Visit America’s Top Outdoor Recreation Destination

Ranked 6th most “outdoorsy” state and fifth most beautiful state in the nation, Utah is full of captivating mountains, lakes, valleys, slopes, and trails. The state of Utah is home to over 22 million acres of public lands that account for 42 percent of Utah’s outdoors. The state includes 9 national monuments, five (5) national parks, and forests, two (2) national recreation areas, and 44 state parks. The diverse scenery that can be found across the state attracts travelers from all over. 

 

Whether you are interested in hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoneering, skiing, or backpacking, rest assured, Utah has it all. Here are a few of the most-loved locations of Utah’s top outdoor activities.

 

Backpacking

Trek through alpine forests, red rock lands, jagged peaks, or lush waterways. Here are several of Utah’s top-tier backpacking experiences. 

 

Red Rock Country

Southern Utah offers some of the world’s most renowned backpacking. Visit Canyonlands National Park, Zion National Park, Cedar Mesa, Dark Canyon Wilderness, or the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

 

Uinta Mountains

Blue ribbon backpacking is abundant throughout the High Uintas. The terrain is characterized by large strands of pines that into alpine basins and cirques. There are more than 500 lakes in the alpine mountain range, many of which are managed for fishing. Visit Four Lakes Basin, Round Sand, and Fish Lakes, or the West Fork Blacks.

 

Wasatch Range

Making up Salt Lake City’s eastern border, the Wasatch Mountains border various northern Utah cities and run up into Idaho. Visit Lake Blanche, Lone Peak Area via Lake Hardy or Red Pine Lake. 

 

Cross County Skiing

Utah is famously known for its serene snow and is home to 15 ski resorts. From classic mountaintop routes, tracks through snow-dusted red rock, historic trails, and snowed-in golf courses, there is a combination of groomed trails popular with families and varied skill levels. 

 

Northern Utah

The Utah Nordic Alliance (“TUNA”) promotes cross-country skiing in the Salt Lake City region, including the ever-popular, Mountain Dell ski area. Check out the Snowbasin Resort, North Fork Park, Soldier Hollow, the Homestead Cross-Country Ski Center, or the Solitude Nordic Center. 

 

Central Utah

The Manti-La Sal National Forest is among the lesser visited ski sites in Utah, but without a doubt, a hidden gem. Check out Skyline Drive, one of the world’s premier snowkiting sites.

 

Southern Utah

A highly popular skiing region, Southern Utah is a must-visit destination for winter adventure. Check out Brian Head Resort, Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon, Duck Creek Village, or Deer Hollow Winter Recreation Area.

 

Cycling

Cyclists of all kinds (and from all over) visit Utah for its spanning offering of routes. From perfect starter routes to multi-day trips, cyclists from beginners to veterans are sure to find a route right for them in Utah. 

 

Top Cycling Routes

Cyclists say these routes are must-dos. Golden Spike, Antelope Island State Park, Bear Lake, and Logan Canyon, Cottonwood Canyons, and Alpine Loop.

 

Fishing

Descending from rugged snowcapped mountains, cool streams feed shimmering lakes and reservoirs home to trophy-level trout. 

 

Northern Utah 

If you are visiting Northern Utah, must-go fishing destinations include Bear Lake, Currant Creek and Reservoir, Duchesne, or the Flaming Gorge.

 

Southern Utah

If you are visiting Southern Utah, must-go fishing destinations include Boulder Mountain, Cedar City Area, Fish Lake, and the Fremont.