/>Welcome to Utah and its 5 national parks. These parks are some of Earth’s greatest masterpieces. Make sure to bring your camera because all of you to national parks have amazing scenery waiting to be captured.
Arches National Park
Arches, found near Moab Utah, has 18 miles of scenic roadway and hiking trails from 15 minutes to 4- 5 hours long. You can see over 2000 natural stone arches and hundreds of soaring pinnacles, giant fins and massive balance rocks.
Balance rock is 120 feet tall and 3,600 Tons. Just a short walk from the road balanced rock shows magnificent ways of erosion.
Delicate arch has both easy and strenuous hikes alike. For travelers looking for a relaxing walk take the wheelchair accessible trail to the viewpoint about 1:00 yd from the road. Or you can continue on another point 3 miles ending at a viewpoint separated from arch by steep Canyon. If you wish to get a more up-close view Start at the Wolf ranch trail. This trail is 3 miles. Take plenty of water as the trail has no shade or amenities.
The Fiery Furnace is a natural labyrinth of canyons and passageways between tall sandstone walls. The Fiery furnace does not have marked trails. So if you are interested in hiking these narrow sandstone canyons go to the visitors center to obtain a day use permit or sign up for a ranger-led hike. Since the fiery furnace has no defined trails, ranger-led hikes are strongly encouraged.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Known for its hoodoo (oddly -shaped pillars of rock left standing from forces of erosions) Bryce Canyon has the largest collection of hoodoos in the world.
Bryce Canyon has an extensive shuttle system allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery while decreasing congestion and pollution. Hop off and on at areas of interest, viewpoints and trailheads. There is no extra fee to use the shuttle system.
Natural Bridge is an arch spanning 85 feet and is made of sedimentary red rock. Located at the natural bridge viewpoint and is one of our favorite stops in Bryce Canyon.
The fairyland loop trail is less crowded and 8 miles round trip. The trail takes you through spectacular hoodoos along the rim of the Canyon. You will have the chance to see the China wall and tower bridge. This hike is considered strenuous so plan accordingly.
Canyonlands National Park
Also located near Moab, that Canyonlands National Park is a wilderness of canyons and buttes Warned by the Colorado River. Canyonlands is considered to be a primitive desert atmosphere with plenty of room for adventure. The park is 337598 acres and has 4 distinct districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers.
Start your adventure at the Island in the Sky. It is the closest to Moab, the most visited and the most accessible. The Island in the Sky has a 34 mile round trip scenic drive. Drive at slow pace and enjoy multiple view sites including Mesa arch and Grandview point overlook. The hike to Mesa arch is a short 15 to 16 minute loop. From the trail, you can see views of White Rim road and the distant La Sal mountains.
Capital Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is part of Waterpocket Fold, A geologic landform. Hunters and gatherers roamed this area starting around 500 CE. Painted pictographs and etched petroglyphs can be found on many of the rock walls. Later Mormon pioneers settled the area surrounding the Waterpocket Fold. Many stories of the inhabitants can be found in Capitol Reef National Park.
Just a mile or two from the visitor center is the Capitol Reef orchards. The orchards contain approximately 3,100 trees including cherry, apricot, peach, pear, plum, mulberry, almond and walnut. The orchards may be open for picking during your visit to. Fruits and nuts are priced per pound. Check the schedule on the Capitol Reef information line. +1(435)425-3791 Only pick fruit or nuts if the orchard is open for picking. If an orchard is not open for picking but, is unlocked you may stroll the orchard at your leisure. Climbing the trees is prohibited.
Capitol Gorge is an easy 2 mile round trip hike with views of deep canyons, historic Inscriptions and a short climb to water pockets. Fremont river hike is a moderate 2 mile round trip hike along the Fremont River.
Visit the Gifford Homestead to learn about early life at Capitol Reef National Park. The Homestead includes a barn, smokehouse, garden, pasture and rock walls. You can also visit the Natural History Association sale outlet for reproduction pioneer utensils and tools. The Homestead is located one mile from the visitor center.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park may be the most frequented national park in Utah. Zion Canyon stretches 15 miles long and spends up to half a mile deep. The park is known for its reddish and tan colored Navajo sandstone. Zion National Park also has a shuttle system to help you navigate the roads within the park. While the free shuttle is running no private vehicles are allowed on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
Weeping rock trail is a short but very steep trail. It ends at an alcove with Dripping Springs and moss. While this trail is paved and well maintained, it is not considered wheelchair accessible. Enjoy a cool and refreshing mist of spring water on a hot day at the end of this trail.
Angel’s landing via at the West Rim trail is a bucket list item! The 5 and a 1/2 mile hike is strenuous and can take up to 4 hours. The scenery is some of the most amazing you will ever see but the 20 tight switchbacks and the long drop offs should be avoided by anyone fearful of heights or young children. Plan time at the landing for pictures and enjoying the view.
Stop by the Zion lodge for a stroll under the Fremont cottonwoods. And make sure to grab an ice cream cone while you were there! Many ranger led programs can be found here and the Zion Nature Center. Learn about human and geological history. Walks, talks and a drop in programs are available.
Let us know how we can help you plan your next trip to Utah’s amazing National Parks! We can book airfare, hotels and rental car packages!
Sara puts the A in AWESOME deal-finding. She is a world traveler with Disney on the brain. Her 4 kids and fun-loving hubby keep her happy and healthy. In her spare time she browses the internet for crazy deals and location information, just look at our Pinterest account! She also enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, reading, all things Disney, exercising and ghost town exploring.