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Your Guide to Memorial Day Weekend in Utah

Whether your home base is a national park or your own backyard, has activities to launch the sun-baked season.

May 10, 2016 | Updated May 01, 2024

You know summer is just around the corner when grills start firing and potatoes start salading. And the unofficial harbinger of sandal season? Memorial Day. Whether you celebrate by attending an official event, camping in Utah or hitting the road, has a list of ideas for your holiday kickoff.

Image Credit: "Memorial Day 2016" by arbyreed is licensed under CC BY 4.0

A Day of Remembrance

The Memorial Day holiday was created for more than hot dogs and burgers, of course. Utah events pay tribute to soldiers who died fighting for and defending American principles. Make some room in your schedule to attend one, or visit one of the veteran memorials.

Memorial Day Boot Display: Hundreds of combat boots are lined up to represent fallen soldiers, providing a solemn and powerful reminder of their sacrifice. A silent auction in conjunction with the event raises funds to benefit soldiers’ families. Held Memorial Day weekend at Union Station in Ogden. Read full event details on Utah Department of Veteran Affairs.

Memorial Day Ruck/Walk Event: Walk a 6-mile route through four cemeteries, placing flowers and American flags on the graves of veterans. If you’re not up for the walk, you can donate by sponsoring a gravesite or purchasing a felt poppy. Memorial Day, 8 a.m., 1520 N 800 E, Orem. Learn more at The Veteran's Lounge.

Memory Grove in downtown Salt Lake City features unique veteran memorials.

Memory Grove: Take a peaceful stroll through the park to see several memorials dedicated to veterans of different eras. Stop by the pagoda, the meditation chapel, a footbridge and a granite bas-relief plaque. Learn the history of the park at

Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park: This cemetery, located north of Camp Williams in Bluffdale, is dedicated to veterans and their families. The grounds include monuments to honor special forces and WWII submarine service. Find more about the displays on Utah Department of Veterans Affairs.

Hill Aerospace Museum: See military aircraft and learn about the soldiers who flew in them. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Local Memorial Day Programs: Check with your city for a local Memorial Day program. Events typically include a flag raising ceremony and a guest speaker.

Get Outdoors

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of Utah hiking season. After honoring vets and before your backyard barbecue, get out and stretch those winter stiffened legs.


Put campfires and stargazing on your list of summer must-dos.


Taking a Utah road trip to a national park for the holiday? Get the full experience by sleeping in nature, too. But you should probably bring a tent along.


Camping with kids? We have a few tips to help your plans go smoothly. As smoothly as possible, that is. Make it even easier with our menu of easy camp meals.

Close to Home

Making it a staycation Utah kind of Memorial Day weekend? Smart thinking; you know you don’t have to travel far for memorable activities.


See Ogden from a new perspective.

Start your mini vacay in the hills, first hiking, then driving up scenic Ogden Canyon. If you’ve got youngsters who are less than thrilled with sitting in a car (like, literally can’t stomach it), head over to the Treehouse Museum, where they can explore kid friendly exhibits. Or visit Union Station, where they can climb into an actual train car. End the day around Historic 25th Street — recently named 3rd Best Main Street in the nation — for dinner and a movie or comedy show.

Utah Valley

Get your Happy Valley smile on with our two-day itinerary, which takes you from the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point on Friday to dinner in downtown Provo Saturday night. In between, explore Timpanogos Cave, where you can gawk at stalactites (or is it stalagmites?).

Take a stroll through downtown Provo.

Heber Valley

Get the Swiss Alps without the chalet budget in Heber Valley. It’s a pastoral swath of earth squished between mountain peaks, with hills that are alive with the sound of hiking. More of a sitting-sport type? Saddle up and take in the sights on a horse, or drive the scenic routes through the nearby mountains, where a whole world of lakes and ponds is waiting for you and your fishing pole.

No need to leave Utah for sweeping green vistas; visit Heber Valley's Guardsman Pass.


Start with a visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a menagerie of rescued horses, bunnies, puppies and birds. (Warning: cuteness shock is real.) Once your heart is full, fill your stomach with their 5-buck vegetarian buffet. Next, lace up your boots, ’cause there’s hikes in them thar hills! Suck in your stomach and slide through that narrowest of slot canyons, Peekaboo! Go home happy — and maybe with an adopted horse? Read more about hike conditions at the Bureau of Land Management.

Staycay or road trip, hiking or shopping, we have your Memorial Day itinerary covered. And as soon as that first sunburn of the season is healed, find more activities to fill the rest of your summer on