One of the most adventure filled places in the U.S.A. can be found in the state of Utah. If you’d ever visited Utah, I have no doubt that you would certainly agree. The options for activity are numerous and ranges from summertime fun to winter wandering. The outdoor excursions are endless. The places where you can take the detours and outings are in the captivating Utah’s Mighty Five parks.
Each of the Mighty Five Utah’s stunning national parks has its own look, feel, and characteristics. These features range from the red rock colors, the shapes and arches, and canyon landscapes. After my visit to each of Utah’s national parks, I gained a new prospective of them. I learned that they offer not only beauty and visual pleasure; but history and importance to our way of life as well.
There are several features, colors, and shapes of the landscape in all of Utah’s parks. This includes not only national parks, but other preserves and state parks. They might share similar characteristics such as the red dirt or different variations such as trees and creeks. So, let’s compare each of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks. Perhaps we can determine what the best national parks to visit in Utah are.
Capitol Reef National Park
It’s known as the Waterpocket fold and it is how Capitol Reef can be defined. This geological feature is a wrinkle in the earth’s crust extending nearly 100 miles from the Thousand Lake Mountain area to Lake Powell. This unique feature resulted in a repositioning, uplifting, and erosion of the rock layers.
From its vibrant palette of red hues and oddly shaped rocks, Capitol Reef offers displays of unusual visual enlightenment everywhere across the landscape. Chimney Rock is one of the most distinctive earthly shapes here formed as a result of erosion of water, wind, and other natural forces. This national park consists of rare folded geological figures, lifted rugged earth that was created millions of years ago. There are an abundance of amazing things to see in Capitol Reef National Park!
*Fun Travel Tip: Visiting this park in the Fall is extra special because you will see all the changing colors of the leaves. All the colors are extraordinarily beautiful!
Enjoy this trending Utah story next: Capitol Reef's colorful canyons and impressive sandstone towering domes.
Canyonlands National Park
Home to one of the most recognizable rocky shapes in Utah located approximately at 500 feet; Mesa Arch is iconic in its own right. One must be an early bird get up very early in the morning to capture the unique sunrise that’s like no other. All the reasons to fall in love with its chiseled canyons, narrow trail paths, and epic views; Canyonlands is a true land of wonder.
You will find nonstop outdoor adventures in this park with canyoneering tours, hiking excursions, river rafting, rock climbing, and so much more! There are a number of spectacular Canyonlands National Park hiking trails that include the following:
- Mesa Arch
- The Needles District
- Upheaval Dome
- Peeaboo Trail
- Grand View Overlook
Arches National Park
Located about 30 minutes from Canyonlands National Park and the city of Moab; Arches National Park is home to more than 2000 natural stone arches. After my visit to this extraordinary national park, it opened my eyes to learning more about how this land of sandstone came about.
Positioned on top of an underground salt bed, is said to be one of the main reasons why there are so many arches located in this area. Another interesting fact about Arches National Park history is that the park here is extremely fragile. As the park continues to have over a million visitors every year, this is a threat to this high desert eco-system. Some of the primary factors that contribute to this parks’ sensitivity to damage by visitors is the lack of rainfall, scarce deep freezing, plant litter and soils.
Bryce Canyon National Park
A park that offers an array of diversity and illusive scenes while exploring the magnificent vistas and trails of Bryce Canyon National Park. The landscape scenes are always changing. It is described as ‘Poetry in Stone’ according to the national park information brochure that illustrates and explains the history behind this strange and spectacular countryside.
Here you will see the results clearly of what wind, water, and weather can do to the earth's landscape. Take a special notice of the rock formation shapes called hoodoos located throughout the entire park. Millions of years ago the entire area of Bryce Canyon was covered by water, and up until today, played only a minor role in its story.
The combination of the climate conditions such as snow, ice and freezing which expands and cracks the rocks is a common occurrence at Bryce. As well as the heating during the afternoon can create something known as soil creep, which causes the stone material to move downward, then more erosion happens when the thunderstorms dissolve the limestone material further.
Zion National Park
The area known as Zion National Park lies along the geographical regions of the Colorado Plateau. These uniquely diverse features of red sandstone rock formations are the outcome of erosion, deposited sedimentation, lithification, and uplift occurring over millions of years. Zion is the oldest national park being designated as such in the year 1919.
The geology will fascinate you just as much as the adventure! Hiking and scrambling opportunities here are endless. We enjoyed climbing Angels Landing and Hidden Canyon, both trails are considered strenuous and rated as difficult. Note: Reservations are now required to hike Angels Landing. No matter how you enjoy Zion, it will touch your soul!
Some of the most beautiful national parks you find are in the gorgeous state of Utah! The extraordinary Might Five parks definitely are a work of art no matter how you see them! There is most certainly no shortage of adventure and exploration! Please when visiting these or any parks, remember the “Leave No Trace” policy. Let’s all work together to preserve these precious places of nature and beauty!
Enjoy more adventure and journey with me, follow @FitLifeTravel for more travel inspiration! Be sure to check out my FitLifeTravel original videos here on Newsbreak! And please join me on all my social pages for unique fun adventures in travel, dining, beaches, hiking and more!
"Hike More, Worry Less."