• The best national parks Utah has to offer

    2013-06-27

    When it comes to the mountain west region, Colorado often attracts much of the attention thanks to its stunning natural landscape, and while it certainly has some impressive views and hiking opportunities, it's not the only state that stands out. Colorado's neighbor to the west - Utah - also has plenty to offer anybody looking to add some adventure to their United States travel. The Beehive State is replete with stunning parks, but according to Lonely Planet there are a few in particular that stand above the rest.

    Arches National Park
    Located outside Moab, Utah, Arches National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking natural formations in the country. There are an estimated 2,000 naturally formed sandstone arches spread throughout the park, which encompasses more than 76,00 acres. Any time spent walking through the famous park is sure to bring you seemingly endless highlights, but you can't leave without admiring the famous Landscape Arch. Impossibly thin, this feature spans about 290 feet and is believed to be the longest natural arch in the world. Other highlights include the petrified dunes and the fiery furnace.

    Canyonlands National Park
    The Grand Canyon is not the only impressive gorge to make its way through the southwestern United States, and Canyonlands National Park is certainly testament to that. Although it is the largest of the parks contained in Utah, it sees the fewest visitors, which is unfortunate given the considerable appeal. The best place to experience the park is its region known as the Island in the Sky, which includes The Grand View Point overlook, a spot that offers some of the most compelling panoramas you're sure to encounter.

    Zion National Park
    There are few places in the U.S. where the geologic history of the Earth is on display more openly than at Zion National Park. There are plenty of natural formations that will leave a lasting impression long after you've headed home, and there is also ample opportunity for adventure travel. Specifically, hiking through the Zion Canyon will not only bring you through many of the park's highlights, but the fact that much of the hike is completed through water that can sometimes reach your waist.

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