Explore the top 5 national parks in Utah! Discover awe-inspiring beauty, mesmerizing landscapes, and pro-tips for the best views. Utah is a state blessed with awe-inspiring natural beauty, boasting five remarkable national parks, known as the Mighty Five. Each park offers a unique and mesmerizing landscape that beckons adventurers from around the world. From towering red rock formations to deep canyons and majestic arches, Utah’s national parks are a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. In this blog post, we will delve into the top five national parks in Utah and highlight the three must-try hikes in each park, ensuring an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and avid hikers alike.
This month we are giving away a National Parks Pass for our giveaway of the month, because we want you to EXPLORE these beautiful places! Keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook pages to find out how you can enter the giveaway!
1. Zion National Park
Known for its towering sandstone cliffs and breathtaking canyons, Zion National Park is a paradise for hikers. Here are three must-try hikes in Zion:
The Narrows: Embark on an unforgettable adventure by wading through the Virgin River as it carves its way through narrow slot canyons. The Narrows hike offers mesmerizing views of towering walls and hanging gardens, creating a unique and immersive experience.
Angels Landing: Brave the iconic Angels Landing hike, a thrilling trail that rewards hikers with awe-inspiring vistas. Ascend 1,500 feet and conquer a series of steep switchbacks and sheer drop-offs to reach the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Zion Canyon.
Observation Point: For a bird’s-eye view of Zion Canyon, hike to Observation Point. This challenging yet rewarding trail takes you through scenic landscapes and switchbacks, culminating in an incredible overlook. Witness the grandeur of Zion from above and capture stunning photographs to cherish forever.
Photo credits: Meg Spataro
2. Bryce Canyon National Park
Famous for its otherworldly hoodoos and unique geological formations, Bryce Canyon National Park offers a remarkable hiking experience. Here are three hikes not to be missed:
Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop: Embark on a magical journey into the heart of the hoodoos by combining the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop trails. Marvel at the vibrant colors and intricate formations as you wind your way through the stunning amphitheater.
Fairyland Loop: Discover the enchanting wonders of Bryce Canyon on the Fairyland Loop. This challenging hike treats you to breathtaking vistas, diverse landscapes, and an up-close encounter with hoodoos, spires, and rock formations that seem to be plucked from a fairy tale.
Rim Trail: For a more leisurely experience, explore the Rim Trail, which offers multiple access points and showcases stunning views along the canyon rim. Choose your desired length and savor the beauty of the park at your own pace.
3. Arches National Park
Famed for its impressive collection of natural arches, Arches National Park is a playground for geology enthusiasts and hikers alike. Here are three hikes that showcase the park’s unique formations:
Delicate Arch: Embark on the iconic Delicate Arch hike, a three-mile round trip that leads you to the park’s most famous arch. Witness the striking beauty of the Delicate Arch up close, and if you time your visit right, you may even experience a captivating sunset casting its warm hues upon the landscape.
Devils Garden Loop: For a longer and more adventurous hike, explore the Devils Garden Loop. This trail takes you on a journey to discover several arches, including Landscape Arch, the longest natural arch in North America. Navigate along slickrock fins and enjoy the mesmerizing views that await you.
The Windows: The Windows Section includes the North and South Window, Turret Arch and Double Arch, which are all within walking distance of each other. Pro tip: the North and South Windows are a great place to catch the sunrise because it isn’t too far from the entrance of the park. One of our favorite things to do is to take silhouette pictures under the arch with the sunrise, so you’ll have to try it out with your family!
Photo credits: Meg Spataro
4. Canyonlands National Park
Encompassing vast canyons, towering mesas, and the merging of the Green and Colorado Rivers, Canyonlands National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are three hikes to add to your itinerary:
Mesa Arch: Begin your Canyonlands exploration with the Mesa Arch hike, an easy trail that leads to a stunning natural arch perched on the edge of a cliff. Capture mesmerizing sunrise moments as the sun’s rays illuminate the arch and the surrounding canyons.
Upheaval Dome: Embark on a geological adventure by hiking to Upheaval Dome, a unique and mysterious rock formation. Choose between two trails—a moderate overlook trail or a more strenuous trek to the bottom of the crater—and witness the enigmatic geological history of the park.
Grand View Point: For panoramic vistas of the canyons and the convergence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, hike to Grand View Point. As you venture along the rim, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views that extend for miles, showcasing the vastness and beauty of Canyonlands.
5. Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park offers stunning landscapes of cliffs, canyons, domes, and the Waterpocket Fold—a 100-mile monocline that stretches through the heart of the park. Here are three hikes that encapsulate the park’s allure:
Hickman Bridge: Embark on the Hickman Bridge hike, a moderately challenging trail that leads you to an impressive natural bridge. As you traverse the trail, immerse yourself in the park’s stunning red rock scenery and experience the wonders of erosion that shaped this captivating landscape.
Capitol Gorge: Explore the Capitol Gorge trail, an easy hike that takes you through a narrow canyon filled with stunning rock formations and ancient petroglyphs. Discover the historical significance of the area and marvel at the geological wonders along the way.
Cassidy Arch: For a more challenging and adventurous hike, venture to Cassidy Arch. Named after the notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy, this trail offers a rewarding experience as you ascend to the stunning natural arch and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs and canyons.
Utah’s national parks showcase some of the most remarkable natural landscapes in the world. From the majestic canyons of Zion to the otherworldly hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and the striking arches of Arches National Park, there is an adventure waiting for every nature enthusiast. Looks like it’s time to pack your hiking gear, lace up your boots, and get ready to create lasting memories in Utah’s national parks! Definitely check out the National Parks page if you want to learn about any other hikes in the parks, and if you want other ideas for fun things to do this summer, be sure to check out our other blog post here!