11 Best Small Towns in Utah — With National Park Access, Natural Hot Springs, and Epic Skiing

Small towns that pack a big punch.

Aerial view of Park City, Utah
Photo: Sean Pavone/Getty Images

When it comes to landscapes, Utah is one of the most diverse states in the country. You can go from red rock arches and sandy deserts to wooded forests and towering mountains in a single day. The gateway to these landscapes is often a small town, a community of people who love the outdoors and live where they do so they have easy access to it.

The following communities may be small (they're all home to 10,000 people or less), but they pack a punch. Here are 11 of the best small towns in Utah.

Moab

Mountain biker near Moab, Utah
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Moab is a shoo-in, with easy access to not one, but two of the state's most popular national parks. Arches National Park is approximately 10 minutes by car, while Canyonlands National Park is just over 30. The town itself is full of people who love to climb, hike, and 4x4 over the bright red rocks the area is known for.

Midway

Kayaking near Midway, Utah
Adam Barker Photography/Courtesy of Visit Utah

Beautiful and quaint, Midway has a location on the backside of the mighty Wasatch Range. No trip here is complete without a stop at the historic Homestead Resort, home to a geothermal mineral spring that's hidden within a 55-foot rock formation. People come from all over to swim, scuba dive, and paddleboard in the crater's warm spring water.

Eden

Pineview Reservoir near Eden, Utah
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Less than 1,000 people call Eden home, which is part of what makes this town so great. The picturesque community sits at the base of the mighty Powder Mountain ski resort (known for its expansive terrain and heavy snowfall) and has endless hiking and biking trails. Make sure to experience the Brim Trail, a 6.5-mile loop.

Garden City

Bear Lake near Garden City, Utah
Utah-based Photographer Ryan Houston/Getty Images

With a nickname like the "Caribbean of the Rockies" it's easy to see why Garden City has long been a popular destination. With a population under 1,000, the town welcomes big crowds during the summer when everyone wants to spend the day out on the turquoise Bear Lake, which straddles Utah and Idaho.

Kanab

Hot Air Balloons outside Kanah, Utah
Olivier Barthez/Courtesy of Visit Utah

Approximately 5,000 people call Kanab home, which is surprising to anyone who's ever had the pleasure of visiting. The tiny Utah destination is surrounded by towering sandstone cliffs that are so dramatic that countless films have used it as a backdrop. After a day exploring the eye-catching landscape, grab a table on the patio at Wild Thyme Cafe and enjoy a well-deserved plate of comfort food.

Mount Pleasant

Main street shops in Mt. Pleasant, Utah
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Mount Pleasant is just as pleasant as its name implies. The small community has a beautiful historic main street composed of well-preserved 19th-century buildings. It's best known for the historic Wasatch Academy, a boarding school that was founded in 1875.

Park City

Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah
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Park City is about 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, but it feels like another world. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders come to experience the biggest ski area in the U.S. (Park City Mountain Resort), and during the summer, people arrive ready to bike the stellar trails. Meanwhile, the destination's great food and friendly vibe entice travelers year-round.

Springdale

Main street of Springdale, Utah
Sandra Salvas/Courtesy of Visit Utah

Like Moab, the small town of Springdale is perfectly situated right outside the boundaries of Zion National Park. In addition to providing great access to the park, which is home to wildlife, waterfalls, and plenty of hiking and biking trails, the town boasts beautiful views of sheer cliffs.

Huntsville

Pineview Reservoir near Huntsville, Utah
Steve Greenwood/Courtesy of Visit Utah

Huntsville is a small town of just around 700 people on Pineview Reservoir. In addition to direct access to the water, the town is in the beautiful Ogden Valley, which is home to multiple ski areas, great camping, and trails that crisscross the area's ample mountains.

Torrey

Historic school house in Torrey, Utah
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Torrey is a small and welcoming community set just a 10-minute drive from the entrance of Capitol Reef National Park. Thanks to its location outside the park, it's a popular destination — especially in the summer. That being said, there's more to Torrey than a location on the edge of one of Utah's best national parks. The tree-lined town is surrounded by red cliffs and close to both Fishlake and Dixie National Forests.

Panguitch

Main street shops in Panguitch, Utah
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Panguitch may just be the epitome of a quintessential small town. The community is distinctly rural and holds tight to its Western heritage, with a main street that's named to the National Register of Historic Places and a location between Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks.

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