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    Updated on Aug 5, 2020. Posted on Aug 5, 2020

    22 Places In Utah That Are So Beautiful, I Can't Believe They're Even Real

    Damn, she's diverse.

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    1. Arches National Park

    Turret Arch at sunrise within the North Window natural arch in the Windows section of Arches national Park
    Getty Images

    This area gets its name from the 2,000 towering sandstone arches scattered randomly across the national park. It's hard to believe that these perfect arches, formed over thousands of years, weren't manmade in any way.

    2. Buckskin Gulch

    Warm light at an opening in WIre Pass, a narrow slot canyon that feeds into Buckskin Gulch in the Paria Canyon / Vermillion Cliffs WIlderness,
    Lightphoto / Getty Images

    Right down near the Arizona border, Buckskin Gulch is considered one of the best slot canyons in the world. It's about 15-miles long, one of the longest in the US. Adventurous hikers can tackle it in a day, but it's best avoided in the heat of summer.

    3. Lake Powell

    Dusk sky above a red canyon being reflected in waters of Lake Powell
    Johnnya123 / Getty Images

    Lake Powell, on the border of Utah and Arizona, is like something from another world. This manmade lake looks amazingly natural, with clear water that reflects the orange and red of the sandstone cliffs lining the banks. The lake is especially popular with kayakers, who paddle out to caves and secluded beaches.

    4. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

    sweeping Coral Pink sand dunes contrast against a blue sky with dappled clouds
    Hiromasa Araki / Getty Images

    You'll find this stunning park in the south of the state, featuring endless peachy pink sand dunes. Their color comes from the Navajo sandstone cliffs surrounding the area, which eroded over time to form the dunes.

    5. Monument Valley Tribal Park

    Beautiful dramatic sunset over the East, West Mitten Butte and Merrick Butte in Monument Valley
    Fyletto / Getty Images

    Monument Valley Tribal Park is one of those instantly recognizable places...and not just because of Forrest Gump. You can drive through this Navajo Nation park and watch the vast landscape unfurl before you — tall sandstone buttes, green scrub, and red land that stretches for miles.

    6. Uinta Mountains

    vibrant sunset at the Bear River wth Uinta Mountains reflected in the water
    Johnnya123 / Getty Images

    This area in the state's northeast, near the Wyoming border, is for explorers who are happy to rough it a little. A virtually untouched and pure mountain range, it is mostly closed to vehicles, with only a few roads and 4x4 trails traversing the land.

    7. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

    A hiker looks small underneath the grand Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch
    Kojihirano / Getty Images

    "Grand" is right: this national monument includes over 1.8 million acres of protected land. It's surprisingly easy to visit and navigate and has a well-maintained network of trails for any keen hikers. Drive the scenic road through the park to see old Western movie sets, sandstone cliffs, slot canyons, and prehistoric village sites.

    8. Canyonlands National Park

    Sunset lit spires in Canyonlands National Park.
    Tonda / Getty Images

    This sprawling national park near Moab is not one for the faint-hearted. Huge sections of the park are extremely remote, where you could hike for days without seeing anyone else. It has deep canyons and tall cliffs, all formed by wind and water shaping sandstone over millennia.

    9. Zion National Park

    spectacular view from Angels Landing; a lush green valley is surrounded by rocky red mountains and cliffs
    Evenfh / Getty Images

    Utah's first national park, Zion, is home to some amazing walks and viewpoints, and Angels Landing might be the most iconic of them all. Every day hikers scale the treacherous peak to watch the sun rise over the valley below.

    10. Great Salt Lake

    Desert landscape, water reflections, dramatic clouds over great salt lake
    Elisabeth Bender / Getty Images

    Like the name suggests, this inland lake is incredibly salty – even saltier than the ocean! – which makes it extremely easy to float in. It's a popular summer destination, so pack your swimsuit and a picnic and make a whole day of it.

    11. The Bonneville Salt Flats

    Wide Angle Closeup of White Salt Flats during sunset
    Ablokhin / Getty Images

    Just west of the Great Salt Lake you'll find this vast salt flat that looks almost like a frozen polar landscape. If you're planning a visit, there's a great view of the flats from a rest stop on I-80, between Salt Lake City and Wendover.

    12. The Toadstools

    unique tall red rock formation with a rounded top, contrast against blue skies
    Pgkempf / Getty Images

    Located just off the highway in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, these strange rock formations are a perfect road trip stop-off point to stretch your legs. A short trail winds through the desert out to these fairytale-esque natural formations.

    13. Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

    magical pastel colored over dark, rugged rocks at snow canyon state park
    Ethan Johnson / Getty Images

    This area in the state's southwest is a huge expanse of rugged terrain and incredible desert landscapes. It's ideal for adventurers who want to get off the beaten path and explore land that seems frozen in time.

    14. Antelope Island State Park

    shockingly reflective water in a big lake, an old tree root in the foreground with mountains in the background
    Zrfphoto / Getty Images

    This small island in the Great Salt Lake is home to many wildlife species including bison, bighorn sheep, and, you guessed it, antelope. You can hike or mountain bike through the island's backcountry, or just got for a swim and take a stroll along the beach.

    15. Bryce Canyon National Park

    Beautiful mountain landscape with tall "hoodoos" — tall red rock formations. one looks like Thor's Hammer
    Margaretw / Getty Images

    This spectacular park in the state's south is known for its tall rock formations called "hoodoos." The red and orange spires stretch as far as the eye can see, and look especially amazing at sunrise and sunset.

    16. Goblin Valley State Park

    a cluster of Hoodoos — vertical rock formations that look like rocks stacked on top of each other — in Goblin Valley State Park
    Travellinglight / Getty Images

    Another park filled with hoodoo rock formations, except the locals call these ones goblins — hence the park's name. Visiting this park is like walking on the surface of Mars; it has so many strange rocks and colors going on.

    17. Dead Horse Point State Park

    A young male hiker is standing on the edge of a cliff enjoying a dramatic overlook of the famous Colorado River and beautiful Canyonlands National Park
    Bluejayphoto / Getty Images

    This small cliffside state park offers amazing views of the Colorado River and the sweeping landscapes of Utah. There are stories of ancient hunters using this natural vantage point to plot their next hunt, and much later, of cowboys using the area to corral mustang.

    18. Mt Timpanogos

    Autumn leaves at dawn in the Wasatch Mountains
    Johnnya123 / Getty Images

    This peak in the Wasatch Range is one of the most popular hiking spots in the state. It can be hiked in about four hours, via the Timpooneke trailhead. The route passes green meadows, wildflowers, an alpine lake and waterfalls, and the view from the top is just staggering.

    19. The Waterpocket Fold

    Expansive view of the Waterpocket Fold from the Strike Valley Overlook
    Lightphoto / Getty Images

    Found in Capitol Reef National Park, this geological formation is a long "wrinkle" in the earth that extends for nearly 100 miles. The rocky cliffs and valleys formed around 50–70 million years ago, when the earth shifted and pushed everything upwards. The best way to see it is by driving down Notom-Bullfrog Road or the Burr Trail, stopping at lookouts and doing little hikes that lead off the main road.

    20. Dinosaur National Monument

    a deep canyon with a brown river running through the valley below
    Zrfphoto / Getty Images

    Up in the north, stretching over the Colorado border, this national monument is full of dinosaur fossils and bones that were uncovered in the area. The park is also home to rock drawings and partially intact dwellings made by the Fremont people who lived here around 1,000 years ago. Plus, Dinosaur National Monument is one of the best places in the state for stargazing, officially designated as an International Dark Sky Park.

    21. Bear Lake

    woman paddleboarding just off the North Shore beach area of the lake fairly. the blue is very blue and water calm
    Aaron Hawkins / Getty Images

    Bear Lake is often touted as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” because of its bright blue color. Located on the Idaho border, it's popular with kayakers and paddleboarders who take advantage of the calm water.

    22. Hovenweep National Monument

    remains of ancient red brick buildings surrounded by shrub and desert landscapes
    Scgerding / Getty Images

    This national monument is famous for its well-preserved Puebloan buildings, constructed between 1200 and 1300 CE. Artefacts have been found in the area that put ancient tribes living on this land over 10,000 years ago.

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