Utah’s National Parks

In Utah there are several national parks and canyons which can be visited as they all offer a unique experience. Those I have visited include:
Bryce Canyon
Zion National Park
Arches National Park
Canyonlands

There are more canyons and national parks that I would like to visit in Utah. Personally I find that a lot of people forget just how much there is to do in Utah and how beautiful it is. Utah is a perfect place to go for a road trip as you can drive through St George and Moab whilst visiting the canyons and national parks as well as stopping at Salt Lake City which can be your starting or finishing point.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Located in the Southwestern of Utah, Bryce Canyon is one of my favourite places that I’ve visited where you can enjoy views that can literally take your breath away.

The main feature within the national park is Bryce Canyon, although it is known as a canyon it is not actually a canyon with its distinctive features. Visitors are able to enjoy spectacular views as you see red, orange and white colours on the rocks. The rim of Bryce can vary from 8,000 to 9,000 feet as it sits much higher than nearby Zion National Park. Even though Bryce is a beautiful place it receives fewer visitors than both Zion National Park and Grand Canyon due to it’s remote location. Those who do visit are able to sightsee via the scenic drive which provides access to 13 different viewpoints.

Those who wish to hike at Bryce are able to do so as there is 50 miles worth of trails. There are a range of different trails which range from easy to strenuous as some of the trails intersect to allow those hiking to combine different trails. Those who wish to hike overnight are able to do with a choice of two different trails but they require a backcountry camping permit. If you are wishing to find accommodation at Bryce there are 114 rooms at Bryce Canyon Lodge or you can choose to camp at one of the two campgrounds, North or Sunset campground.

There is an entrance fee of $30 per private vehicle which gives you admission for 7 days as well as unlimited use of the shuttle.

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Canyonlands National Park
Located in Southwestern Utah near Moab Canyonlands is divided into four districts, Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze as well as The Green and Colorado which are divided by the Colorado and Green river. Within the park hikers, mountain bikers and four wheelers can take to the trails where they can see wildlife such as black bears, coyotes and mule deers. Canyonlands is 337,598 acres of colourful canyons, mesas, spires and arches.

Island in the Sky is the most accessible district where you will be able to enjoy expansive views from the various overlooks that are located along the paved scenic route. Those who are looking for a more backcountry experience should take the Needles trail which requires hiking and four wheel driving to access some of the attractions.

There is a fee of $25 per private vehicle.

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Arches National Park
Located adjacent to the Colorado river in Eastern Utah, four miles away from Moab. Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstones including the world famous delicate arch. Since 1977 it is known that 43 arches have collapsed as the national parks covers 76,670 acres. It is forbidden to climb any of the arches that are named or unnamed which have an opening of more than 3 feet. Driving around some parts of the park allows you to be able to see numerous arches.

Those who wish to camp are able to at Devils Garden where they can enjoy phenomenal view. Visitors who are hiking will find that some of the trails will take them under some of the arches as they find the trails easy to moderate.

If you are wishing to go up to Delicate Arch you will find that trail leading all the way to the arch can be difficult. There is also the option of doing a more moderate trail which can take you to a viewpoint which is the trail that I took as you are able to enjoy wonderful views of the arch.

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Zion National Park
Located in Southwestern Utah where you will find the city of Springdale nearby. Zion is also another favourite place of mine as you are able to enjoy spectacular views around the park, I would recommend waking up early here or arriving early to see the sunrise. Zion Canyon is the most prominent feature of the 229 square mile park which also includes mountains, rivers and natural arches as well as wildlife such as mountains lions.

There are three campgrounds, you will find two some of them called South and Watchman campgrounds located in Zion Canyon. The third campground Lava Point is located approximately an hours drive from Zion Canyon.

Within the national park there are several trails which include a a small number of them requiring permits. East Rim trail offers you the chance to climb up 1,00 feet on to the rim where you can enjoy views into Jolly Gulch as well as taking a walk through Ponderosa Forest. As you near the east rim you will enjoy vies of the Echo Canyon basin as well as descending to the floor of Zion Canyon where you will then finish at Weeping Rock.

There is a fee of $30 per private vehicle.

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As someone who is not really into adventure trips these are definitely places I would recommend even if you only visit each one for a few hours whilst doing a road trip which is what I did.

For more information on any of the national parks that I have mentioned visit the website: Utah National Parks

Have you visited any of the national parks in Utah before, if so what are your thoughts?

LauraJane
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