Utah could be considered a bit of an underrated state. Many people assume that the only thing to do there is outdoor activities, and while those are a plenty (and amazing), there is a little something for everything. Here are some really great reasons to visit Utah.
The Mighty 5
Utah is home to five different national parks that are commonly referred to as The Mighty 5. The national parks in Utah are Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park, some of which are close enough together to hit on the same trip. Al of the parks offer camping and some lodging, as well as activities like hiking, biking, rafting, and sometimes mule riding.
In addition to the five national parks in Utah, the state also boasts 43 state parks, and seven national monuments.
Utah is one of the best places to go for fishing, since the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources actually actually stocks the streams, rivers, and lakes with more than 12 million fish each year to be used as sportfish.
In the eastern part of the state is Moab, which includes both the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as some pretty good fine dining in the main town. The rock formations in the area can’t be missed, and there is some great whitewater rafting in the area. Moab’s Sand Flats recreation area gets over 100,000 visitors each year.
The Dinosaur National Museum
The Dinosaur National Museum has the biggest collection of dinosaur bones from the Jurassic period. It’s a great spot to learn about the animals in depth.
Park City Utah is well known for the Sundance Film Festival that is held there, and it has a lot to offer both in outdoor fun as well as good food and a cute town to hang out in that has a ton of coffee shops and wine bars. It is one of the best mountain biking places around. The Sundance Film festival brings in about 46,000 visitors each year and in 2013 more than $70 million.
Lake Powell is actually a reservoir that is located along the Utah-Arizona border, and it is a popular spot for houseboating as well as camping. The reservoir is man made and was created by flooding the Glen Canyon.
National Geographic has made “Best of the Best” lists about the best hiking anywhere, and it lists spots in Utah as the number 3, 11, and 16 best hikes out of the top 30.
The Snow Sports
Utah is an incredible place to go for the snow sports! Utah has been highly rated in a variety of categories including the best snow, the easiest access, best chair lifts, and best lodging and dining. Trip Advisor has even rated Salt Lake as the best American bargain spot for skiing.
For the religious people out there, Salt Lake City is tied with Israel for the best faith based travel. Utah has also been ranked as having the top airport for on-time airline departures, but that’s really just a bonus.