Majestic Landscapes: Your Ultimate Utah Road Trip Itinerary

Updated: April 13, 2023

Utah’s five national parks – Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef – offer a multitude of outdoor activities as well their awe-inspiring sights. From the cliff walls of Zion National Park to the hoodoos and spires of Bryce Canyon National Park or even to Arches’ sandstone arches; you will be amazed by what these natural wonders have in store for you!

Utah offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to skiing and snowboarding, horseback riding, and camping. Rocky terrain provides natural playgrounds for rock climbing and picturesque drives such as the All-American Road – Scenic Byway 12 or the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway provide breathtaking views of Utah’s remarkable beauty. Moreover, visitors can get lost in its charming small towns with rich histories; experience local culture; indulge in succulent cuisine; plus observe the diverse wildlife that thrives here!

Utah, a gem in the American Southwest, offers visitors a diverse array of landscapes and outdoor adventures. To fully appreciate its splendor, plan your trip between late September and early November. During this period, the state is adorned with vibrant fall foliage and crisp, cool temperatures, providing an ideal climate for exploring its five national parks. With the summer heat and crowds dissipating, you can comfortably embark on invigorating hikes and marvel at the state’s famed red rock formations, lush alpine forests, and serene desert expanses. Additionally, this time of year allows for pleasant stargazing opportunities, revealing the breathtaking beauty of Utah’s night skies. Utah Weather Forecast

Top Picture: Mesa Arch – Canyonlands National Park | Joel Protasio | Unsplash

Majestic Landscapes: Your Ultimate Utah Road Trip Itinerary | © Geovea ©Mapbox ©OpenStreetMap

Trip Highlights: 1. Salt Lake City  2. Park City  3. Wasatch Mountain State Park  4. Deer Creek State Park  5. Capitol Reef National Park  6. Goblin Valley State Park  7. Moab  8. Dead Horse Point State Park  9. Canyonlands National Park  10. Arches National Park  11. Monument Valley  12. Hite Overlook – The Colorado River  13. Bullfrog Bay – Lake Powell  14. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park  15. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center – Cannonville  16. Kodachrome Basin State Park  17. Bryce Canyon National Park  18. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center – Kanab  19. Zion National Park  20. Snow Canyon State Park  21. Cedar Breaks National Monument  22. Bonneville Salt Flats  23. Antelope Island State Park

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman, or this is your first time hitting the open road, there’s something for everyone in Utah. Here are 23 incredible destinations that should definitely be on your itinerary.

In most cases, you will need some form of permit or entrance pass to visit national parks. These permits or passes may be required for entry, parking, camping, backcountry use, or engaging in specific activities. The requirements and fees for permits vary by individual parks – see more at Also visit the UDOT Traffic for current traffic conditions, road closures, construction alerts, and other travel information.

1. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City – Utah | Sean Pavone | Dreamstime


For those looking for a unique mix of history, culture, and outdoor recreation, Salt Lake City is the perfect destination. Located in the foothills of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, you can go skiing or hiking while enjoying breathtaking views. There are also several iconic landmarks to explore such as Mormon Temple and Salt Lake Tabernacle that will give you an insight into Utah’s rich past.

Moreover, Salt Lake City is full of vibrant attractions such as museums, galleries, and renowned theaters. Explorers can savor a range of delicacies and go on shopping sprees without navigating far distances; the city’s public transport links make it easy to reach any spot quickly. Not only that but also Salt Lake City acts as an advantageous transportation hub for unraveling other parts of Utah or bordering states conveniently.

2. Park City

Park City – Utah | Sean Pavone | Dreamstime

As a popular travel destination, Park City, Utah is renowned for its exceptional skiing and snowboarding opportunities, as well as its charming mountain town ambiance. Situated in the Wasatch Mountains, a 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City, the city is home to several renowned ski resorts such as Park City Mountain, Deer Valley, and The Canyons.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Park City also offers a wide range of other outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and golfing during the summer months. The town boasts a dynamic arts and culture scene, with various galleries, museums, and a picturesque main street lined with shops and restaurants. Park City also hosts a multitude of events and festivals throughout the year, most notably the Sundance Film Festival, which draws visitors from all over the globe.

3. Wasatch Mountain State Park

Wasatch Mountain State Park – Midway – Utah | Cristina Villar Martin | Dreamstime

Surrounded by the majestic Wasatch Mountains, Wasatch Mountain State Park is a scenic paradise located between Midway and Heber. With its sprawling 18-hole golf course, archery range, fishing spots, and an array of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or biking opportunities – it can’t get any better! Not to mention the breathtaking panoramic views of both mountain ranges and Jordanelle Reservoir that will make your visit even more memorable.

Open 365 days a year, Wasatch Mountain State Park is the perfect spot for everyone who wishes to take in all of its gorgeous natural scenery. Additionally, stay comfortable during your visit with amenities such as picnic tables, grills, showers, and more! Winter months offer even more fun activities like cross-country skiing or snowmobiling opportunities – no matter what time of year it is you’re bound to have an unforgettable experience at this breathtaking destination!

4. Deer Creek State Park

Deer Creek State Park – Utah | Cristina Villar Martin | Dreamstime

Embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery through Deer Creek State Park in western Utah – a paradise of natural beauty that boasts spectacular vistas of the Wasatch Mountains and incredible opportunities for exploration! Take part in exciting outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, or camping.

Deer Creek State Park is a nature-lovers paradise where visitors can take advantage of the park’s centerpiece, the Deer Creek Reservoir. Comprising 6 miles in length and 2,965 acres of surface area, with an average depth of 65 feet and a maximum depth of 137 feet – plus 18 miles of shoreline to explore – there are endless options for relaxation or exploration. For those seeking adventure on land or water alike, Deer Creek State Park offers unparalleled experiences that will stay with you forever.

5. Capitol Reef National Park

Cassidy Arch Trail – Capitol Reef National Park – Utah | David Harraka | Dreamstime

Nestled in the heart of south-central Utah, Capitol Reef National Park is a must for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. This awe-inspiring destination boasts remarkable natural wonders; from Waterpocket Fold’s 100-mile-long crease on Earth’s surface to Chimney Rock – it’s an extraordinary sight unseen anywhere else! Embarking upon this beautiful region can be done through different activities such as trekking, camping, backpacking, or rock climbing.

Year-round, Capitol Reef National Park invites travelers to explore its vast beauty and one-of-a-kind geologic features. The park’s scenic drives are unparalleled; the Capitol Gorge drive is particularly breathtaking as it takes you through stunning rock formations. History aficionados won’t want to miss Fruita Orchards, established by early settlers in the area. Although some roads or facilities may be closed during wintry months due to snowfall, visitors can still enjoy an abundance of nature year-round at this cherished destination!

6. Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park  – Utah | Anna Dudko | Dreamstime

Located in southern Utah, near the city of Green River, Goblin Valley State Park is a one-of-a-kind destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. The park is renowned for its fantastical rock formations, known as “goblins” made of Entrada sandstone, that will transport you to another world. Visitors can explore the park through a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and rock climbing.

The park also offers several scenic drives, including the Goblin Valley drive, where you can take in the park’s unique and otherworldly rock formations. Picnic areas and a campground with amenities such as picnic tables and grills are available for visitors. Although the park is open year-round, some of its facilities may be closed in winter due to snow and it can get very hot during the summer. Goblin Valley State Park is a popular destination for those seeking to experience the unique and otherworldly rock formations of the park.

7. Moab

Moab – Utah | Runde Imaging | Dreamstime

Nestled in the southeastern corner of Utah, Moab has become a tourist hub for its convenient location near some of the state’s most beautiful national parks and outdoor recreation. Adventure seekers have endless possibilities when it comes to activities such as climbing, mountain biking, camping, and off-roading at Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, or Dead Horse Point State Park. With so much beauty on display in these awesome places, you’ll never run out of things to do.

Moab is the perfect destination for those hoping to bask in nature’s beauty while participating in outdoor activities – like kayaking and river rafting on the Colorado River. Additionally, it offers a vibrant arts & culture scene with numerous galleries and museums, as well as various dining, shopping, and lodging options. With so much to explore, Moab has become increasingly popular amongst both locals and tourists alike!

8. Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point – Moab – Utah | Pedro Lastra | Unsplash

For those seeking a breathtaking escape, Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab, Utah offers stunning views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. Delight in picturesque hiking trails or spend the day rock climbing, mountain biking, and picnicking with friends. For an extended stay make use of their campground or RV park to fully immerse yourself in this natural wonderland! Plus, don’t forget about Ranger-led tours that can show you even more hidden gems within the area.

One of the best ways to explore this park is by taking a ride down its winding roads. Pull off at any of the scenic overlooks for breathtaking views, and take in all that nature has to offer! While open year-round, some winter areas may not be accessible due to snow accumulation. A fee per vehicle is required for access upon entry; campers can even reserve campsites ahead of time if desired. As always with high altitudes come warm temperatures during the summer months – so don’t forget your sunscreen!

9. Canyonlands National Park

Shafer Canyon Overlook – Canyonlands National Park – Utah | Nate Foong | Unsplash

Come and explore Canyonlands National Park, located in stunning southern Utah near the city of Moab! This beautiful destination will take your breath away with its breathtaking canyons, mesas, and red rock formations. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or adventurous traveler looking for a unique experience then this is definitely the place to be – enjoy hiking, mountain biking, camping, backpacking, or even some rock climbing all within the park’s boundaries.

Split into three distinct areas – The Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze; Canyonlands National Park offers an array of varied experiences with varying levels of difficulty. Visitors are also invited to explore some of its more scenic drives like the White Rim Road which provides breathtaking views that highlight this natural masterpiece’s incredible geology. Though open year-round, certain roads and facilities may be closed due to wintertime snowfall. Ultimately providing awe-inspiring scenery complete with geological wonders unmatched by other parks around the world; Canyonlands is a must for any traveler searching for raw beauty!

10. Arches National Park

Park Avenue – Arches National Park – Utah | Holger Link | Unsplash

Arches National Park is a must-see destination located in eastern Utah. Its spectacular landscape, consisting of over two thousand sandstone arches and other natural formations including canyons, fins, and rock towers will amaze any traveler. Whether you plan to go hiking, camping or just sightseeing – Arches has plenty of adventurous activities for everyone.

For those seeking the remarkable beauty of nature, Arches National Park provides an array of attractions to explore. With awe-inspiring features such as Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, and Double Arch at your fingertips, you can immerse yourself in a gorgeous environment filled with natural wonders every season. Furthermore, take advantage of the scenic drives around the park that offer magnificent views along its roads and breathtaking geologic elements. Despite weather changes throughout winter months, however; some may be closed due to snowfall yet still accessible all year long.

11. Monument Valley

Monument Valley – Navajo Nation Reservation – Utah | Venus Evans | Unsplash

Monument Valley, situated on the Navajo Nation Reservation stretching from northeastern Arizona to southeastern Utah, is celebrated for its stunning sandstone buttes and mesas towering up to 1000 feet high. This iconic landscape of the American Southwest has been immortalized in countless Western films and photographs alike; thus making it a highly sought-after destination for exploring and appreciating nature’s beauty.

To experience the majestic beauty of this park, visitors can take a self-guided driving tour through the area or join one of our knowledgeable Navajo guides for fascinating tours. Our guided excursions provide exclusive insight into the history and culture that built this place as well as geological information about it. For those looking to explore further, several breathtaking hiking trails are available such as Wildcat Trail and Artist’s Point Trail.

Visitors must understand that the park is situated in a rural area and should be well-equipped for warm temperatures as well as elevation. The visitor center provides an ideal opportunity to purchase mementos and gain further insight into the park. Moreover, assuming you are aware of its cultural and spiritual importance, it’s important to show respect while visiting this special place treasured by the Navajo people.

12. Hite Overlook - The Colorado River

Hite Overlook – Colorado River – Utah | Sumikophoto | Dreamstime

Hite Overlook is a spectacular vista situated in the south of Utah that offers an expansive view of the Colorado River and its surrounding desert terrain. Easily accessible by car, Hite Overlook provides a parking area for visitors who often come to marvel at picturesque sunsets or capture moments through photography. It’s also perfect for bird watchers and rafters alike! Despite its remote location, adventurers should be ready to face both high temperatures as well as altitude changes; make sure you bring plenty of water.

Step out onto the stunning perspective of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and be captivated by the majestic views of desert scenery paired with a winding Colorado River. The overlook offers no amenities, yet is noteworthy as an in-demand spot to appreciate nature’s finest marvels.

13. Bullfrog Bay - Lake Powell

Bullfrog Marina – Lake Powell – Utah | Alysta | Dreamstime

Bullfrog Bay on the northern end of Lake Powell in Utah is a breathtaking destination with its distinctive red rock cliffs. Enjoy an array of aquatic activities like boating, fishing, swimming, and water skiing! Rent boats or equipment at close-by marinas or stay overnight in an RV park or campground. As it’s situated in a desert climate, be sure to come prepared for warm summer temperatures by bringing sunscreen and plenty of drinking water.

14. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Monument Valley – Navajo Nation Reservation – Utah | Venus Evans | Unsplash

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, located near the small town of Escalante in Utah’s southern region, is a spectacular location that offers an abundance of activities for visitors. There are plenty of ways to explore and appreciate its natural beauty – from hiking and camping to rock climbing! What makes this park particularly special is its petrified wood – fossilized remains from trees that lived around 200 million years ago.

With its Rainbow Trail, visitors to the park can expect a breathtaking journey past geologic wonders amid lush surroundings. If you’re feeling adventurous and wish to stay overnight, make use of the available picnic tables and grills with access to campgrounds! Although open all year round, please note that some parts of the park may be closed during winter due to snowfall.

15. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center - Cannonville

Willis Creek Narrows – Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument – Utah | Rinus Baak | Dreamstime

The Visitor’s Center in Cannonville is a great place to stop in and plan any adventure and get the latest park updates.

Immerse yourself in the stunning and wild Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument of Southern Utah! Explore its diverse topography with canyons, plateaus, cliffs, and natural bridges. Enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, backpacking, or rock climbing for an unforgettable adventure. Check out some of the most popular trails including Escalante River Trail – where you can witness amazing geological wonders – or go on Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail to admire a gorgeous waterfall at the end!

Make unforgettable memories amidst the immense beauty of the Monument year-round! Take in panoramic views and be captivated by its unique geologic features on Scenic Byway 12. Although most areas are accessible, some roads and facilities may temporarily close during winter due to snowfall. To make sure you’re properly prepared for your adventure, remember to bring enough water, food, and supplies with you as the area is remote yet rugged. On top of this incredible experience, explore The Monument’s diverse array of plant and animal species while enjoying wildlife viewing at its finest!

16. Kodachrome Basin State Park

Pointed Rock – Kodachrome Basin State Park – Utah | Aliaksandr Nikitsin | Dreamstime

Get ready to be mesmerized; Kodachrome Basin State Park is the perfect destination for any nature enthusiast. Located in beautiful southern Utah, near Cannonville, visitors can feast their eyes on 67 of colorful sandstone spires and chimneys that create an unforgettable landscape. Plus, with plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, and camping available at your fingertips – you won’t want to leave! The Panorama Trail is especially noteworthy; offering breathtaking panoramic views while trekking through countless geologic features.

Experience the breathtaking beauty and awe-inspiring geological formations of this park, open year-round but with some facilities and roads closed in winter due to snow. The campground offers plenty of amenities such as picnic tables, grills, and more for those who partake in an overnight stay! Whether you’re just looking around or wishing to explore further into its vibrant rock formations.

17. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park – Utah | Rich Martello | Unsplash

Southern Utah is home to the remarkable Bryce Canyon National Park, renowned for its captivating hoodoos. Offering a plethora of recreational activities including trekking, cycling, horseback riding, skiing cross-country, camping, and sightseeing amidst breathtaking landscapes – there are diverse trails available such as the Rim Trail that offers vistas of hoodoo wonders or Queen’s Garden Trail which leads to some of the park’s most iconic formations.

The park provides breathtaking drives, ranger-led activities for a unique experience, astronomical programs, and guided tours to explore the area. It is also widely known as an excellent destination for stargazing due to its remote location and clear night skies. The park remains open all year round although some roads may be closed during wintertime because of snowfall, so visitors should take that into consideration before visiting and don’t forget to bring enough water supply.

18. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center – Kanab

Kanab – Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument – Utah | Patrick Hendry | Unsplash

The Visitor’s Center in Kanab is a great place to stop in and plan any adventures and get the latest park updates.

Immerse yourself in the stunning and wild Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument of Southern Utah! Explore its diverse topography with canyons, plateaus, cliffs, and natural bridges. Enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, backpacking, or rock climbing for an unforgettable adventure. Check out some of the most popular trails including Escalante River Trail – where you can witness amazing geological wonders – or go on Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail to admire a gorgeous waterfall at the end!

Make unforgettable memories amidst the immense beauty of the Monument year-round! Take in panoramic views and be captivated by its unique geologic features on Scenic Byway 12. Although most areas are accessible, some roads and facilities may temporarily close during winter due to snowfall. To make sure you’re properly prepared for your adventure, remember to bring enough water, food, and supplies with you as the area is remote yet rugged. On top of this incredible experience, explore The Monument’s diverse array of plant and animal species while enjoying wildlife viewing at its finest!

19. Zion National Park

Trail To Angels Landing – Zion National Park – Utah | Anton Foltin | Dreamstime

Zion National Park in southern Utah offers stunning beauty with its towering sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, and an immense array of flora and fauna. It’s a haven for outdoor adventure lovers providing incredible opportunities to explore the park via hiking, backpacking, cycling, rock climbing, camping, horseback riding, or canyoneering. Among the most renowned trails is Angels Landing which will give you awe-inspiring glimpses into Zion’s breathtaking geologic delights; as well as The Narrows slot canyon that navigates through a narrow chasm offering unparalleled views along the way.

Embrace the gorgeous views of nature that are available through scenic drives and several visitor centers with information about park history, geology, and wildlife. Keep in mind that winter can be a bit harsh here so some facilities may not be accessible due to weather conditions; therefore it is vital to bring enough water as you prepare for potential heat or altitude changes. The rangers also offer great activities such as guided tours, and many other exciting options to help your visit truly feel like an adventure.

You can drive through Zion National Park on Highway 9 which is the major road providing access to Zion National Park. Take a journey of exploration and breathtaking beauty with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Through private vehicles, you have access to various popular attractions, lookouts, and trails within the park. To reduce traffic congestion during peak season, the park operates an efficient shuttle service that allows visitors to leave their cars at designated parking spots before being transported into the main canyon area for exploration.

20. Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park  – Utah | Steve Gribble | Dreamstime

Snow Canyon State Park, located in the south of Utah is a sublime paradise for all nature lovers. Its breathtaking red and white sandstone cliffs are ideal for activities such as hiking, cycling, horseback riding or rock climbing – whatever you choose to do will be nothing short of remarkable! For those interested in learning about the park’s history then we recommend taking up The Pioneer Names Trail. Moreover, don’t forget to check out The Lava Flow trail if you want an opportunity to experience its unique geology; it’ll surely take your breath away!

Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of a campground surrounded by majestic ancient lava flows and glorious red Navajo sandstone. Meander through the park to marvel at its incredible geologic features, while taking an unforgettable journey of nature’s wonders. Though access is available year-round, certain roads may be closed due to snowfall during winter months; therefore it is essential that you are prepared for potential high temperatures and altitude changes so as to maximize your experience with ranger-led activities, astronomy programs, and guided tours.

21. Cedar Breaks National Monument

Chessman Ridge Overlook – Cedar Breaks National Monument – Utah | Seth Betterly | Unsplash

Escape to Cedar Breaks National Monument in southern Utah and revel in the exquisite rock formations, spires, and breathtaking views that it offers. Situated at an elevation of over 10,000 feet with a range of activities such as camping, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling or stargazing – this enchanting park is perfect for outdoor lovers seeking some adventure.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature when you explore the trails at this park, like Spectra Point Trail which provides stunning views of its picturesque rock formations. Additionally, enjoy a refreshing hike on the nature trail or attend ranger-led programs held in the summer months at the natural geologic amphitheater. Visitors can also admire breathtaking sights along Rim Road Drive with plenty of eye-catching wildflowers and wildlife to photograph or bird-watching. Make sure to come by during summer and fall for an unforgettable experience.

Every year, once the snow starts falling around mid-November, Highway 148 and Rim Road become closed for sightseers.

22. Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats – Utah | Brandon Green | Unsplash

An otherworldly paradise, the Bonneville Salt Flats is a magnificent landscape of white salt crust stretching across 30,000 acres in Utah. This unique geological phenomenon has become a hotspot for photographers and filmmakers alike; its captivating beauty often inspires awe from all who visit it. Located on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert, this natural wonder forms part of an expansive state park and offers endless artistic opportunities to explore new perspectives.

The salt flats of the ancient lake beds remain covered in a thick layer of salt, reaching several inches. During summer months, this crust hardens and dries up making it possible for vehicles to traverse over its surface – perfect even for land-speed racing! Visitors are welcome anytime but the ideal time is during scorching summers when you can experience an intense sense of solidity as you frolic across these vast plains.

23. Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park – Utah | Tristan Brynildsen | Dreamstime

Antelope Island State Park is a stunning state park situated on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake of Utah. Visitors can marvel at its beauty through panoramic views, explore numerous hiking and biking trails, observe wildlife, or partake in recreational activities like mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, fishing, and swimming.

Home to a variety of wildlife such as bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and mule deer, The park offers an immersive experience brimming with natural beauty. Additionally, hundreds of species of birds can be spotted here! To learn more about the island’s history and geology visit the Visitor Center or museum for your curiosity fix. Furthermore, camping is available at one of its campgrounds allowing you to make some memories in nature overnight if desired! When it comes down to timing – Spring and Fall are ideal when mild weather blesses us along with wildflowers blooming around us during those months.

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