Top Attractions in Utah
Delicate Arch, Arches National Park
The iconic image on the state license plate is the reward for a 3-mi round-trip hike through sagebrush, over slickrock, and around a couple of treacherous spots in Arches National Park. Bring water and snacks, and even little ones can make it, so long as you're prepared to carry them occasionally. Want to see more? There are nearly 2,000 more arches across this wind-carved landscape.
Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon National Park
Best seen at sunrise or sunset, catch Bryce Canyon National Park's incomparable natural rock formations before they disappear! Relax, you have millions of years, but the red-and-orange towers and spires erode slowly and steadily. Queen's Garden and Wall Street are two of the more accessible and prominent trails.
Slick Rock Trail, Moab
You'll need every knob on your tires, disc brake, and ounce of personal verve to negotiate the most famous 12 mi in American mountain biking lore. If you've ever ridden a Rockhopper, you want to spend 3-6 hours to negotiate this moonlike landscape. Unless you're a bike-tuning expert, leave yours at home and rely on one of bike shops in town to give you a dual-suspension, state-of-the-art bike.
Canyonlands National Park
The Green and Colorado rivers knife through this colorful desert to create memorable moonscapes that appeal to the rafter, mountain biker, or car-bound visitor. Evidence that generations of people have called this home are visible in the petroglyphs along soaring canyon walls.
Zion National Park
The Virgin River cut the Zion canyon, leaving 2,000-foot precipices you can stare up at (from the Narrows hike) or down upon (from Angel's Landing). Death-defying climbers tackle these faces as well. Leave your cars in Springdale, as cars are banned from the canyon in the summer; the shuttle ferries you anywhere you need to go.
Great Salt Lake
There's much ado about salty, briny, sometimes foul-smelling water, but with reason. This remnant of the Bonneville Sea that once covered much of northern Utah is a unique spot to float (it's so salty it's impossible to sink), boat, bird-watch, or run with the bison on Antelope Island. Enjoy this wilderness (and great views), but keep your distance from the beasts.
Ski Park City
Deer Valley and Park City resorts hosted events at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and are home to the U.S. Ski team. There's clearly validity to the "greatest snow on Earth" claim. But it's also a four-season city with off-slope activities such as the Sundance Film Festival that inundates the town with Hollywood luminaries in late January.
Temple Square, Salt Lake City
Forget the stereotypes, and visit the manicured grounds of the headquarters of a 10-million-strong faith with distinctly American roots. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' headquarters is a complex with the Temple (you can't enter unless you're a member in good standing), Tabernacle (home to the famous choir), family history center, conference center, and more. In the heart of Salt Lake City, you can walk from here to the State Capitol, City Creek Canyon, Gateway shopping mall, and major cultural facilities.
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