Updated: Apr 20
Utah is an unusual place with some of the most dramatic landscapes. The state is pretty much made up of several National Monuments within one Epic National Park. Yes, I just said that.
Interesting National Monuments In Utah
The Golden Spike - On May 10, 1869 officials of the Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad met here to drive four symbolic spikes (two gold), celebrating the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. The Last Spike Ceremony is reenacted every year on the anniversary. Am I the only one who wants to see the reenactment and ride the train?
Grand Staircase - Getting it's name for the series of plateaus that descend from Bryce Canyon south toward the Grand Canyon, this National Monument has been quietly doing its thing for between 275 million and 50 million years.
Monument Valley - A 14-mile graded dirt road that will show you around most of the major monuments
Interesting National Parks In Utah
Bryce Canyon - A sprawling reserve known for its crimson colored spire rock formations. The drive around the National Park takes about 3 hours with hundreds of viewpoints along the park's 38 mile (Round trip) scenic drive. Bryce Canyon also has the largest collection of hoodoos.
Arches - The most unusual landscapes are implied in the name and you will see some incredible arches that have taken millions of years to form.
Zion - Well known for it's slot canyons and towering mountains, Zion is not for the faint of heart. The hiking opportunities are boundless. Some of the most best hikes are listed below:
Emerald Pool - Lower
The Zion Narrows
Grand Canyon One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with 2 billion (yes, BILLION) years of geology. Some areas are 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep.
Grand Circle Tour - 5 Utah National Parks in 5 days! Click the link for an awesome itinerary.
Other Interesting Places To See In Utah
A hikers dream destination with one route stretching for some 38 miles, from trail-heads near the Utah/Arizona border down to the Colorado River. Some parts of the canyon are so narrow that you can touch both walls as towering sheer cliffs rise above you. For mile after mile, there is no escape from the canyon other than hiking to its end. That makes it an extremely dangerous place and should be respected.
The Midway Ice Castles:
Available in the colder months of the year - the fascinating ice sculptures are always interesting to see. This is a must-see winter phenomenon.
The Bonneville Salt Flats:
The Bonneville Salt Flats have attracted racers from throughout the world and have become the site of numerous land speed records. The attraction for these racers is due to the hard, flat surface area so flat that from certain perspectives the curvature of the earth can actually be seen.
The flats are composed mainly of potash salts ranging in thickness from less than one inch to six feet.