Southern Utah is home to some of the most breathtaking national parks in the United States, each offering unique landscapes and outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Why not venture out and take a road-trip to all 5 parks while doing it in style? Keep reading for an overview of the sights you can see on your trip and a few luxury stays along the way.
Zion National Park
Start your trip out at Zion National Park, where you’ll see towering sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, and explore scenic hiking trails. Zion is best known for the narrow gorge that stretches about 15 miles through the middle of the park. The park also features the famous Angel's Landing hike, where you’ll gain 1,488 ft in elevation over 5.4 miles, and the Narrows hike through a stunning narrow canyon carved by the Virgin River. Whether you’d like to spend your day hiking, sightseeing, or relaxing in the Emerald Pools, this park is one you don’t want to miss. End your day with a stay right on the bank of the Virgin River. The Desert Pearl Inn is one of the top rated resorts in the area with views of the highest point in Zion Canyon. The Desert Pearl Inn is made for relaxation and pampering after a day of hiking and taking in the Utah beauty.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Next stop on your road trip is Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon is famous for its tall, thin spires of rock that rise from the canyon floor, which creates very unique geological formations, also known as hoodoos. These hoodoos are found across all continents, but Bryce Canyon is home to the largest concentration of these formations in the world. View Sunset Point, Bryce Point and Inspiration Point from the Rim Trail, with best viewing times being sunrise and sunset. If you want to stay in the park, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is the only hotel in the actual park. A stay at The Lodge gives guests direct access to hiking trails. No need to leave the park during your stay as there is an onsite Pizzeria where you can grab lunch or dinner.
Capitol Reef National Park
This third stop marks just over halfway through your national park road trip. Capitol Reef is known for its colorful sandstone cliffs, towering monoliths, and unique rock formations. Capitol Reef National Park lies within the Waterpocket Fold, a “wrinkle in the earth,” which spans almost 100 miles. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, and scenic drives through the park's stunning landscapes. Capitol Reef offers a more unique stay option than you may expect to find. Capitol Reef Resort is a luxurious camping site, also known as “glamping.” Choose your perfect version of glamping with cabins, teepees, and wagons, with each accommodation style including a relaxing atmosphere and incredible mountain views.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is the fourth park on your journey through southern Utah. Located on the Colorado Plateau, Arches is famous for its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the famous Delicate Arch. Take a 3 mile round trip hike to the Delicate Arch and experience the stunning red and orange hues. Much like Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park is home to the greatest density of natural arches in the world. Visitors can hike, bike, and drive or take a Jeep toured ride through the park's stunning red rock landscapes. Of course, you are welcome to camp out in one of many campgrounds the park has to offer. For those looking for a higher end stay, can look to the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa. This resort backs up to the river while also overlooking the red landscape of Southern Utah.
Canyonlands National Park
Last but definitely not least on the voyage, is Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is known for its rugged canyons, towering mesas, and stunning vistas. Hiding among the formations in this canyon is a story from long ago. Petroglyphs and ancient wall art can be seen all around, but keep an eye out for the hidden gems as well. Visitors can explore the park's unique geology on hiking and biking trails, enjoy a scenic drive along the park's main road, or embark on a ranger led program. The dark of the night makes it easy to stargaze while visiting Canyonlands. Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are fairly close in distance, so your lodging options for both of these parks are similar. The Castle Valley Inn is another great option in the area and comes highly recommended for those traveling with their family.
Whether you are trying to make a quick week-long trip or wanting to extend your stay, these National Parks will not disappoint. With towering monoliths, ancient art, hoodoos and gorges, you can expect nothing less than an experience of a lifetime. Contact us today if we can help plan a Southern Utah vacation catered to your desires.
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