Whether you’ve lived in Utah your whole life, moved here recently, or have been planning your next vacation to the Beehive state, you have a plethora of options and activities at your fingertips. Utah is full of incredible hikes, gorgeous sites, and tons of adventures just waiting for you!
We’ve gathered together some of our favorite must-dos in the state and compiled them in a list for you to reference. Next time you’re looking for a chance to get out and do something awesome, all you have to do is come here!
1. Climb to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park
Angels Landing is internationally known to be one of the scariest and most narrow hikes in the United States, but if you can control your fear of heights, you should definitely make a trip to this unique trail. Aided by chains for balance and stairs cut into the face of the rock, the Angels Landing path is a combination of steep switchbacks, precarious drop-offs, and beautiful scenery. The top of this formation features a breathtaking 360 degree view of the red rock canyon. Photo Credit
2. Stargaze in Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is one of the best places in the nation to see the night skies, in any season. Twice a month the park holds full moon hikes, below the rim in the summer, and a snowshoeing trek above the rim in the winter, along with an annual astronomy festival. Camp for a few nights,bring your telescope, and don’t be fooled if you happen to see a soft cloud obstructing your view – it might be the Milky Way!
3. Go river rafting in Moab
Make a trip down to Moab and raft the Colorado River, where you can soar through whitewater rapids below dramatic red rock cliffs. There are several companies that will take you on a guided rafting tour, whether you want to spend half a day, a full day, or multiple days.
4. Sail on the Great Salt Lake
Utah is famous for having the largest landlocked body of saltwater in the nation, but what can you actually do there? Sailing is the answer you’re looking for. Sailing Solution, a charter company based at the Great Salt Lake, offers multiple classes and cruises for you to choose from. Head out on the lake for a half day, or spend a romantic evening on a sunset cruise with your love.
5. Hardware Ranch Sleigh Rides
Every winter you can climb into a sleigh at Hardware Ranch, just outside of Logan, and be taken on a magical journey across the snow through herds of elk. Rides are typically given on weekends and Mondays, December through March. Get up close and personal with the majestic elk on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.
6. Bluff International Hot Air Balloon Festival
If you’ve ever wanted to see the red rocks of southern Utah from a different perspective, the view from the basket of a hot air balloon might be right up your alley. Every January on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, balloons rise over the gorgeous rock formations, equally as beautiful from the ground or the air. The festival includes several launches as well as a balloon glow at night and cultural activities for everyone to enjoy. Make a trip to Bluff, Utah for a weekend you’ll never forget.
7. Drive the Alpine Loop
The road connecting American Fork Canyon to Provo Canyon and Sundance is incredible year-round, but if you want to get the full effect, take a drive along the Alpine Loop in early fall, when the leaves begin to change. You’ll be amazed by the views of Mount Timpanogos, the fire-colored foliage stretching as far as the eye can see, and the majestic peaks of the other surrounding mountains. Make a stop to lay out a picnic or visit the Cascade Springs boardwalks on your way.
8. Bobsled Rides at the Utah Olympic Park
After the Winter Olympics were held in Utah in 2002, the Olympic Park in Park City became a training ground for both professional and amateur athletes alike. While you can visit the park, watch the athletes, and take a tour through the museums, you can also get a feel for what it’s like to be in the Olympic games – specifically, in a bobsled. A professional driver will take you down the track as the bobsled reaches speeds of over 50 mph.
9. Hike Mount Timpanogos
As the second highest peak in the Wasatch Range, Mount Timpanogos towers over Provo, Orem, and Pleasant Grove, is the only real glacier in Utah, and is one of the most hiked trails in the state. It sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet and for the most part, will take all or most of the day to climb, but the sites along the way and the view from the top makes it all worth it. Set aside a day to summit this daunting hike.
10. Midway Swiss Days
Head up to the quaint town of Midway in August for the infamous Swiss Days, a celebration of food, entertainment, and culture. The festival runs for two days and includes the Swiss Miss pageant, vendors of everything from jewelry to toys, a 10K race, and much more. Spend a weekend with the family immersed in Swiss culture!Photo Credit
11. Go fly fishing in the Provo River
Loaded with blue ribbon trout that often reach record lengths, the Provo River is one of the best spots in the world for fly fishing. The river is divided into three sections: the Upper, Middle, and Lower, and all three can have up to 3,000 fish per mile, just waiting for a line to bite. Some of the river is on private property, but many outfitters and companies have access to these spots. Of course, the areas on public land are open to anyone with a fishing license.
12. Paddleboard in Lake Powell
Lake Powell is a haven for all types of watersports, whether you enjoy wakeboarding, kayaking, jetskiing, or laying on the deck of your houseboat. But if you love gliding softly through the water on a stand up paddleboard, there’s no better place to do it than Lake Powell. Several companies around the lake rent out paddleboards, and anyone can do it. Relax as you paddle through the turquoise water, surrounded by towering red cliffs.
13. See a play at Tuacahn or Sundance
If you’re a theatre buff and you haven’t seen a play at an outdoor amphitheatre, put this on your bucket list immediately. Both Sundance and Tuacahn have outdoor stages with breathtaking natural backdrops. Spend a summer night under the stars seeing a performance where anything could happen.
14. Raspberry Days at Bear Lake
Every summer, a celebration centered on the juicy, famous Bear Lake raspberries is held in Garden City, Utah. Raspberry Days usually lasts around three to four weeks and includes a craft fair, continuous entertainment, the Little Miss Berry Pageant, a rodeo and 5K, a parade, pancake breakfast, and a fireworks display on the beach. Take the family to participate in the festivities and don’t forget to get a raspberry shake! Photo Credit
15. Hike Calf Creek Falls
Located in central Utah, Calf Creek Falls is at the end of a three and a half mile sandy trail in Escalante. The path passes by small ponds, prehistoric rock art, and historic landmarks. The lower falls are 126 feet high, pouring into a sparkling swimming hole where you can take a dip to cool off after the hike. The upper falls are accessed from a different trail a little farther up the road.
16. Visit Temple Square
Utah’s number one tourist attraction is in the heart of Salt Lake City, but so many of the state’s own residents don’t make the time to stop by. Whether you take a stroll around the colorful grounds and gardens, step into one of the museums and exhibits, or attend a performance at one of the historic venues, you’ll be sure to have an experience you’ll always remember. Make sure you put Temple Square on your bucket list!
Now that you have many of the most desirable attractions in Utah at your fingertips, where are you going to go first? Leave a comment and let us know, or post a picture and tell us a story of your adventures at one of these places! We’d love to hear your experiences!
Photos are referenced from respective article’s website except where indicated