Visit Utah's National Parks the Mighty 5 | Part I

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Getting to all of Utah's national parks was high on our bucket list. Known as the Mighty 5, they are some of the most sought after National Park experiences. We are going to do this in two articles. The first, things to do, hikes and attractions and then Part 2 will be free camping and dry camping for each national park!

The Mighty 5 are:

Arches National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Zion National Park

If you have enough time, they are doable in one road trip.

Here are a few of our recommendations for each national park.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is probably the second most popular behind Zion National Park. The eastern most national park, it sits right outside Moab. There is no other place like this in the United States. Towering rock walls, crazy rock formation and some of the most unique Arches you will ever see. Click here for our recommended: Best Spots in Arches National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Situated in between Zion and Capitol Reef outside the town of Bryce, you can explore the famous hoodoos. This national park is also close to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is worth it's own road trip. But let's stay focused. This small national park has a lot to explore.

Click here for some recommended: Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park

Canyonlands National Park

While Zion and Arches are the most popular, Canyonlands was ours. The hiking and vistas are hard to beat. Situated just west of Moab and Arches, this is the largest of the national parks. This national park is so large that it is divided into 3 sections. Island in the Sky, The Needles District and the Maze. Our favorite hike, not just in the park, but just on the favorites list is Chesler Park Loop Trail. Click here for our post about this awesome trail: Chesler Park Loop Trail

Capitol Reef National Park

The least known of the national parks, come for the slot canyon hikes, canyon drives and Cathedral Valley. One of the most fun hikes we did in all of the national parks was in Capitol Reef and we will be sure to make it back to do it again. Click here to read about: Sulphur Creek Trail

Zion National Park

The busiest and most popular of the national parks is hands down Zion. It was so busy that they started a shuttle system for most of the park. You have to find a parking spot at the visitor center and then hop on one of the shuttles that will take you deep into the park. The drive into the park from the east is the best. Driving through tunnels, switchbacks and herds of big horned sheep. You've heard of the Narrows and Angels Landing (both of which now require permits), but there is so much more there that just those two. Take the shuttle as far as it will go and make a note of where you want to get off.

Make sure to follow along as our next post will be places to camp for free near each of the National Parks!

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We became full time RVers in 2016 to explore the US. Now roaming in a van we highlight hikes, road trip attractions and free camping.

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