Utah National Parks

Like Picasso’s blue period, Utah national parks are variations on a theme — petrified Jurassic sediments sculpted by wind, water and time — but each one exhilarates in its own way.

Families/High-adventurers/Leisurely travelers can hike/bike/tour/explore southern Utah’s unending fins/buttes/hoodoos/canyons. Raft the Colorado, walk the earth’s seams or watch the sun set through a hole in a mountain. Choose your own adventure. Read more...

 

Explore Utah's Parks

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

Experience Zion National Park from the top down

Visit All 5 National Parks

with Southwest Adventure Tours

MountainBased

A family operated adventure company

Stay right in Zion

Quality Inn Montclair

Visit All 5 National Parks

with Southwest Adventure Tours

Red Cliffs Lodge

Luxury, Location, Libations

Ruby's Inn

Lower temps and lower prices

Visit All 5 National Parks

with Southwest Adventure Tours

Trails in Capitol Reef

For hikers of all abilities

Kanab

Magically unspoiled at the heart of the National Parks

Monument Valley

You've seen the parks, now see the rest

Explore the Super 6

Arches, Canyonlands, and more

National Park Maps

Like a scout –– be prepared

Bryce Canyon National Park

Pictures don't do this park justice

 

Travel Tips

 

38˚ North on the Utah Map

Something good happened a while back at 38˚ north latitude. All five of the national parks in Utah are within a sandstone’s throw of it — in fact, you could drive through them all in a single overstimulated afternoon. (You could, but you shouldn’t. That’d be like sprinting through the Louvre.)

Over 150 million years the soft-ish stone sediments in these five spots relented in weird, beautiful ways, cutting open a color spectrum of reds, pinks, yellows, grays and whites, all dappled with green. It’s called the Grand Staircase, but you could think of it as a peeling painting, a dozen layers on display from Bryce to the Grand Canyon.

A California CondoR Beds in Zion

That’s not only true (they’re not extinct after all!), it’s a helpful mnemonic for remembering the Utah national parks from east to west:

Arches

The Holey Land (See: Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Fiery Furnace)

Canyonlands

The slow work of merciless rivers (See: Grand View Point, Horseshoe Canyon, how tough you are)

Capitol Reef

A snag in the earth’s crust, 100 miles long (See: Waterpocket Fold, historic Fruita)

Bryce Canyon

Sometimes-snowy erosions, elevated (See: Navajo Loop, Fairyland Point/Loop)

Zion

The oldest, the most visited (See: Subway, Angels Landing, your life flash before your eyes)

Museums of Ancient Art

Michelangelo wasn’t bad; Rembrandt made nice pictures; and Kahlo had some interesting ideas; but the Earth’s greatest masterpieces weren’t made by human hands. And they’re all in southern Utah.

It’s a reddish-orangey-pink swath of a United State that’s eroded in audacious ways. New York’s got the MoMA; Utah has five museums of ancient art. Climb through a hole punched in a mountain, hike through a slot canyon, kayak the Colorado and explore Bryce Canyon’s rock opera. It’s art appreciation in hiking boots.

 
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