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20 Epic Spots That Will Make You Want to Visit Utah

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When people think of great places to visit in the US they usually think of New York, California, Miami, or Vegas, and while those have so much to offer, Utah is really something else. With such a great variety of landscapes, you will be sure to be wowed by this truly underrated state. Here are epic things to do in Utah for some road trip inspiration.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #1: Zion National Park

Visiting Zion is one of the most things to do in Utah. This park is located in the south east of the state, and is characterized by its red cliffs. The most famous area is called "the Narrows". Here you can enjoy a mile scenic walk by the river, and continue hiking through the water. You'll discover the tall walls getting more narrow the further you go, exploring the beauty of this canyon.

Make sure you have boots and lots of water for this hike! Only a shuttle can reach this area so make sure you book tickets in advance. Other cool ways to explore the park are to enjoy the scenic road that twists and turns through the park, and enjoy sunset at the Canyon Overlook.

There are two entrances to Zion, one on the east closer to the city of Kanab, and one of the west which borders a small town called Springdale. This town has a cute western feel, and some great restaurants- our favorites being Oscars for breakfast and Memes for lunch or dinner.

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Epic Things to Do in Utah #2: Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon was one of our favorite parks! This park is characterized by the famous "hoo doos" that tower high throughout all of the area. They make it one of the most unique things to do in Utah.

Catch the sunrise at Inspiration Point, and head to the Navajo Loop right after for the best lighting and to beat the heat. We also suggest taking the loop clockwise to enjoy it at its best.

Bryce Canyon, things to do in Utah
Bryce Canyon, things to do in Utah
Bryce Canyon, Utah

Bryce Canyon is our favorite of all of the National Parks throughout the US.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #3: Arches National Park

This national park is truly mind blowing! Over 2,000 natural arches are made from the red rock here. Located just 5 miles north of the town of Moab, this park is extremely convenient to get to, and has plenty of different areas to offer. You can spend hours here exploring the different trails to each and every arch.

Arches National park, things to do in Utah
Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park is known for its natural rock arches scattered throughout the area.

The good thing is that unlike most parks, Arches has mostly shorter trails, making it easy to do a lot of different areas. Make sure you catch the sunset at Delicate Arch, and start early as it is a mile and a half hike uphill!

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Epic Things to Do in Utah #4: Coral Pink Sand Dunes

This park is a little different than the other things to do in Utah, as there are no trails here- just dunes! Enjoy the pinkish orange hills of sand that stretch for miles.

The best thing to do is get an ATV and ride around for a really fun day! If you visit in summer we suggest going EARLY, as the sand gets extremely hot. If you're up for the challenge of getting up extra early, then you can catch a beautiful sunrise.

coral sands park, things to do in Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah
Coral Sands Park, things to do in Utah

We suggest visiting here during sunrise or sunset.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #5: Bonneville Salt Flats

Ever heard of Uyuni Salt Flats? Well did you know that there are salt flats located right in Utah?! Located in the North West corner of the state, the salt flats are a true hidden gem. Make sure you have a 4x4 so that you can drive right on them and enjoy an area all to yourselves.

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Admire the hills in the back and take some great photos. Bring props to add some fun, and if its rained recently you can check out the western area to enjoy an awesome reflection that gives a cool mirror effect!

The salt flats are completely free, and just an hour and a half west of Salt Lake City. This is a great day trip from the capital of Utah, and definitely an awesome spot in Utah to check out!

Bonneville Salt Flats, things to do in Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats are just like the famous Uyuni Salts Flats in Bolivia, but right here in the US.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #6: Homestead Crater

Another great spot to check out outside of the capital is Homestead Crater. Nestled away in the cutest town ever, is a crater with the most turquoise water you'll ever see inside. 

Reservations are required to visit the crater, and time slots are an hour and a 1/2. Life vests are given and required if swimming, as the water is very deep. If you want photos without the lifejacket you can get some great shots before or after your swim. The best part? The water is extremely warm, making it one of the best things to do in Utah for a relaxing and unique experience.

Homestead Crater, Utah

Homestead Crater is the perfect place to cool off in the summer.

While in the area stop by Park City for a great lunch! We went to Five5eeds and had a really awesome meal there.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #7: Canyonlands

Located right outside Moab and just a half hour from Arches National Park, lies Canyonlands. This park is enormous and has 4 different large areas! The 4 parts of the park include Islands in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and The Rivers. The two most popular spots are Islands in the Sky and The Needles.

For sunrise make sure you check out Mesa Arch! We suggest doing islands in the Sky for some beautiful viewpoints in the morning, and doing The Needles or other areas of the park in the afternoon. In order to get to The Needles you will actually need to pass through Moab, making it the perfect place to stop for lunch in between.

Bryce Canyon at sunrise
Canyonlands, Utah

Mesa Arch is the best place for sunrise at Canyonlands.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #8: Dead Horse State Park

Dead Horse State Park is so beautiful, and extremely overshadowed by its neighboring national parks Arches and Canyonlands. We definitely think it is one of the most underrated things to do in Utah.

Located just down the road from the Islands in the Sky area of Canyonlands, it can be done in the same day. Unfortunately it is a state park, so is not covered with the National Park Pass, but it is just $20/vehicle to enter. 

Dead Horse State Park, Utah

Dead Horse State Park is one of the most underrated parks in Utah.

You can drive to the end in just a few miles, and then there are two trails (east and west) that will provide you with stunning views of the canyon. The west side boasts gorgeous views of the Colorado river, and the east shows the amazing Potash Ponds in the distance.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #9: Potash Ponds

You may have read the last part and thought, what the hell are potash ponds? Well, let us tell you that this place is really unique, and one of our favorite spots in Utah.

Here you can find a series of brightly colored pools that are used for gathering potash (a mineral compound). The colors are changing all the time, but usually are different shades of blue, brightly contrasting the red rock and mountains around them.

Potash ponds, best places to visit in Utah
Potash Ponds, things to do in Utah

The Potash Ponds have various different colors and can be seen best from a bird's eye view.

The ponds can be accessed by Potash road that is to the left once you enter the Islands in the Sky part of Canyonlands. It is a long bumpy road, so it is definitely necessary to have something with four wheel drive.  

For a truly spectacular shot of the ponds bring a drone!

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Epic Things to Do in Utah #10: Frog Rock

Wait! Don't leave Moab just yet! This city isn't just the gateway to three awesome parks and the Potash ponds, but is also home to some really cool landscapes that are right off the side of the road, and for free of charge,

The official name is not actually frog rock, but we have decided to name it this due to its green color, and the rock at the top that has the appearance of a frog.

frog rock, things to do in Utah

This area is tucked away near Moab, and has striking contrast in green and orange hues.

In order to get here, just drive towards Arches and you will start to see some green rock. Turn to the road on the right before this and you will be able to park right near this cool rock formation!

Epic Things to Do in Utah #11: Fifth Water Hot Springs

One of the best things to do in Utah is to experience the various hot springs scattered throughout the state.

The Fifth Water Hot Springs are a true hidden gem! We did not get to visit because they were closed due to COVID-19. However, we can say from research alone they look pretty awesome.

Here you can find a series of natural hot springs with different shades of blue and green, which seem to be a truly magical experience! We've read that in order to get here you must have a 4x4, and that you should get there extremely early to avoid the crowds.

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Epic Things to Do in Utah #12: Mystic Hot Springs

Another great spot in Utah that is perfect for relaxing is Mystic Hot Springs. These hot springs aren't natural, but the water that feeds them are. Here you can find several bathtubs filled with the healing heated waters, while surrounded by the red rock towering around. Reservations are required so make sure you bo0k in advance!

Epic Things to Do in Utah #13: Forrest Gump Hill

Located south near the border of Arizona, lies the famous point in the movie Forrest Gump, Remember when Forrest is running down the road? Well, this is the exact location.

Not only is it a great spot because of where it is filmed, but due to the beautiful rock formations as the back drop. Get a picture running down the road and feel the freedom that Forrest felt (just be careful of course!).

Forrest Gump Point, things to do in Utah

This spot is iconic because it is from the movie Forrest Gump.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #14: Alstrom Point

Alstrom Point is located in Glen Canyon, a little north of Page, Arizona, and is one of the spots in Utah that is less known. In order to get here you will ride a bumpy road for an hour, so make sure you have a 4x4!

The last mile of the road is extremely rocky, so only huge trucks can make it over. We had a Ford Explorer, so we walked the last mile.

Alstrom Point, Utah
Alstrom Point in Utah
Alstrom Point, things to do in Utah

Alstrom Point isn't easy to get to, but it's worth the trek.

The spot we stopped for sunset is actually on the opposite side of Alstrom Point, due to the position of the sun, but the actual location of Alstrom Point would be perfect for sunrise! So leave early, or pitch a tent over night to wake up to a truly magical view.


Epic Things to Do in Utah #15: Flaming Gorge

Flaming Gorge was one of those places that we happened to stumble upon during our drive, and were so happy we did! This is a place that is really under the radar for travelers, but definitely worth a stop for unique things to do in Utah.

The gorge is huge, and has plenty of camping options. We caught the sunset at Cedar Springs (pictured above), but also heard that there are plenty of other spectacular places to enjoy the views on the cliffs with the stunning and still waters below.

Flaming Gorge, Utah

Flaming Gorge is a stunning hidden gem of Utah.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #16: Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef often gets overlooked due to its location, but it is a really amazing place to stop if you have time! Located in Utah's south central desert, you will be mesmerized by the striking red rock formations, white sandstone domes, and deep canyons.

The park is known for its 100 mile Waterpocket fold, which is a giant wrinkle in the Earth! Be sure to check out the towering monoliths in the North, the Chimney Rock Pillar, and the Hickman Bridge Arch.

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Epic Things to Do in Utah #17: The Slot Canyons

Climbing through the slot canyons is something that every traveler should have on their list of things to do in Utah and Arizona.

If you didn't get to make it to the famous Wave, than the slot canyons in Escalante are a great second option! Or even if you did get to go to the wave, they are definitely worth checking out. Head an hour and a 1/2 past Bryce Canyon, and you will find a road that has several slot canyons to check out.

Peek-a-Boo Canyon and Spooky Gulch can we seen together, and will take just a few hours. There are also Zebra Canyon and Coyote Gulch, which are in the same area, with slightly longer hikes.


Epic Things to Do in Utah #18: Dinosaur Monument

Another gem that we came across by pure coincidence is Dinosaur National Monument, located on the border of Utah and Colorado in the north. Here you can find thousands of real fossils and imprints from dinosaurs from a few million years ago! You can also have fun stopping on the side of the road and taking pictures with the giant statues. 

Dinosaur monument is a national park, so is included in the National Park Pass. The visit to the exhibition must be booked in advance, but is free of charge. The shuttle takes you over, and it is a great visit for all ages.

dinosaur monument, Utah

Dinosaur Monument National Park has thousands of fossils.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #19: Dino-soar Balloon Festival

One of our favorite things to do in Utah is to explore some of the fun events offered.

Every August the small town of Vernal hosts a balloon festival! We were definitely the only out-of-towners, which made for a truly unique and local experience.

Watch the balloons soar in the morning, check out the farmers market, enjoy local music at the beer garden, look at the vintage vehicles at the car show, and watch people dressed as dinosaurs in a race down Main Street! The most magical part? They set off the balloons all lit up when it gets dark.

Vernal Balloon Festival, Utah

The Dino-Soar Balloon Festival happens every August in the small town of Vernal.

The balloon festival is a weekend long event, and is free of charge to enter. At the farmers market make sure to check out Bee's Thai Food. This woman is from Thailand, and hands down has the best food we tried in the area.

Epic Things to Do in Utah #20: Antelope Island

Located north of Salt Lake City, is a nature preserve that stretches 42 square miles. Here is a great spot to get out and enjoy the fresh air, and some really cool wildlife! Go hiking, swimming, or camping here, and check out the pink lake!

*We didn't have time to see the island in person, but were shown pictures by a local, and will definitely visit and have more info to share in the future.

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Has this made you want to go Utah yet? This state is perfect for a two week road trip, as there are so many interesting things to do in Utah. The surrounding states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming also have some really spectacular landscapes and are not to be missed!

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