I am a Utah native and growing up I had never been to any of the national parks that Utah had and they were literally in my backyard! This summer I set my mind to visit all 5 of the parks and share my story. Remember to drink a lot of water especially in the summer seasons, know what type of weather to expect and be prepared for, try not to hike alone or go off the trail, and just be safe! Many of these parks don’t have service so make sure you tell your family/friends where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
1. Arches National Park Located in Moab, UT this hike is known for the beautiful scenic trails of red rock. I did this in the morning and it was already 90 degrees and filled with many other hikers. This Delicate Arch is a 3 mile hike it’s a tough hike up but the view is worth it. I went during the 4th of July so of course I had to bring an American flag.
2. Bryce Canyon National Park Located in Southern Utah Bryce Canyon has a rich history of geology. Bryce Canyon offers a variety of hiking trails from easy to strenuous. Sadly, I didn’t have much time when I went so I did the shortest hike which was Rim Trail. Rim Trail is paved and give you a chance to snap a photograph at the different view points from above the canyon. So easy your whole family can do it!
3. Canyonlands National Park Canyonlands is located in Southeastern Utah this is a huge park with many different entry points for different hikes. There are 4 districts including the Island in the Sky, the Maze, the Needles (the one I went into), and the rivers. One can stop at Newspaper Rock to see some petroglyphs made hundreds of years ago. The 2 hikes I did were Pothole Point and Slickrock they were easier hikes but took all day. Pothole Point made me feel like I was on the surface of the moon with a very dry environment. Slickrock had 4 observation points for you to take some scenic photographs.
4. Capitol Reef National Park Located in South-Central Utah (in the middle of no where) is home to Capitol Reef National Park. This park is known for its sandstone formations, cliffs/slot canyons, and the Waterpocket Fold. The hike I did was Capitol Gorge a moderate hike that is 2 miles roundtrip. This hike takes you up to see the water tanks which require some climbing, but definitely worth it.
5. Zion National Park Zion is one of the most popular parks in Southern Utah and is often crowded during the holidays…BUT you must go to experience the beauty! It contains a variety of hikes for beginners or advance hikers. The most popular hikes are Angels Landing, Observation Point, and The Narrows. All of these hikes have stunning views that make each hiking trail unique.
To check out these and other National Parks be sure to check out their website for further information http://www.nps.gov/index.htm