Utah Travel Guides

Utah is an incredible state for outdoor adventure! Utah has 5 national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands) that are affectionately known as the “Mighty 5.” Each of these Southern Utah national parks are known for their massive red rocks, canyons, epic trails and more.

Along with the Utah national parks, southern Utah is full of endless adventures. From Monument Valley on Navajo Land to state parks such as Snow Canyon and Goblin Valley, you could spend months exploring this area.

Northern Utah is often overlooked, but it’s also full of epic hiking trails and ski slopes. Salt Lake City makes for an incredible base for hiking and exploring the Uintas Mountains, the Bonneville Salt Flats, Antelope Island and more.

I have spent multiple months exploring Utah and always love returning. I hope these Utah travel tips help you plan a fantastic trip.

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What should I know before visiting Utah?

  • Utah has alcohol laws that are more strict than a lot of other US states. For example, you cannot order alcohol in places licensed as “restaurants” and groceries can only sell beer up to a certain percentage.

  • Try a dirty soda during your visit! This refers to a soda that has added syrups, fruit or cream. Two popular chains to get them are Swig and Fiiz.

  • Plan ahead if you’re visiting the Utah national parks. For example, Arches requires a timed reservation during the peak season, and you’ll need to enter a lottery to hike the popular Angel’s Landing trail in Zion. Make sure to do your research.

  • Southern Utah has a lot of cryptobiotic soil. This “crust” is soil that is alive! This means that it’s really important to stay on the trails when hiking. One footstep onto the “crust” can damage it for several years.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah Travel Resources

Heading to Utah soon? Here are some resources to help you plan!

  • If you're hiking in Utah, I recommend the All Trails Plus Membership! This will allow you to download offline maps and take advantage of other features that will help keep you safe.

  • Compare rental car prices from Salt Lake City or Las Vegas using Discover Cars

  • If you're visiting the New Mexico national parks, it may be worth it to purchase the America the Beautiful National Park Pass. For $80, the pass will grant you admission to all US national parks for a year.

  • Guide Along offers an audio tour of the Utah Mighty Five and it's a great way to learn about the park and discover stops along the way as you drive around!

Utah Mighty 5 Travel Guides

I have visited all of the Utah national parks and each one is incredible! Here is a quick summary of each one:

  • Zion is the most visited national park in Utah. In fact, it was the third most visited national park in 2023. Make your hotel or campground reservations early and be aware that you’ll need to take the shuttle to get to certain areas during most of the year. You will also need a permit (given out by lottery) to hike the popular Angel’s Landing.
  • Bryce Canyon is not far from Zion, so it’s great to combine the two parks on one trip. The park is known for its incredible hoodoos! No reservations are required. Bryce has the highest elevation of the Utah national parks, so prepare for it to be colder.
  • Capitol Reef is one of the most overlooked Utah national parks, but I certainly think it’s worth a visit! The main area of the park is paved, but there is a lot more to explore if you have a 4x4/ high clearance vehicle.
  • Arches is known for the many arch formations in the park, including the famous Delicate Arch (on the Utah license plate!).
  • Canyonlands is just outside of Moab and known for it’s massive canyon. Most visitors only go to the Island of the Sky area, which has an amazing overlooks. However, the other districts, such as The Needles, offer many more adventures if you have enough time and are properly prepared.

Read my full Mighty Five itinerary:


The Ultimate Utah Mighty 5 Road Trip Itinerary for 2024 (12 Days)

More Blogs about the Mighty Five:

Utah Outdoor Guides (Beyond the Mighty 5)

Southern Utah is vast and full of adventures outside of the national parks! A few places I’ve loved that included Goblin Valley State Park, Snow Canyon State Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and more. Read my guide to Kanab to learn about a small portion of this incredible region.


7 Things To Do in Kanab, Utah: Caves, Sand Dunes, Hikes and More

Salt Lake City Travel Guides

Salt Lake City is the largest city in Utah and the capital city. While the city is known for being the center of the Mormon church, it’s home to a diverse group of people. You can find great coffee shops, breweries, restaurants and more.

My favorite part of Salt Lake City is all of the amazing day hikes nearby. You can get to many epic trails in 30 minutes or less. Read my Salt Lake City itinerary or my list of hikes near Salt Lake City to plan your perfect trip!

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