Many of Utah’s most beautiful natural wonders require a little work. For instance, you’ll have to hike up the side of a mountain to see Timpanogos Cave. It’s well worth the effort for sure, but sometimes you just don’t want to get all sweaty and exhausted. Or, perhaps it’s not a matter of laziness, but you recently had knee surgery and you aren’t capable of climbing a mountain, yet you’d still like to witness some of Utah’s most majestic wonders.
What to do? Take a look at these 13 natural wonders that don’t require any hiking.
1. Bridal Veil Falls, Provo Canyon
You can see the 607-foot tall Bridal Veil Falls right from the US-189, but to really get a good look, park your car in the parking lot and walk along the paved, level path to get an up-close view.
2. Bryce Canyon's Amphitheater
Viewing the vibrant, majestic hoodoos of the Bryce Canyon amphitheater is easy - just hop in the car and visit the three main overlooks - Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Bryce Point and Inspiration Point. You'll park your car at each and walk just a few yards to the overlook.
3. Devil's Slide
These two parallel slabs of limestone rise 40 feet above the surface of the mountain, creating what looks like a giant slide. You can view Devil's Slide right from I-84 - there are parking areas on both sides of the road for you to stop and take photos.
4. Little Cottonwood Canyon From Snowbird
The drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon is beautiful all on its own, but for an up-close look at the forest and mountains here, stop at Snowbird and take a ride up the lift. In the summer, you can ride either a chair lift or the gondola, both of which give you stunning views. The gondola takes you to an overlook and the Summit Restaurant, where you can even grab a light meal or snack while you enjoy the view.
5. Delicate Arch
To see the arch up close, you'll have to hike three miles, up a gradually uphill trail. Instead, view it from a distance at the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint. You can't see the arch from inside your car - but a short, 100-yard, level path takes you to the overlook.
6. Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus, with its elevation of 9,026 feet is very distinctive and visible from just about everywhere in the Salt Lake Valley. To see it up close, take I-215 to the Olympus Cove Shopping Center, and park your car in the parking lot, as shown here.
7. Mirror Lake
Drive the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, and you'll have tons of opportunities to pull the car over and see some pretty little lakes. When you reach Mirror Lake, turn into the campground, park in a day spot and get out to view the lake. Bring a picnic!
8. Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake
Drive your car right across the causeway and around the island to get some gorgeous views of the Great Salt Lake. You might also see pronghorn, bison and other wildlife.
9. Dead Horse Point
Dead Horse State Park offers one of the most photographed vistas in the world, and it only requires a short, 200-foot walk. Park at the Main Overlook parking lot, then make your way down a level, paved path for just a few feet...to this view.
10. Provo River Falls
On your way up the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, stop at Provo River Falls. This natural wonder requires a tiny bit of physical exertion, but it can hardly be called a hike. You'll park in the parking lot, then walk down a little path and down a small set of stairs to the main viewpoint of the falls. If you feel like continuing down a steeper path, you can follow the falls down the mountain a bit for a different view.
11. Silver Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon
This gorgeous lake requires no hiking at all! Park at the Solitude Nordic Center, get out of your car, and there's the lake! Take a stroll along the ADA-accessible boardwalk to get right up close to the lake.
12. Hell's Backbone
The bridge isn't a natural wonder - it's man-made, but it does afford incredible views of Hell's Backbone and the valley below. View it from your car as you cross the bridge and traverse the Hell's Backbone Scenic Byway, or stop at the little parking areas at both ends of the bridge, get out of your car and get out your camera.
13. Zion's Riverside Walk
See Zion Canyon on this incredibly easy walk - or just get a good glimpse of the canyon from the trailhead. The Riverside Walk is paved and mostly level - you can traverse it in a wheelchair or bring a stroller. Hop on the Zion Shuttle and get off on the first stop to access this pretty little trail.
What are some other natural wonders that can be seen without hiking? I know there are many places to find a killer view of Utah’s natural wonders right from your car – add your favorites in the comments.
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