From skiing in the gorgeous canvas of snow to traversing the gleaming red soil of the desert is a fun air balloon ride; there are many fun things to do in Utah. This landlocked state hosts a variety of natural wonders such as snow-capped mountains, red-rock deserts, lakes, and plateaus.
There are a bunch of amazing national parks and reserves on these sites, which offer so many exciting activities! You can also explore the various flora and fauna surrounding the mountains and deserts.
Discover the rich history of Utah by visiting its breathtaking historical monuments. Take pictures and learn about Utah’s heritage.
8 Fun Things to Do in Utah
Utah is the ideal place for your dream vacation with many unique attractions. Here are the top 8 fun things to do in Utah:
1. Go Skiing
Ski onto the steepest of terrains like a pro! Utah offers some of the best Ski resorts in the country. They offer everything from adventurous activities like zip-lining to fine dining and luxurious hotels.
Utah is also known to have the most excellent snow on earth. This powdery white snow looks like beds of cotton from afar. So, you can comfortably cross the acres of mountains without hurting a hair.
These are some of the fun things to do in Utah ski resorts:
1.1. Park City Mountain Resort
This resort has made it to the big leagues because of the 7300 acres of skiable terrain, making it the largest ski resort in the country.
Park City offers the best accommodations, from luxurious hotels to condos and vacation homes.
Some of the best hotels include Hyatt Place Park City and Holiday Inn Express Park City. They have heated pools and some great restaurants. So, you can book or rent a room for your occasional ski trips!
If you want to touch the skies, this ski resort offers challenging slopes and a wide range of professional equipment, including 41 ski lifts.
So, what are you waiting for? Glide down the tallest of hills in this great-for-experts ski resort. These include quad chairs, triple chairs, double chairs, gondolas, high-speed sixes, and quads.
1.2. Snowbird Ski Resort
Parties, activities, and skiing for every type of rider! The snowbird ski resort is the whole package. It will make the perfect getaway if you want to do more than ski.
Around 8% of the area comprises gentle slopes suitable for first-timers. Some precautions prevent beginners from going way too fast.
Moreover, there’s also a school for beginners to get better at skiing, called Snowbird Mountain School. Here, you can take classes in private or in a group.
There are also various steep slopes for advanced skiers. Interestingly, Snowbird has the steepest slope out of all Utah ski resorts. Conquer the ice monster as you drop down from 3240 feet and ski your way to the title of best rider.
1.3. Deer Valley Resort
If you’re a beginner, this is the best resort for you. It has slopes with low gradients making it easy and less dangerous to ski. You can easily traverse through the snowy powder down the perfect fall line with its smooth terrain.
There is also an exciting obstacle course with moguls, bowls, and glades for advanced skiers, or just plain adrenaline junkies. Moguls are small mountains of snow that skiers form when they turn, pushing snow to the side.
As the name suggests, bowls are literally in the form of a round bowl-shaped terrain. You will love this feature in the snow as you can ski along much steeper and more fun slopes. Glades are uneven snow-covered paths in the woods.
Burn some calories as you glide down the bowl, jump over the moguls or cross the uneven glades.
Out of all the fun things to do in Utah, skiing is one of the best!
2. Visit the National Parks
Whether it’s viewing aesthetic landscapes or thrilling hiking through the forests, there are many fun things to do in Utah national parks. Check them out:
2.1. Zion National Park
Observe the beauty of nature as you hike through gorgeous sandstone tunnels of a rusty-red hue with tones of pink, cream, orange, and blue. Swim through pristine pools along the way.
Spanning 593.3 sq. km of area, the Zion national park has various geographical features that you can cover, from woodlands and forests to deserts. Overall, the scenic views in this park are aesthetically pleasing.
You can also do many activities like swimming, cliff-jumping, or even horseback riding in the desert! This way, you’ll never run out of fun things to do in Utah.
One of the best features of this park, the Zion Canyon, is a top-rated tourist attraction. It is a valley between the cliffs and mountains of Zion national park. It has hiking trails that will take you through beautiful waterfalls, swimming holes, and forests.
Do you want to hear a secret? Pine Creek Waterfall is a great natural swimming hole in the Zion Canyon, but very few people know about it because it is off the trail. So you can enjoy a tranquil swim through its serene water.
The virgin river gushing down the path is also a major tourist hotspot. After saddling up on a horse for a ride through the arid wilderness, you can go tubing in the refreshing river.
2.2. Capitol Reef National Park
With colorful rock formations all over, shining white sandstone domes, and gorgeous orangish-red monoliths, the Capitol Reef National Park is called the land of the sleeping rainbow.
The domes are sand-dune deposits found in the Capitol Reef, whereas the monoliths are pre-historic monuments located in the north within the Cathedral Valley.
This park is in the south-central desert of Utah, surrounding the breathtaking water-pocket fold. This malformation is made of layers of shimmering golden sandstones, similar to those at.
Other than that, there are a lot of other striking monuments, such as the Chimney Rock pillar and the Hickman Bridge arch.
The Chimney Rock pillar is a beautiful rusty red sandstone pillar, whereas the Hickman bridge is a vast white arch surrounded by sandstone domes.
All-in-all, this place has fantastic scenic views of rock formations, of which you can click beautiful pictures.
2.3. Arches National Park
There’s a reason why this park is called Arches National Park, and that is the 2,000 red-rock arches that abound the area. Located in the North of Moab, this park spans 310.3 sq km of area.
You can hike through this entire area or camp on-site to see the thousands of stars shimmering in the moonlight, visible in the open sky here.
If you don’t feel like walking, there’s also the option to cross the desert on a horse majestically. While you’re on it, look at the beautiful sunsets that highlight the arches’ red hue.
2.4. Canyonlands National Park
Placed in southeastern Utah, Canyonlands national park gets its name from the various colorful canyons carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries and flat-topped hills called mesas.
This park has been separated into four mystifying districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the combined rivers—the Green and Colorado.
Island in the Sky is a gorgeous flat-top mesa sitting atop sandstone cliffs. The visitor center here is open for the entire year. You can also do many activities here, such as hiking, cycling, or camping on site.
The needles are tall needle-shaped sandstone towers in shades of cream and red. Here, you can either hike to Chesler park to see beautiful views of the needles or visit the wooden shoe arch overlook and click pictures.
Get ready for Maze Runner part 4 as you navigate through “the Maze” made of interlocked canyons. It isn’t easy to get into this district if the roads are wet.
Speaking of wet, the last district is the green and Colorado rivers which meet in the Canyonlands national park and surround the island in the sky district.
Exciting distinct features separate these districts from one another. However, all of them have a hot and humid desert-like vibe. Experience the magic of countless rock formations in vivid colors under the sunlight as you take a bunch of pictures!
If you’re still looking for more recommendations, check out these 12 national parks.
3. Attend the Utah Shakespeare Festival
Discover the great works of Shakespeare as you visit one of the main attractions in Cedar City, Utah. In this festival, theatrical performances happen every year on the campus of Southern Utah University.
So, if you visit during summer or fall when the festival happens, your bucket list of fun things to do in Utah will only become longer.
For literature or theatre lovers, this place is like paradise. Here, you can view authentic plays that date back to the Elizabethan era.
They last for an engaging two and a half months. You can also take improv classes, Shakespeare literature classes, and stage combat courses.
Producing its first season on an improvised platform, the Utah Shakespearean Festival company made its props and costumes with the help of locals and volunteers and played three of Shakespeare’s plays in front of a crowd of little over 3,000 people.
From then to now, it’s an award-winning festival that has attracted about 130,000 people to Cedar City with its charismatic allure.
4. Visit the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Have you ever seen pink sand? It’s beautiful and abundant in the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Located in the southwest region of Utah, between Mount Carmel Junction and Kanab, this park has breathtaking scenic views.
The slightly peach-colored dunes combined with a glowing sunrise make this place perfect for pictures. Magnificent rusty-red sandstone cliffs are also visible in the distance. There are also views of the Zion national park, just southeast of this park.
So, drive off into the sunset as you traverse over lumps of sand in a thrilling journey!
5. Visit the Natural History Museum
Located in Salt Lake City, The Natural History Museum of Utah aims to showcase an appreciation for Utah’s landscapes and distinct geographical features by recreating its natural elements.
All-in-all, this is a very enlightening and illuminating experience. You can learn the rich history of Utah, which is represented by the 5,000 exciting artifacts from centuries ago! Walk amongst thousands of ground-breaking discoveries and some of the world’s marvels.
Experience evolution, as it happened, stage by stage. Discover a lost piece of history and showcase your appreciation of art and nature in the natural history museum.
This is the most educational one of the thousands of fun things to do in Utah. I would recommend this for you if you have kids.
6. Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Multiple ascending terraces interlock in the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument. Visitors come here to witness the spectacle and grandeur of this enormous monument. Moreover, the lovely views filled with colorful slot canyons, giant arches, monoliths, and natural bridges add to its charm.
This monument protects the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Escalante Canyons in southern Utah. This leads to this monument’s wide variety of geological features, one of Utah’s best attractions.
This tourist hotspot established by President Bill Clinton spans over 1,880,461 acres of land. This includes lush coniferous forests to arid deserts, making it one of the most fun things to do in Utah.
7. Timpanogos Cave National Monument
Do you want to explore the mystery of hidden underground tunnels? Discover the Timpanogos cave national monument. This is the best place to go if you’re looking for fun things to do in Utah monuments.
Timpanogos cave system consists of three different caves: Hansen cave, Middle cave, and Timpanogos cave. These are separated by artificial doors that help keep the ecosystems from each other’s influence.
Abounded by a mystical Utah lake and walls made of white rock formations, these caves take their visitors on a thrilling journey. If you like to explore, pack your bags now to experience one of the best things ever!
8. Dive Into the Hot Springs
Are you sore from a tiring hike in the national parks? Nothing is better than soaking in hot springs to wash all your stresses.
Hot springs are scorching bodies of water heated by magma from volcanoes or hot rocks from the earth’s surface. If not in an active volcano zone, they can provide you with the most relaxing getaway after a day of dangerous climbing.
Here are 5 hot springs for your “fun things to do in Utah” bucket list:
8.1. Homestead Crater
This natural geothermal hot spring offers many exciting activities like scuba-diving to the depths of 65 feet like a fearless pro. You can also snorkel or chill in the hot cozy water.
If you’re visiting the natural history museum of Utah or the park city mountain resort, you should check out the homestead crater, which is only a 30–50-minute drive from these places.
8.2. Saratoga Hot Springs
Relax in a tranquil environment at Saratoga hot springs. There are some great views of snow-capped mountains, whether the breathtaking Wasatch ranges or the Oquirrh mountains.
These hot springs are great during the winter, being the perfect getaway from the icy weather. There is a lot of colorful flora surrounding their crystal-clear waters. However, it can get very muddy around this scenic beauty. So, bring a bag and some clothes to keep all your stuff on.
8.3. Crystal Hot Springs
Experience luxurious stays and dining at its finest all around the Crystal Hot Springs. There’s a lodge, a hundred places to camp and various swimming pools. This area is significantly developed, and swimming in the crystal hot springs is not very expensive.
Being the world’s largest natural hot spring, it is usually filled with crowds of all ages.
8.4. Meadow Hot Springs
This place may be your best option for taking refuge during winters due to its scalding waters and seasonal bonfires held on the property.
You can also scuba dive through its 20 feet deep aqua blue water. All-in-all there are three hot springs located on private property. The owner gives free access to the hot springs as long as you follow the rules.
Relax in the best and most popular Utah hot spring and cross another thing off of your “fun things to do in Utah” checklist.
8.5. Fifth Water Hot Springs
You have to embark upon an adventurous journey to reach the Fifth Water Hot Springs. Hike through gushing streams and gorgeous canyons to finally reach your destination.
You will also find a beautiful waterfall with fascinating flora around it. This is also one of the reasons why this one-hour hot springs trail is so popular.
Visiting Red butte garden, Great Salt Lake, and Monument Valley also come under fun things to do in Utah.
Utah is a beautiful state with diverse landscapes. You can view magnificent sandstone formations in deserts or traverse snow-capped mountains with skis or feet. Either way, you’ll have the most fun!