Utah Travel Guide: 6 Top Things To Do In Utah (2023)
Utah is an outdoor lover’s paradise. With an extraordinary number of monuments and national parks that dot the beautiful southwest state, Utah has many attractions and a wealth of wonderful wilderness that will make you fall in love with the state. This includes stunning red rock canyons and ravishing mighty mesas to its spectacular dusty desert, roaring rivers, and the awe-inspiring sandstone sculptures.
With all this unique and fantastic scenery, there are loads of exciting outdoor activities to try out in Utah. While horseback riding, hiking, and rock climbing are some of the most popular activities to indulge in while you are in Utah, the winter months also bring with it the promise of some superb skiing and snowboarding that you can enjoy.
Utah Travel Guide: 6 Top Things To Do In Utah
Here are some of the top things to do in Utah:
1. Check Out The Famous Dinosaur National Monument
The Dinosaur National Monument is one of its kind in the world. Located amidst a very scenic and secluded spot, this monument straddles both Colorado and Utah. Built in 1915 to preserve the fascinating dinosaur fossils, there are many colorful canyons to explore here that have over 800 paleontological sites throughout.
Visitors to the Dinosaur National Monument can go camping, hiking, and even rafting to explore the remote corners of this beautiful place. The biggest highlight of this monument is the spectacular Quarry Hall. You will find a wide variety of exciting and informative exhibits on nature, history, and the dinosaurs of the region. The Wall of Bones is another must-visit sight here as you can see hundreds and hundreds of fantastic fossils. The Dinosaur National Monument is as close as you can get to a real Jurassic Park as possible.
2. Skiing At The Snowbasin Ski Resort
Tucked away in the heart of the northeast of Salt Lake City are the beautiful snow-capped slopes of Snowbasin, one of the oldest ski resorts in the entire US. Since it opened its doors in 1939, the resort has grown and spread its wings to now include over 100 runs and three terrain parks for visitors to explore to their heart’s content.
The resort is especially famous for its sheer vertical drop of 9002 meters for snowboarders and skiers to shoot down. The many prominent peaks here are well serviced by many gondolas and chairlifts. While most people prefer to visit during the winters, it’s not that there isn’t anything to do here in the summer months. There are some excellent mountain biking and hiking trails that you can enjoy in the summers, with many quaint tiny cozy cabins and beautiful lodges to stay in at any time of the year.
3. Explore a Mars-like Landscape at the Zion National Park
The Zion National Park in Utah is one of the most popular and most visited national parks in the US. It is also known for having the most breathtaking landscapes in the entire Southwest of the country. With majestic mountains and massive cliffs that line the valley, this park is often known as the vertical park. In springtime, there are waterfalls that pour off these ledges and feed right into the Virgin River that flows through the canyon.
There are two scenic roads that take you through the park and its main attractions. However, it is best to explore the Zion National Park on foot to be able to see more of this unique terrain. There is a free shuttle service that runs from spring until fall and transports visitors along the stunning Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. You can hop on and off at any of the stops along the way. While the shuttle service stops in the winter months, but the road remains open to private vehicles. If you are coming in an RV, you have to pay a fee and obtain a permit beforehand to use the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, especially to pass through a narrow tunnel here.
There is an extensive network of hiking trails at Zion that will take you through the many canyons and along the ridges located above. You get a really great view of the scenery when you take a hike below the giant rock walls or decide to venture up the Virgin River through the narrows. Many fearless hikers can experience the grandest views from the lookouts located above 1000 feet from the canyon floor.
4. Exploring the Great Salt Lake
Perhaps no other place is more famous in Utah than the Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the entire Western hemisphere. It is also the largest natural lake in North America, west of the Mississippi River. This spot is the perfect setting for experiencing some of Utah’s best outdoor recreational activities, with sailors and kayakers plying the lake waters as sunbathers bask and relax on the sandy beaches and swimmers enjoy floating in the highly saline waters.
The Great Salt Lake is one of the most notable geologic features in Utah. In fact, the city is even named after the lake. The lake has a rich history, many important and exciting features, and it plays a very important role in maintaining the ecosystem of this place, while of course, providing many recreational opportunities to visitors.
The lake and the islands nearby offer visitors great opportunities to kayak, sail, float, hike, bike, birdwatch, and much more. You can launch a kayak or boat at the Great Salt Lake Marina, take a sunset cruise, or just sit on the banks of the lake and take in the spectacular views. Nearby the lake is the Saltair, which is a resort that has been rebuilt at least three times in history. It is presently used as a famous concert venue.
If you want to find out the best place to float or swim in the lake, then head to the Antelope Island State Park, where the white oolitic sand beaches give you easy access to the lake without the brine flies that are present in the other areas of the shoreline. The beach area here also has showers where you can rinse off the salty water. One of the unique experiences at the Great Salt Lake is to just float in the highly salty waters of the lake.
5. Skiing and Snowboarding in Park City
The best and biggest place to ski and snowboard in the US is Park City in Utah. Park City boasts of an incredible three world-class mountain resorts. Located east of Salt Lake City, Park City sees millions of visitors every year who flock to its sparkling snow-covered slopes.
The majestic mountains here have an amazingly high number of runs for guests to snowboard or ski down. Park City Mountain itself has over 330 delightful trails. There are also many excellent facilities and extensive amenities at the Deer Valley and Canyons resorts, with a variety of other winter sports to try out as well. The fact that Park City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics should give you a good idea of just how amazing this place is.
6. Discover the Bonneville Salt Flats
This is another unique experience you can only have in Utah. Stretching for what seems like endless miles into the distance, these bleak and barren but beautiful Bonneville Salt Flats are a must-see once-in-a-lifetime experience in Utah. Tucked away in the northwest of the state, this beautiful desert landscape makes for some of the most stunning photos owing to the shimmering salt surface of the shallow waters here. You will be left amazed to see how magically these shallow waters reflect the brilliant blue skies above.
Because of the sheer size, scale, and splendor of this place, many movies have been shot here. The never ending nothingness of the salt flats has also made this place perfect for many land speed events. Visiting the remains of an ancient lake here is another unforgettable experience you will take away from the Bonneville Salt Flats.