Utah National Parks

Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. Utah’s Mighty Five national parks are like no others.

Utah’s national parks are special. Sure, other states have incredible parks. Some even have more parks (just two, though). But Utah’s national parks were made for each other. With a rugged uniqueness at the heart of each park and a stunning array of landmarks sitting in between them, there’s just nothing like the Mighty Five.

Read more…

Map of National Parks in Utah

Wondering how to get to Arches, Bryce Canyon or Zion? This map’s got you covered. Gee, it sure looks like a map of your next road trip, doesn’t it? There’s a reason people rarely visit just one or two of Utah’s Mighty Five parks. The route practically draws itself. 

Park Details

Arches National Park

The Holey Land. Aka the densest concentration of natural arches found anywhere on the planet. There are over 2,000 arches within the park, ranging from anonymous arcs to the welcome sign superstars. And that’s just the tip of the … rock. There are all kinds of unique geologic formations at this iconic Moab park. (See: Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Fiery Furnace)

Plan your trip to Arches 

Canyonlands National Park

The slow work of merciless rivers. Carved over millennia by the meandering Green and the mighty Colorado, Canyonlands is a park that rewards daytrippers and dedicated adventurers alike. There are easy panoramic views for those who want them, and some of the most rugged wilderness in the lower 48 for others. (See: Grand View Point, Horseshoe Canyon, how tough you are)

Plan your trip to Canyonlands

A land made of canyons. Some things just name themselves. | CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Capitol Reef National Park

A 100-mile snag in the earth’s crust, featuring pies. Utah’s most underrated park is filled with wonder for those who choose to seek it. Here you’ll find geologic marvels, historic homesteads and fields of active orchards. (See: Waterpocket Fold, historic Fruita)

Plan your trip to Capitol Reef

One of Capitol Reef’s many stunning “cathedrals.” Bring Your Own Incense. | CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK

Bryce Canyon National Park

Sometimes-snowy erosions, elevated. The home of hoodoos stuns in all seasons. It’s cool in the summer, snowy in the winter and idyllic in the in-betweens. Travel through Bryce Amphitheater’s forest of red-rock spires, then hike back up for a sweeping view from atop the Paunsaugunt Plateau. (See: Navajo Loop, Fairyland Point/Loop)

Plan your trip to Bryce Canyon

Hoodoo these rocks think they are? | BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Zion National Park

The oldest. The most visited. The most jaw-dropping? Well, let’s just say you don’t get a name like “Zion” for no reason. With towering canyon walls, sweeping views and some of the most unique and iconic hikes in the world, you can file Zion along with air fryers, the Northern Lights and Billy Joel concerts under “Things That Are Worth the Hype.” (See: Subway, Angels Landing, your life flash before your eyes)

Plan your trip to Zion

Even your feet have a good view in Zion. | ZION NATIONAL PARK

Utah National Park FAQs

Are there bears in Utah’s national parks?

Black bears can be found in Bryce Canyon and occasionally in Arches and Canyonlands. There are no grizzly bears in Utah’s national parks.

In Arches and Canyonlands, black bears typically wander from the nearby mountain ranges (LaSal and Abajo) in late August and September, following river corridors and seeking fruit. Black bears are more common year-round in Bryce Canyon.

Learn more about what to do during black bear encounters from the experts at the National Parks Service. (Hint: Don’t play dead. That’s grizzlies.)

Where is Zion / Bryce Canyon / Capitol Reef / Canyonlands / Arches National Park?

People ask these questions a lot. It’s OK, it’s not like we gave you a map or anything … 

Sorry, that was sassy. Here are some more detailed directions: 

  • Zion National Park is located in the southwest corner of the state. Zion is about 30 minutes from St. George, a little over two hours from Las Vegas and a touch under four hours from Salt Lake City.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park is about two hours northeast of Zion, on the footsteps of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s a little more than two hours from St. George, four hours from Las Vegas and four hours from SLC. 
  • Capitol Reef National Park is the most central of all the parks. It’s smack-dab between the southwest pair (Bryce and Zion) and the southeast pair (Arches and Canyonlands), bordering the northeast reaches of Grand Staircase-Escalante. Capitol Reef is two hours from Bryce Canyon, two hours from Arches and about three and half hours from SLC. 
  • Arches National Park is located just 10 minutes outside of Moab in southeast Utah. It’s a little over three and half hours from SLC, two hours from Capitol Reef and an hour and a half from Grand Junction, Colorado. It’s also got the closest neighbor of any park — Canyonlands is just 30 minutes away.
  • Canyonlands National Park is also located outside Moab, but it has three distinct districts. 
    • Island in the Sky District is located about 40 minutes from Moab and four hours from SLC. 
    • The Needles District is an hour and a half outside of Moab, about 5 hours from SLC. 
    • The Maze District is the least accessible district of the park, and home to some of the most remote wilderness you can find in a national park outside of Alaska. The canyons of the Maze are about five to six hours from Moab and require high clearance vehicles to access.

What are the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon?

The short version? Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos are “freakin’ awesome.” Now for the long version — weathering, erosion and tectonic plates all combined over thousands of years to create the perfect circumstances for these unusual rock spires. 

For more than half the days in a given year Bryce Canyon experiences temperatures above and below freezing in the same night. Water seeps into the cracks in the rocks, then freezes and expands before melting away again. This process causes larger rock formations to break apart into smaller hoodoos. 

Since there are multiple types of rocks in Bryce Canyon, the hoodoos dissolve and erode at different rates. This helps create the unique patterns and offset layers that make Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos some of the most picturesque in the world.

Places to Stay Near Utah National Parks

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As low as $85/night
The Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn is steps away from the main street and only one mile away from the ...
This 58 acre resort situated in Torrey, Utah, just one mile from the entrance of Capitol Reef Nation...
Why camp when you can glamp (glamour+camping)? Under Canvas®Zion allows you to experience the outdoo...
Stay at this quiet RV Park near Bryce Canyon. Horses, dogs, RVs and campers welcome!
Where natural beauty meets modern luxury.
RV Campground near Zion National Park Willow. Wind RV Park offers the benefits of exciting outdoor a...
Find the perfect RV rental in Utah. Simple, easy and fully insured.
Tucked away between nature and serenity, your desert escape for relaxation and adventure awaits.
A lovely hotel located in the straight-out-of-a-movie town of Tropic.
Stone Canyon Inn, centrally located in Bryce Canyon, offers endless adventure and a comfortable stay...
The Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand in Bryce Canyon City, Utah truly does have something to off...
Find Choice Hotels located in Utah. Find the perfect hotel as you plan your Utah vacation.
A complete boutique resort with onsite spa and dining located in the heart of Zion National Park.
Can’t decide between Utah and Arizona for your next travel adventure? The Best Western East Zion Thu...
Lodging nestled at the edge of a pine forest on a high plateau that overlooks the beautiful Bryce Ca...
Explore Utah in a fully outfitted Toyota TRD Off-Road 4Runner!
Luxury & adventure in sunny St. George, Utah.
Stay at this family-friendly private vacation home cabin in Duck Creek Village, Utah.
Bar 10 Ranch offers a diverse selection of western ranch activities and tours, all within site of th...
Zion Ponderosa Ranch provides 4,000 acres of beautiful resort property accompanied by the spectacula...
A new, safari-inspired, outdoor resort.
Escape to Zion Mountain Ranch for relaxation and rejuvenation just minutes from Zion National Park.
Enjoy a stay at this newly renovated 1950s Style Motor Inn.
Cable Mountain Lodge is a hotel near the entrance to Zion National Park.
Our Zion National Park motel is also exceptionally convenient to many surrounding national parks, na...
The closest RV Park to Capitol Reef National Park.
Cottonwood Meadow Lodge offers a variety of lodging to ensure the best experience in Southern Utah. ...
Explore the grandeur of Southern Utah’s natural beauty with a stay at Under Canvas Bryce Canyon.
Enjoy an on-site restaurant after exploring the depths of Escalante's epic slot canyons. And a good ...
Farm Stay with Day trips to Zion, Bryce & N. Rim Grand Canyon -only 15+ miles to Zion’s East Entranc...
A luxury glamping resort nestled against the stunning surroundings of Zion National Park.
Ideally located between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, enjoy a relaxing stay in ...
The Broken Spur Inn is the ideal lodging destination for quick access to Capitol Reef.
The Grand Canyon is the home of the Bar 10 Ranch. Located on the north rim of the canyon.
Whispering Pines is modern pioneer glamping in Conestoga wagon rentals. Experience the Wild West in ...
Located in the desert community of Kayenta Utah, The Crescent Moon Inn is the perfect place to get a...
Plan your destination vacation and stay near Capitol Reef National Park.
Under Canvas®Moab provides upscale tents, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy Utah’s spectacula...
Comfort Inn Green River is located on the Green River near Old Spanish Trail. Enjoy the great outdoo...
Located just outside Capitol Reef National Park, Red Sands Hotel is an ideal basecamp for your adven...
Located at the base of Arches National Park, this desert oasis is the perfect blend of outdoor adven...
A quaint inn located on Main Street in Springdale, Utah - the gateway to Zion National Park. Ice cre...
Desert Pearl Inn is nestled along the Virgin River's edge at the entrance to Zion National Park.
Located on Main Street in Moab, this is the perfect play to stay after exploring Canyonlands and Arc...
Temple View RV Resort in St. George is the perfect getaway to great weather, minutes from outdoor ad...
The Lodge at Red River Ranch is just 15 minutes west of Capitol Reef National Park, blends rich West...
Traveling with all of the comforts of home? Ruby’s Inn Campground has RV spaces including full hook-...
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National Parks Nearby

Though we think our national parks are pretty hard to beat, three more parks in neighboring states deserve attention too.

Map of Nearby National Parks

Grand Canyon


Great Basin


Mesa Verde


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