If you follow us over on Instagram then you know we’ve spent the last 3 1/2 months (Oct. 2020 – Jan. 2021) exploring Utah. Today, I’m excited to share 8 of our favorite places in Utah with you!
Utah is one of our favorite states to explore because of the many things to do, and the vast differences you’ll find from place to place. From sand dunes and slot caverns, to hoodoos and arches, Utah is sure to impress!
We spent the majority of our time in southern Utah, so naturally that is where most of this list is located. We are hoping to explore northern Utah more in-depth in the future!
Our favorite places in Utah
1 – Arches National Park
Arches National Park is easily one of our favorite places in Utah. In fact, it’s one of our favorite national parks from all of our travels so far!
The park boasts over 2,000 natural rock arches that are each beautifully unique. Some of our personal favorites were the Window Arches, Double Arches, Landscape Arch, and Sand Dune Arch.
In addition to the beautiful arches, the park also offers towering spires, balanced rocks, and plenty of rock climbing and exploring!
You’ll want to give yourself several days to explore Arches National Park if you’re able. It’s an incredible place! Below are a few of our favorite hiking recommendations for your visit to Arches National Park!
- Double Arch Trail (easy 0.6 miles roundtrip)
- Park Avenue Trail (easy 1.8 miles roundtrip)
- Sand Dune Arch Trail (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
- Landscape Arch Trail (easy 1.9 miles roundtrip)
- Broken Arch Trail (easy 1.7 miles roundtrip)
- Balanced Rock Loop Trail (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
- Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail (easy 1.2 miles roundtrip)
2 – Moab, Utah
Very close by to Arches National Park, the town of Moab is a great place to visit. We’ve staying in Moab several times during our travels and have always loved the town!
Finding good amenities in Utah can sometimes be difficult as they are few and far in between. But the town of Moab has everything you could need!
They have several restaurants to chose from as well as grocery stores, gas stations, souvenir shops, mechanics, and more!
We are always happy to visit Moab and spent about 6 weeks there collectively this past visit.
Also, the close proximity to surrounding locations makes this an ideal town to base out of. We visited 2 national parks and 2 state parks during our stay in Moab.
3 – The Up House
Have you ever seen the cute Disney/Pixar movie, Up? It’s about a man named Carl who goes on a grand adventure to visit Paradise Falls in his flying house!
There is a house nearby Salt Lake City, Utah that is an exact replica of Carl and Ellie’s house! It’s super cute!
The house is in a residential neighborhood and actually has people living there. You can’t go inside but visitors are encouraged to stop by for a quick picture from the outside!
Is this a super amazing place that you should go out of your way to visit? Probably not haha! But it is a fun little stop if you’re already in the area.
4 – Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is really unique and gorgeous! Once again, this park makes it into the list of our favorites for sure!
One of the best things about this park? It contains the largest concentration of hoodoos found anywhere on Earth! How awesome is that?!
We only spent a few days at Bryce Canyon National Park during our stay in Utah, but those were some of the most incredible days. We definitely want to go back and explore it again in the future!
Below are a few of our favorite hiking recommendations for your visit to Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Navajo Loop Trail (moderate 1.5 miles roundtrip)
- Peekaboo Loop Trail (moderate 5.2 miles roundtrip)
- Wall Street & Queen’s Garden Loop Trail (moderate 3.2 miles roundtrip)
- Bristlecone Loop Trail (easy 1 mile roundtrip)
- Mossy Cave Trail (easy 1 mile roundtrip)
5 – Goblin Valley State Park
Speaking of hoodoos, Goblin Valley State Park is another one of our favorite places in Utah! The park is almost like a giant playground with endless hoodoos to play in and explore.
You can purchase a permit to fly a drone for $5 and dogs are allowed which makes this an even more appealing place to visit for dog parents like us!
We actually made a short YouTube video about this park which you can watch below.
Seriously, do yourself a favor and add this one to your bucket list!
6 – Kanab, Utah
Kanab is a great place to visit in Utah! There are endless things to explore and do in the area.
We especially enjoyed:
The Moqui Caverns
These sand caves are located just off U.S. 89 outside of Kanab. You can park on the side of the highway and hike up to them.
We took Cap with us and he loved it! Once you make it up to the caves there are several openings and you can explore back into them a little bit. The sand is also fun to play in.
I actually wrote a blog post dedicated to our excursions with Kanab Tour Company which you can read about here.
We had an absolute blast both ATVing and canyoneering and are definitely looking forward to doing so in the future again!
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Although we never went to the main part of this park, part of our ATV experience took us through these amazing pink sand dunes!
We even had the chance to try sand boarding on the dunes. I have horrible balance so I just ended up embarrassing myself the whole time haha!
Next time we visit Kanab we plan to spend more time at this park.
Peekaboo Slot Canyon
Another one of our stops on our ATV experience was to explore the Peekaboo Slot Canyon! This canyon is absolutely breathtaking and was a blast to explore!
It’s not as easily accessible as some of the other slot canyons in Utah and as a result it’s not as overrun by tourists. When we visited near the end of October we only saw a few other people there.
This was our favorite slot canyon so far in all of our travels!
The Belly of the Dragon
Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds! The Belly of the Dragon is also located on U.S. 89 and is actually a culvert that runs under the road.
Over time, water has eroded the sand walls and has created an ominous passageway that is super fun to explore!
We continued on through the other side and explored the wash basin for a good ways. This is a neat spot and is great for kids and dogs to explore as well.
7 – Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is unique and very different than any of the other national parks we’ve visited.
The Fruita Valley (considered the heart of Capitol Reef) was first settled by Mormon settlers in the 1800s. Many of the original buildings are still in use today.
When visiting Fruita, make sure to stop at the Gifford House for amazing homemade goodies including scrumptious pies! Personally, I liked the apple pies best.
There is also plenty of great hiking in Capitol Reef National Park. Below are a few of our favorite hiking recommendations for your visit to the park:
- Cassidy Arch Trail (moderate 3.1 miles roundtrip)
- Grand Wash Trail (you can hike as much or as little of this as you’d like to)
- Capitol Gorge Trail (moderate 4.5 miles roundtrip)
- Capitol Reef Petroglyph Trail (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
- Panorama Point (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
- Goosenecks & Sunset Point (easy 2.5 miles roundtrip)
8 – Monument Valley
Monument valley is just barely inside of southern Utah on the Arizona boarder. This is a popular stop as many movies have been shot in the area.
The landscape is very unique and beautiful! We recommend stopping by even if you only grab a few quick pictures.
We made this a stop on our route between Flagstaff, AZ and Moab, UT.
And that’s a wrap!
I hope that you’ve found this list of some of our favorite places in Utah inspiring! Which of these places will you be adding to your bucket list? Drop a comment below and let me know!