The only state to have its capital made of three words, it was acquired by the United States in 1848 in the treaty ending the Mexico War. The place has 147,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs and 11,000 miles of fishing streams. Overall Utah covers 84,900 square miles of land and is ranked 11th largest state in the United States. The Great Salt Lake, which is about 75 miles long and 35 miles wide, covers more than a million acres in here. With such a vast land, it is bound to have a varied landscape. This is the best place for adventuring, there are cabins for rent in Utah as well if you plan on coming up here.
If you are coming here, let us find out some places must to visit:
- Cedar Breaks National Monument: Covered with colorful hoodoos, this amphitheater has 2,000 feet depth and three miles in width. This dynamic amphitheatre standing at the height of 10,000 feet and the park witness severe winter conditions, and snow covering the monument winter to spring. Do opt for the scenic drive along Highway 148 (especially the Rim Drive) crossing the park which is open all year round. You can also go for hikes here through the alpine meadows offering great views of the canyon while accessing a few bristlecone pines.
- The Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook Trail: This four-mile route along the edge of the plateau leads to a vista of the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater. There is also the Alpine Pond Trail, which is a two-mile circular hike to a pond and forest glade at the end of the trail.
- St. George: Located in southern Utah and that too near some incredible parks like the Zion National Park, makes it a convenient city to base yourself in if you’re interested in outdoor activities. Moreover, the Snow Canyon State Park, which is one of Utah’s great undiscovered natural areas is less than 20 minutes away. There are a lot of attractions in St. George which relates to its Mormon history, including the Brigham Young Winter Home Historical Site and the St. George Temple. Traveling just half an hour from St George, you will be able to hike up beautiful trails. Pioneer Park and the adjoining Red Hills Desert Garden are also must see sites in here.
- Natural Bridges National Monument: The Natural Bridges National Monument protects some outstanding formations. Located south of Canyonlands National Park, this place is quite in the distance, but is worth a visit the three natural bridges- Kachina, Sipapu and Owachomo, and these are accessible with small hikes. But if you are crunched for time, then make sure to stop at Sipapu, the largest and the magnificent of the three. The walk till there is around a 1.2 mile round trip hike. Any history buff should check out the Horse-collar Ruins, which reveal the remains of ancient Native American buildings occupied over 700 years ago.
- Great Salt Lake: It is the largest domestic lake located in the Mississippi, assessing 34 miles wide, 72 miles long and up to 50 feet deep. About half-hour drive northwest of Salt Lake City, the Great Salt Lake is a left over of Lake Bonneville which was a much larger freshwater lake. There are bathing beaches and a recreation park at the south end of the lake. You would be pleased to know that just similar to the Dead Sea in Israel, this lake is salty enough to allow swimmers or anyone who doesn’t know how to swim to float without sinking.
- Fantasy Canyon: Home to several strange rock formations and located about an hour outside of Vernal, Utah; this place is filled with smooth, undulating ridges and loops. While not as large at other desert attractions, the formations are the product of ancient rivers and lakes that used to cover the area. You can go for a short hike in here, but we would suggest that this place is perfect for relaxing and just enjoying being in it.
- Dinosaur National Monument: As the name states, the Dinosaur National Monument is known for the collection of more than 1,500 dinosaur fossils, which can be seen embedded in the cliff wall of Carnegie Quarry. The surrounding terrain is also of importance due to this. Apart from looking at the Jurassic period fossils collection, you can also engage in popular activities like camping, hiking and rafting. You can opt to go to the new Quarry Hall, which allows visitors to be in comfortable conditions.
- Trilobite quarry: Trilobites are hard-shelled, invertebrate, marine creatures, roamed the ocean floor 500 million years ago. This quarry is one of the richest deposits of trilobites in the world and they can be found pretty easily die for their near perfect preservation in the easily split limestone shale. The best thing is that you will be able to hunt for the perfect specimen with tools that can be rented on site. So have fun digging away.
- Goblin Valley: A combination of strange and yet naturally artful rock formations; this arid, sandy landscape comes together to form an intricate display of geological history. You would love to wander through this rock labyrinth which gives off ominous vibes. The hoodoos of Goblin Valley are mushroom-shaped sandstone rocks with heights up to 150 feet. As expected, animals and plants are scarce in here due to the lack of food and water, but there’s loads of another side of nature to see here as well.
Overall, Utah is a place which is full of history- natural or otherwise, which just beckons one to explore it. So strap on a backpack and go adventuring.