Wednesday, July 17, 2019

9 Amazing Dinosaur Destinations in Utah

9 Amazing Dinosaur Destinations in Utah blog cover image

Did you grow up loving dinosaurs and wanting to learn more about them? Or maybe you have kids at home hoping to discover and explore prehistoric adventures as they learn more about dinosaurs. If so, a road trip to Utah may be the next vacation for you and your family to take.

Utah is filled with several different dinosaur parks to help your family discover more about our prehistoric friends. We’ve narrowed down the numerous dino parks in Utah to show you our favorites. Here are 9 amazing dinosaur destinations in Utah:

fossils of two dinosaurs standing next to each other

1. Natural History Museum of Utah - Salt Lake City

Want to be one of the first people in Utah to discover a new dinosaur fossil? If you take a trip to visit the Natural History Museum of Utah, you just might be. When a new species of dinosaur has been discovered in Utah, this is sometimes one of the first places it ends up.

You’ll find all different kinds of fossils found from newly discovered species inside of a beautiful building. It’s filled with lots of educational activities and games for your children - and maybe you’ll learn a new thing or two about dinosaurs and their fossils as well.

fossils of an armadillo-like dinosaur

2. Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point - Lehi

Looking at different dinosaur bones is of course incredibly fun, but getting hands-on experience is also a unique adventure as well. You can get that at the Museum of Ancient Life. This is one of the largest dinosaur museums in the world that includes over 60 complete skeletons and lots of hands-on exhibits.

You’ll find a lot of opportunities to “dig” in and learn more about prehistoric times. Kids can play in and explore the paleontology lab as well as see different shark and dino skeletons around the exhibits. There is also a sand and water table for the kids to enjoy.

colorful statues depicting small dinosaurs attacking in a pack

3. Eccles Dinosaur Park - Ogden

You’ll find tons of interactive touch screens and educational opportunities at this park. Something that sets this museum apart from the others is the different dinosaur statues located all around the venue.

These statues look very life-like and majestic when they’re standing in their natural visually-appealing setting. This park includes real-life fossils, dinosaur footprints, and a dino-themed playground for the little ones.

4. Dinosaur National Monument - Jensen

This exhibit gives off a brand new vibe as it has recently been renovated to showcase more than 1,500 dinosaur bones located on its famous “Wall of Bones”. Some of these bones even allow interaction and the ability to touch them as you learn more about these ancient fossils.

The site contains more exploring and adventure than most as you and your family will have the opportunity to whitewater raft, drive down the different exploration routes offered, go camping, take hikes and more.

blackened dinosaur bones among gray rock

5. Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry at Jurassic National Monument - Emery County

Many Utah dinosaur bones and fossils have been found in this specific site, so this could be one of your favorite destinations to visit. Upon arrival at the museum, you and your family get the chance to enter a building holding several bones buried there as you walk around and admire each fossil.

Not only will you get to look at all of these bones yourself, but you’re also able to watch paleontologists work and dig as they conduct research to study the different dinosaur bones and fossils. You’ll also get a chance to head outside and walk down three different hiking trails.

6. BYU Museum of Paleontology - Provo

If you’re looking for a museum filled with giant and valuable artifacts, this is a great site to visit. Located close to the football stadium at Brigham Young University is an abundance of prehistoric collections. This free and compact museum is a quick and exciting stop on the rest of your dino Utah tour.

7. Utah Field House of Natural History - Vernal

This dinosaur attraction contains a dinosaur garden that can be found outside. In this garden, you’ll see several full-sized replicas of all different kinds of dinosaur species like the famous Triceratops, T-Rex, and many more.

Once you head inside, you’ll see a giant skeleton of a Diplodocus as well as opportunities to learn about dinosaurs with the different activities offered in the interactive building.

8. St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm - St. George

This museum was created in 2000, so it’s still newer than the others on this list. A slab of rock was found by Dr. Sheldon Johnson that contained preserved dinosaur footprints. He decided to go forward with this discovery by turning the rest of his land into a dinosaur museum. 

Though it may be little and smaller than most, it is fierce. This museum is known to be one of the most essential museums in the world for anyone who is currently researching or studying work centered around early Jurassic footprints. This museum helps people learn more about how different behavior patterns of dinosaurs including how they traveled and survived in the prehistoric era.

9. Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail - Moab

If you’re looking to explore for a little bit one day, this brief trail is a great adventure for you and the family. You’ll see several dinosaur bones and fossils found on the different rocks along the trail you’re venturing down.

Not sure what different dinosaur fossils look like? There are several signs along the trail to inform people of what kind of bones are located where and lets you know what kind of prehistoric creature they came from.

Whether you’re looking for a day of dinosaur digging or want to pack a whole week’s worth of dino exploring, these destinations could be perfect for you. They’re filled with different interactive adventures to help you and your family learn more about prehistoric times and engage in fun, family-bonding activities together.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The 13 Best Water Parks in Utah

The 13 Best Water Parks in Utah blog cover image

Utah is well-known for its abundant outdoor activities, as well as its majestic scenery and National Parks and Monuments. Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and of course skiing bring thousands of tourists to Utah every year.  Families should add visits to some of the great water parks while in Utah during the warm weather. Here is an assortment of the best:

colorful inflated toys out on the water

AQUA x ZONE in Heber City is located inside Jordanelle State Park, about 35 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. Children love this park because visitors have to swim out to the inflatable activities that float on the water of the reservoir. The floating park accommodates up to 75 people at a time, and all can jump, swing, run, slide, and swim as they enjoy this unique water park.  Group discounts and season passes are available.

Cedar City Aquatic Center is located about 250 miles south of Salt Lake City. The center offers an Olympic size pool and a small outdoor pool, as well as a water playground, lap pool, slide, lazy river, and hot tub. Cedar City is known as the "Gateway to the National Parks" because of its proximity to a number of parks, specifically Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is also known for hosting a large variety of festivals, from Shakespeare to classic cars. Take in a few of these after a day of swimming at the aquatic center!

a red pirate ship surrounded by children playing in the water

Cherry Hill Water Park in Kaysville is small but offers everything from camping to restaurants to miniature golf and basketball with trampolines. And, of course, the water park with a four-lane racing slide, bumper boats, an interactive water play area, and two pools. The Great Salt Lake is just west of this area so a side trip to see this great body of water would be worth the time.

Classic Fun Center in Sandy is another all-purpose family entertainment center that includes a small outdoor water park. There are four water slides and a zero-entry pool. The entertainment center includes laser tag, roller skating, a bounce house, a climbing house in a “jungle” setting, and a foam ball blast area.

Cowabunga Bay is 10 minutes south of Salt Lake City in Draper, Utah along I-15. Cowabunga Bay is the home of the largest indoor interactive play area, so your children will love this park. It has 12 levels and 300 play features, complete with a huge tipping bucket. There are a number of slides and a lazy river and Kid’s Cove, a play area for younger children. The park also offers Tiki Cabanas and Lounges for rent.

Lighthouse Point Splash Zone in Salt Lake City is unique because it is located inside a zoo. Hogle Zoo is a 42-acre property dating back from 1931. It is home to over 800 animals, complete with a Conservation Carousel made up of models of endangered species. The Splash Zone includes a blowhole and tidal pools, as well as the Lighthouse Slide and a shipwreck for the kids to explore.

visitors climbing stairs to the tops of various water slides

Lagoon A Beach Water Park is 17 miles south of Salt Lake City in Farmington. Calling themselves the Ultimate Aquatic Playground, Lagoon A Beach is a surf and slide water park, complete with rapids and a lazy river which includes waterfalls, tunnels, lagoons, and a castaway island for kids. There is also an R.V. Park and campground with access (and discounts) to the water park.

visitors relaxing in inner tubes in the pool

Layton Surf 'n Swim is another inexpensive municipal facility that turns its pool into a wave pool for specified hours each day, allowing visitors to experience waves typical of different parts of the world. There is also a lap pool that includes a small pool with a diving well and a play area for younger kids. Check the website for restrictions and rates to rent the wave pool.

Logan Aquatic Center is located in north central Utah near the 10,000-foot high Bear River Range. Logan is just east of I-15, the major north-south interstate traveling through Utah. The Aquatic Center has an outdoor Olympic-sized pool, an adaptive aquatics program, fitness and swimming classes, water aerobics, and water safety classes. There is also a kiddy pool and a lap pool, as well as an array of slides, a lazy river, and a fun zone for smaller children. Plan your trip so you’ll arrive in Logan on Monday; it’s family discount night with $15 passes for the entire family.

Provo Beach bills itself as “50,000 square feet of indoor fun” complete with its signature Flow Rider. The Rider pumps 30,000 gallons of water into a true ocean experience, suitable for both expert surfers and novice boogie boarders.  Located about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City along I-15, Provo is the third largest city in Utah and is adjacent to the Wasatch Front mountain peaks and the Utah Lake recreation area. Provo Beach provides something for everyone in the family, with not only the Water Park but also laser tag, a family ropes course, arcade, miniature croquet, and bowling.

The SCERA Park Pool in Orem offers a family-friend area for play and relaxation, with plenty of lounge chairs, tables, and shade. The water park provides a lap pool, diving board, a heated splash pad, a current channel, slides, zero-depth beach entry, and a sand play area for the kids.  Family night is Monday when the whole clan can enjoy the park for $25.

7 Peaks Water Park is in Provo and covers a 26-acre area with slides, a wave pool, bumper boats, and a lazy river. There are also 4 attractions for smaller children, including a play park. Indoor activities include a variety of rides, laser tag, rock climbing, mini golf, and an arcade.

Wayne Bartholomew Family Park in Springville is an outdoor family park with a sandy beach for water fun plus many other activities like volleyball, ring toss, and horseshoes. Equipment for the games is free on a first come, first served basis. Bring a picnic lunch and eat under one of the pavilions or purchase food from the concession stand.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Everything you need to know about the iconic Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Everything you need to know about the iconic Timpanogos Cave National Monument blog cover image

Timpanogos Cave National Monument is a must-see for avid hikers and adventure junkies. This trail-and-cave combo holds rich historical significance and is sure to be a memorable experience for everyone. Its history extends all the way back to the Gold Rush prospecting era, even though the cave was not discovered until much later. The paved hiking trail is perfect for adventurers of all ages. It boasts beautiful views of the Mt. Timpanogos valley, and the fact that only parts of it have guard rails gives the whole experience a slightly more dangerous vibe. The constant incline of the trail provides a great workout, while the cave at the top serves as a great opportunity to cool off. Some locals use the trail as their morning workout, and they love seeing their little slice of heaven enjoyed by people from all over the world. Don’t miss out on your chance to hike in one of the most beautiful areas of the country and see one of the best-preserved caves in the world.

cave interior lit up at night

The History

Timpanogos Cave was discovered by accident in the summer of 1913. Two teenage boys, who were on a tour of a nearby popular cave, left their group to go exploring on their own. After traipsing around in the Utah wilderness, they noticed an odd-looking rock. When they tried to dig it out of the sand, the rock tumbled backward into a black hole that seemingly came out of nowhere. This hole would eventually become Timpanogos Cave! The boys kept it a secret for eight years. During that time, the newly discovered cave was only a rumor, and the boys never returned to it again. In 1921, curiosity got the best of an adventure addict named Vearl Manwill. He was determined to find out if the rumors were true. Ironically, Vearl re-discovered Timpanogos Cave the same exact way the boys did eight years ago: by attempting to dig a rock out of the sand, only for it to tumble back into a dark opening. Ever since, the contents of Timpanogos Cave have been preserved, and over 80,000 hikers tour the cave yearly.

cave features lit up and glowing

Hitting the Trail!

Now for the exciting part… Before you tighten your hiking boots and start pounding the pavement, be sure that you reserve your tickets in advance. The cost is $8 for adults 16 and over, $6 for children ages 6-15 years old, $4 for children 3-5 years old, and free for any child under 3! The day of your hike, you can pick your tickets up from the Visitor’s Center, which is where the trail begins and ends. The trail is paved asphalt, but it is a constant incline all the way up to the cave entrance, so it is not for the faint of heart. The whole hike is approximately 3 miles and takes about 3 or 4 hours to complete, including the cave tour. Something important to keep in mind about the hike is that parts of the trail are exposed to the valley. Basically, keep a close eye on children and stay away from the edge of the trail: the drop-off is steep, and a few people have died from accidental falls. Along the way, there are plenty of areas to take breaks, drink water, and enjoy the beautiful views.

tour guide talking to a group of hikers inside the cave

The Cave Tour

The cave tour can host up to only 16 people at a time, due to the confined space. The entrance to the cave is at the end of the trail. There are plenty of lockers for you to stow backpacks, water bottles, or any other personal belongings that you’d like to leave behind. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your backpack behind, the tour guides recommend that you simply wear your backpack in front of you. The cave can get pretty narrow at spots, so bring only the essentials. There are also bathrooms outside the cave entrance, so you’re not caught in between a rock and a hard place if you have to go. Also, the tour guides suggest wearing a headlamp, but it isn’t necessary; both the front and back guide wear headlamps, so there is plenty of light. During the tour, be sure that you don’t touch the walls of the cave. This ensures that the natural beauty is preserved, and tours can continue for as long as possible. Wear a sweater, too! Temperatures in the cave can dip to 40 degrees.

How to Get There

Timpanogos Cave is located in northern Utah, about half an hour southeast of Salt Lake City. If you’re tech-savvy, use your favorite maps app to find your way to the Visitor’s Center. If you prefer to get places the old-fashioned way, take note of which direction you are coming from. If you’re coming from Salt Lake City, take I-15 south. Take exit 284 for Highland/Alpine. When you get off the exit, turn left onto UT-92 East, also known as Timpanogos Highway. Stay on this road for 12.5 miles. You’ll reach a ranger station where you will need to buy a 3-day pass, which is only $6. After purchasing your pass, continue straight for 2.3 miles, and the parking lot will be on your right.

On the other hand, if you are coming from the south, take I-15 north. Take Exit 275 for Pleasant Grove Blvd and turn right as soon as you get off the highway. When you reach the first stoplight, turn left onto 2000 W/N County Blvd, and stay on this road for 5.5 miles. The name of this road changes a few times along the way, so don’t be alarmed, just continue straight. Turn right onto UT-92 North and follow it for 6 miles. This is where you’ll reach the fee station and continue straight to the parking lot.

It’s easy to see that the Timpanogos Cave provides unforgettable experiences for people of all ages. Whether you’re young or old, or you enjoy beautiful views rather than dangerous risks, there is something for everyone. If you arrive prepared, your experience as a whole will be satisfying. You’ll get breathtaking views, an invigorating hike, and an exciting cave tour. Some important things to remember that seem like random tidbits of information are as follows: Reserve your tickets before you leave. You can reserve your tickets by visiting the Timpanogos Cave website.

Only bring the essentials with you: water, a sweatshirt, and a camera if you’d like to capture the views you’ll see along the way.

Be prepared for parts of the trail that are exposed to the valley. Tell any children coming with you to stay away from the edge of the path.

Lastly, have fun! The Timpanogos Cave is a memorable experience. Enjoy every bit of it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

8 Utah Fourth of July events you don't want to miss

8 Utah Fourth of July events you don't want to miss blog cover image

Freedom is a big deal. We can easily forget the long road that dedicated individuals took to secure the rights of every man, woman, and child in this country. It can be easy to take this for granted but if you want to show your gratitude, there are many different methods.

Think of all the fun, exciting festivals that take place in Utah which celebrate our rights as Americans. Take a moment to appreciate how far our nation has come at one of these 8 freedom festivals you do not want to miss.

guests sitting at round tables in the gala

1. Freedom Awards Gala

The Freedom Awards will honor those who have put human rights and the growth of the country ahead of their own needs. Former honorees include Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court and police officer Tyler Beddos. The banquet will cost 50 dollars for attendees. This gala always awards those with the most sincere and freedom-related values. It is certainly a night filled with excellent food and even more excellent humanitarians.

Save The Date: July 2nd at 6:30pm
Location: Utah Valley Convention Center, Provo

2. Freedom Days

Freedom Days takes place over the course of three days. Residents and travelers alike fill downtown Provo, indulging in unique eats and browsing local vendors. There is live music, kids activities, and much more. Enjoy the art of locals and make the day a family-fun adventure. You can explore one day or all three, each one will give a variety of live performance and vendors.

Specialties from the region are shown-off, including paintings, jewelry, and many products you will only find in this area. Bring the whole family to this kid-friendly event.

Save The Date: July 2nd-July 4th at 10am until sunset
Location: Center Street, Provo

3. The Freedom Walk

Maybe one of the most eye-opening freedom events in Utah is the Freedom Walk. First, those involved will be paired with an immigrant impersonator for effect, but also have real immigrant information printed for each participant. This will include the name of a real immigrant that went through the process in Ellis Island to join our nation. The first stop is the Second Continental Congress which teaches the point independence needs to be declared, then the next stop is the Constitutional Convention. You guessed it, it is completely about what makes up a Constitution and what principles to base it on.

A great variety of stories are told, titled ‘Cries For Freedom’ and immigrant’s real-life stories and their hunt for freedom by coming to America is told. End the tour with an oath of citizenship. When discussing price, you will want to make a donation, since the foundation puts events on all year, but ultimately it is free to the public.

Save the Date: July 2nd-July 4th All Day
Where: SCERA Center for the Arts, Orem

colorful hot air balloons rising in the blue sky

4. Balloon Fest

Hot air balloons grace the canyons in the Utah Balloon Festival. Games are played from the air between hot air balloon operators. There are 25 balloons showcased and as they take to the sky. The designs vary from traditional bright vertical stripes to whimsical entertainment-inspired designs.

Now, you must rise early for this one, it will only occur in the morning for two hours. It is free for all onlookers.

Save the Date: July 4th-July 6th at 6AM
Where: Bulldog Field, Provo

5. The Grand Parade

For daytime activities, join in at the largest 4th of July parade in Utah and one of the biggest celebrations of the country throughout the States. The floats are made with expertise by professionals, and performances will take to the streets among the giant floats and abnormally large balloons. Each year a prospective 300,000 people surround the parade.

Basic admission is free for the entire family but those who want to enjoy the show from a great vantage point can reserve bleacher seats for only $7.

Save The Date: July 4th at 9 AM
Where: University Avenue and Center Street, Provo

6. Stadium of Fire

Taking place on the Fourth of July, Stadium of Fire will host performances that end with a spectacular fireworks presentation. Country music superstar Kieth Urban is headlining the show this year and will be joined many excellent performers that are not easy to forget. The show will have many patriotic songs, both originals, and covers, so be sure to save your voice to sing along with classics, appreciating our country.

Dependent on where you would like to sit, tickets will range from $35 to $250. Tickets sell out fast, so be sure to grab your seat soon!

Save the Date: July 4th at 8pm
Where: Lavell Edwards Stadium (BYU football stadium), Provo

reenactment actors dressed as British soldiers

7. Colonial Heritage Fest

This blast from the past will interest any history buff. Throughout the Colonial Heritage Festival, there are complete colonial demonstrations which provokes a story-telling nature to real historical events. Spend the day playing colonial games and exploring time-appropriate shops like gunsmiths and blacksmiths. There are canon firings, as well.

This is a free event for any coming to celebrate their freedom on Independence Day.

Save the Date: July 4th- July 6th at 9 AM
Where: SCERA Park, Orem

8. Cries of Freedom

Fallen soldiers are honored by the ‘Walk of Honor,’ in the Cries of Freedom festival. Take a seat and be entertained by “Cries of Freedom the Musical,” which pays tribute to the beginning of our nation. Children will love the animal show and adults will appreciate the creative memorial to those who have risked and given their lives for freedom.

Save the Date: July 4th - July 6th at 10am
Where: SCERA Center for the Arts, Orem

runners taking off from the start of the Freedom Run 5k

Whether you are a Utah native or simply are taking a trip to the great state in July, there are many different events and activities to explore. Break out the red, white, and blue and learn about the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and an immigrant's journey to citizenship. All while enjoying fantastic foods and entertainment.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

5 Great Places to Enjoy Art House Cinema in Utah

5 great places to enjoy art house cinema in Utah

If you mention Utah to the average person, the first thing most will probably think of is gorgeous red rock, snow sports, or Mormons. The Beehive State is a popular destination for many. Outdoorsy types in particular flock to the area for the opportunity to explore the incredible landscape. Film lovers, on the other hand, likely consider Utah the capital of art house cinema. The Sundance Film Festival, America’s largest independent film event for the last 41 years, is held primarily in Park City. Just a short drive from Salt Lake, Park City has made Utah somewhat of an oasis for independent filmmaking.

Art house (independent) films are created outside the influence of Hollywood and the mainstream filmmaking system for a variety of reasons. Major studios are generally unwilling to finance projects with niche audiences or hyper-specific topics. It is difficult to make a profit on films few people will want to see. However, they have grown in popularity over the years. This rise in popularity can be partially attributed to the Sundance Film Festival, which has brought independent film not just to Utahns but Americans everywhere.

Here are some places in Utah where anyone can start their independent film journey:

Salt Lake City

One of the first places you should look is in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah. The Salt Lake City Film Society is a nonprofit community for art house cinema that provides access to independent film, documentaries, and international film. Their goal is to use cinema to educate about cinema. They currently have two locations, the Broadway Centre and the Tower, each with their respective strengths.

old-fashioned photo of the Broadway Centre Theatre from the street

Broadway Centre Cinemas

Located in downtown Salt Lake at 111 E. Broadway, the Broadway Centre is known for showing films that may not be available anywhere else. You can always find a variety of interesting events on their calendar, including special guests, premieres, and celebrations like Summer Late Nights. If you are at all interested in an independent or limited release film, your best bet of seeing it in theaters is a visit to the Broadway Centre. Besides unique films, this theatre is also popular for its unique concessions offerings and quirky aesthetic.

You can find movie times and future releases at the Broadway Centre on the Salt Lake Film Society’s website.

Tower Theatre showing Sundance films

Tower Theatre

If you’re looking to shake things up, head on down to 9th East & 9th South and visit the Tower. This historic theatre is the oldest cinema still in operation in the Salt Lake Valley, making it a must-visit in more ways than one. While the Broadway Centre shows more traditional independent films, you might be craving something different. The Tower has you covered. Here you can watch titles a little more on the wild side, though that does not mean all its offerings are considered grindhouse. For example, it often offers classic films on weekends.

If you’re not interested in sticking around Salt Lake City, don’t worry. Try these other locations:

movie posters in the window of The 502

Cinema 502

Want to go even further away from the mainstream? Try visiting Cinema 502, on Historic 25th Street in Ogden. This cinema, named for its incredibly small square footage, is already marked by its choice to only show independent films. It goes a step further to distinguish itself by maintaining a cool, old school vibe and a cozy 27-seat theater. Cinema 502 can be rented out for private parties or visited for film screenings even the Broadway and Tower aren’t playing. Its showings primarily consist of independent animation, documentaries, and foreign films.

Utah Film Center

The Utah Film Center is an organization that brings independent movies to different venues throughout Utah including West Jordan, Ogden, Orem, and Moab. You can follow them on social media or simply visit their webpage to keep up with their latest offerings. Over 86% of their programming is free in an effort to bring local communities together through the power of film. Throughout the year they host two film festivals, Q&A sessions with visiting artists and professionals, and school programs to help students learn about storytelling. One of their most widely known events is Damn! These Heels, an LGBTQ-centered film festival that has been running for over 16 years. You won’t find another organization so dedicated to promoting arthouse films and the artistry of cinema anywhere else in Utah.

Still looking for more options? This last one might surprise you:

Mainstream Theaters

With the rising popularity of independent films, you will be pleased to find that you can sometimes catch a showing at non-specialty theaters near you! If you aren’t located near an art house cinema, don’t worry. Many large theaters are catching onto the trend of indie film and dedicating some of their early morning or late night showings to these movies. Be sure to regularly check showtimes near you in order to catch a showing or two without going too far out of your way.

While it might be more exciting to visit a unique specialty theater, you can rest assured that no matter where you buy your tickets, you are supporting the art of independent filmmakers when you go see an art house film. The importance of storytelling and representing the underdog, so to speak, has not been lost to the past. We are no longer relegated to only watching films produced by the mainstream film industry. There are still countless individuals and many organizations dedicated to letting artists speak their voice and promoting their work as widely as possible. On your next night out, lend them a hand and make an effort to find an art house showing near you.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The 9 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Utah

The 9 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Utah blog cover image

Utah’s beauty is often understated. With sprawling National Forests, breathtaking deserts colored red, and glistening lakes, a trip across the state will take your breath away. Big cities may attract large crowds of tourists, pouring over monuments and capitals, but in between these metropolises, there can be hidden gems with unique shops and lovely sights.

With the grand landscape in Utah, many of the small towns are brimming with beautiful natural structures, and that wonderful ‘home sweet home’ feeling waiting to welcome tourists:

quiet town Main Street line with shops and mountains in the background

1. Springdale
Springdale is a tucked-away town that helps welcome hikers to one of Utah’s most popular National Parks. The town is at the foot of Zion’s National Park, among red rock cliffs carved by the Virgin River.

Shops and restaurants make up a large portion of the small town, hoping to appeal to the backpackers and adventures traveling through. Most of the city’s revenue is brought in through tourism, which only creates a more welcoming atmosphere.

rows of purple lavender flowers growing with mountains in the background

2. Mona
Mona is a small town in Utah with a population around 1,500. Nestled at the very base of Mount Nebo, it is a great place for small climbing excursions. Their downtown has many locally-owned businesses to support and the entire town is pristine with bouquets lining street corners.

This town is rather famous for lavender-covered hills that make up violet paths up to Mount Nebo. There are multiple farms that all visitors can enter (most for free) for a relaxing day among beautiful, fragrant lavender.

mountains in the sunset behind a blue lake and fields

3. Torrey
The scenery of Torrey is truly amazing, framed by many natural and individual rock formations lining its silhouette. Most visitors come for the extended trails and sights of Capitol Reef National Park, or when participating in the Tour of Utah bike race. Between these two activities, thousands of visitors are warmly welcomed yearly.

Torrey houses less than 200 people, but their intricate pioneer past is obvious due to the various historic structures still standing throughout the small town.

4. Green River
The name of this small village says it all - a great river runs through the city’s majestic surroundings. Less than 1000 people call this Green River home, so it is truly a place that can take you away from the hustle of regular life. The fruit in abundance is melon, and some say you’ll never taste one as sweet than in Green Rivers rolling hills.

Featured in town is the John Wesley Powell Museum which is filled with boats that voyaged along the river. These river paths can lead through the Gray and Desolation Canyons, and planning an excursion is possible at most times of the year because storms are irregular in the area.

5. Midway
Midway is rich with Swiss immigrant heritage, and it's Midway’s Swiss Days which fills the streets with thousands of guests each year. This August festival showcases local food vendors and live performances.

Scuba diving is also a popular activity for the town, one of the few places this is possible so far from the coast. Standing towards the center of town is the Homestead Caldera, a geothermal hot pool. From the beautiful mountain views to the range of fun activities, Midway is a must see along your way.

cars lining the main street on an overcast day

6. Moab
Moab is one of the most visited small towns in Utah. The most notable sight is the rock formations found in Arches National Park. This small town is a great place to rest for those visiting the nearby Canyonlands National Park.

This is a true southwestern city. Though Moab has an old-timey welcoming feel, the downtown area is renowned for its modern dining and shopping. There are crowds of young people running homemade clothing shops and even specialty coffee shops.

7. Heber City
Right in the heart of Utah’s mountains is the town of Heber City. This is an area of Utah where all activities are centered on the outdoors. From boat tours and paddle boarding on the water to hiking and horseback riding through the surrounding wilderness, lovers of the outdoors will love Heber City.

Heber Valley Historic Railroad Line is a great option for a day excursion; at the top is a clear view of what people call the "Utah Alps." These beautiful views that surround Heber City are easily the splendor those experienced when first settling the Wild West.

8. Garden City
You can find Garden City along the edges of Bear Lake. The winters can be harsh and make the town a little less exciting, but in the warmer months many festivals and events spring up to take advantage of the huge lake. Known as the Caribbean of the Rockies, for the beautiful color of the water, the summer is all about spending time on and around the water, but the surrounding wilderness is something to see.

In August, there is a festival for the raspberry harvest, featuring more raspberry recipes than you’ll know what to do with. The Pickleville Playhouse is known all over Utah for its outstanding community theatre productions. The combination of an exciting day on the water, followed by dinner and a show, leaves nothing to be desired.

Brigham City welcome sign reads: Welcome to Brigham Gateway - World's Greatest Game Bird Refuge

9. Brigham City
Brigham City can give visitors enough activities to comfortably stay in town for weeks. The Wellsville Mountains are great for those looking for a nature escape, but in case the city life is missed, this town lies only 60 miles from the capital of Utah.

There is the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge with many different species and learning information on the local habitat surrounding the river. If time allows, several monuments exist with the center of town, including the Golden Spike National Monument. Peach Days festival is a highlight of the city’s events, a multi-day appreciation of the town's famous peach harvest.

Leave the city life behind by becoming entwined with nature at one of the many beautiful small towns Utah has to offer. Small places like these offer stunning secluded scenery and a secluded comfort the big cities will never be able to compete with.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Nine Defining Reasons to Stay at a Bed and Breakfast

nine defining reasons to stay at a b&b blog cover image

Whether you're on a journey, a staycation, or a weekend of self-care, a B&B is about the whole experience, not just the space.

If you've never tried a B&B, here are a few reasons to make the switch:

1. The people who own and operate these establishments care that we are spending time with them.

We can all recall hotel stays where we had a hard time getting anyone’s attention, especially if the request is out of the ordinary. Most of the time we simply give up if we need a different pillow, a knowledgeable restaurant recommendation, or a warm sticky bun before bed. Innkeepers at bed & breakfasts view travelers as their houseguests and are available to ensure that a visit to their establishment is superior. Many visitors become long-time guests over time due to this kind of attention.

striped kitten sitting in a windowsill

2. The small touches that make the stay superior are included in the cost of the room.

Guests are often assigned parking space, some establishments provide car service, and Wi-Fi is free throughout the B&B. There are sometimes discounts and special offers for local attractions. Owners are often long-time residents of the area themselves and can offer a wealth of behind-the-scenes information about their town. Many inns allow pets so the whole family can enjoy the time away from home. Guests won’t be charged for local or toll-free phone calls, either, compared to hotels that charge just to pick up the phone in the room. How about complimentary drinks and snacks? Many B&Bs offer goodies to tide over their guests. Check for luxury items like fluffy bathrobes and high-quality linens provided to guests during their stay.

plate of fresh fruit and glasses of juice

3. Personalization!

Going hand-in-hand with all these small touches is the willingness of innkeepers to personalize a stay in many ways. Honeymoons, anniversaries, wedding parties, birthdays, reunions, and other special events provide opportunities for the B&B owner and staff to pamper and cater to guests to create the experience of a lifetime.

4. A B&B stay can be as private or as social as guests wish.

In a typical hotel, customers come and go with little interaction, travelers passing in the hallways. If privacy is desired, a B&B can provide that, but guests more often become a small community. A social hour, complete with warm cookies or wine and hors d'oeuvres, is the norm. This provides a time when guests can mingle and get to know each other and share information.

5. Many inns are historic or otherwise unique buildings.

There are inns that were previously the homes of famous figures or an important piece of the area's history. Often, the buildings are unique designs, such as plantation homes or castles and palaces in Europe. Each has a character of its own, unlike most hotels that are built in cookie-cutter fashion. The owners of these buildings are proud to share the history and information about the architecture with their guests.

clean, white room with lots of natural light

6. The rooms are also unique.

Many B&B’s are themed and offer rooms that reflect the theme in various ways. Some transport guests to cultures around the globe through the use of artifacts and art displayed in each room. Or picture a room with a claw-foot tub overlooking a relaxing ocean or majestic mountain view. To take it one step further, some inns revel in singular experiences like sleeping in a teepee or log cabin. Over time, guests may come to prefer one room over another and can request that specific room when they return, and owners are happy to accommodate these requests.

fresh breads, eggs, and morning cocktails

7. The food!

Even a B&Bs “breakfast buffet” will far exceed the typical hotel complimentary breakfast fare. The food is sometimes the most well-known attraction at a bed and breakfast, and it often starts the moment guests check in. Freshly baked cookies or other sweet treats can be available throughout the day, and breakfast is a full, home-cooked meal to send guests off on a day of relaxation or sightseeing. Many B&Bs offer a guest pantry, open 24/7, stocked with everything from wine and sherry, an assortment of sodas, coffee and teas, snacks, and fruit. Along with those items, the thoughtful owner may provide candles so guests can create their own romantic evening on the veranda or in their room. Some inns are owned and operated by classically-trained chefs who stand ready to create a personalized meal for guests. Many B&Bs pride themselves on using only locally-sourced, fresh foods, whether that is veggies and fruit or the catch of the day.

8. Security is better in a B&B.

This is an issue that is a growing concern for travelers. The inns are smaller and often contained in one building with few entrances, especially in out-of-the-way locations on the property. Many are located away from busy highways (although some are in urban areas). Overall, there are fewer people on the grounds at any one time and innkeepers are more familiar with all guests than would a front-desk person in a hotel. The owner is often the same person that cleans the rooms, so there are a limited number of people with access to personal belongings of guests.

9. Value.

Many travelers have the mistaken idea that a B&B is much more expensive than a hotel in a similar location. However, once all the amenities that are part of the B&B experience are taken into account, the value becomes apparent. Remember the free phone calls, the sodas (and other goodies) that don’t show up on the bill, the parking, the expert concierge service provided by the owners, and the superb food? The comfy robe and high-thread-count linens, along with all the other luxuries, create an experience that far exceeds the price quoted by most hotel chains.

The next time a trip is in your future, or you’re looking for a quick getaway, consider a B&B. Inquire about the amenities important to you and then book your experience.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Ultimate Activity List for a Utah Summer Family Vacation

The Ultimate Activity List for a Utah Summer Family Vacation blog cover image

With its warm days and nights, it is easy to enjoy Utah’s outdoors all the time. The warm weather makes some of Utah’s most scenic wonders easy to explore, that are sometimes inaccessible in the winter.

Here is a list of 15 activities perfect for a family vacation in Utah this summer:

crowds of people watching a parade on Main Street in Park City

1. Park City - explore the largest resort in the US!

With over 7,300 acres, 341 trails, 7 terrain parks, and 41 lifts to explore, you will never get bored at the largest resort in the US. Your kids, specifically, have a ton of activities to choose from.

Crisscross through the sky on zip lines, climb the rock walls, speed down an alpine coaster, bounce on the Legacy Launcher, and much more. This is your chance to go wild this summer.

tour guide leading visitors through Timpanogos Caves

2. Take a guided tour into the Timpanogos Caves

If you feel it's getting a little bit too hot this summer, then exploring the Timpanogos National Monument might be the very thing you need. The guided tour into the impressive cave system is no doubt going to leave you and your loved ones speechless.

You might even need to consider bringing a jacket because it can be chilly once you hit the caves.

3. Sunday Blues Concerts at Snowbasin

Hosted weekly, Blues, Brews & BBQ at Snowbasin is a great atmosphere to have fun with your loved ones. There is hiking, biking, and gondola rides for the kids, and a selection of brews from local breweries for parents and adults. To complete the package is the delicious BBQ and a queued lineup of blues music.

shoppers visiting various tents at the SLC Farmers Market

4. Visit the Downtown Salt Lake City Farmers Market

Open on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm, the downtown Salt Lake City Farmers Market offers farm-fresh produce you can only find in Utah. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a mission to replenish your pantry, or in search of that perfect houseplant for your porch. We guarantee that you won’t go home empty-handed.

ski runs visible on the side of the mountain at Deer Valley

5. Hike Deer Valley

In addition to a number of luxurious amenities such as ski valets and child care, Deer Valley provides an endless list of fun activities to enjoy with your loved ones this summer. From lift-served mountain biking, outdoor dining, the Summer Adventure Camp for children, concerts at their outdoor Amphitheater, to hiking and scenic chairlift rides, there’s a way for everyone to get their fill.

6. Float the Provo River

In the summer’s heat, an opportunity to get to cool off is always much appreciated, and floating on the Provo River is a local favorite.

There are several outfitters in the area where you can rent the heavy-duty tubes, kayaks, and rafts that are much safer for a family with kids, and equally fun at the same time.

7. Free Yoga Sessions at Solitude Mountain Resort

If you're from out of town, you don't need to miss your regular yoga practice. In fact, you can try a free session on the mountainside. Bring your family to the Solitude Mountain Resort every Saturday and enjoy a free yoga session together.

buffalo in the water at Antelope Island

8. Enjoy a breathtaking sunset on Antelope Island

With clouds moving over the surrounding mountains, buffalo grazing in sight, and waters reflecting the sunset, these sunsets might be the most epic view you will see in a long time.

You may also want to bring your kayak or SUP along and paddle or drive onto the island during the few hours you will be there. Bring your family and pets to the closest thing to a beach in Utah.

9. Enjoy a Salt Lake Bees Ballgame

Who doesn’t love baseball? Treat your loved ones to a game at Salt Lake City’s minor league team - the Bees. There's plenty of great concessions and the atmosphere is great.

At the stadium, Monday nights are Smith’s Family Night. Pick up discounted family tickets going for a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 per household. Because the Bees are currently an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, you may be watching a few future MLB stars.

10. Attend the Star Party at Cedar Breaks National Monument

Come summer, Cedar Breaks National Monument sets aside Saturdays to host their Star Parties. Check out the large powerful telescopes and show your little ones various planetary wonders like craters on the moon or the alluring rings of Saturn.

trees surrounding a windy lake in the Uintas

11. Camp the Uinta Mountains

Just an hour east of Park City, lies the Uinta Mountains – home to some of the most scenic views in the state. This vast area of land is perfect for camping with your family. Don’t worry, you could spend an entire weekend without spotting more than a handful of people. So if you are looking for a calm time off with your loved ones, there’s no better place. And don’t forget your fishing gear, the outdoor fun is limitless.

12. Explore the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

Located in Draper, Utah, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium showcases more than 4000 animals from all over the world. Your kids will love exploring the 5 different animal habitats while enjoying face-to-face contact with playful penguins, adorable otters, and clouded leopards. This experience is one of a kind.

13. Hike Peek-a-boo Canyon and Spooky Gulch

The 3.5 mile-long loop through Peek-a-boo and Spooky is not only relatively short but equally family-friendly as well. Along the way, you will get to explore these two stunning slot canyons. The most notable thing, however, is that the hike is not too technical – which means your little ones can do some scrambling and climbing without much effort.

14. Zip Line, Climb, Slide, and Hike at the Utah Olympic Park

Open from Friday-Sunday, you can be assured of a crazy-fun experience zip lining, climbing, sliding, and hiking with your loved ones. The 2002 Olympic Sliding Track, with speeds topping over 60mph and notable g-forces, is definitely an experience you should not miss.

15. Visit Sundance Mountain Resort

Extending over 5000 acres of wilderness, the Sundance Mountain Resort provides tons of outdoor summer activities ideal for a family vacation. From hiking, biking, horseback riding, to an exhilarating 2,100-foot vertical drop zip line, there's something for everyone.

Sundance also features a Forbes four-star restaurant and the Foundry Grill, known for its to-die-for brunch.

Come summer, Utah offers an endless list of outdoor activities fit for everyone regardless of age or experience. More details on the above-listed destinations can easily be found on their respective official websites.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The 5 Ws Of Blogging For Your B&B

For as long as blogging has been preached to innkeepers, it has also been one of our greatest pain points. Blogging is a proven marketing strategy but it requires careful planning and execution.

Let’s explore the 5 Ws of effective blogging for your B&B and how they can give your blog direction and purpose:

1. WHO am I writing to?

In the hospitality industry, our broad target market is travelers. But you will need to determine your specific target demographic. Think about who your past guests have been. Think about the type of guests that you want to attract. Consider why those particular people would want to travel to your area.

coffee shop chalkboards

2. WHAT should I write about?

You might initially think that you should be writing about your property, your amenities, your excellent service, etc. One major truth to travel is that the lodging is rarely the destination. Travelers go to LA for the food scene. Travelers go to Yellowstone to enjoy the outdoor beauty. As a result of their desire to visit these destinations, they will need a place to stay.

With that in mind, focus your blog posts on the destination. Feature local attractions, seasonal events, the local food scene, or the art scene. Alert travelers to these attractions and give them some personal commentary. What's your favorite meal at that local restaurant? What is the best time of year to visit that nearby National Park? Where's the best parking for that downtown farmers market? You are the local so that means you can provide insider tips and tricks that travelers won't find anywhere else.

woman holding coffee and a cell phone

3. WHERE do I publish blog posts?

There is some debate in the SEO community as to whether your blog should be in a subfolder ( or a subdirectory of your website ( Regardless of which route you choose, the most important thing is that your blog is actually associated with your website - don't use something like

Subfolder or subdirectory, if you are publishing high-quality, linkable content, it will be found.

white desk with laptop, notebook, coffee, flowers

4. WHEN should I write new posts?

The most highly recommended frequency for blogging is weekly but don't treat that as canon. If you simply don't have the time to blog weekly, it's likely going to lead to publishing low-quality content and/or burnout.

Start off with monthly blog posts. Once you've gotten that down, then consider stepping it up to every-other-week. Once you've gotten that down, then consider stepping it up to weekly.

A high-quality blog post monthly is exponentially better than low-quality blog posts weekly.

5. WHY am I blogging?

A. Provide valuable information to travelers

The primary purpose of any business blog is to provide useful information to your industry. Be an expert in your area. Provide useful information to travelers, while introducing them to your brand. But as soon you start using your blog as a billboard, that's when you start losing folks.

B. Increase your online presence

Consistently publishing high-quality material is also a great way to earn links from other reputable websites. If your content is truly original and useful, other websites will want to link to it as a resource. An increasing backlink profile is one way to prove to search engines that your website deserves to be ranked highly.

Blogging is not an easy activity. It is a huge time commitment. You have to research, you have to write, you have to edit, you have to publish. It's not easy but, when executed properly, it can reap huge results.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The 7 Best Things To Do at Zion National Park

the 7 best things to do at zion national park blog cover image

Zion National Park is arguably Utah’s most popular National Park and is one of the top visitor attractions in the state. From incredible hiking trails, formidable landscapes, to alluring scenic views, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are the 7 best things you can do at Zion National Park:

hikers on the riverbank and wading through the rushing water

1. Hike the Zion Narrows

The Narrows, the most narrow section of Zion Canyon, is one of the most popular hikes in the Park. The one-mile wheelchair accessible hike sets off from the Sinawava Temple along the Riverside Walk and gives you a spectacular view of the Narrows.

The footpath leads you straight to the Virgin River. If you are willing to explore further, be prepared to get yourself wet as you will be wading or swimming upstream.

We recommend taking this hike in late spring or summer when there are warmest temperatures and lowest water levels. However, visitors should keep clear when there is a storm forecast since the Narrows can fill up quickly resulting in dangerous flash floods.

2. Zion Canyon Visitor Center

The visitor center houses a large bookstore, a miniature model of the whole park, and knowledgeable staff ready to answer all your questions. Most visitors make this their first stop so as to pick up maps and gather other useful information.

On your way out, purchase a souvenir to remember your trip or grab some books for further reading. Besides the valuable information to be accessed from the Visitor Center, some visitors are fascinated by the ‘green’ features of the building. Visitors can go for an ‘ecohunt’ to explore these green features which include solar panels, and cooling towers, among others.

zion canyon glowing in the sunset

3. Take a scenic drive through Zion Canyon

Another fun way to explore Zion Canyon includes a 57-mile scenic drive. So if you would rather explore the scenery from the comfort of your car, you're covered.

The drive will take you past the Virgin River and along other famous attractions along the way - but only from December to February. In peak season, you can catch a free shuttle which covers the portion of the drive that runs through the park.

Extending outside the park, the route remains magnificent, taking you through the popular Grafton ghost town, and Utah’s Quail Creek and Sand Hollow State Parks. Travelers who have explored this route describe it as a ‘white knuckle drive’ with numerous sheer cliffs and few guard rails.

Even so, the drive rewards you with loads of beautiful views and wildlife alike. You will, however, be required to pay a $30 entrance fee valid for seven days.

4. Hike the Canyon Overlook Trail

Even though it's only a 1-mile round trip hike, the trail rises over 100 feet above the parking lot, giving hikers expansive views of Zion Canyon. Being one of the most photographed trails in the Park, you won't want to miss its beauty.

Hikers who have followed this trail say that despite being rather easy and short, it has some narrow, rocky sections that sometimes prove difficult for young children.

Since it is an easy hike, the trail is also one of the busiest. We recommend starting your hike early because of the limited on-site parking. Access to the trail is free, except for a weekly $30 pass per vehicle and $15 for those entering the park with bikes.

looking down at the winding river from observation point

5. Observation Point

Crest the Observation trail till you find yourself at an of elevation of 6,521 feet on top of Mount Baldy and enjoy the epic bird’s eye view of Zion National Park.

You will be required to ascend at least 2000 feet on the 8-mile total round-trip, with the trek typically taking 3-4 hours. So go well prepared as it is not for the faint of heart. It is advisable you wear sunscreen and bring enough water since you will be exposed to the full sun most of the way. Also, starting your hike early means that you will be able to avoid the worst of the scorching sun.

pools of greenish water shaded in an alcove

6. Explore the Emerald Pools

With a ton of breathtaking scenery, it is no surprise that the Emerald Pools are regarded as one of Zion’s best signature trails. In addition to the dazzling display of monoliths, waterfalls, and pools, Emerald Pools are family-friendly. So make sure you bring along your young ones to enjoy this unmistakable beauty.

It comprises of a total of 4 different pools; the Lower, Upper, and Middle Pools. Of the four, the trail leading to the Lower Emerald Pool is paved and the easiest of them all. After half a mile, you will reach the lush alcove of the Lower Pool where you will find ferns and moss sprouting from the mountainside.

The trail leading to the Middle Pools is equally interesting as it ducks behind twin waterfalls and boasts fascinating views of Red Arch Mountain, Mount Majestic, and Cathedral Mountain.

The third trail to the Upper Pool, though more rugged and steep, gets you to secluded oasis framed by colossal cliffs on three sides.

7. Hit the Pa’rus Trail

With its rather wide paved path, Pa’rus Trail might be the easiest hike in Zion National Park. The trail has also proved a great way to access various sites throughout the park such as Park Offices and campgrounds, without necessarily relying on the shuttle – which can be very crowded especially in summer.

Travelers enjoy pleasant views of the bubbling Virgin River and the beautiful bridges that span it. The trailhead is easily accessible from the southern end of the Park, near the Park’s tollbooth, and at the northern side of the parking lot.

Zion National Park dominates with its captivating scenic views and endless hike trails of varying length and complexity. You are guaranteed tons of fun with your loved ones. Make sure to explore their official site to acquaint yourself with more activities and how to visit each one of them.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

9 Breath Taking Scenic Drives in Utah

9 Breath-Taking Scenic Drives in Utah blog cover

In addition to tons of recreational areas and opportunities spread throughout the state, Utah is also home to some of the most attractive scenery in the world. A good number of them are situated along major roads so you can enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving the comfort of your car.

Below are 9 breathtaking scenic drives you can explore in Utah:

highway road stretching for miles to reach desert plateaus

1. Monument Valley

Also known as the Valley of Rocks, Monument Valley is situated on the lower region of the Colorado Plateau and is characterized by a cluster of buttes, with the largest one standing at a height of 1000 ft above sea level.

The view of the rock formations is a jaw-dropping sight. Because of the rather overwhelming presence, visitors have more than once requested a guide from the neighboring Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park so as to learn more about the area's history.

Visitors pay an access fee to drive through the 17-mile dirt road through the Valley. However, some places such as Mystery Valley and Hunts Mesa are accessible only through a guided tour. The drive is a 2-3 hour road trip and worth every minute.

highway winding through hills with trees

2. Logan Canyon Scenic Drive

A scenic drive along Logan Canyon Scenic Byway is certainly one-of-a-kind. The surrounding dramatic landscape was primarily formed by earthquakes and the mountains that tower on either side of the road leaves an enchanting feel.

The drive through Logan Canyon is packed with mountains, trees, and a river combining to give you a view of nature at its best. Some major attractions in this area include Utah State University, Logan City, Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, and Bear Lake.

The length of the drive is approximately 39 miles long, starting from the Logan, UT and ending at the Garden City, UT.

3. Colorado River Scenic Byway

The Colorado River is no doubt one of the mightiest rivers in North America, but there's plenty more to see than just the water along the Colorado River Scenic Byway.

Along the way, you can choose to explore the Grandstaff Canyon just three miles from Moab with a two-mile-long hike leading to Morning Glory Natural Bridge. Other attractions in the area include Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. So make sure you budget enough time to explore them fully.

The 47-mile long drive starts from Moab, UT and ends at Cisco, UT.

red road winding through tall red rocks

4. Zion Canyon Loop

This 146 mile-long loop through Zion Canyon rewards travelers with breathtaking views of monoliths, colorful cliffs, and ancient lava outcroppings.

The three-mile natural amphitheater formed as a result of thousands of years of erosion at Cedar Breaks National Monument is a must-see. You can also hike and explore Snow Canyon State Park to take a closer view of its historic petroglyphs and desert vegetation.

5. Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway

In addition to the colorful rocky scenes along the Trail of the Ancients, travelers also get to explore preserved bits of the ancient Anasazi people who inhabited the area.

Its geologic drama, complex plant and animal life, and the relationship between the waters and the rocks are bound to provoke you, making the experience simply unforgettable. A stop at the Hovenweep National Monument allows you to explore some of the Anasazi structures dating back to as early as 450 AD.

The 32-mile long trail starts from Montezuma Creek, UT and ends at Bluff, UT.

6. Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway

Spanning approximately 80 miles, this drive starts from Manila, UT and takes you through the adjoining Uinta Mountains, Sheep Creek Canyon, and through the Ashley National Forest.

If you can spare some time, make a stop at the Swett Ranch – a ranch ran by the US Forest Service which also happens to have a nearby water recreation area at Flaming Gorge. Once in Vernal, UT, make sure you visit the National Dinosaur Monument and explore the fossils of these long-gone giants.

cyclist riding through hills with trees

7. Huntington-Eccles Canyon Scenic Byway

Also known as the Energy Loop, this scenic byway travels from Fairview and winds across the Manti-La Sal National Forest, rising close to 10,000 ft above sea level. You'll get to explore the rich history of industrial development, the historic mining towns, and the power plants fired by coal.

Don’t miss the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, one of the favorite attractions in the area with countless fossilized bones dating back to the prehistoric era. This drive is 76 miles long and starts from Huntington, UT and ends at Colton, UT.

8. SR 313 to Dead Horse Point

Located in Moab, UT, this scenic trail stretches 23 miles through the desert plateaus on the way to Dead Horse Point State Park. Beautiful scenery captures your attention before your very first turn.

The cliffs and the interesting rock formations are not a new sight in Utah, but their vibrant nature is bound to dazzle you, all the same. Once at Dead Horse Point State Park, you will have tons of hiking trails to choose from.

One of the most visited spots is the visitors center which provides details relating to the area’s rich history of cowboys rounding up wild horses.

9. Scenic Byway 12

Also known as State Route 12, this scenic drive takes you through Capitol Reef National Park and Bryce Canyon. You can expect a ton of recreational opportunities and stunning views throughout your drive.

Along this Byway, you will discover the massive Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the unmistakable beauty of Boulder Mountain. Interact with the welcoming folks and get a fill of the history to strengthen the fabric of your trip.

Your 141-mile long drive starts from Panguitch, UT all the way to Fruita, UT.