The Best Views in Utah
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
If I ever decide to leave Colorado it would most likely be for Utah because of the diversity of landscapes. After my last adventure in Moab, I decided to compile a list of the best views in Utah, so you can gain knowledge in the perfect places for a weekend adventure, or for your adventure wedding of course (that's what I'm all about!). I asked a few well-recognized travel bloggers to join in on the fun and share their favorite spots in Utah too (some I still need to visit). Here are the best views in Utah!
Best Views in Utah: Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers, Arches National Park
This is the first viewpoint when you enter Arches National park in Utah. I love this panoramic view because it's easily accessible for those who aren't looking for a hike. If you are up for a hike you can take the 1.8-mile hike from this pull off to the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint and walk right through the canyon. The trail isn't usually overpopulated because most visitors just drive around instead, so you have these spectacular views to yourself. It's a great backdrop for adventure weddings, engagements, or even family photos!
Tips: Arrive early for parking, wear hiking shoes, and bring extra water. This is one point in the park that you may have cellphone service (if you need it).
Entry for one vehicle is $30
Best Views in Utah: Angels Landing
Recommended by Jordan Wohlwend the Homebody Tourist
Angels Landing may be one of Utah's most popular hikes, but it is well-deserving of all the attention. Located in Zion National Park, you can reach the awe-inspiring views after an exhilarating five-mile trek.
At first glance, Angels Landing appears terrifying…I mean, you have to use chains for balance?! With proper planning (and taking your time), I can assure you it will be well worth it. In short, you will hike through the canyons, back and forth through 21 switchbacks, and up the spine of a mountain. You will be met with 1500 feet drop-offs on each side of you and chains to help you climb. At the summit, the chipmunks will meet you to try and share your mid-hike snack.
Even though Utah is FULL of adventurous things to do, Angels Landing is a definite bucket list experience. You will not forget the fantastic views and the triumphant feeling of success!
Tips: The trail can get VERY busy. Make sure to visit off-season or get on the first shuttle to try to avoid some of the crowds. Avoid hiking after rain, snow, or when windy.
Best Views in Utah: Bryce Canyon National Park
Recommended by Agnes from The Van Escape
One of Utah's best views is easy to find in Bryce Canyon National Park, which offers thousands of unique hoodoos. Contrary to its name, Bryce Canyon is not a real canyon because there is no river running through it. The amphitheater-shaped basin was created as a result of thermal and chemical erosion. For over 200 days a year, the park has both positive and negative temperatures. During the day, water flows into small rock crevices and freezes during the night, increasing its volume. This cycle of freezing and thawing causes rocks to break down. Due to we can admire the fantastic orange rock formations.
The best time to visit Bryce National Park is from late April through November. However, during summer, it might be hot. In winter, it is fabulous if rocks are covered by snow. But the road might be closed due to the weather, so it's worth checking before travel.
The fee is $35 per week for a private vehicle. However, if you plan to visit other national parks in Utah is worth buying America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass. It costs only $80 per year.
The best viewpoints are Sunset Point and Sunrise Point, and it's worth doing this easy and short 1-mile hike between these points to admire the unique geology of the Park. Other viewpoints are found all along the park's 18-mile main road. It's a great idea to take the Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive and stop in the fantastic overlooks like Inspiration Point or Rainbow Point, Yovimpa Pond, or Natural Bridge.
More details about the Park and the activities and best hikes it offers you will find in the post Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Best Views in Utah: Canyon Overlook, Zion National Park
Recommended by James from teamajtravels.com
Zion National Park is located in the south-western corner of Utah. The deep canyons offer multiple vantage points to take in the imposing red cliff faces, natural rock arches, and colorful rivers that are synonymous with Zion.
One of the best and most accessible views of the park is at Canyon Overlook. This looks directly over Pine Creek Canyon all the way to the Towers of the Virgin rock face. Given that it faces now to the west, it is a great place to view the sunset, but the view is no less spectacular throughout the day.
It is a comfortable spot to access for non-hikers, with the lookout being a flat 10-15 minute walk from the road to the lookout area.
If you are after more of a challenge, then also check out Observation Point. There are epic views on offer, but you have to earn it! The hiking trail is about eight times longer than Canyon Overlook, plus there is a 2,000+ft climb.
Zion's desert location makes the spring and fall seasons the best to visit when the temperatures are mild. Entry fees to the park are as follows:
Entry is $12 per person (Max. $25 per family).
Vehicle access for $25 (Scenic Dr only accessible by shuttle bus from March to November)
The Best Views in Utah: Delicate Arch at Sunset in Arches National Park
Reccomended by Jarrod Heil
One of the most famous arches in Utah — and the entire world — is the brittle-looking Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. If you've been to Utah, you've likely noticed it plastered on the state's license plates. If you haven't been, you've probably seen it in countless social media photos.
Whether you've seen it or not, it's arguably the most popular spot in Utah and is best seen at either sunrise or sunset when the skies behind it glisten with hues red, orange, pink, and purple. But in many cases, the moderate 3-mile round trip hike is better done at sunset.
Taking a sunset hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park provides you with an experience you'll never forget — and the arch has been home to thousands of romantic proposals throughout the years. Given that it only takes about 30 minutes to get from Delicate Arch to the nearby parking lot, you can stay until it nightfall and have no trouble accepting the scenic hike to the parking lot in the dark.
Best Views in Utah: Kings Peak
Recommended by Kristen Czudak at Yonderlust Ramblings
Kings Peak highlights one of the best views in Utah for two reasons. First, it allows visitors to witness a completely different side of Utah, and second, it is the highest point in Utah, so naturally, it tops the list of breathtaking views!
While much of Utah is portrayed through its renowned red rock, Kings Peak provides glimpses of a densely forested and high altitude mountainscape, dotted with jagged peaks, idyllic ponds, and roaring rivers! Kings Peak is located in northern Utah's ruggedly untouched Uinta Mountains. The best way to experience these views is by hiking to the top!
Kings Peak is best undertaken as a 4-day backpacking trip starting at the Henry's Fork Campground. There are fees to reserve a spot here, but not to park at the trailhead or access the Kings Peak trail. The ideal season to hike here are the summer months. The Kings Peak hike is 26 miles long, with an elevation of 13,527 feet at its summit. Along the way, you'll run parallel to the untamed Henry's Fork River, camp at secluded Dollar Lake with its resident moose, and witness stunning panoramas of landmarks including the glimmering Painter's Basin, the imposing Anderson Pass, and of course, the state high point summit!
Best Views in Utah: Needles District
Canyonlands National Park has three distinct districts that are each quite a ways away from one another. Most will head to Island in the Sky because of it's proximity to Moab and Arches National Park. It's well worth a visit, but I want to talk a bit more about the Needles District, and more importantly about the gorgeous drive to get to the entrance of the park.
From Moab, it's roughly an hour and a half to get to the Needles entrance. Along the way, you will see the La Salle mountains to the East as the red rock desert opens up to the west. Take the turn from Highway 191 to Highway 211 where you'll quickly find yourself in the Indian Creek area. Indian Creek is operated by the Bureau of Land Management and is a mecca for rock climbers wanting to get their fix of tall red walls with splitters.
A little way along Highway 211, before the desert valley opens up to those giant walls and eroded towers in the distance is a pull-off for Newspaper Rock. the 200 square foot rock is home to some of the oldest petroglyphs in the country and is well worth a stop.
Take your time meandering along Highway 211 before making your way to the park entrance because the landscape changes dramatically once you enter the park. If you only have a day (or even a few hours) to spend in the Needles District, the park offers a wonderful sample of the different landscapes:
Roadside Ruin is a 1/3 mile loop that takes you to a typical ancestral Puebloan-era structure.
Pothole Point is a 30-minute hike that takes you along slickrock with views of the needles formations. Follow cairns to make the full loop.
Cave Spring is a short 30-minute loop that leads to a historic cowboy camp and gives hikers the opportunity to climb two ladders to complete the route.
Are you looking for similar views in Colorado? Check out my blog post on the best engagement photo locations in Colorado to get a better feel for the landscape.