views of UTAH: topo
camping, hiking, mountain biking, off roading, fishing
HIGH DESERT: Southern Utah is a magical place to explore. Red rock and National Parks, State Parks – too numerous to name. Outdoor recreation around every corner – from river rafting to rugged canyon hikes, wildlife watching to wheeling. Dispersed camping, very abundant. Dirt back roads, by the many miles. Hiking and biking, all over!
The east-west Interstate 70 splits the state, so most parks are located south of the freeway. Green River is a highway town, along I-70 and the mecca, Moab, is south of the interstate.
MOAB, UT (southeast Utah) – is a hot bed of recreation activities, tourism, hotels, shopping, plus the 2 National Parks.
TORREY, UT (south central Utah) – hip mountain village, next to Fish Lakes National Forest and Capital Reef National Park.
SPRINGDALE, UT (southwest Utah) – the small river town that has merged with neighboring Zion National Park. Tourists everywhere.
Seek the small back roads to get you up and around the outskirts of Zion – very scenic drives. Ghost towns, pinyon & juniper forests, hidden canyons, watrfalls, kolobs and buttes. North of Zion NP, Navajo Lake and Cedar Breaks National Park @ 8000′ elevation – can have snow more than half the year, so plan according.
UTAH TIP = Beware: Thunderstorms and heavy rains are part of the package here in this desert state. Extreme flash floods possible, know the weather forecast and the warnings. Stay out of slot canyons during rainy season. Watch out for wet, muddy, red dirt roads. You’ll get stuck, even in 4WD.
Small farming towns are scattered throughout the National Park areas, some more geared for travelers than others. Many National Forests and BLM areas to camp (for free). Usually just a few miles outside the National Park boundaries. The further you get off pavement, the more seclusion you can find. Find the nearest ranger station and ask some questions – if needbe.
Utah Park Maps by NatGeo
National Geographic makes these colorful, durable, waterproof maps for all the Utah Parks.