Whether you’ve been living in Utah for many years or are thinking about moving here one day, there’s a treasure that really can’t be appreciated enough — the five beautiful and magnificent national parks the state boasts. You don’t have to be an avid hiker or adventurer; simply driving through the unique red and naturally sculpted terrain is a must.
The “Mighty Five” national parks in Utah are Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands. Some say the rich and unique terrain is so surreal it seems like you are on another planet.
Zion National Park is one of the most well-known parks in the United States as well as the first one in Utah. The park hosts around 300 species of birds and has expansive hiking and backpacking trails, including the stunning and steep Angels Landing; the park is also close to St. George, which is filled with a rich history and great places to eat. Bryce Canyon was opened in 1929 and has the largest collection of hoodoos in the world – these are tall and thin spires of rock that occur through a type of weathering and erosion. It’s similar to a forest of rock and is truly a majestic site to see. Capitol Reef’s name comes from the waterpocket fold that is 75 miles long and is a collection of cliff formations and canyons that resemble a reef. Arches is another beautiful landscape of red rock known for what it says in its name — arches. The Delicate Arch is the most famous and can be reached by a short hike. However, while you’re here, don’t forget about the great biking and hiking trails surrounded by sandstone. Lastly, Canyonlands is actually the largest of the national parks in Utah and is divided into four different sections. The Rivers district features the Colorado and Green rivers, which meet in the park; it is then divided up into The Needles, Island in the Sky and the Maze — each are filled with beautiful sites and hikes to see.
If you are on a budget or time crunch, here is a very helpful guide on how to hit the five parks in five days including all the best overlooks and must-see sites.
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