The desert state of Utah is an incredible destination for any nature lover considering there are five national parks. One of the things which set Utah apart is the unforgettable geologic formations you’ll find. Visitors can take advantage of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass to have access to all these sites for a flat fee. If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime activity, taking a road trip to see all of these destinations is the perfect option.
Zion National Park
Zion is the oldest national park in Utah. It is famous for its vividly colored, deep, red sandstone canyons. If you love to hike, Zion National Park is the perfect place to lace up your hiking boots and spend a day exploring canyons. The Emerald Pools Trail is home to the park’s waterfalls and hanging gardens. Zion is perfect for any plant lover because the park is home to over 900 species of plants.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce is known for its spire-like rock formations known as hoodoos. While these formations can be found in many locations, there’s nowhere on the planet where you will find such a high concentration. The park’s high elevation makes for a fantastic view. Check out Navajo Loop, a hiking trail which passes iconic hoodoo formations such as Thor’s Hammer, Twin Bridges, and Wall Street.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park, located near the city of Moab, is named after the more than 2,000 naturally formed stone arches its famous for. Some of the particularly famous formations are Balanced Rock, which is located in the center of the park, the huge Delicate Arch to the east, and Landscape Arch which is located in Devil’s Garden in the north.
Canyonlands National Park
With canyons and perfectly formed buttes, the landscape of Canyonlands is just waiting to be explored. Its stunning landscape was shaped by the nearby Colorado River. The park is divided into distinct sections by the rivers that flow through it. In Horseshoe Canyon, you will find Native American rock paintings. For an amazing view, check out Island in the Sky, a mesa with a flat top.
Capitol Reef National Park
Located in the south central desert, Capitol Reef National Park surrounds Waterpocket Fold, a series of ridges that make for incredible geologic formations. The park offers its visitors the chance to go rock climbing, horseback riding, or hike any one of the well-established trails. If you’re looking to get out of the heat in the summer, Capitol Reef National Park is located near the historic town of Fruita and is only a short hike away!