Southern Utah + The Parks

Southern Utah + The Parks Travel Guide

For a grand tour, make the 18-mile drive to the point, stopping at the park’s 13 spectacular viewpoints along the way back. Take the 23-mile Under-the-Rim Trail between Bryce and Rainbow Point, with eight backcountry campsites (you’ll need a permit).

During late spring and summer, crowds are a fact of life here, but these guides can steer you through the lesser-known hikes.

Pack a picnic (sans alcohol) for an alfresco concert at this 2,000-seat amphitheater, surrounded by the cliffs of Zion National Park.

Moab is the perfect base for exploring the rugged beauty of southern Utah. Bring your mountain bike or rent one at this shop and head to the 12-mile-long Slickrock, a daunting but exhilarating hilly sandstone trail with incredible canyon views.

Head to Zion National Park’s Visitor Center at the Zion Canyons entrance, where you can get oriented, and board the shuttle that goes into the stunning sandstone rock canyons.

The roughly 10-block, self-guided walking tour features mid-1800’s Mormon sites such as Brigham Young’s winter residence and the 1876 Tabernacle.

Capitol Reef was established around a massive, 100-mile-long wrinkle in the earth’s crust called the Waterpocket Fold (the “reef” in the park name). This awesome and colorful mountainous layer cake showcases 10,000 feet—and 270 million years—of sedimentary history.

Between July and October, the city hosts the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival; check out a production in the town’s authentic replica of the Globe Theatre (among other venues).

Should Zion ever get overrun (and it does), this park is a much better kept secret. The kid-friendly, two-mile round-trip Butterfly Trail brings you to the park’s impressive lava flows.

The Mystery: Its name may be a tongue-in-cheek twist on filmmaker George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch, but this 480-acre compound in northeastern Utah is the site of many unexplained—and harrowing—incidents: roaring underground noises, the appearance of menacing blue orbs, attacks by

Do you fear being in narrow or enclosed spaces? This route in the Utah desert, near Escalante, is a claustrophobe’s worst nightmare. Peek-a-boo Gulch is a slot canyon and a popular hike in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that cuts through sandstone bedrock as a narrow slit.