back to articles | March 27, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

How to Plan for a Successful Utah National Parks Trip


Ready for the vacation of all vacations? The greatest one on your bucket list? Well, a trip to Utah National Parks promises to deliver the best vacation possible. From the expansive panoramas to the sandstone formations and lush green valleys, Utah’s National Parks will inspire a sense of adventure in you.

Utah is the home to the mighty five national parks in the United States. Each park bustles with exciting things to do, scenic views, and incredible natural beauty. Within a whirlwind 7-day trip, you can derive the most from your holiday. Here is a guide on how to plan for a successful Utah national parks trip.

The best time to take your Utah national parks trip

Timing is everything when it comes to planning a successful trip. Generally, you can take your trip at any time of the year. However, trips into the national parks are best on foot for maximum enjoyment. In such cases, going when temperatures are mild is best.

During winter, you can expect freezing temperatures and snow galore. Sometimes, parks may close the roads because of the snowy conditions. Thus, the best time to vacation is during fall and spring. As for the best months, consider going from September to October or April to May.

Top things to pack while preparing for your trip

All five Utah national parks: Capitol Reef, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Arches, have variable weather conditions. To ensure a successful trip, make sure you carry all the essentials. Here are the must-have things for your trip:

  • Hiking backpack
  • Hiking boots
  • Rain jacket
  • Wool socks
  • Sunscreen and sunhat
  • Headlamp for night explorations

The best starting point for your Utah national parks trip

Generally, you can get to Utah by driving or flying. If you are seeking a weekend adventure during your trip, consider getting a car. Whether it’s used or new, there are a variety of auto loan and refinancing options.

Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are the best starting points for this trip. Both of these regions have airports with frequent flights from several airlines. Also, you can make a complete loop, starting from one airport in Las Vegas or Salt Lake City and ending in the other. If you choose to drive, you can also start your trip from Denver. Those who do not live in Denver or Salt Lake City will need to fly to one of Utah’s gateways and then drive to the first travel destination.

Top tips for planning for your trip

Before you begin your journey, it is always best to plan ahead. Below are some of the things that you should do:

  • Buy America the beautiful pass to have access to all five parks.
  • If you plan to stay in the parks, have an advanced reservation.
  • Download trip details and maps online.
  • Have a travel first aid kit.

The ultimate itinerary for Utah National Parks from Salt Lake City

With a minimum of seven days, you can absorb the best the parks offer. Here is a seven-day itinerary that can help you have a successful trip:

Salt Lake City-Day 1

For the first day, you need to fly into Salt Lake City. However, you can opt to fly to Las Vegas and make this trip in reverse. Once you get to Salt Lake City, pick up a rental car at the airport.

Then, drive to Moab. When you get to Moab, settle in your hotel, rest, and then have dinner.

Arches National Park- Day 2

This park is an excellent introduction to the mighty five and is only five minutes from downtown Moab. It provides a breathtaking view, amazing hiking trails, massive arches, and red rocks. You can take a one-day hike to complete the park’s trails. The best things to do in the national park are:

  • Hike at the devil’s Garden trail
  • Enjoy the sunset at Delicate Arch
  • Visit Turret Arc
  • Enjoy a scenic drive

Canyonlands National Park- Day 3

Canyonlands National Park has an other-worldly landscape. It is only 45 minutes away from Moab and provides the best place to enjoy deep canyons. In addition, it is home to the popular Mesa Arch and the Grand Canyon.

The top things you can consider doing in the park include the following:

  • A visit to the Green River Overlook
  • A visit to the Shafer Canyon Overlook
  • Enjoy the sunrise at Mesa Arch
  • Enjoy a scenic drive

Capitol Reef National Park-Day 4

Most people tend to overlook the Capitol Reef National Park. However, it provides the most amazing backcountry experience, a historic fruit orchard, fabulous hiking trails, and low crowds. When visiting Capitol Reef, you can stay in Torrey or camp in the park. The best way to maximize the national park experience is by:

  • Enjoying a scenic drive through Capitol Reef
  • Hiking at Cassidy Arch
  • Hiking at Hickman Bridge

Bryce Canyon National Park- Day 5

The national park provides an easy and quick visit. It has an unbelievable hoodoo-covered landscape. Make sure to visit it during the morning hours to watch the sunrise. The famous hoodoos light up with oranges, pinks, and purples of the rising sun. It is a sight to behold.

The best things to do at the national park include:

  • Enjoy a breathtaking sunrise at the sunrise point
  • Hike the Navajo Loop Trail
  • Visit Bryce Canyon’s popular rock formations, such as Thor’s hammer and Queen Victoria

Springdale is the best place to sleep when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. You can also stay at other nearby towns of Tropic and Bryce.

Zion National Park- Day 6

Zion is one of the greatest parks in the country. It provides the best place to go if you are a hiking enthusiast. You can enjoy long trail hikes or short hiking trails in the morning and spend the noon exploring Zion Valley.

The lifeline of the park is the Zion shuttle. Make sure you book your shuttle tickets to enjoy the most scenic view possible. The top things to do at the park are:

  • Hiking at the angel’s landing, observation point, or the narrows.
  • Exploring the narrows
  • Enjoying the scenic views

Las Vegas- Day 7

Day seven is the last day of your whirlwind trip. Drive to Los Angeles during the morning. The drive can take up to 2.5 hours. Then fly home in the afternoon. However, you can extend your trip and spend more days in your favorite park.

Wrapping it up

Utah National Parks provides one of the best ways to enjoy your vacation. From the majestic Delicate Arch view in Arches National Park to the world-famous hiking sites in Zion national park, you are bound to have an incredible time. With only seven days on the line, make sure to maximize each day.