Luxury Holidays in Utah's National Parks
A small town with a big heart, Moab is the gateway to some incredible sandstone adventures. A city in the middle of two national parks, its Main Street is home to cafes, shops, breweries and small hotels, but outdoor lovers flock here for the ease of access to the surrounding landscapes - from long scenic byways, to hiking trails and mountain biking the red dirt tracks, to kayaking the Colorado River.
Visit Arches National Park with over 2000 physics-defying natural red rock arches. Take in the pink sunset from Delicate Arch - a photo hotspot. Or be amazed by the Balanced Rock - an incredible spot for stargazing.
Admire the otherworldly landscape of Canyonlands. From the Island in the Sky mesa that stands tall above the clouds offering panoramic views of the Colorado and Green rivers and the steep layered buttes and sandstone canyons below.
Reasons to visit Bryce Canyon
“It’s a hell of a place to lose a cow” said Ebenezer Bryce, the park’s namesake and an early pioneer. And as you stand at Inspiration Point overlooking the huge natural rock Bryce Amphitheatre you can certainly see why. Towering, human-like pillars of red rock stand side by side for miles alongside a dense alpine forest carpet.
Glamp under some of the darkest skies in the world. An internationally recognised Dark Sky Park, Bryce Canyon offers spectacular views of the night sky. Dusk and dawn are definitely worth getting up early or staying late for.
It’s easy to hike around. From family-friendly trails like the short Mossy Cave Trail, to the popular Rim Trail that allows you to hike to each of the best viewpoints, and The Navajo Loop Trail that descends to the floor of the canyon and back up to Sunset Point.
Drive Highway 63. An 18-mile scenic highway with plenty of opportunities to stop for photos, or a short hike. Or for a change of pace, you can traverse the hoodoos and pine tree trails on horseback.
Things to do in Zion National Park
- Hiking. From the climbs up to Angels Landing or Observation Point for breathtaking views to more family-friendly trails at Emerald Pools and less-travelled routes in Kolab - there’s a hike for everyone at Zion.
- The Narrows. This series of slot canyons that Zion is so famous for, are best taken in from the ground. Or thrill seekers can try their hand at canyoneering with an experienced guide.
- Visit Springdale on the edge of the park for places to eat, drink and stay as well as farmers markets, art galleries and shops.
- Take in the views from The Zion Canyon National Scenic Drive - a 54-mile route that’s open to private vehicles out of season, but that can be enjoyed from one of the many shuttle buses during the busier summer months.
- Birdwatching. From small hummingbirds to giant birds of prey, Zion is home to over 200 species of birds including the peregrine falcon, bald eagle and magnificent Californian condor. Don’t forget your binoculars!
Weather in Southern Utah
As such a huge state, Utah’s weather varies massively depending on the region you’re visiting. However, across the national parks, there are four distinct seasons. Summer and autumn offer the most pleasant temperatures and lowest rainfall from May through to early October. Whereas throughout the winter and spring temperatures are colder, especially at night. Whatever time of year you visit it’s worth being prepared for distinct weather changes.
Interesting facts about Utah
- Utah’s national parks have provided the film set backdrop for everything from classic Westerns to Forrest Gump and Thelma & Louise.
- It’s a hotspot for dinosaur fossils, with some of the densest collections in the world found across the state and preserved in the many dinosaur museums, and quarries.
- At 84,900 sq miles, Utah is the USA’s 11th largest state.