Zion, Arches, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands
Utah's National Parks
You know that kid in class who was good at everything? Smart, beautiful, athletic and shredded the piccolo? So annoying. Well, Utah’s sorry, but it’s not gonna downplay its talents just so Nevada doesn’t feel bad about itself.
Alpine lakes with trophy-sized rainbows. Great big little cities with world-class ballet and plenty of parking. Red-rock slot canyons and other geologic oddities. Performance-enhancing powder at bucket-list ski resorts, 45 minutes from the airport. Plus we brag about it. Ugh. We’re the worst. Read more...
The Colorado Plateau is the big, beautiful orangey blotch centered at Four Corners, millions of years and layers of stone laced with canyon-cutting rivers and unlikely art rock. The feds found five different spots in Utah’s quadrant weird and wild enough to designate and protect. If you’ve only got a week, these should top your list of places to see in Utah.
These are like National Parks Express. Not quite as extensive, but still briefly intensive. And they’re packed tightly enough between national parks and lots of other Utah attractions that it’s not an either/or situation.
Sand dunes, petrified forests, pioneer heritage and Native American sites: half a hundred dots on the map with dozens of kinds of low-traffic attractions. Disregard the occasional side-eye from a local. Once you see the sights, you’ll forgive them for not wanting to share.
Some things aren’t so easily classified. These Utah points of interest are generally outdoors, typically remote and unanimously awesome. If your map only shows the big, obvious Utah attractions, get a new map, because mind-blowing can’t be categorized.
Let’s be honest: You don’t book a trip to Utah to see what a big city feels like. But first of all, we do small-town right, with the proverbial Mom & Pop cooking, cleaning and making sure you’re comfortable. Then there are the resort towns, with all the outfitters and outposts you need to go (into the) wild. And lastly, the biggish cities you do find in Utah punch way above their weight class — the Wasatch Front has things to do, see and eat on par with the world’s much larger, much less convenient metropolises.
These Utah destinations show you a corner of the state without skimping on the luxury — the kind of all-inclusive experiences that make leaving the campus optional.