Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, & Zion National Park.
Utah is also the Gateway to:
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona), Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado), Great Basin National Park (Nevada),
Yellowstone National Park (Idaho/Wyoming),
&Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming).
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is one of Utah's most beloved tourist destinations located in the far southwestern corner of Utah, where the Colorado Plateau meets the mountains and valleys of the Great Basin. Boasting nearly 230 square miles of sightseeing, people come from around the world to hike, camp or horseback ride. The park's natural wonders include the Great Basin, the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Plateau. The sculptured cliffs of Zion Canyon provide visitors with landscapes of unmatched beauty and diversity.
Zion canyon is known for its soaring towers and monoliths and its incredible slot canyons. Hiking possibilities are endless. With nearly three million visitors per year, Zion is Utah's most heavily used park.
Enjoy a performance at the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater, where Ballet West performs most summers with the park providing a beautiful backdrop. Another must see is the Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theater, which shows the epic Kieth Merrill film "Zion Canyon: Treasure of the Gods" on a six story high IMAX screen.
While you are in the area be sure and check out these other hot Utah travel spots: Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Lake Powell National Recreation Area, and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Lodge at nearby Springdale, Las Vegas, Nevada, Panguitch Lake, Duck Creek Village, Cedar City, Brian Head, Kanab, and St. George.
The Dixie National Forest
With headquarters in Cedar City, Utah, Dixie National Forest occupies almost two million acres and stretches for about 170 miles across southern Utah. The largest National Forest in Utah, it straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River. The southern rim of the Great Basin, near the Colorado River, provides spectacular scenery.
The Forest is characterized by four distinctive geographic areas.
High altitude forests in gently rolling hills characterize the Markagunt, Pansaugunt, and Aquarius Plateaus.
Boulder Mountain, one of the largest high-elevation plateaus in the United States,
is dotted with hundreds of small lakes 10,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level.
Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit near St. George to winter lows
exceeding -30 degrees Fahrenheit on the plateau tops.
Wilderness: The Forest has 83,000 acres of wilderness in three areas: Pine Valley, Box-Death Hollow, and Ashdown Gorge. Pine Valley and Ashdown Gorge offer opportunities for solitude, horseback riding, and hiking. Though Box-Death Hollow is too rough for horses, it too offers opportunities for nature-appreciation and hiking.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Open all year, the major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon which, despite its name, is not a canyon but a giant natural amphitheater created by erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by wind, water, and ice erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400 to 2,700 m).
Learn about Recreation for all the family on our Utah Recreation Page: Learn More