10 Tips for visiting Utah National Parks

Last Updated on December 20, 2016 by Janet Frost

The National Parks in Utah are often referred to as The Mighty Five.
They include Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP and Capitol Reef NP.  I have put together 10 tips for visiting Utah National Parks.  These tips could easily apply to most of the National Parks across the country.

TIP #1:  

If at all possible, try to do it yourself and not on a mega bus.no-tour-buses

 

 

TIP #2:

Plan to spend at least 2 nights in each park. Consider buying the Annual Pass for all of the National Parks.  It is $80/year and at $25/day at each park it will quickly pay for itself.annual-pass

 

 

TIP #3:

 This trip is NOT a cheap trip.  Food and lodging is designed for masses of tourists and is typically overpriced for mediocre quality. If you are not camping, consider the Park Lodges .  It is the best way to be immersed in the park.  The NPS does a nice job with their lodges.
Plan the trip far in advance though, because the park lodges and ranger-led activities fill up quickly.

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TIP #4:  

Immerse yourself in the Geology, History and Culture of the region.  Talk to the rangers, stop in the Visitor Centers, read the plaques.

 

TIP #5:

 Get out of your car and walk the trails. (See #6)

bryce canyon-hikers
Hikers in Bryce Canyon

 

TIP #6: 

Be a prepared and informed visitor. Have proper footwear, proper water supply, allow enough time, know your limits and……..one we forgot, know when the shuttles start and stop running.difficult-hiking-sign

 

TIP #7: 

If it is called a canyon, be sure to explore from the rim AND from the trails at the bottom.  These parks are like 2 parks in one.

above-the-rim
Rim view of Bryce Canyon

They are so different from above on the rim……

bryce-from-below
View from the floor of Bryce Canyon

 

 

 

 

and from below on the trails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIP #8:

 No matter how tired you are, be sure to check out the night skies.  You will never see stars like you can in the Utah National Parks anywhere else.

bryce-night-program

 

TIP #9:

Know that when you return home from the Utah National Parks, everything will be full of red dust.

 

Utah National Parks, Zion NP
Zion National Park

TIP #10: 

Be prepared for your photos of the Utah National Parks to fall short of the true immensity, glory and majesty of this land.

 

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