I lived in Utah for nine years, and I love to experience all the beauty and adventure that it has to offer.
There's an Adventure for Everyone in Utah
Each year that I spend living in Utah I discover new places and fun adventures that I've never experienced before. I'm always looking for more fun things to do on a day off or even for a few days during the summer.
I've spent a lot of time researching popular destinations and activities in Utah, and I thought that it would be nice to share the fruits of my labor with the rest of the world so that there is a place where people can find a lot of ideas in one spot instead of having to hop all over the web trying to find something to do.
This is a list of some of my favorite Utah adventures as well as some that I've heard are popular that I haven't personally tried yet. I hope that it will be useful to you.
I've included links to informational websites for as many of these places and activities as possible to make this list more user friendly.
Also, as you get into the meat of my hub, you will notice that I've included the locations where these activities can be found to make planning a little bit easier for you.
In order to make this list a little bit easier to navigate, I'll give you an idea of what order the activities will be listed in.
Some of the categories overlap a bit. For example, a lot of caves and waterfalls require a bit of a hike to get to them, so you might want to keep that in mind.
- Hikes 1-20
- Canyoneering 21-34
- Caves 35-38
- Mountain Biking 39-50
- Waterfalls 51-63
- Swimming Beaches 64-70
- White Water Rafting 71-75
- Skiing/Snowboarding 76-86
- Zip Lining 87-92
- Outdoor Theaters 93-100
- FREE splash pads 101-113
- Museums 114-121
- Things to do in Salt Lake 122-130
- Animal Adventures 131-136
- Sports 137-140
I hope this list will be useful to you. Now go out there and enjoy all of the awesomeness that Utah has to offer!
If you have been to some of these places, I'd love for you to vote on some of my polls about which places and activities are the best. That way other people who read this hub can easily figure out which tourist attractions are the tried and true favorites.
Thanks for your help!
Popular Utah Hikes
Some of these hikes are hikes that I have gone on, and some are hikes that I've only heard about. Make sure to vote below for which one is your favorite so that you can help people who view this hub in the future.
Just a quick reminder that just because a trail is short, doesn't necessarily mean that it is easy. If you are really serious about trying some of these hikes, you might want to click on the links to make sure that they fit your level of fitness and experience.
1. Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail-3.5 miles (Bryce Canyon)
2. Hidden Pinyon-1.5 miles (Snow Canyon-St. George)
3. Ensign Peak-1 mile (Salt Lake)
4. Angel's Landing-4.4 miles (Zion National Park)
5. The Narrows-variable, up to 15.4 miles (Zion National Park)
6. Delicate Arch-3 miles (Moab)
7. Mount Timpanogos-16.6 miles (Orem)
8. The Maze-distance varies (Canyonlands National Park)
9. Goblin Valley-distance can vary (Hanksville)
10. Adam's Canyon-6.92 miles (Layton)
11. Cecret Lake-2.5 miles (Salt Lake-Little Cottonwood Canyon)
12. False Kiva Hike-1.6 miles (Canyonlands National Park)
13. Mount Olympus-7 miles (Salt Lake)
14. Spectra Point Trail-1.9 miles (Cedar Breaks National Monument)
15. Dog Lake-6 miles from Big Cottonwood or 2.5 miles from Millcreek Canyon's Big water trail head (Salt Lake)
16. Crystal Lake-up to 7.7 miles (Kamas)
17. Silver Lake-1 mile (Salt Lake-Big Cottonwood Canyon)-There is a moose that is often sighted on the trail or drinking out of the lake in the evenings. You can see a picture that my husband took of him last summer below the list of hikes.
18. Amethyst Basin-13 miles (Kamas)
19. Devil's Garden and the Primitive Trail-7.2 miles (Moab)
20. Canyon Overlook Trail-1 mile (Hurricane)
Canyoneering in Utah
A lot of these adventures are not for the faint of heart, so do your research before heading out on a difficult journey to make sure that you are properly prepared, particularly if you don't have much experience with canyoneering.
This website is great for learning about canyoneering adventures. Rather than attaching a link to each location, I'm just going to recommend that you go to this site where you can find everything I listed and more.
21. Black Hole of White Canyon (Cedar Mesa/Southeast Utah)
22. Narrows of Cheesebox Canyon (Cedar Mesa/Southeast Utah)
23. Fry Canyon (Cedar Mesa/Southeast Utah)
24. Leprechaun Canyon Non-technical hike (North Wash)
25. Leprechaun 3 Technical Forks (North Wash)
26. Sandthrax (North Wash)
27. Shenanigans (North Wash)
28. Foolin' Around (North Wash)
29. Ding and Dang Canyons (San Rafael Swell)
30. Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons (San Rafael Swell)
31. Lower Squeeze from Muddy Creek (San Rafael Swell)
32. Penitentiary (San Rafael Swell)
33. Chamber's Canyon White Roost Area (Robber's Roost)
34. Ho Hum Fork, North Fork of Robber's Roost Canyon (Robber's Roost)
35. Timpanogos Cave (American Fork)
36. Snow Canyon Lava Tubes (St. George)
37. Mammoth Cave (Dixie National Forest)
38. Bloomington Cave (St. George)-This cave is known for being challenging, particularly for those with little spelunking experience. Make sure to do your research before you go.
Mountain Biking in Utah
Utah has tons of fun and exciting mountain biking locations. There's no way that I could list all of them here, but for more information about great places to go, check out this website. You'll find more mountain biking trails than you'll have time to explore in a lifetime.
39.The Whole Enchilada-26 miles (Moab)
40. Porcupine Rim-15 miles (Moab)
41. Gooseberry Mesa-30 miles (Hurricane)
42. Snowbasin Resort-26 miles (Ogden)
43. Mid-mountain-20 miles (Park City)
44. Wasatch Crest-20 miles (Salt Lake)
45. Bobsled-7 miles (Salt Lake)
46. Bearclaw Poppy-11 miles (St. George)
47. Blackhawk Loop-18 miles (Payson)
48. McCoy Flat Trails-40 miles (Vernal)
49. Blowhard-7 miles (Cedar City)
50. Blind Hollow-7 miles (Logan)
Waterfalls in Utah
Even though Utah is a desert there are still plenty of beautiful waterfalls to see. Many of these are even easy enough to access that your kids can easily enjoy them. Don't miss out on these beautiful hidden treasures that are scattered throughout Utah!
51. Hidden Falls-Big Cottonwood Canyon (Salt Lake area)
52. Lisa Falls-Little Cottonwood Canyon (Salt Lke area)
53. Rocky Mouth Falls (Salt Lake area)
54. Battle Creek Falls (Pleasant Grove
55. Bridal Veil Falls (Provo Canyon)
56. The Grotto-Nebo Loop in Payson Canyon
57. Stewart Falls (Provo Canyon)
58. Lower Calf Creek Falls (Escalante)
59. Waterfall on Sandcreek (Torrey)
60. Ken's Lake Faux Falls (Moab)
61. Bullion Falls (Marysvale)
62. Fifth Water Second Waterfall(Spanish Fork)
63. Donut Falls-Big Cottonwood Canyon (Salt Lake area)
Swimming Beaches in Utah
Most people don't think about going to the beach when they think about visiting Utah, but it turns out you don't have to have an ocean near by to swim at the beach.
In fact, you don't even have to feel bad about missing out on the ocean's salty water, because you'll find much more salt in the Salt Lake.
Did you know that you can effortlessly float while standing up in the Salt Lake? I wasn't sure that I believed it until I tried it. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity that most people never experience in a life time.
64. Rendezvous Beach-Bear Lake (Garden City)
65. Blackridge Reservoir Beach (Herriman)
66. Deer Creek (Heber)
67. Flaming Gorge (Manila/Dutch John)
68. Great Salt Lake-Bridger Bay Beach (Antelope Island)
69. Lake Powell (Southwest Utah, Arizona Boarder)
70. Starvation State Park (Duchesne)
White Water Rafting in Utah
If you are the really adventurous type, you won't want to miss out on some of the awesome white water rafting locations in Utah. Check out this website for specific details.
71. San Juan River
74. Grand Canyon
75. Cataract Canyon
This website is a great resource to learn about ski resorts in Utah. It has links to the resorts I mentioned as well as a few more if you want more information about locations, weather, or prices.
76. Alta Ski Area
77.Brighton Ski Resort
78. Canyons Resort
79. Cherry Peak
80. Deer Valley Resort
81. Eagle Point
82. Park City Mountain resort
83. Powder Mountain
84. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
85. Solitude Mountain Resort
86. Sundance Resort
Zip Lining in Utah
Zip lining will give you an opportunity to see Utah's unique landscape from a perspective that you can't get any other way. If you are ready for a new and exciting kind of adventure, and aren't too afraid of heights, you're going to want to visit some of these attractions.
87. Utah Olympic Park (Park City)
88. Kanab Zip Line
90. Raven's Rim (Moab)
91. Provo Canyon
92. Paragon Adventures (St. George)
Outdoor Theaters in Utah
There's no better way to spend a summer evening than at an outdoor theater. Nobody wants to be cooped up indoors when the temperatures start to cool down in the evening. Relax and enjoy the weather at the same time at one of these venues.
94. Sundance Theater
97. High Valley Arts (Midway)
99. SCERA Shell Outdoor Theater (Orem)
100. Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City)
FREE Splash Pads in Utah
Utah can get really hot in the summers. I have so many childhood memories of coming down to Utah to visit my grandparents and feeling like I was going to die from the sweltering heat.
Luckily, there are a lot more splash pads around now than there were when I was a kid. It's very likely that on a hot summer day, your kids would rather spend some time at a splash pad than hiking around in the desert.
For a more extensive list of splash pads in Utah, go to this website. It turns out there are a lot more splash pads in Utah than you might think.
101. The Gateway Fountains (Salt Lake)
102. City Creek (Salt Lake)
103. Willow Pond Park (Murray)
104. Ron Wood Park (West Jordan)
105. Pioneer Park (Provo)
106. Town Center Park (Highland)
107. Nolan Park (Eagle Mountain)
108. Ellison Park (Layton)
109. Nature Park (South Ogden)
110. Meadow View Park (North Logan)
111. Riverside Park (Morgan)
112. Archie H. Gubler Park (Santa Clara)
113. Hidden Valley Park (St. George)
This is a list of museums that aren't in the Salt Lake area. The Salt Lake area museums will be included in the "What to do in Salt Lake" category. For a more extensive list of museums in Utah, go to this website.
114. S & S Shortline Railroad and Museum (Farmington)
115. Kayenta Art Village (Ivins)
116. Museum of Ancient Life (Lehi)
117. Dinosaur Museum (Blanding)
118. Hill Aerospace Museum (Roy)
120. Anasazi State Park Museum (Boulder)
121. Paunsagaunt Wildlife Museum (Bryce Canyon Area)
Things to Do in Salt Lake
If you don't have time to venture out away from the city, you might as well take advantage of some of the great things that Salt Lake City has to offer. You won't be disappointed!
122. Temple Square
128. The Lenoardo
129. Beehive House
130. Clark Planetarium
Animal Adventures in Utah
I have fond memories of visiting the Hogle Zoo and the Tracy Aviary when I would visit Utah as a child. It turns out that I never quite grew up, and I still like to hang out with the animals from time to time. You're missing out if you haven't checked out the unique creatures at these fun places.
131. Hogle Zoo (Salt Lake)
132. Tracy Aviary (Salt Lake)
133. Willow Park Zoo (Logan)
134. Living Planet Aquarium (Draper)
135. Thanksgiving Point Farm Country (Lehi)
136. Young Living Farm (Mona)
If you are a sports fan, Utah isn't going to let you down. There are several different professional sports teams that you can watch while you're in town.
137. Real Salt Lake (MLS)
138. Utah Jazz (NBA)
139. Utah Grizzlies (AA Hockey)
140. Salt Lake Bees (Minor League Baseball)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Rebecca Young
Anonymous on April 13, 2020:
I've lived in Utah for 7 years, and it is by far my favorite place to explore.
I really recommend visiting it for those who haven't. This was very helpful! I now have more things to explore!
Mark Richardson from Utah on October 29, 2019:
Wow. You must be outdoorsy. I'm an Eagle Scout, so I did a lot of this stuff when I was younger. I hiked Timpanogos a few times. I think I've only been to Bridal Veil Falls out of waterfalls. I had went to Lake Powell a few times. I could have been killed by a log jam once while going down the Snake River in a canoe. Went snowboarding once...felt like I got beat up afterwards. There's a splash park in Herriman. Don't forget UMFA at the U. Great art. BYU has a great art museum too. I used to watch Laser shows at Hansen Planetarium (3 in one night once!). But I haven't made it to Clark yet. I've been to Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary, Living Planet Aquarium, Thanksgiving Point. I've been to games from all four teams.
Lee Witten on June 24, 2015:
Hey, how about the Ogden Union Station and Utah State Railroad Museum? Major historical attraction
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on May 29, 2015:
Thanks for your suggestion. There are just way too many cool things in Utah for me to mention all of them so I really appreciate additional suggestions in the comments.
Shannie Lee on May 28, 2015:
yiu missed the Fieldhouse Museum in Vernal. It's a great introduction to Dinosaur National Monument just outside of Jensen, UT.
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on May 26, 2015:
You should come check it out. It's a great place to visit!
Rekha from Sacramento on May 26, 2015:
This is such a nice hub, I've always wanted to go visit my family in Utah!
The pictures were captured so beautifully
St George on May 25, 2015:
Northern Utah has some nice places, but Southern Utah has the best places. I recommend southern Utah much more than northern Utah. Wish it was better represented in this list and unbiased.
Summer LaSalle from USA on May 24, 2015:
What a wonderful hub! Utah is definitely one of America's most beautiful states. I absolutely love your pictures, but I must admit, a few of them made me a little nauseous! WOW! No way I would be hiking in those mountains. LOL Thanks for a wonderful Sunday Afternoon read! :)
Marcus Just on May 22, 2015:
Very nice! I hiked Jack's Peak in SLC last fall and now I've got a whole list of other things to try. Thanks!
Richard de Mey from Scottsdale, Arizona on May 21, 2015:
im in arizona and utah seems like its got similar landscape n things to do.. i hike all over the valley i gotta hit utah eventually.. thanx for sharing all this wonderful info
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on May 20, 2015:
Thanks for pointing that out for me. I really appreciate it!
David See on May 20, 2015:
Great List! Thank you for putting this together. Just noticed one error, on the Narrows hike, it is in Zion National Park, not Zion's National Park. A lot of folks in northern Utah make that mistake. Probably because of Zion's First National Bank.
Camile Anderson on May 19, 2015:
You should add Snow Basin to your Utah ski resorts list - it did host a portion of the Olympics afterall! Huge mountain, absolutely incredible skiing... and it boasts new five-star lodges. Its our second favorite place ski in the world, right behind Alta! Thanks and great article!
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on May 19, 2015:
Haha! I'll have to edit that MBA issue in the morning. :-)
I included a link that has all the ski resorts, and initially I included all of them, but my list was getting too long, and I didn't want to overwhelm people.
Thanks for all of your suggestions. Hopefully people will read the comments and see them. :-)
Corey on May 19, 2015:
Good List... a couple of notes:
1. Utah Jazz is NBA not MBA :)
2. Can you list all the ski resorts? You are missing Snow Basing and Nordic Valley that I know of.
3. Would love to see more stuff from the Davis/Weber area. Waterfall Canyon is a good hike, as well as Adams Canyon. Both have waterfalls to see. Malans Basin is a good hike that goes over the top of Waterfall canyon and you can access Malans peak from there.
coupons4utah on May 19, 2015:
Great information here. Thanks for sharing and linking to our list of 60 splash pads!
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on May 19, 2015:
There are buttons to pin this/ post it on other social media at the top of the hub. I'm honored that you want to share it. Thanks!
Krista on May 19, 2015:
Could you make a link so this could be pinned. Or other social media. If its there already please let me know!!!
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on May 19, 2015:
Thanks for your input! It was so hard to narrow this list down. I wish I could have included everything. Hopefully other readers will see your comment and know to go hike Bald Mountain now. Thanks again!
Rach on May 19, 2015:
There's so many hikes in the uintahs too, bald mountain being one of my favorites.
mark wilson on May 18, 2015:
On zip lining you missed the one at Canyons Resort. It definitely is currently the best and I have done all of them! Sundance also has one opening this year.
Heather Frederickson on May 17, 2015:
Becca, this is an awesome collection of stuff to do. I have lived in Utah 40 years and I only knew of a few of these things. Technically I have only done a few of these, i have heard of more just not experienced them all. U forgot to mention the Golden Spike in Northern Utah.
Huneynut on May 17, 2015:
Bridal veil falls is a perfect family activity, there is even a paved bike and walking path making it great for families with little kids. So many fun things on your list. Time to get adventuring!
Jolynn Petrlich on May 16, 2015:
This is wonderful
I love what you have done
dunes on May 16, 2015:
Minnetonka caves above bear lake are a lot of fun too, although they are technically in Idaho. It is a good family value that most people can access if they can handle going up and down 400 steps, plus a family pass is only twenty bucks.
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on May 16, 2015:
There really are so many fun things to do here, particularly if you're into adventuring outdoors. You should definitely come check it out!
Jeph Maystruck from Regina, SK on May 16, 2015:
Never been to Utah, looks like I have 140 things to get done there! Great read!