Utah Mighty 5: National Parks and National Monuments in Utah
Utah has 5 National Parks known as the Utah Mighty 5. These 5 National Parks in Utah might be small but they pack a mighty punch.
Along with the 5 National Parks in Utah, there are also 11 National Monuments in Utah. Where ever you decide to go you will surely enjoy the beauty and landscape of these parks and monuments.
National Parks in Utah – The Mighty 5 National Parks
Arches National Park
Are you looking for the best park in Utah? Then look no further than Arches National Park. One of the top national parks in America: it’s a 73,234-acre wonderland of eroded sandstone fins, towers, ribs, gargoyles, hoodoos, balanced rocks, and, of course, arches northwest of Moab. The park protects an amazing landscape that includes the largest proliferation of arches in the world.
Home to more than 2,000 sandstone structures that will leave you speechless, these sandstone structures leave a visual impact on anyone who sees them, especially the “Delicate Arch” which stands in the east. Arches National Park is a place where you can enjoy a picturesque landscape, of a red-hued sunset which boosts the beauty of the rock formations in the park. This National Park is a playground for the adventurous where anyone can find an unforgettable experience. Arches National Park has a variety of stunning views, hiking locations, and tons of activities to do, to make the trip worth making.
Arches National Park also contains many viewpoints, picnic areas, and trails that are accessible to all. You will feel like a responsible resident of Earth as you make your way as you journey to the trailheads and look at the leisurely scenery. So if you want to take some time for a leisure break then head on down to Arches National Park.
Check out my post on the Best Things to do in Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park hosts the world’s largest Hoodoo concentration, which offers a kind of beauty that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else in the world.
While its founder, Ebenezer Bryce, thought that the canyon was just “a helluva place to lose a cow,” visitors today will appreciate the panoramas, the flora and fauna, and the limestone formations. Hike on the mile-long Bristlecone Loop or on the 22-plus mile Under the Rim Trail. With 50 miles of trails, mountain biking, horseback riding and star talks,
Bryce is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. It has easily become one of the favorite national parks in Utah. The unique scenery and the endless recreational activity options keep visitors coming back for more of Bryce. Popular activities which can be found year round in the Bryce Canyon area include hiking, horseback riding, biking and tours.
The beauty of the vast landscape will make your trip to Bryce Canyon National park a worthwhile experience. The park has multiple trails for hiking, leading to a fantastic view overlooking the Hoodoos, where you can enjoy a quiet night of camping and a clear view of the night sky.
The park may be known for the rock formations, but these rock formations only further increase in beauty when touched by the gentle sunrise, where the reddish hue of the rock formations amplifies the appeal of the sunrise. This makes Bryce Canyon National Park a must-visit when you travel across the US.
Check out my post on the Best Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
A land carved by the waters of the Colorado River, a vast landscape of dramatic proportions. The Canyonlands National Park has it all, From a land chiseled from stone to create such an alluring landscape to the beautiful panoramic overviews, Canyonlands doesn’t lack any of the beauty that comes from a national park.
This park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah’s high desert. Water and gravity have been the prime architects of this land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape you see today.
Before you head into the rugged hills, canyons and mesas of Canyonlands, spend a night in comfort 39 minutes away in Moab. With an array of affordable lodging options and a cool, desert-town vibe, Moab has plenty to offer both weary heads and night owls.
You can also appreciate the untouched wildlife that Canyonlands National Park has to offer, hike through a variety of trails with a variety of views that will take your breath away, So come down to Canyonlands and experience nature at its finest.
Check out my post on the Best Things to do in Canyonlands National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is known for its Waterpocket fold, also known as Capitol Reef. This fold extends across 160 km from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell, this park was made to preserve the fold and continues to preserve it even after so long.
But this doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do in Capitol Reef National Park; there are still more sights to see other than the Capitol Reef, such as the Hickman Bridge Arch and the Chimney Rock Pillar.
Capitol Reef National Park boasts its untouched natural landscape and its historical value, where the Native Americans left a petroglyph that can be seen in its entirety only in the air.
So come by Capitol Reef National Park and see art formed by nature itself.
Check out my post on the Best Things to do in Capitol Reef National Park
Zion National Park
Follow the footsteps of the Pioneers as you drive through the steep red cliffs of Zion National Park, the first national park in Utah. Most popular for its precarious and spiked red stone bluffs and its dry scene, Zion National Park is an undertaking jungle gym for devoted travelers.
From climbing trails to shake moving, from mountain trekking to bouldering, there is a stack of amusing to be had in Utah’s #1 public park. Have your adventure as you venture through the Park, go into forest trails that lead to the Virgin River, enter the emerald pools that have beautiful waterfalls, and a majestic hanging garden.
Perhaps the most notorious spots in Zion National Park are the Emerald Pools. No excursion to the recreation center would be finished without pausing for a minute, or more, to wonder about the shimmering pools. The cascades and quick streaming waterways of Zion National Park serve to add an extraordinary feeling of grandness to an all around hypnotizing climate.
You can even go through the Steep red cliffs of Zion Canyon where you can have a breathtaking view of the canyon. So follow the pioneers as you go to Zion National Park.
Check out my post on the Best Things to do in Zion National Park
Utah National Monuments
Enjoy the ambiance of the Natural Amphitheater that is Cedar Breaks. Stretching across 3 miles and having a depth of 2,000 feet and an elevation of 10,000 feet, the view you get when you get there showcases the rocky formation at its rim to the bustling pines down in its center, which tops even the Golden Staircase.
Frolic through Cedar breaks and its vast amount of wildflowers and Pines trees, and see the night sky at 10,000 feet. Take a break from the stress of the city and come on down to Cedar breaks where nature finds you.
Dinosaur National Monument
Do you or your kids love Dinosaurs, then head on down to Dinosaur National Monument, and be a part of the find. Experience firsthand real dinosaur bones exposed on the cliff face of Dinosaur National Monument.
Even if you don’t know about dinosaurs there are a lot of things to do in Dinosaur National Monument, like traversing through the untamed rivers with a river rafting experience or visiting the many Petroglyphs left by the natives long ago. Dinosaur National Monument remains one of the greatest places to visit in Utah.
A haven of 1.25 acres, bustling with life, known for its stunning views and geological wonders, Glen Canyon doesn’t fall short even against the Grand canyon. Visit Lake Powell and enjoy a variety of water-based backcountry recreational activities, where you can see the full beauty of this natural wonder.
And check out the Horseshoe bend where you can see the 270-degree bend in the Colorado River. Explore this wonder-filled haven for yourself and come on down to Glen Canyon.
This historical location is known for being the area to complete the first transcontinental railroad with the famed “Golden Spike” in 1869. This 17.6 karat gold spike was the last railroad spike to be placed to mark the completion of the transcontinental railroad.
And now this historic site can be visited, and people can even see and board the Victorian age replica locomotives as they please. Walk on the original railroad grade in Golden Spike, and experience history itself.
Explore the landscape where the village which survived centuries stood, in Hovenweep. Visit the ruins which house the artistic and durable masonry which has been preserved for ages. A village that once housed 2,500 individuals, now left as a ruin.
Appreciate the scenic view of the village and the different viewpoints as you hike the land, relish in the clean air from untouched land and enjoy the stars as they come out clear and bright. Hovenweep is a good place to go if you want to have a quiet and peaceful hike through the land.
Relive the “Old West” as you visit the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Visit the 5 different districts which help expand the knowledge of the Mormon Pioneers, one of these is Little Denmark where the Scandanavian pioneer influence thrived.
Follow in the footsteps of the Mormon Pioneers as you follow the trail they once took through the many trinkets left behind in the Fairview Museum of History and Art. tour the many historic sites left behind through the ages, like Kimberly, the Ghost town Natural History/Pioneer Museum, or the Cabin of Butch Cassidy.
So have yourself a mini adventure in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.
As the first National Monument in Utah, the Natural Bridges National Monument doesn’t lack in any of its departments as a testament to the beauty of Nature. 3 natural bridges formed from the earth, things of beauty and mystery, “Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu” these three bridges were named after the Puebloans who once lived in the area.
And now this monument can be visited by anyone, not only is the monument an attraction but the area they are located in was called the “International Dark Sky Park”. So drop by these Natural Bridges and revel in the majesty of nature.
Unlike the other monuments of Utah, the Old Spanish National Historic Trail doesn’t have any eye-catching attractions but it exists to preserve the history itself where the old mule trade route once ran. This trail was where traders would travel from Santa Fe, NM to Los Angeles, CA from 1829 – 1850, visitors who enjoy learning history can stand on the trail and have a walk through history itself.
The once operational mail service finished its services in 1861, the service ran through Missouri and California, and as a testament to its long-time assistance, the Pony Express has been deemed a National Monument. These days the Pony express is known as the Pony Express National Historic Trail.
A statue honoring this service was erected in Missouri. A story of how young men rode for 10 days across 8 states to deliver messages accompanies the historic trail as people keep it alive as a testament to the greatness of these young men.
The Rainbow Bridge is often described as the highest naturally formed bridge, even though some of the Native-American tribes consider this bridge sacred. This National Monument is visited by thousands of people who wish to see the grandeur of such a rock formation.
Though it is a national monument Rainbow Bridge does allow for recreational activities as it is located near Lake Powell, but as it is still a national monument visitors of the monument still show respect to the cultures that revere the bridge as a sacred structure.
Explore the hidden world of Timpanogos Cave, famed as a national monument as it holds importance to science with its irregular rock formations and its full display fault-controlled passages. But visitors can still visit this geological goldmine and explore the many passages they can go through and people can discover more as they go.
The caves also have a population of bats that are protected by environmentalists. Not many may find it a good place to visit but when you see the beauty of the cave itself you might find yourself wanting to come back over and over.
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