Utah may be only the 13th largest U.S. state by area, but within its borders we found diversity enough for an entire continent. Now that we’re leaving this remarkable place, we thought it fitting to spend a moment reflecting on what we saw here.
Without question Utah’s national parks, of which only Alaska and California have more, are its crown jewels. Their canyons, arches, and formations cover much of the bottom third of the state. What’s somewhat unique is that the area’s beauty isn’t confined to its parks. Almost any given road takes you past landscapes that would qualify for national park status if they were found anywhere else.
So iconic are its landscapes that it’s common to think these dusty red rocks represent the whole of Utah. A several hour drive northward reveals something else entirely. Head west and you’ll find a barren wasteland of a completely different variety, the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Elsewhere the desert and salt give way to grassy plains suitable for antelope and bison.
Not far from aptly named Antelope Island rises the Wasatch Mountain Range. Surrounded by lush greenery in summer, its nearly 12,000 foot craggy peaks could be mistaken for the Colorado Rockies. And just like Colorado’s Vail, these slopes also become a winter wonderland when a change of season brings the dry, powdery snow that locals claim is the best on earth.
If ever one gets fatigued from all of Utah’s outdoor adventures, the state also offers an abundance of culture. From Tony Award winning Shakespeare in quaint Cedar City to world-renowned choir in bustling Salt Lake, we found no shortage of things to keep us occupied.
Just walking around and taking in the architecture can be an all-day affair.
And after a busy day exploring we were delighted and a bit surprised to find quality brew-pubs just around the corner where we could relax while we laid plans for our next Utah adventure.