Going on a Utah road trip? Looking for lots of adventure in nature? Then you should consider these 9 destinations before you firm up your plan
1. Zion Nation Park
The canyon landscape, challenging hikes, and wonderful people that you meet along the trail are the perfect reasons to add this destination to your trip. It is also at Zion that you will find The Narrows and Angel’s Landing hike that is on many people’s bucket list. (Note: Both of these hikes are very popular and can get crowded. Nevertheless, it is well worth it.)
Nestled between Zion and Monument Valley, you will find this off the beaten path park. The landscape almost makes you feel as if you are on a different planet. Most of the park is not marked by well formed trails, so you are free to wander and explore as you wish. And the best part is — there is no crowds.
3. Monument Valley, AZ
This destination snuck into the UT road trip list because how can you be so close to the iconic western landscape and not go! You can take a drive on the semi-paved road or hike between the iconic buttes to soak in the scenery. There are also lodges here on the Native American owned land as well as great campsites. But be sure to reserve them in advance since they fill up.
4. CanyonLands National Park
Another off-the-beaten-path national park that is not as crowded as its neighboring Arches Nation Park. But the scenery is equally as stunning and worth a visit. You can check out more pictures of what to expect here.
5. Arches NATIONAL PARK
An iconic national park that would be a shame to miss. However, get up early to enter the park or stay in the campgrounds inside. Or else, the line to get into the park can build up into a traffic jam.
6. Goblin Valley State Park
Looking for unmarked terrain to explore and play hide and seek? Goblin Valley is your place. Unspoiled, untouched, un-crowded … it was one of the highlights of my trip.
7. Coyote Gulch
If you are looking for something more challenging and up for an overnight backpacking adventure, add this to your itinerary. You won’t be disappointed.
2 AZ Add Ons to Consider
Bonus 1: Horseshoe Bend
BONUS 2: Cathedral Wash
Essentials to Prepare for a great trip
1. Jucy “RV”
This was not only a ride but a great plan B for when the weather is bad since there is a pull out bed in the vehicle to sleep on. In addition, it comes with a mini kitchen and refrigerator in the trunk so you can have a warm meal at night or hot tea in the morning without needing to make fire. I paid around $60 per night for mine, which I thought was definitely fair.
2. Light Tent
We got the REI Quarter Dome tent and it’s been working great — light-weight, durable (can be a little tight for 2 people). This is exactly what we needed for our backpacking trips.
3. The Splurge
If you stay in the more popular national parks (Zion and Arches), you don’t need this.
However, because I did this trip alone, I felt a lot more comfortable that I can definitely contact someone if anything did go wrong. Although expensive, this satellite phone was worth the peace of mind. Especially deeper in Canyonlands, Goblin Valley, and Coyote Gulch, where it was difficult to find cellphone reception.
WET WIPES! Clean your hand, wipe your face in the morning, do some dishes after a meal — wet wipes became my friend. I was glad a friend gave me this hint to pack some in the car for this trip and I will never have another trip without it.