5 years ago I never would have considered Utah as a travel destination, mainly because I was convinced that the USA had nowhere interesting to visit. I was wrong, obviously! I discovered the beauty of Utah through countless Instagram posts and photos and then I fell in love and it made its way to the top of my bucket list. I showed A all the photos and after only a few minutes of convincing, he was ready to book our flights. As you all know, we loved Utah and can’t say enough good things about it. So if you are still on the fence about whether or not to go, here are 10 reasons to add Utah to your bucket list:
1. NATIONAL PARKS
Utah has a ridiculous amount of parks, let alone national parks, with plenty of things to see and trails to hike. The best thing about Utah’s parks is that they are all varied. We covered a few during our 6 day stay but there was just no way to cover them all. I’d highly recommend Arches, Zion and Bryce.
2. SCENIC ROAD TRIPS
You don’t need to drive far to see something worth photographing along the road. The scenery changes in flashes and before you know it, you’ve taken several hundred photos from the side of the road (true story).
3. SALT FLATS (& MORTON SALT)
Even though the Salt Flats are literally in the middle of nowhere, it’s worth the 1.5 hour drive from SLC to see them. You’ll pass the Morton salt factory along the way which is a fun break from the flat lands all around you. This is a great photo op so pack cute clothes!
4. CHARMING SKI TOWNS
Park City is adorable – it not only has the cutest town center but you can drive to the top for dramatic mountain views. Note that during the snow season, the road may be closed. Park City has great shopping and food and is more “modern” than many other Utah towns you’ll encounter. Even if you don’t ski, it’s a great place to visit!
5. GORGEOUS WEATHER
Utah seems to have the perfect weather for much of the year. I think it got slammed with snow this winter but I wouldn’t recommend visiting in the winter anyhow. It does get hot during summer but assuming you aren’t taking arduous hikes in mid-day sun, the temperatures are fairly pleasant (especially compared to humid Florida or frigid Maine). October was especially mild with perfect temperatures.
6. LAIDBACK VIBES
Moab, Kanab, Park City, it seems that every town has a super relaxed and unassuming vibe. You don’t have to dress up to go anywhere and in fact, you’ll run into more than one person who’s confidently wearing joggers, sandals and a tee. This is the place to go if you want to relax and only worry about what natural wonder you’re going to see next.
7. HIKERS PARADISE
We hiked a ridiculous amount of miles in 6 days and loved every second. There are more trails than you can count and we only visited 3 parks (and one of the hikes we took wasn’t even a part of a park). Make sure you pack good hiking shoes because they’ll definitely get used!
8. NATURAL WONDERS & SLOT CANYONS
Slot canyons are one of the most unique aspects of Utah. One of the most popular slot canyons, Antelope Canyon, is in southern Utah (technically Arizona). We didn’t get a chance to visit that one but we did go to the lesser known Buckskin Gulch which was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
9. AFFORDABLE TO VISIT
I think most people visit Utah and camp (probably the most efficient and cheapest way to see Utah in 6 days); we aren’t into camping and so we decided to do hotels. Yes, it is a more expensive way to visit but you can cut costs on food. Since hiking and visiting national parks is the main attraction, everything else remains relatively low cost (no expensive museums, fancy restaurants, etc).
10. PLENTY TO DO – SO MUCH TO EXPLORE
You won’t get bored in Utah. We were there for 6 full days and felt we could have stayed for another 6 days. We enjoyed the outdoors every single day but we didn’t even get to dabble in activities besides hiking. There was still white water rafting, rappelling, rock climbing and plenty of other exploration we could have taken part in.