Utah’s Ten Best Outdoor Destinations

My son, Zac, loves the outdoors and has always encouraged our family to explore. Now that he is older, Zac never misses a chance to go on hikes around the state. He is a detail kind of guy and not only does he go on the hikes but he always researches the destination.
This is what I asked for for Mother’s Day! I knew he would have the most amazing list of hikes and I wanted to share them with you. If you live in Utah or you’re planning on visiting are great state, this is destinations that you should plan on visiting.
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1. Mirror Lake Highway Drive – This is a Drive out of Kamas into Evanston Wyoming through the Ashley National Forest; this drive has some of the prettiest Alpine Scenery that can be seen from a car in Utah. Along the drive is Provo River Falls, Mount Baldy, Mirror lake (as well as several other lakes) and a great deal of foliage.
2. Dead Horse Point State Park – This state park hosts views that overlook the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park’s Island in the Sky District. Drivers can go right up to the fantastic viewpoint and see a nearly 270 degree views that is thousands of feet above Utah’s Canyon Country. This location was featured in the opening scene of Mission Impossible II.
3. The Bonneville Salt Flats – If you’re lucky you’ll get to the Salt Flats when there is water on theme. When there are just a few inches of water on the Salt Flats you’ll see the heavens and mountains reflect on the ground below you. Stay for sunset and that will also come alive below and above you. On the days that the Flats are dry you’ll still see an eerie landscape that is completely flat and arid.
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4. Monument Valley – This scenery on the Utah/Arizona border has been in more movies than probably any other western scenery. All it requires is a drive out to it. Google it, you’ll see pictures that you recognize, and they speak for themselves. Also, make sure and swing by nearby Goosenecks State Park. Goosenecks State Park is a well-kept and easily accessed secret.
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Moderate Effort
5. Delicate Arch – Any top ten list of Utah destinations would be remiss not to include Delicate Arch. This iconic arch is featured on Utah license plates and is commonly used as an icon for Utah’s tourism advertisements. This hike through Arches National Park is about three miles with a couple hundred foot gain in elevation. The hike is set up masterfully to reveal the arch only in its last moments. Prepare to have plenty of time to hang out around the arch.
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6. Bell Canyon Falls – This Hike presents to a fantastic waterfall in the Lone Peak Wilderness Area. Surprisingly enough this hike begins in a residential neighborhood. While this a steep climb the hike, you just can’t beat starting a hike on Wasatch Boulevard in Sandy for convenience. The falls are fantastic and it can be done after work one night.
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7. Zebra Canyon– This is a less known slot canyon in the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. This hike takes you to a narrow slot canyon that has layered pink an orange sandstone layers which is very uncommon in slot canyon. The hike is not too demanding and has little elevation change. However, take plenty of water on a hot day.
8. Silver Glance Lake – This hike is up Tibble Fork Canyon. Many people hike to the popular Silver Lake and that’s a treat all its own. However, if you’re willing to press forward with no official trail for an even better spot, then this hike is for you. Silver Glance Lake is high above seemingly everything around it. This provides magnificent views of the back side of Mount Timpanogos. The lake itself is interestingly shaped with what seems like a misplaced peak sitting right next to it. The lake is found by following the Silver Lake trail and then personal way finding without an official trail up a steep hill, again in the Lone Peak Wilderness Area.
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9. Virgin River Narrrows – This is Zion National Park’s signature hike. The hike is long and your ankles will hurt for lack of good footing the entire hike. Some may complain the hardest part about his hike is obtaining the proper permits. This hike takes you through a narrow slots with up 2000 foot cliffs on either side.
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10. Chesler Park, Druid Arch and the Joint Trail loop– This long hike through Canyonlands National Park’s Needle District will take virtually all day. The day hike is worth it. The hiker will find an arch second only to Delicate Arch (in my opinion), an interesting panorama of sandstone fins and a slot canyon sometimes referred to as fat man’s misery.


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4 thoughts on “Utah’s Ten Best Outdoor Destinations”

  1. Thanks for sharing all of these great hikes and destinations! I've only been to Utah in passing on our way to our summer vacations in Colorado, but we did stop at Arches National Park on our way home one year. It was so beautiful. Thanks for linking up to Thursday S.T.Y.L.E.

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