Utah is a road trippers paradise — you can spend weeks here and never get bored. There are 5 National Parks in Utah (only California and Alaska have more) and another 11 national monuments, historic sites, and recreation areas. Plus, Utah has far less distance to cover to visit them all than California or Alaska. Follow along as we take you on a tour of Utah’s 5 National Parks, and discover why this is a road trip not to be missed.

Arches National Park

arches national park

Everywhere you look in Arches National Park, you’ll see some kind of amazing stone formation. The whole park is filled with unbelievable rocks, ridges, cliffs and other sandstone structures just waiting to be explored and photographed. The red stone against a bright blue sky makes every photographer a pro.

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Bryce National Park

bryce national park

While Arches National Park is famous for its sandstone arches, visitors come to Bryce Canyon National Park to see the impressive stone hoodoos. The top stone has prevented centuries of rain from eroding the stone under it, leaving these bizarre structures that all look like they’re wearing hats. Even their name sounds fun!

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Canyonlands National Park

canyonlands national park

Canyonlands National Park is a dream-come-true for hikers who love the high desert wilderness. The park is a maze of canyons, gorges, mesas and other geological formations.

And don’t think that Canyonlands is all dry stone and desert. Both the Colorado and Green Rivers run right through the park, begging to be explored.

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Capitol Reef National Park

capitol reef national parkAlthough this park is often overlooked, it’s actually equally as spectacular as Utah’s other national parks. The literal backbone of Capitol Reef National Park is the Waterpocket Fold, a ridge of stone that runs 100 miles through the middle of this long skinny park. This is the “reef” that gave the park its name, and is actually a wrinkle in the Earth’s crust; now that’s not something you see every day!

Aside from the Fold, the park is filled with other geological sights such as large sinkholes, sandstone spires, and black volcanic boulders.

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Zion National Park

zion national parkZion National Park is a bit different from most other canyon country parks. Along with the bare stone mesas and canyon walls, you will also find dense forests, waterfalls, and other hidden gems. Thank the Virgin River, which runs through the canyon year-round bringing precious water to this desert oasis.

Try canyoneering with our favorite local outfitter or wade through the Virgin River Narrows to see the sandstone walls up close and personal.

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mapOur Utah: Mighty 5 and the Grand Canyon trip will take you on an epic road trip to discover all 5 Utah National Parks, plus an added bonus of the Grand Canyon!

This 13-night itinerary takes you from the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip to Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands (via Moab). Make a stop in Monument Valley before hitting the Grand Canyon, and take a dip in Lake Mead on your return to Las Vegas.

Check out our Utah National Parks Trip