Travel

Utah's national parks

By April Hall
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Arches National Park
The National Parks in Utah contain some of the world's most spectacular scenery
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You do not have to make an overseas trip to find some of the most breathtaking scenery on the face of the Earth. In fact, you can usually just make a car trip with your family and find yourself in a virtual wonderland of natural beauty. Utah has many National Parks that will amaze you with their wonder and history, and can keep you coming back for repeat visits for years to come.
  • Arches National Park, Moab, Utah: This park contains over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, carved out after millions of years of elemental forces. By far, the most famous monument is the Delicate Arch, one of the most unique natural occurrences on the face of th Earth. It is about a mile hike up to the Delicate Arch, but the picture opportunity for your family will make it well worth the trip. Visitors can also see archeological monuments to the people who settled in the area at the end of the 19th century.

  • Canyonlands National Park: This park contains one of the most undisturbed sections of the Colorado River Plateau, and is home to a vast and beautiful desert ecosystem. The Colorado River and its tributaries divide the park into four districts: The Island in the Sky, the Maze, the Needles, and the rivers. Each district has a distinct character and is worth exploration. Adventurous visitors can hike the available trails, but much of the park can be seen from the many scenic overlooks.


  • Zion National Park: This is the oldest national park in Utah, and is one that is well worth visiting. It was established in 1909 and laid the foundation for a hundred years of commitment to preserving Utah's natural beauty. Sheer canyon walls reach up into the clear blue sky and are experienced best by walking in the small, narrow canyons.

  • Bryce Canyon National Park: Not very far from Zion Canyon National Park, this area is famous for the horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters of Southern Utah. The three distinct climate zones of the park provide for three different types of forest: spur/fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Pinyon Pine/juniper. It may be best to visit, or even camp out, in Bryce Canyon at night; you will be able to see up to 7,500 stars in a clear night sky here, far more than the 2,500 you can typically view in other rural areas of the country!

  • Capitol Reef National Park: Perhaps the most unusual of Utah's national parks, this area was made a national park in order to protect its unusual geology. It contains a monocline, or a regional fold with one very steep side in an area with horizontal layers. The monocline in the park is known as "The Waterpocket Fold," and is 100 miles long. The beautiful area also contains buttes, canyons and monoliths.


      These are all Utah's National Parks — at least officially. There are many other National Monuments, such as Dinosaur, UT, Cedar Breaks, and Rainbow Bridge; and the state is a virtual treasure trove for nature lovers.

      You could spend several weeks hiking and backpacking in each area, and still not cover all there is to see in this area that so richly displays the power that the elements have over our natural world. While you are visiting these areas, you will most likely be amazed at the number of languages and cultures that are represented by the thousands of tourists who come to the area every year. The rest of the world already knows Utah's secret: It is a rugged region that can provide visitors with a family adventure that would be impossible to find anywhere else.

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