Utah is easily one of my favorite adventure spots. Being a 6hr drive from me, Southern Utah is a place I know well. I have explored my fair share of it, but not enough! Did I mention the National Parks? If you haven't added a Utah National Parks road trip to your bucket list, then you need to!
Not only are these shoes extremely comfortable, but they were great for the light trail walking I did on this trip. I drove for about 25hrs total, and it was such a relief to wear shoes that felt like tiny clouds on my feet.
I would also like to note that for this Utah National Parks road trip you will be car camping! That is typically my favorite thing to do during road trips and I have the best of luck with BLM land.
Things To Do In Arches National Park
What is a Utah National Parks road trip without a stop at Arches National Park? My first time visiting Arches National Park was in the winter. If you haven’t seen this desert wonderland turn into a wintery dream yet, I highly recommend checking it out! If you’re deciding what time of day to head there, shoot for sunrise. When the sun rises in arches, it paints all the arch formations in a dreamy orange that you will not see elsewhere.
Delicate Arch is probably the most iconic structure and top things to do in Arches National Park. There is no reason to not include it in your Utah National Parks road trip! The hike itself is relatively easy and has a bit of an elevation gain at the end. You can expect this trail to have a crowd if you visit it in the middle of the day, but it is still worth the visit!
Park Avenue is another one of my favorite things to do in Arches National Park. While it is a trail, the Park Avenue view is something you can quickly stop, see and snap a picture of if you only have time to drive through the park during your Utah National Parks road trip.
While you’re there, you also have the chance to see off-road lovers drive around Swing Arm. Swing Arm is where rock formations have created ramps for the bravest of drivers to run their vehicles around.
Cathedral Valley Road
No Utah National Parks road trip itinerary is complete without a little off-roading! Now that you’re out of Hanksville and on your way to find things to do in Capitol Reef National Park make sure Cathedral Valley Road is high on your list! While Cathedral Valley is an off-roading road that stretches about 50mi, you can opt to hit the Temples of the Sun and Moon instead.
The Sun and Moon temples are about 35mi from Hanksville and 17mi in from Caineville (where the road officially starts). The Cathedral Valley Road will require at least a high-clearance vehicle to get to them. Compared to most off-roading roads I have driven on, this one consists mainly of harsh washboards. You will first pass a series of gypsum mounds, which are incredible in color! Then you’ll find yourself face to face with the Temples of the Sun and Moon. If you are looking for a place to camp for the night, I recommend camping near the temples! It’s a beautiful area, and the starry sky makes it even better. I think Cathedral Valley Road is a great thing to do in Capitol Reef National Park for sunrise and sunset. There are no services on this road so you will need to make sure you get gas beforehand.
False Kiva Hike
False Kiva is one of the lesser known things to do in Canyonlands National Park. It is a short hike to a ruins area where you get a great view of the canyon below. This hike isn't even on a map of the park. I am sad to say that recently this hike was ruined by vandalism, which caused park management to close the trail as of July 2018. At the time I am writing this blog, the path is still closed, but I wanted to include it in this blog to showcase some of the beautiful places available to us and how they can be easily ruined for all to see. Please, if you are going to visit our National Parks, make sure you are following Leave No Trace principles and respecting the land. Only camp in designated camping areas. Leave any rock formations alone. No one wants to visit a place to see your name and "I heart U"'s carved into rocks/ trees. It makes me so sad every time I see someone breaking the simple rules we have when we're enjoying the outdoors. Educate yourself on LNT principles and keep the outdoors wild!
This blog was written by Mountain Chicks Founder Dani The Explorer.
Author - Dani The Explorer