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Utah is a fascinating, and often confounding, mix of Mormon religious influence and adrenaline-stoked outdoor activities. But most travelers neither convert to Mormonism nor ski double-black-diamond chutes. Rather, they're inspired by the incredible natural beauty of the state. Landscapes in Utah range from the vast and intensely white Bonneville Salt Flats in the northwestern corner, to the equally vast Great Salt Lake, to the peaks of the Wasatch Range and the Uinta Mountains, to the chain of national parks and monuments stretching across the state's southern tier.

A tour of southern Utah's, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, ...

Utah is a fascinating, and often confounding, mix of Mormon religious influence and adrenaline-stoked outdoor activities. But most travelers neither convert to Mormonism nor ski double-black-diamond chutes. Rather, they're inspired by the incredible natural beauty of the state. Landscapes in Utah range from the vast and intensely white Bonneville Salt Flats in the northwestern corner, to the equally vast Great Salt Lake, to the peaks of the Wasatch Range and the Uinta Mountains, to the chain of national parks and monuments stretching across the state's southern tier.

A tour of southern Utah's, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands national parks and the huge Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument can be done in as little as a week, although such a quick tour will likely result in a long list of places to return to for in-depth exploration. This region has some of the world's most spectacular scenery, which should be enjoyed without hurrying through if at all possible.

Judy Jewell
About the Expert

Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae are frequent collaborators: together they have written Moon Handbooks to Montana, Utah, and Zion-Bryce and updated the Moon Handbooks to Oregon and Coastal Oregon. Judy wrote the Compass American Guide to Oregon.

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Judy Jewell for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Utah is a western state with vast expanses of desert and the Wasatch Range mountains. Utah is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west and touches a corner of New Mexico.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall