Utah has become one of the top travel destinations for outdoor adventures, imagine if these amazing activities were right in your own backyard! Backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, cycling, camping, and boating are some of the most popular summer and fall activities. Cross-country skiing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snow-mobiles, and hot springs are just a few of Utah's cherished winter activities. You could spend a lifetime exploring all the outdoor recreation that Utah has to offer.
Utah is known for great climbing with it’s renowned cliff walls and rugged landscape. Explore the cliffs at Zion National Park or the Rock Canyon East in Provo for some epic climbing areas. Utah is also home to amazing lakes and rivers that offer a variety of water sport activities like boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, rafting, and house-boating. Utah has all of the water activities that you’ve been dreaming of!
National Parks, National Forests, National Monuments, State Parks, and Millions of Acres to Explore
With 5 National Parks, 5 National Forests, 7 National Monuments, 43 State Parks, and millions of acres of land to explore, Utah is an Outdoor Explores paradise. Whether you dream of snow covered mountains, remote mountain ranges, rushing rivers, high mountain lakes, or redrock canyons, there’s outdoors adventures for every walk of life.
Are you looking to get into cycling or mountain biking? Utah is the perfect start for cyclers and bikers of all levels! Home to some of the most renowned mountain biking and cycling events you will have plenty of inspiration or competition to keep you going. The Tour of Utah and Red Bull Rampage bring some of the greatest mountain bikers and cyclists to Utah to take on the rugged terrain in one race and compete in a 7 day race through central utah.
Utah has some of the greatest outdoor recreation in the country! We want to inspire you to go outdoors and see Utah, here are Fieldstone’s recommendations for each activity.
Your idea of a perfect camping trip depends on your personal point of view. To some it might be a remote site in the wilderness of Zion National Park, with no amenities and few other campers. To another it might be a put-in with an RV hookup, or running water, showers, and flush toilets. We put together a list of suggestions that we have read are the state's top 14 camping spots!
- Boulder Mountain
- Mirror Lake/Hwy. 150
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes
- Goblin Valley
- Jordanelle Reservoir and State Park
- Lake Powell/Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Skyline Drive
- American Fork Canyon
- Zion National Park
- Currant Creek Reservoir and Recreation Area
- Bear Lake State Park
- Snow Canyon State Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Smith and Morehouse Reservoir
Looking for free campsites in Utah? There are quite a few, click this link for a map of all the free sites in Utah!
When it comes to mountain biking we trust Singletracks for trails! “Singletracks members have ranked the best mountain bike trails in Utah using our unique trail ranking algorithm. The best bike trails are rated by weighing the following ranking factors: average trail rating, number of members who have ridden the MTB trail, and the number of members who want to ride the MTB trail.”
Here is a ranking of the best mountain biking trails according to Singletracks:
- The Whole Enchilada
- Porcupine Rim
- Gooseberry Mesa
- Captain Ahab
- Amasa Back Area
- Wasatch Crest
- Little Creek Mountain
- UPS and LPS
- Snowbasin Resort
Want more rankings or to learn more about each trail? Visit the Singletracks website for more!
Hiking & Backpacking
Depending on your love for the great outdoors or time schedule you may decide to go on a quick hike or a full on backpacking adventure. Utah is full of amazing, beautiful forests and mountains to explore. Here is a few recommendations for awesome hikes ranging from quick hikes, day hikes, and backpacking trips.
15 Great Treks
- Donut Falls Trail --- 1.5 miles --- Easy
- Stewart Falls Trail --- 3.5 miles --- Moderate
- The Living Room Trail --- 2.2 miles --- Moderate
- White Pine Lake --- 5 miles to the lake --- Strenuous
- Ibantik Lake --- 6.4 miles to the lake --- Moderate
- Mt Timpanogos Summit --- 7.5 - 8.3 miles depending on trail --- Strenuous
- West Rim Trail of Zion --- 14.5 miles --- Strenuous
- Neon Canyon & Golden Cathedral --- 9.2 miles --- Moderate
- Amethyst Basin --- 6 miles --- Intermediate
- Red Castle and Red Castle Lakes --- 25 miles roundtrip --- Intermediate
- Coyote Gulch --- 3-5 miles or 10-15 miles --- Intermediate
- Reflection Canyon --- 20 miles roundtrip --- Intermediate
- Bryce Canyon’s Under the Rim Trail ---11.4 miles --- Advanced
- Kings Peak --- 28.8 miles --- Intermediate/Advanced
- Zion Park Angel’s Landing --- 5 miles --- Strenuous
Cycling & Road Bikes
Utah is well known for it’s mountain biking but it’s important we highlight some of Utah’s cycling routes because they equally as great! The Tour of Utah is enough proof that road cycling and cycle touring is quite popular throughout Utah. You don’t need to be at the pro level to enjoy the beautiful lakes, deserts, canyons, mountains, buttes, and mesa routes that Utah has to offer from the saddle of your bike. According to the Matador Network here are some of the best road cycling routes in Utah:
- Boulder to Escalante About 30 miles
- Parowan Gap Loop A 50 mile loop
- Mammoth Creek Loop A 45.2 mile loop
- Capitol Reef Scenic Drive About 24 miles
- Shores of Utah Lake A 90 mile loop
- Tintic Mountains Classic Loop A 110 mile loop
- Liberty Loop in Ogden Valley About 20.5 miles
- Salt Lake City to Emigration Canyon About 16 miles
Boating & Water Sports
Whether you’re looking for an alpine lake tucked away in the mountains or a desert lake that’s overwhelming in size, Utah has the fix. Lake Powell is a huge lake situated between red rocks offering it’s visitors cliff jumping, house-boating, and a variety of water sports. Bear Lake is another favorite with it’s clear blue water allowing you to see all the way to the bottom of it. Here is a list of some great lakes we consider vacation spots!
Did you know that Utah has more than 1,000 fishable lakes and numerous fishing streams? If you like to fish, then you should really consider the move to Utah. Fishing opportunities vary widely suiting every type of fisherman, whether you enjoy fishing in the canyons minutes from town or destination trips to Alpine Lakes. In Utah, you will get everything from stunning steams through red rocks to crystal clear tailwaters full of fish. The species range from the popular rainbow trout, native cutthroat trout, large mackinaw, brown trout, striped bass, walleye, bluegill, whitefish, Bonneville cisco, and more. Here are our recommendations for the catch of the day:
- Colorado River fish for Bass, Catfish, Sunfish.
- Deer Creek Reservoir fish for Bass, Walleye.
- Fish Lake fish for Large Lake Trout, Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout and Splake.
- Flaming Gorge fish for Huge Lake Trout
- Jordanelle Reservoir fish for Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Small and Largemouth Bass.
- Logan River fish for Large Brown Trout
- Panguitch Lake fish for Tiger Trout, Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout
- Pineview Reservoir fish for Black Crappie, Bluegill, Bullhead Catfish, Common Carp, Large & Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Tiger Muskellunge, Yellow Perch
- Provo River fish for Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout and Rainbow Trout; Mountain Whitefish; White Bass and Walleye.
- Quail Creek Reservoir fish for Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout and Crappie.
- Rockport Reservoir fish for Rainbow, Brown and Tiger Trout, Yellow Perch and Smallmouth Bass.
- Scofield Reservoir fish for Rainbow, Cutthroat and Tiger Trout.
- Starvation Reservoir fish for Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Yellow Perch, Common Carp, Utah Chub and Flannelmouth Sucker.
- Strawberry Reservoir fish for Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout (some of the largest in the state caught here)
- Uinta Mountain Lakes fish for Arctic Grayling, Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Golden Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Rainbow Trout, Tiger Trout.
- Willard Bay fish for Catfish, Crappie, Bluegill and Bass.
Rock Climbing & Bouldering
Rock climbing and bouldering is huge in Utah being that it’s home to some of the most fun and challenging routes in the world. Utah's big walls are famous and attract serious climbers from around the world. But Utah also offers a multitude of smaller cliffs that make excellent climbs, including some that are ideal for beginners. Places like Zion National Park, Moab, Indian Creek, Maple Canyon and the Wasatch Front canyons offer a wide variety of climbing opportunities. Looking for bouldering spots? There are excellent spots scattered around the state, from Joe's Valley to Ibex. So grab your cams, draws, harnesses and ropes to get climbing. Want more details on climbing and boulder in Utah? VisitUtah.com has exactly what you are looking for!
The Mighty 5 National Parks in Utah draw several million visitors from around the world each year to soak in the unbelievable views and unforgettable outdoor activities. Watch the sunset through delicate rock structures in Arches National Park or consider catching a sunrise over the towering depths at Canyonlands National Park. Want to see Petroglyphs? Head out to Capitol Reef National Park. Lie on your back to catch amazing meteor shower streaks across the Milky Way after a long day of hiking. Check out Thor’s Hammer, monstrous hoodoos and a Sinking Ship at Bryce Canyon National Park. Hike to beautiful pools or watch your life flash before your eyes on Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. Utah’s Mighty 5 are full of hiking, river rafting, biking, picnicking, walking, mule riding, exploring and stargazing.
Utah has 6 beautiful National Forests, 2 of them spacing into Idaho (Caribou-Targhee and Sawtooth). Together these 6 National Forests take up about 15% of the land in Utah. These forests are home to National Monuments, Parks, Lakes, Rivers, Camping, Climbing, and a variety of other outdoor activities. Don’t hesitate to explore but remember to bring the necessary safety equipment and pack-in-pack-out.
Utah was blessed with seven national monuments, and several amazing places we define as landmarks These are like National Parks Express. Not quite as extensive, but still briefly intensive. Arches, Dinosaur Fossils, and Pictographs are packed tightly enough between national parks and lots of other Utah attractions.
- Cedar Breaks National Monument - The Miniature Bryce Canyon!
- Dinosaur National Monument - Hundreds of Fossilized Dinosaur Bones.
- Hovenweep National Monument - 13th Century Ruins
- Natural Bridges National Monument - Anasazi Ruins and Pictographs
- Timpanogos Cave National Monument - A Cave High up in the American Fork Canyon
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Grand Staircase with Arches, Cliffs, Canyons and Rock Formations.
- Monument Valley Famous Western Red Rock Buttes Seen in Movies & Commercials.
Outside the densely populated cities, Utah is largely a state of open spaces, welcoming to recreation and adventure of all types with over 43 state parks. Thousands of miles of trails were designed for hiking or biking, thousands of miles of rivers for fishing, paddling or rafting and countless wide open places perfect for camping or just stopping to savor the fresh air and blue sky surrounding you. Here are just a few great parks we recommend visiting:
- Dead Horse Point State Park Sweeping Canyon Views, Campground, Visitor Center, Trails.
- Antelope Island State Park A Herd of Bison Live Here, Across the Lake Views, Trails, Horseback Riding, Water Access.
- Cedar Mesa, Grand Gulch and Comb Ridge Anasazi ruins, Pictographs & Petroglyphs
- Goblin Valley State Park Red Rock Formations, Pinnacles, Campground, & Photography Opportunity.
- Kodachrome Basin State Park Red, Yellow, Pink, White and Brown Rock Formations & Sand Pipes.
- Snow Canyon State Park White Cliffs, Red Sandstone, Black Lava Deposits, Lava Caves & Extinct Volcanoes
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park Orange-pink Sand Dunes with a Campground, Trails, & Permits ORV Activities on Dunes
- Escalante Petrified Forest State Park Colorful Petrified Logs Strewn along Escalante River.
- Sand Hollow State Park Reservoir Surrounded by Red Rocks, Sand Dunes and a Volcanic Mesa with Camping, Boating, Off-roading and Fishing.
- Wasatch Mountain State Park Wooded Hills, Meadows, Canyons and a Reservoir popular for golf, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and skiing during winter.
- Deer Creek State Park Mountain Views with Camping, Trail, Boating, & Fishing in the Reservoir.
- Goosenecks State Park Naturally carved giant rock formations & sweeping views along with hiking paths.
- Utah Lake State Park Reserve encompassing Utah's largest freshwater lake, with fishing, boating & camping.