It's romantic. It's awe-inspiring. It's better than going to the gym. It's better than streaming a new series on the Internet. It's even better (dare we say it?) than watching the latest NOVA episode where they dig up the remains of Vikings, analyze Iceman, or explain a cure for an elusive disease. Yes, it is the sunset. And, lucky you, if you missed it last night, it will happen again tonight. And Utah has at least 1,235 places that will knock your socks off if you stop to watch the sun go down, but we're giving you our top 5.
05. Most Urban Sunset (Best City View): Mount Olympus
How about watching the sunset from 9,026 feet above sea level? You'll not only see charming Salt Lake City (4,226 feet above sea level), but you'll see beyond to the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island and, if your lucky, into our northern neighbor state that we shall not name here. The hike to the summit is 7.5 miles roundtrip and strenuous. Bring water, good hiking shoes, a headlamp for hiking down in the dark, and your camera. And, and, Leave No Trace (like a good ninja)--pack out what you pack in and refrain from marking up trees or rocks with your name. Leave the wildflowers for others to enjoy. It's what urban hikers do.
04. Most Remote Sunset: Uinta Mountains
Yes, just about anywhere in the Uinta Mountain range is a great place to watch sunset. There's a lake everywhere you turn and dramatic peaks for an added bonus. A few spots to consider: Wall Lake, Christmas Meadows, Abe's Lake Trail.
03. Most Dramatic Sunset: Monument Valley National Monument
We had to include this place. If we didn't, you'd all be complaining that we left it off the list because it's the sunset that changes lives--it's the sunset that makes you want to be a better human being. It's the sunset that makes you feel like a small, teeny-tiny spec in the cosmos. It's the sunset that makes you want to get on a horse and morph into a cowboy with a weathered face and use improper grammar because you just don't care anymore. Ya. Sunset is a watershed moment in the ordinary, right? And if you forget your camera, we can't help you. You're a lost cause.
02. Most Peaceful Sunset: Sailing on the Great Salt Lake
Add the sound of a bow carving through water, and this is free zen, my friends. Want to enter nirvana? Bring a book of poetry and recite like Dylan Thomas would reading his own, "rage, rage against the dying of the light." Except you won't rage. You'll let go into sunset bliss while the water laps against the hull. Lullabies were never this good.
01. Most Colorful: Bryce Canyon Amphitheater
A no-brainer? Absolutely. There's a reason you'll probably run into dozens of other photographers at Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, and Yovimpa Point at sunset in this colorful national park. Don't let the crowds deter you. Everyone's usually pretty much well-behaved, and there to witness something magnificent. You'll meet people from all over the globe. Just be careful not to bump someone's tripod--that would definitely ruin the sunset. Think of it as a gathering of light-lovers there to record a once-in-a-lifetime moment. The sun will never set the same way again. Keep in touch with other photographers and swap images. You're now in the club.