List of Utah Destinations for Summer to Visit

There are so many places to visit in Utah, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. Utah’s diverse landscape features mountains, deserts, sandstone canyons, a salty lake and more!

We are sharing our top Utah destinations for summer so you can plan a fun-filled vacation.

Keep reading for things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more as you visit these locations in Utah in the summer.

utah destinations for summer
travel planning made easy optin

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.

Map of Utah Destinations for Summer

Map of Utah summer destinations to visit

Summer Vacation Ideas in Utah

Utah is a bucket list destination at any time of the year! Here’s a list of Utah Summer vacation ideas.

Don’t forget this state is a year-round destinations. Check out these fun things to do in Utah in the winter.

Visit Utah National Parks in the Summer

Utah National Parks in the summer is a popular time for tourists to visit. Summer is also the hottest time at all 5 parks. We share our tips for beating the heat for each park below.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is located just outside the fun adventure town of Moab. The park hold the largest density of natural sandstone arches in the world!

Delicate Arch Utah National Park in the spring

Looking for some fun things to do while in Arches National Park? You can enjoy biking, camping, hiking, photography and even rock climbing. 

Just a little tip when planning an Arches National Park summer vacation: avoid the hot temperatures and arrive between 7 and 8 in the morning or after 5 in the evening. You will find that the temperatures are cooler and it will be a more pleasant experience.

Be sure to stop and explore nearby Canyonlands National Park in the summer and Dead Horse Point State Park!

Plan Your Arches Vacation:

Where to Stay Near Arches:

Arches National Park Camping

There are no hotels in Arches so most people stay in the nearby town of Moab. There are all types of lodging in and near Moab from budget-friendly hotels to higher-prices resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks.

→ Where to Stay Near Arches National Park

  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
  • Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel. 
  • Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Vacation Rentals – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park in the summer is the perfect time to explore the Bryce Canyon scenic drive where you can stop at all 13 viewpoints, take pictures and explore. 

Bryce Canyon sunrise is must-do Utah experience.
Bryce Canyon sunrise is must-see Utah experience.

There are many Bryce Canyon hikes where you can wander through the hoodoo landscape and experience the park in a completely different way!

The night sky at Bryce is amazing. Check out the full moon hikes and astronomy ranger programs. You won’t regret it! 

Plan Your Bryce Canyon Vacation

Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon:

Capitol Reef National Park

A national park that is often overlooked, but worth adding to your list is Capitol Reef National Park in the summer. We highly recommend the Capitol Reef scenic drive and exploring the Fruita area!

This park offers plenty of hiking trails for you to explore at all levels. A fun easy hike is the Capitol Gorge trail. You’ll walk through a wide slot canyon where you will see some carvings in the stone from the pioneers that first went through the area. 

No matter what Capitol Reef hikes you take you will love the views you see and may even see some big horned sheep on some trails.

Plan a Capitol Reef Vacation

Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef

Places to Stay at Capitol Reef National Park

  • Capitol Reef Resort – this is where we stay! Make it a unique experience and stay in a teepee or covered wagon!
  • Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel – basic rooms and cabins with a deli and store right on the property which is so convenient!
  • VRBO Vacation Rentals – we like finding a place with a kitchen so we can prepare our own food.
  • RV Share Rentals – enjoy the convenience of having an RV delivered to you at Capitol Reef!
take amazing photos at capitol reef

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in the summer WILL be crowded… and HOT… but it is still worth the trip. We recommend you plan your outdoor activities in the mornings and evenings when it’s cooler.

Zion National Park in the summer

While there, you will want to explore the Zion National Park hikes. Since the shuttle is the only way to access Zion Canyon, you may want to know the Zion hikes without the shuttle!

When it gets too hot for outdoor activities, you can drive your own car along the other three Zion National Park scenic drives.

Plan Your Zion Vacation

Where to Stay Near Zion

You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion. Here are a few of our favorite places to stay at to Zion National Park:

  • Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
  • Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
  • Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
  • Vacation Rentals in Springdale – you’ll want to stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants. 
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!

Utah Summer Vacation Destinations: Visit Utah State Parks

Not to be overshadowed by the national parks in the state, there are also amazing state parks you should add to your Utah bucket list for summer travel. 

Each state park is unique in its own way. And you’ll find a variety of things to do at Utah State Parks.

Here’s a list of the state parks we recommend:

Antelope Island

Antelope Island State Park is located within the Great Salt Lake and accessed North of Salt Lake City. 

You can camp, hike, horseback ride, and kayak … and of course wade into the salty lake. 

We love visiting this state park to watch and photograph the sunset reflecting into the lake.

And it’s a fun place to see wildlife. Who knew you could see 500 bison on this island?

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

If riding ATVs is your thing, then you want to travel to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park where you can explore 3730 acres of dunes.

The entire area is also open for hiking or playing in the sand. The state park offers sand board (stand up) and sand sled (sit down) rentals. It’s a fun way to enjoy the dunes, although climbing the hill again afterwards can be a bit of a chore.

This state park is in the southern part of Utah so during the summer the sane will be hot! Early morning is the best time to visit.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes are close to Zion National Park, so be sure to visit them both on the same trip!

Dead Horse Point

If you want a vacation to take the most incredible pictures, then you will want to visit Dead Horse Point State Park. The views are incredible.

One of the most spectacular Utah State Parks is Dead Horse Point.
One of the most spectacular Utah State Parks is Dead Horse Point.

There is a reason why this area has some of the most photographed landscapes in the world. Dead Horse Point is a popular location to watch the sunset as it casts the orange/red glow on the canyon.

Here’s a list of the fun Dead Horse Point State Park hiking trails.

Goblin Valley

Visiting Goblin Valley State Park is so unique! It may sound cliche, but you really do have to see it to appreciate it.

The landscape is covered with sandstone goblins and formations that is often compared to Mars. Descend into the valley and explore the area to your heart’s content.  

And be sure to stay up to experience the vast night sky. Due to its remote location, the park has one of the darkest night skies on earth!

Visit Goblin Valley as you travel between Capitol Reef and Green River on your way to Salt Lake or Moab.

Utah Lake, Provo

Home of the largest freshwater lake in the state is Utah Lake. Here you will find boating, sailing, paddle boarding, jet skiing and more. 

Utah Lake State Park is the place to go if you want a fun in the sun trip. The park offers swimming beaches, picnic areas, and plenty of campsites.

It’s a wonderful location to enjoy the sunset. When the conditions are right, you’ll have clouds in the sky that light up with color, as well as the reflection in the water.

Other Utah Summer Vacation Destinations

Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats is like no other place on earth.

It’s a vast salt crust ranging from a few inches to 5 feet thick that forms a perfectly flat, uniform, blindingly white landscape as far as the eye can see.

Milky Way reflection in the water at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Milky Way reflection in the water at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The flats are about 12 miles long and five miles wide, covering about 46 square miles in total.

Visitors from all around the world travel to see this pristine, otherworldly landscape about an hour and half west of Salt Lake City.

The Salt Flats are perfect to photograph sunrise and the milky way.

Park City

There are a ton of Park City Utah summer attractions!

There’s awesome shopping at the outlet malls and along historic Main Street.

Olympic Park houses one of only four sliding tracks in North America, six Nordic ski jumps, a 2002 Winter Games museum, and a multitude of adventure activities.

During the summer you can ride the alpine slide, tube down the ski jump, enjoy a wild zipline experience, or hike along the many trails in Park City.

Lower Calf Creek Falls

If you are looking for a great hiking location then Lower Calf Creek Falls is the place to visit.

When you view the spectacular desert waterfall that plunges 130 feet over a cliff into a pool of water you will agree it was worth the hike! 

Cool offer in the pool below Lower Calf Creek Falls in the summer.
Cool offer in the pool below Lower Calf Creek Falls in the summer.

Using this Lower Calf Creek Falls hiking guide can help you be more prepared to hike the trails.

With 12 campsites to camp available at the trailhead, it allows you to explore the area and trails for more than one day. Just be aware that all the campsites are first come first serve! 

Lake Powell

If you want to see gorgeous scenery from a boat, then you need to add Lake Powell to your top Utah destinations for summer. 

Lake Powell is the second-largest man-made reservoir in the USA, located in Southern Utah. This phenomenal site took 17 years to fill.

Lake Powell offers miles and miles of lakes to explore, things to do, and sites to see. 

With so much to do at Lake Powell some visitors wonder where to even start so Lake Powell has sample itineraries to help you start exploring. 

With a wide range of activities that include house boating, wakeboarding, fishing, hiking, and visiting Rainbow Bridge National monument, there is something for everyone to do and see while visiting. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *