As the 13th most extensive state in the continental US, Utah is premium territory for all things outdoors. The Ute tribe that once populated the region named Utah for its people, the “people of the mountains.” A vast majority of the state is uninhabited, but by no means is it desolate. Here you can find a wealth of rugged terrain that includes canyons, sandy deserts, and dense pine forests in mountain valleys. Check out some of our suggestions for must-see places in the great outdoors of Utah.
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
One of the best-known trails in Utah, the Delicate Arch trail takes hikers to the famous natural landmark of the state of Utah. Delicate Arch was formed by thousands of years of erosion. The trail begins as a marked path but eventually changes to exposed sandstone that can be troublesome if one is not wearing proper footwear. Follow the rock cairns to a ledge that leads directly to an amazing view of Delicate Arch.
Landscape Arch in Arches National Park
Landscape Arch is almost as familiar and famous as Delicate Arch but provides a different day hike experience. This hike is more family-friendly as it is only two miles long with little elevation change. The path is easy to follow and generally the most popular hike on any given day. The trail cuts through sandstone fins and walls and leads to an open area where the narrow arch is visible at a distance.
Secret Lake near Alta
For the best photographs of beautiful wildflowers, this hike should done in the spring and summer when the flowers are at their peak. This moderately difficult day hike begins in the Albion Basin area near Alta. As the name implies, the final destination remains a secret until the end of the hike. This the perfect spot to rest and relax after this day hike.
Big and Little Water in Millcreek Canyon near Salt Lake City
Millcreek Canyon offers many options for a brisk summer hike when the Salt Lake Valley is too hot for comfort. The Big and Little Water trails offer a variety of different difficulties depending on the hiker’s mood. These trails lead to Dog Lake which offers the perfect spot for some bird watching a picnic. This path is also open to bikes and dogs on certain days.
Paradise Canyon in St. George
On any given day in the spring or summer, hikers may be enthralled watching rock climbers on a nearby climbing wall at the trailhead of this popular day hike. This trail leads through a dry wash that is frequently visited by a government-protected species: the desert tortoise. Visitors should keep an eye out for these creatures and give them plenty of space. This trail has many different options along the way but the main trail is easy to follow due to frequent signs. One of the more popular end points before looping back takes hikers to an impressive view of St. George.