HeaderJuly - A far-off sun sets over a cliffside full red-rock spires with sprawling mountains beyond.

Best Places to Travel in July in Utah

By Brian Higgins
June 10, 2024

We’re not sure if you’ve heard, but Utah’s summers get pretty hot. And sure, it’s a dry heat, as the locals are fond of clarifying. But when it’s over 100 F, that’s cold comfort when you’re looking for some cold comfort. 

There are plenty of shady canyons, cool lakes and breezy mountaintops near Utah’s major cities to beat the heat for an afternoon. But sometimes an afternoon doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you need a vacation from the heat, not a quick break. Here are some July vacation destinations in Utah that are cool as can be (in more ways than one).

Go Jump in a Lake

A dip in the lake cools off your body. A stay by the lake cools off your soul. Swim, fish, paddleboard, boat and relax at these scenic sanctuaries.

Bear Lake | Northern Utah

This Caribbean has more mountains and fewer pirates | BEAR LAKE

Head to the Caribbean in just a few hours. Let the bright turquoise waters of Bear Lake, aka the Caribbean of the Rockies, be your beacon toward summer fun. This not-quite-tropical paradise is home to:

  • Watersports aplenty
  • Lots of trail adventures
  • High temperatures below 90 F 
  • World-famous raspberry milkshakes

It might just be the best spot for your next summer trip. (And the one after that.)

Take in Bear Lake this summer → 

Flaming Gorge Reservoir | Northeastern Utah

Flaming Gorge is a great place to catch a sunrise. Or sunset. Or sunmiddle. | FLAMING GORGE

You can cast and stream in your air-conditioned media room, but Flaming Gorge’s casting and streaming is way more fun. This scenic reservoir is known for:

  • World-class fishing (aka trophy lake trout up to 30 pounds) 
  • Boating and watersports
  • Paddling
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Nature watching

Our pick? Paddleboarding. They even have “trail” maps available for popular paddling routes. 

Check out Flaming Gorge’s paddling map and start planning your trip

Panguitch Lake | Southern Utah

"Panguitch" is Paiute for "Big Fish," so you have no excuse for those minnows. | PANGUITCH LAKE

July vacations, meet Panguitch Lake. Sitting pretty (very pretty) at 8,200 feet, Panguitch Lake is an underrated escape, smackdab in the middle of some beloved natural areas. There you’ll find: 

  • Temperate summer weather
  • Cozy vacation cabins 
  • Waters teeming with trout
  • Day-trippable destinations like Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks and Brian Head

Whether you’re pulling in a pic-worthy prize fish, taking the boat out for the day or exploring the region, there’s no better place to come back to after a long day of summer fun than a cabin by the lake.

Get your Utah fishing license and learn more about Panguitch Lake → 

Head for the Hills

Still not sure where to go? Up is always a great choice. That’s good advice for finding a good vacation spot in the summer and picking which Pixar movie you want to watch. These high-elevation destinations are home to mountain views, thick forests and moderate temps.

Park City | Northern Utah

Night life meets mountain life. Foodie hikers rejoice. | PARK CITY

A world-famous Main Street at almost 7,000 feet that’s only 40 minutes from an international airport? Sounds too good to be true, but it’s no mirage. Park City is a popular spot for Salt Lake locals to escape the heat to for an afternoon, but if you stay longer you can enjoy:

Learn more about Park City and start planning your summer trip → 

Uinta Mountains | Northern Utah

Christmas (Meadows) in July| UINTA MOUNTAINS

No service, no services, no problem. There are fewer and fewer wild places in the world these days, and a camping trip in the Uintas is a great way to feel “out there” with only a few hours of driving. It’s a paradise for: 

It’s also pretty high on the list of cheap places to travel in the summer, since there’s nowhere to spend money. Just be sure to watch the weather! With great alpine coolness comes great unpredictability.

Start planning your next summer camping trip to the Uinta Mountains → 

Brian Head | Southern Utah

John Denver was going to write "Markagunt Plateau High," but he couldn't pronounce it. | BRIAN HEAD

Did you know that Utah’s highest ski resort is in southern Utah? Did you also know that that resort has all kinds of activities throughout the summer? Activities like:

  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Zip lining
  • Disc golf
  • Summer tubing
  • Chairlift rides
  • A rock climbing wall

There’s never a dull moment at Brian Head. With lots of lodging options and plenty of elevation (9,800 feet) keeping summer’s worst at bay, it’s more than a good vacation spot. It’s a high-altitude haven.

See what summer’s like at Brian Head → 

Red Rocks, Minus Red-Hot Temps

Who said that desert vistas had to come with triple-digit temperatures? You can have red-rock scenery and moderate summer weather at the same time if you know where to look. 

Cedar Breaks National Monument | Southern Utah

Captions can be speechless too. | CEDAR BREAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT

“Isn’t Cedar Breaks the same thing as Bryce Canyon?” you ask. They’re very similar, but this overlooked overlook has plenty of its own uniqueness. At Cedar Breaks National Monument, you’ll find:

  • Plenty of hiking, including a stunning 5-mile rim trail
  • Vibrant red-rock hoodoos
  • A deeper amphitheater and more dramatic drop-off than Bryce Canyon 
  • Close proximity to alpine forests
  • A five-minute drive to Brian Head
  • The Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival from July 6-14

Just picture Cedar Breaks as Bryce’s more foresty cousin. You can enjoy the hues and views of the hoodoos and find yourself relaxing in a mountain cabin 15 minutes later.

Take a break at Cedar Breaks

Bryce Canyon National Park | Southern Utah


Bryce Canyon is often lumped in with its sweltering neighbor, Zion, but high atop the Paunsaugunt Plateau (say that ten times fast), July is a cooler affair. There are plenty of trails and adventures beyond this park’s popular paths, including:

If those don’t pique your interest, we have 100 other things (literally) to do in Bryce Canyon. Find some cozy, rustic lodgings and stay awhile. 

Boogie down to Bryce Canyon →.

Looking for more misty waterfall hikes, cool mountain fisheries or rapid rivers to cool you off? Utah.com has plenty of fun places to go in July and beyond.