During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park contains the largest number of hoodoos in the world. Like many of Utah’s natural wonders, the hoodoos were created by millions of years of erosion caused by wind, ice and rain.
2. Wasatch Mountain Range
Utah’s Wasatch mountains provide unparalleled scenic beauty and a whole lot of excellent recreation (including skiing and snowboarding!). The Wasatch mountains stretch for 160 miles and include several stunning peaks including Mount Nebo (the highest peak in the range at 11,928 feet), Mount Olympus, Lone Peak, Twin Peaks and Ben Lomond.
3. Arches National Park
The park contains more than 2,000 natural arches, along with many other interesting rock formations. And of course, Delicate Arch is so breathtaking that it’s one of the Utah icons, recognizable to people from all over the world.
4. Coral Pink Sand Dunes
These dunes were created by erosion of the richly-colored Navajo sandstone that is prevalent in Utah. Over 10,000 years ago, wind pushed through the small gap between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains, eroding the sandstone and pushing the sand grains into the valley. This is called the Venturi Effect, and it means that ATV enthusiasts not only have a playground of dunes, but they’re pretty as well.
5. Timpanogos Cave National Monument
Timpanogos Cave National Monument is actually a three-cave system (including Hansen Cave, Middle Cave and Timpanogos Cave). The cave was formed by the movement of the earth and hydrothermal water over 340 million years ago and is full of stalagmites, stalactites, helictites and more.
6. The Great Salt Lake
It’s the largest salt lake in the Western hemisphere — astronauts use it as a point of reference from outer space.
7. Capitol Reef National Park
The Waterpocket Fold, a “wrinkle” in the earth’s surface, was created by the earth’s movement as many as 70 million years ago. Erosion exposed the fold about 20 million years ago. It’s about 100 miles long; Capitol Reef encompases the most picturesque portion of the fold.
8. Rainbow Bridge
Its span is 275 feet, making Rainbow Bridge one of the largest natural bridges in the world. Though local Native American tribes have long considered the bridge to have sacred significance, white explorers didn’t “discover” it until 1910.
9. Zion National Park
With its towering sandstone cliffs, slot canyon, beautiful Virgin River and abundant wildlife, Zion is one of the most popular national parks in the country.
10. Goblin Valley
It’s one of Utah’s natural wonders, but it looks like the surface of Mars with its oddly-shaped rock formations. The park also has one of the darkest night skies in the entire world, making it a perfect place to view the Milky Way.
11. Bear Lake
Nicknamed The Caribbean of the Rockies, this lake has a distinctive aquamarine color (apparently from the limestone deposits in it). The surrounding flora makes this lake a particularly spectacular natural wonder.
12. Dead Horse Point
This plateau rises 2,000 feet above the valley. Visitors witness an amazing vista that seems to stretch for miles, with the Colorado River winding below. You definitely get a sense of the vastness of Utah when you’re at Dead Horse Point.
Pando, a colony of aspen trees in the Fishlake National Forest, is one of the largest living organisms on the planet! At 6,600 tons, it’s the heaviest organism in the world. It covers over 106 acres.
14. Bonneville Salt Flats
The largest of Utah’s salt flats, Bonneville is made up of densely packed salt left over from the ancient Lake Bonneville, which covered much of Utah in the Pleistocene period. Now it’s both picturesque, and a great place for world recording-breaking auto speed trials.