Bryce Canyon National Park with hikers in the trails
Hikers at Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Hiking at Bryce Canyon is unforgettable because you will descend into a gorgeous sandstone amphitheater surrounded by intriguing hoodoos and spires.

Capitol Reef National Park with Fruita Barn in foreground
Fruita Barn at Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reed offers something a bit different than the other National Parks in Utah. This is a lesser visited park so it makes a great option if you are looking to get away from the large crowds.

  • Capitol Reef Photography – One of Utah’s best kept secrets featuring incredible backdrops, stunning fall foliage and unique historical buildings.
Man and woman at summit of Angels Landing in Zion
Mark and Kristen at the summit of Angels Landing

Zion National Park

Zion is an incredibly popular National Park in southern Utah. We have visited Zion twice now explore each of the four different regions of this park in depth.

Use our guides below to plan your trip to Zion.

Need a travel itinerary? Shop our travel ebooks.

Woman looking out at Zion Canyon in Utah
Kristen at Canyon Overlook Trail

Zion Hiking Trails

While the Zion Canyon is home to iconic hikes such as Angels Landing and the Narrows, there are many other epic hiking trails to consider.

Zion Canyon

There is a good range of hikes in Zion Canyon featuring everything from hard death defying hikes to easy riverside trails.

  • Angels Landing – One of the most exhilarating, terrifying and adventurous trails in the US, but keep in mind you will need a permit for this hike.
  • Hiking The Narrows – Everything you need to know when hiking the narrows from bottom up.
  • Pa’rus Trail – An easy, flat and pict Easy, Flat and Picturesque Riverside Hike

Kolob Canyon

This area is a great alternative for hiking if your are looking to get away from some of the crowds.

Man and woman posing for a photo in the Subway at Zion National Park in Utah
Mark and Kristen in the Subway at Zion

The Subway

This hike requires a permit which can be difficult to get. But there are two way to complete hike hike, top down or bottom up. We hiked the subway from bottom up which requires no specialized climbing gear.

  • Hiking The Subway Zion -An epic left fork bottom up day hike with everything you need to know before hitting the trail.

More Zion Hikes

There are a few more hikes in Zion National park worth mentioning, but these trails are not found in either Zion of Kolob Canyon.

  • Canyon Overlook – This trail makes for a perfect sunset hikes and features epic views of Zion.

Need a new hiking app? Check out the best hiking apps and get 20% off a Gaia GPS subscription with our special link.

Woman at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park with rent sled and board
Kristen at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

This is a hugely underrated, immensely entertaining and incredibly sandy stop featuring hiking, sandboarding, driving ATV, camping or even hunting for Bigfoot.

Man hiking with camera in Buckskin Gulch in Utah
Mark hiking Buckskin Gulch

Kanab, Utah Travel Planning

Kanab is an adventure destination in sour then Utah with stunning photography locations and unique landscapes. We extended out visit to this region because we enjoyed the area so much.

  • Kanab, Utah – The 25 best things to do when you visit.
  • Buckskin Gulch – How to hike wire pass trailhead to find Buckskin Gulch, the longest and deepest slot canyon in the US.
  • Moqui Caverns – Not to be confused with Moqui Cave, this is an easy hike leading to gorgeous sand caves.

Want more hiking guides? Head over to our hiking page.

Man and woman in the Wave in Arizona during the day
Mark and Kristen in the Wave

Hiking The Wave

The Wave is located in Arizona, but the trailhead actually begins in Utah. You will cross the state border during your hike and this trail is easily one of our most memorable experiences to date.

But you can not just turn up and hike the Wave. You will need a permit and just a word of warning, rangers are usually on the trail checking permits.

Until March 2022, there was a very elusive lottery permit process which used to take place at a gymnasium in Kanab. This was how we won a permit to hike the wave at the end of 2021.

We were one of the last groups to score a permit through this in-person process. We stood with many other groups patiently waiting to see if our name was drawn. It was incredibly nerve racking and you could cut the tension with a knife.

But the wave permit process is now held online and we have written a very detailed guide to help you understand the process. Read about the wave permit process here.

Then read our very popular post about hiking the Wave in Arizona. We will cover everything from the updated permit process, to packing, preparation and photography along with a full walk through of the hike.

Salt Lake City Temple in Utah
Salt Lake City Temple

Utah Road Trip

The Utah Mighty 5 National Park road trip circuit consists of Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. This is about as close to the perfect adventure vacation as you can get.

Want more US road trip inspiration? Don’t miss the best scenic drives in America.

More Utah Travel Guides