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10 best day trips in Utah

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Utah is a state known for its natural beauty, with landscapes ranging from rugged canyons to snow-capped mountains. Whether you're a local looking for a new adventure or a visitor looking to explore, there are plenty of great day trips to take in this beautiful state. Here are the 10 best day trips in Utah:

Orange hoodoo rock formations against a blue sky in bryce canyon national park.
  1. Zion National Park: This park is a must-see for anyone visiting Utah. Known for its towering red cliffs and beautiful hikes, Zion offers something for everyone.
  2. Bryce Canyon National Park: Another popular park in Utah, Bryce Canyon is known for its unique hoodoos (tall, spire-shaped rock formations) and beautiful hiking trails.
  3. Arches National Park: This park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, making it a popular destination for photography and hiking.
  4. Canyonlands National Park: This park offers a diverse range of landscapes, from canyons to rivers to mesas. It's a great place for hiking, camping, and exploring.
  5. Moab: This small town is a popular base for exploring the surrounding national parks and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including rock climbing, mountain biking, and river rafting.
  6. Great Salt Lake: The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere and offers a unique experience for swimming and boating.
  7. Park City: This former mining town is now a popular ski destination and offers a variety of activities, including skiing, hiking, and mountain biking.
  8. Antelope Island: This island in the Great Salt Lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, antelope, and bighorn sheep. It's a great place for hiking and wildlife viewing.
  9. Ogden: This city is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, including skiing and hiking in the nearby Wasatch Mountains.
  10. Flaming Gorge: This area offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, and hiking. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is also a popular spot for water sports.
Three people enjoying a ride on an inflatable towable tube behind a boat on a sunny day.

In addition to the more popular destinations listed above, Utah also offers a number of lesser-known day trip options that are worth exploring. Here are a few additional options to consider:

  1. Goblin Valley State Park: This park is home to thousands of unique rock formations called "goblins," which are created by erosion. It's a great place for hiking and exploring.
  2. The Wave: This unique rock formation located in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a popular destination for photographers and hikers. Access to the wave is by lottery system.
  3. Escalante: This small town in southern Utah is a gateway to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which offers a variety of hiking and outdoor activities.
  4. Bear Lake: This lake located on the border of Utah and Idaho offers a variety of water activities like boating, swimming, and fishing. It's also known for its beautiful turquoise color.
  5. Dead Horse Point State Park: This state park offers stunning views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. It's a great place for hiking and photography.
  6. Alpine Loop Scenic Backway: This scenic drive offers views of the Wasatch Mountains and passes through several small towns. It's a great way to explore the backcountry of Utah.
  7. Mirror Lake Highway: This scenic drive takes you through the Uinta Mountains, offering beautiful views of alpine lakes and forests. It's a great place for hiking and fishing.
  8. Timpanogos Cave National Monument: This national monument offers guided tours of a series of limestone caves, featuring unique rock formations and underground streams.
  9. Grafton ghost town: This ghost town is located in the Zion National Park and it's a popular destination for history buffs and photographers.

These lesser-known destinations offer a unique perspective on the beauty and diversity of Utah. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure or a chance to explore the state's history, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

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