Utah is a photographer’s paradise located in the western United States. It is home to five US National Parks nicknamed the Mighty 5. Join us as we explore Utah with top travel bloggers.
We will take a virtual visit to the Might 5: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. Utah’s winters boast the “Greatest Snow on Earth.”
The more we learn about Utah, the more we want to visit. It’s an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts, hikers, adventure seekers, winter sports lovers, and anyone who needs to rejuvenate.
Let’s explore Utah: The Might 5
- Zion National Park
- Bryce National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
Map to the help you explore Utah and the Mighty 5 parks
From Las Vegas, you can easily drive to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. It can be an adventure on its own or part of a larger road trip across the USA.
Zion National Park
Sometimes referred to as the promised land, Zion is the most visited National Park in Utah. Larger-than-life sandstone cliffs creating narrow canyon slots are intermixed with lush wilderness and beautiful waterfalls.
Zion National Park is a symphony of vibrant colors and diverse ecosystems. The park’s hallmark is the Zion Canyon, where towering sandstone walls rise dramatically, creating a breathtaking backdrop for exploration. The Zion Narrows, a hike through the Virgin River, leads you deep into the heart of the canyon, surrounded by towering walls that seem to touch the sky.
Angel’s Landing is a must-do hike for the intrepid adventurer. While challenging, the panoramic views from the top are a rewarding treat. For a more leisurely experience, take the scenic drive through the park, where each twist and turn reveals new perspectives of this natural masterpiece.
Bryce National Park
Bryce Canyon, situated in Southwest Utah, is not actually a canyon at all. It’s like a fantasyland of spires and hoodoos, where towering rock formations rise like an amphitheater filled with nature’s sculptures. The hues of red, orange, and pink paint an enchanting panorama that changes with the shifting light.
The Rim Trail offers stunning vistas, while the Queen’s Garden Trail takes you through a maze of hoodoos that resemble a royal court frozen in stone. For the ultimate experience, make sure to visit Sunrise Point early in the morning. As the sun’s rays kiss the landscape, the hoodoos come to life, casting eerie shadows and creating a magical ambiance.
Capitol Reef National Park
With amazing colors in the rock formations, Capitol Reef is near the center of the Mighty 5. Interestingly, it was given its name by early pioneers who thought the white dome-shaped peaks reminded them of the US Capitol building.
This hidden gem unveils a geological marvel known as the Waterpocket Fold. This 100-mile-long warp in the Earth’s crust showcases a rainbow of rock layers and hidden canyons.
Scenic drives and short hikes are the perfect ways to explore the unique rock formations and discover ancient petroglyphs etched into the sandstone walls.
Arches National Park
Referred to as a “Gateway to Another World,” Arches National Park is a realm of surreal rock formations that seem straight out of a dream.
The park is renowned for its remarkable orange sandstone natural arches, with over 2,000 of these stunning structures dotting the landscape. The most iconic of them all is the Delicate Arch, a symbol of Utah and a breathtaking sight at sunset.
As you traverse the trails, you’ll encounter formations with whimsical names like Balanced Rock and Landscape Arch. The fiery hues of the rocks contrast against the piercing blue sky, creating a visual spectacle that’s hard to forget.
Canyonlands National Park
Filled with pinnacles, spires, buttes, and mesas, Canyonlands is Utah’s largest national park, divided into four districts by the Colorado and Green Rivers.
Island in the Sky, with its panoramic overlooks, provides a bird’s-eye view of the expansive canyons below. The Needles District beckons hikers with its numerous trails that wind through stunning rock formations.
Explore Utah: State and regional parks
Utah is also home to many state and regional parks. Monument Valley and Hovenweep National Monument are two favorites of other travel bloggers who have been recently.
Hovenweep National Monument
Explore Utah: Winter
Greatest Snow on Earth
And if that’s not enough, Utah boasts the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” an expression so descriptive the state has copyrighted it.
Utah is situated on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains and reports an annual snowfall of 13 meters. Skiers and snowboarders will tell you it is mostly light and dry. No wonder Salt Lake City, Utah, was chosen for the 2002 Winter Olympics. With 14 major ski resorts, there are plenty of opportunities to experience some of this powder magic.
Practical information to help you explore Utah
- Learn more about each of these Utah parks from their US National Parks pages Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands.
- If you are planning to visit multiple US National Parks, you can pre-purchase a national annual pass that will most likely save you money, or you can pick one up at any of the Mighty 5.
- Salt Lake City is 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas or a one-hour flight from either San Francisco or Los Angeles.
- The airport in Salt Lake City is also the closest major airport to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming or the Grand Canyon in Arizona (and if you are coming from here, don’t miss the red rock of Sedona).
- If you live outside of the USA, there are several international ski passes available that offer discounts to multiple parks.
Utah is calling to us, and maybe it will start calling to you too.
Have you been yet, or are you going to explore Utah?
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