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 River, walk the earth’s seams or watch the sunset through a hole in a mountain.
Choose your own adventure. Read more...

 

Explore Utah's National Parks

Bryce Canyon

Pictures don't do it justice

Visit All 5 National Parks

with Southwest Adventure Tours

Visit Capitol Reef

A geologic wrinkle on earth

Explore the Super 6

Arches, Canyonlands, and more

Visit All 5 National Parks

with Southwest Adventure Tours

Ruby's Inn

Lower temps mean lower prices

The Mighty 5

Camp and hike ‘em all with MountainBased Adventures

Visit All 5 National Parks

with Southwest Adventure Tours

Kanab

Magically unspoiled at the heart of the National Parks

East Zion Adventures

Jeep, Hike, Horseback and more

Epic One Adventures

Guided Tours of Utah National Parks

Salt Lake City

In awe of the parks and the attractions in SLC

Lodging options

Choice Hotels are near all of Utah's parks

S.Utah Scenic Tours

These guys KNOW Utah!

 

Travel Tips

 


Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion: Five sculptural interpretations of the Colorado Plateau, cut with a big, slow chisel.

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 Museum of Modern Art; Utah has FIVE museums of ancient art. Climb through a hole punched in a mountain, hike through a slot canyon, kayak the Colorado River and explore Bryce Canyon’s rock opera. It’s art appreciation... in hiking boots.

 
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