We Utahns often find ourselves rendered speechless when looking out over stunning vistas under sweeping blue skies. Some of these 15 jaw dropping places are courtesy of Mother Nature; others are man-made. All serve to remind us that we live in a pretty amazing place.
1) Delicate Arch, Arches National Park
It took millions of years of weathering and erosion to create, but now the 65-foot tall sandstone arch is so popular it's even on our license plates.
2) Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake
Sculptor Robert Smithson created this 1,500 foot long spiral in 1970. It was covered in salty water for years, but is visible again.
3) Salt Lake City Downtown Library
World-famous architect Moshe Safdie designed our five-story 240,000 square feet, glass and steel library. It houses over a half million books.
4) Timpanogos Cave National Monument
To get to the cave, you'll hike up a steep path for a1.5 miles, gaining a calf-straining 1,100 feet in elevation. But along the way, you'll catch some stunning vistas of American Fork Canyon to ease your pain. During your ranger-guided tour of the nice, cool cave, you'll learn the difference between stalagmites and stalactites. Probably.
5) Bryce Canyon National Park
You can see forever from the 8,000 foot elevation of Bryce's rim. Towering hoodoos, created by millions of years of wind and rain, keep watch over the valley.
6) Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Hike, bike, fish, waterski and just enjoy a pretty summer day on the lake. If you go all the way across, you can get to Wyoming. Contrary to popular belief, no passport is needed for the border crossing.
7) LDS Temple in Salt Lake City
The Mormons, who turned the Salt Lake Valley from a desert to a bustling city, started construction on their temple in 1853. Just a short 40 years later, after dragging large blocks of quartz from the mountains using oxen, they completed the 253,015 square foot building. It's not open to the public, but you can wander the grounds and check out the visitor center.
8) Mirror Lake Scenic Byway
Aka State Route 150, the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway is definitely worthy of it's fancier moniker. winding through the National Forest, it's certainly scenic. Take this road trip during the summer -- the byway is closed during winter months.
9) Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is full of rainbow trout and other species of fish. You can camp by its banks, canoe on it's glassy surface and spend an afternoon watching for deer, moose and eagles. In the winter, reach the lake via snowmobile.
10) Any of Utah's Powdery Ski Slopes
If you prefer your jaw-dropping views from a mountain covered in the world's best powder, Utah is the place to be. This skier is enjoying Solitude's Evergreen run, but you can pretty much get the same scenery at any of Utah's 14 ski resorts.
11) Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam
Completed in 1963, Glen Canyon Dam created the second largest man-made reservoir in the U.S.
12) Angel's Landing , Zion National Park
If you're afraid of heights, this is definitely not the hike for you. Summit at the top of a 1,488 foot tall rock formation. To get there, you'll have to make use of chains and railings, and inch your way along tiny ledges. Don't get caught in a thunderstorm!
13) Bridal Veil Falls, Provo Canyon
At 607 feet tall, it's Utah's tallest falls and a great place to picnic on a hot summer day.
14) Moab and the Colorado River
The little town of Moab is the gateway to some serious outdoor fun. Join the throngs of mountain bikers who love the slickrock. The sandstone is actually the opposite of slick and grips those balloon tires so you can almost go vertical. Cool off in the Colorado River with a beer and some binoculars for hawk watching.
15) Bonneville Salt Flats
You've always wondered how fast your car can go...give it a try on the salt flats. You won't have to worry about hitting anything -- the flats stretch for miles with nothing in sight. Just don't run out of gas.
Did we cover the most jaw-dropping places in Utah? Tell us your favorites in the comments.
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