Southern Utah is one of the most breathtaking regions of the United States. With five beautiful national parks, many national monuments, and incredible state parks, it’s full of beauty. In fact, there are so many incredible things to see that it is hard to know where to start. That is why I have put together this list of the top 15 most amazing Southern Utah attractions that visitors should plan to see. By using this list to plan your trip, you can be sure not to miss any of Southern Utah’s top sights.
If you are planning a visit to White Sands National Park, you are in luck. In my White Sands Visitor Guide, I am going to give you all of the information that you will need to plan a memorable trip to this beautiful park. In this guide, I will cover the top things to see and do in White Sands National Park, where to stay while you visit, some of the other nearby attractions that you can see, and when it is best to visit the park.
There are a number of absolutely breathtaking mountain ranges in the United States and the Rocky Mountains in the Western part of the country are some of America’s most beautiful. Perhaps nowhere else in the country is this beautiful mountain range better showcased than in Rocky Mountain National Park in the state of Colorado. That is why I was beyond excited to create my Rocky Mountain Park Guide to share this beautiful park with you. Though with so many wonderful things to say about the park, it was hard to know where to being. With a range of elevation between 7,600-feet ( 2,316 meters) and 14,259-feet ( 4,346 meters) inside the park, the diversity of landscapes and wildlife that you will see while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park is truly awe-inspiring. In addition to a myriad of other wildlife, the park is home to over 280 different bird species, an abundance of elk, and the bighorn sheep that have become a symbol of this alpine park.
With five popular national parks within a relatively short distance of one another in Southern Utah, there is definitely no shortage of amazing outdoor activities in the area. If you throw in the parks and monuments in Southern Colorado and Northern Arizona, this region is one of the premier outdoor adventure regions in North America. If you love outdoor adventure, then you will love all of the activities and sights that are outlined in my Capitol Reef National Park Guide. While some of the other national parks in Southern Utah may get more attention on tourist sites, any hardcore national parks enthusiast will tell you that Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden gem in the US National Parks system.
While Arches and Canyonlands National Parks draw a majority of the tourists to the Moab, Utah area, the Corona Arch is one of the Moab regions hidden gems. Because of its proximity to the city of Moab, the Corona Arch Hike is quickly becoming one of the areas most popular hikes. It is easy to get to, fairly accessible to people without a lot of hiking experience, and the Corona Arch is every bit as big and as beautiful as the infamous Delicate Arch inside Arches National Park.
Known by many as the “Niagara of the West”, the breathtaking Shoshone Falls in Southern Idaho is a landmark that all travelers who visit the American Southwest should have on their itinerary. With a drop of 212-feet (roughly 65-meters), Shoshone Falls is actually 45-feet (or roughly 14-meters) taller than the infamous Niagara Falls on the border between New York State and Canada. In addition to the high drop, the fact that rim of Shoshone Falls stretches to roughly 1,000-feet wide makes this waterfall special. So if you are a waterfall enthusiast, landscape photographer, or just love to see some of mother nature’s breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, the Shoshone Falls in Southern Idaho is an absolute must-see destination.
As anyone who has traveled the United States by car extensively will tell you, sometimes you just happen to come across a landscape during your travels that so completely blows your mind that it renders you speechless. For me, one of these is undoubtedly the kind of weird, extremely cool, and very unique landscape of Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho. If you aren’t familiar with this park, you are definitely missing out. If you were to take a road trip thru Idaho, the contrast between the black lava formations and craters found inside the national monument and the landscape found throughout the rest of the state is nothing if not striking.
A look at my travel journal for our 2020 National Parks Road Trip for the Mesa Verde National Park and Canyon of the Ancients segment of our trip.
A look at my travel journal for our 2020 National Parks Road Trip for the Rocky Mountain National Park segment of our trip.
As far as this summer goes, I have been itching to take another road trip thru the American Rockies and American Southwest, and I think the current situation makes this year the ideal time to make that trip happen. I feel much more comfortable driving than flying and it is easy to distance yourself from others when you are out hiking and camping. When things start to open up in the United States this summer, taking a road trip and knocking off some of the US National Parks that I have yet to see sounds like a great alternative to the plans I had to cancel.