Utah Road Trip
Take a Road Trip to the Ultimate U.S. Driving State, Utah, from Salt Lake to Moab
Utah is one of the best states to plan a road trip, and in fact, it's the best way to see the state. There's only one major airport and city within the state, Salt Lake City, and the rest of the destinations are very spread out. A Utah road trip will allow you some incredible opportunities for sightseeing, with breathtaking mountains, some of the best National Parks in the U.S., charming small towns and of course, the great city of Salt Lake.
Intro photo of Route 12, Utah by Wolfgang Staudt, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.
Scenic Driving in Utah - Take advantage of one of the best driving states in the USA
Driving in Utah is a road tripper's dream. National Parks, winding roads, high mountains, low deserts, unique wildlife, roadside diners, big cities, small towns... everything you could ask for is in the beautiful state. This guide gives an excellent feel for the entire state, with beautifully illustrated photographs, tips and suggestions for your road travels.
From the lush alpine terrain of the Uinta and Wasatch Mountains to the fantastic rock formations of Zion, Canyonlands, Arches, and Bryce Canyon National Parks, discover Utah's treasures. This guide features twenty-eight drives that highlight the natural and cultural history of the land of the Great Salt Lake.
Avoid the heat in your car!
Keep your valuables and anything meltable under a light towel. It's a good idea to not leave your luggage (especially electronics) in the car for a long period of time. The heat can cause serious damage in minutes.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - The remote, fossil rich fronteir of Utah
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Closeby to Glen Canyon Recreation Area and Lake Powell is the beautiful Grand Staircase-Escalante region of Utah. Of the lower 48 states, the Grand Staircase Monument has the distinct honor of being the last area to be mapped out, and is largely still untraveled because of its vastness and remoteness. The area is made of high plateausand multi colored cliffs, composed largely of sedimentary rock that is highly studied to this day by paleontologists and scientists. Dinosaur and other prehistoric fossils are not a rare occurance in this land.
Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area - Enjoy the 1.25 million acres of desert wilderness for camping, boating and sightseeing
Above: Lake Powell
It's a summer getaway for many people seeking refuge from the dry desert. Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area cover 1.25 million acres of land to explore and enjoy. Recreational activities that are popular include boating, one of the biggest activities, camping, sightseeing (there's petroglyphs located within the boundaries of the recreation area), and swimming.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Not so far from Zion and Bryce Canyon, you can find the hidden ampitheater known as Cedar Breaks National Monument. Just like Bryce Canyon, you can find strange rock spire formations and a vast open canyon-like setting. Unlike Bryce, though, this won't have the long lines of traffic in the summer, or all of the annoying tourists. If it's a weekend day, you might want to plan to head here instead of Bryce, then hit Bryce on a weekday.
Take Your Own Car or Rent? - The pros and cons of taking your own car
Taking your own car has its pros and cons. A rental, on the other hand, has its pros and cons, too. If you take your own car on a road trip to Utah, you might be exposing it to some adverse conditions like extreme heat, but on the other hand, you know your own car, you'll feel comfortable in it, and you'll save money versus a car rental. Renting a car costs money, but has a lot of positives.
1. You won't be putting the stress on your car.
2. You'll keep the mileage down in your car.
3. You won't have to worry about it getting stolen because it isn't yours (granted the rental is insured).
4. You can get a better mileage car like a hybrid just for the trip.
5. Cars with navigation built in are often available.
The Four Corners Monument
The meeting point of four U.S. states
The Four Corners National Monument is a fun trip, basically just the point where the four states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona converge. There's a marker on the ground that marks the spot. It's close in relation to Monument Valley and Sunset Crater, so it you can work it into your trip easily.
Photo by dbaron on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.
Valley of the Gods - Utah's little known desert gem
Sandstone Monoliths, Valley of the Gods
Affectionately known as the mini Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods bears a resemblance to its larger sister park, but is much more remote (yes, it is possible), and can only be accessed via a long dirt road.