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Things to Do in Utah

From its desert oasis to the snowy slopes, Utah’s natural beauty will surely take your breath away. Found on the western side of the United States, Utah is blessed with stunning national parks, lakes, waterfalls and mountains.

I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful destination and would highly recommend hiring a car to easily get to and from all the wonderful places you need to see in Utah.

Salt Lake City

Found in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and next to the largest inland lake in the western U.S, the capital city of Utah is well-worth the visit. Depending on the holiday you have planned, I recommend flying into this a major city for easy access to the state’s surrounding natural beauty. But before you head off to explore, stay a night or two to soak up everything this metropolis has to offer. To get a taste for the city, head to Salt Lake’s emerging Granary District and step into any of the delicious breweries, distilleries, restaurants and bars. My top picks go to Meditrina for dinner, Water Witch for cocktails, and Fisher Brewing Company for a local beer and great eats from local food trucks.

Zion National Park

Nestled in the southwest corner of Utah, Zion National Park is best known for its steep red cliffs and breathtaking terrain. It’s arguably the most popular of all national parks found in this desert state—and for good reason. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is the main byway that cuts through the middle of the national park, leading you past soaring cliffs, forest trails and the Virgin River.

In total, this drive takes one and a half hours, but I suggest accommodating for longer to leave you time to stop, snap some photos, go for a hike and explore. Leave early in the morning because this popular destination attracts crowds and the carparks can fill up as early as 10am. The Virgin River flows into the Emerald Pools, where I suggest stopping to hike to the waterfalls and hanging garden. Further north is The Narrows, the narrowest section of Zion Canyon and a popular spot to hike.

Bryce Canyon National Park 

The natural beauty at Bryce Canyon National Park is an Instagrammers dream. Known for its crimson-coloured spire-shaped rock formations and incredible trails, after Zion National Park, make sure you leave time to check out Bryce Canyon National Park. While driving through this area leave time to complete the Queens Garden Trail. You’ll start and end at Sunset Point, winding past pink hoodoos and sandstone formations. This track is well sign posted so you’ll easily find your way around while soaking up the spectacular views. If you’re feeling game, tack on the Navajo Loop Trail to your walk. It’s connected with the Queens Garden Trail and will take you a little further, but it’s totally worth it.

Monument Valley

Found on the Utah-Arizona border, Monument Valley is a popular shooting location for Western movies, so you’ve probably seen this red sand desert on the big screen, perhaps without even realising it. But trust me when I say that seeing it in real life is a totally new experience. Cruising down Valley Drive is one of the best ways to see this slice of the world. I also highly recommend checking out John Ford’s Point and the Three Sisters for an incredible vantage of this desert plain. Valley Drive is about 27 kilometres long, so I’d recommend allowing anywhere upwards of 4 hours to explore every corner of this awe-inspiring destination.

Hit The Slopes

While it’s hard to believe that this desert state is teeming with snowy mountains, Utah is one of the top destinations to shred the slopes in winter. If you’re visiting during the cooler months, there are a number of ski resorts to choose from that will appeal to every type of skier. Powder Mountain is a slightly less popular ski resort than others in Utah which is perfect if you’re not into waiting in lines for the chairlift. And as the name suggests, it’s also known for its incredible powder. Park City is arguably the most popular resort but for good reason. It’s the largest resort in the U.S. with a solid mix of terrain to explore—from moguls to groomers. For first timers, I recommend heading to Park City or Powder Mountain over other Utah resorts.

Keen to discover Utah's incredible landscapes for yourself? Chat to a lovely Travel Consultant today and let us tailor-make it easy for you!

Written by Sophie Hart

Born and bred in sunny Brisbane, for Sophie home is where the heart is but that doesn't stop her from skipping between island paradises and regularly jetting off to incredible overseas destinations. She's a coffee-guzzling addict with a love of Vietnamese street food.