Utah is an amazing destination for a summer vacation. With its beautiful landscapes, stunning national parks, and abundance of outdoor activities, there’s something here for everyone.
We are sharing our top Utah destinations for summer so you can plan a fun-filled vacation. 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!
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beaches of Lake Powell or take a thrilling adventure through Zion National Park, Utah has it all! Here are some of the best places in Utah to visit this summer.
Use our Utah Packing Lists to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in the summer (UV protection clothing, sunscreen, lotion)! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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Map of Utah Destinations for Summer
Use this map of places in Utah to visit in the summer to help you better plan your vacation!
Summer Destinations to Visit in Utah
Utah is a bucket list destination at any time of the year! Below we share a list of fun 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.
If you’re wondering what it’s like to visit Utah other times of the year, check out our resource: Best time to visit Utah! It details what it’s like in northern and southern Utah in the spring, summer, fall, and winter!
Visit Utah National Parks in the Summer
Summer is a popular time for tourists to travel. BUT visiting Utah National Parks in the summer is also the hottest time at all 5 parks. We share our tips for beating the heat for each park below.
Arches in the Summer
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!
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.
Bryce Canyon in the Summer
When visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in the summer, be sure to explore the Bryce Canyon scenic drive where you can stop at all 13 viewpoints, take pictures and explore.
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 Canyon is amazing. Check out the full moon hikes and astronomy ranger programs. You won’t regret it!
- Bryce Canyon National Park Summer Activities
- Bryce Canyon National Park Summer Hikes
- Bryce Canyon National Park Tours
Canyonlands in the Summer
Summer is NOT what we consider the best time to visit Canyonlands National Park because it’s so HOT! But if you enjoy landscape and milky way photography, then you’ll be out taking pictures during the cool times. You can chill and nap in the hotel AC during the day!
There are fun things to do at Canyonlands National Park in the summer like hiking, biking, river rafting, and off-roading! The early mornings and late afternoons are the coolest part of day for outdoor activities.
- Canyonlands National Park Summer Activities
- Canyonlands National Park Summer Hikes
- Canyonlands National Park Tours
Capitol Reef in the Summer
A location 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.
- Capitol Reef National Park Summer Activities
- Capitol Reef National Park Summer Hikes
- Capitol Reef National Park Tours
Zion in the Summer
Summer WILL be crowded… and HOT… but it is still worth the trip. When visiting Zion National Park in the summer we recommend you plan your outdoor activities in the mornings and evenings when it’s cooler.
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.
Utah NP Mighty 5 AUDIO TOUR
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Visit Utah State Parks in the Summer
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 with a variety of things to see, do and photograph! Here’s a list of Utah State Parks we recommend:
Antelope Island in the Summer
Located within the Great Salt Lake and accessed North of Salt Lake City, you’ll find Antelope Island State Park. 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 in the Summer
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 in the Summer
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.
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 in the Summer
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 in the Summer
Home of the largest freshwater lake in the state is Utah Lake. There are a variety of things to do at Utah Lake State Park: boating, sailing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and fishing. There are also picnic areas and 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.
More Summer Vacation Destinations in Utah
Here’s a list of even more Utah vacation spots and things to do in the summer!
Bonneville Salt Flats in the Summer
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.
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.
We recommend visiting early in the morning because it will be HOT at the Salt Flats in the summer.
The Salt Flats are perfect to photograph sunrise and the milky way.
Park City in the Summer
There are a ton of Park City Utah summer attractions! There’s awesome shopping at the outlet malls and along historic Main Street.
Utah 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 in the Summer
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! Taking a dip in the cold water is a great summertime activity!
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 in the Summer
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.
Where to Stay in Utah
- Coolest Hotels in Utah
- Where to Stay in Utah National Parks
- Hotels in Utah
- VRBO Vacation Rentals in Utah
Utah Bucket List
To help make your trip planning easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of must-do activities that belong on every Utah Bucket List: things to see, do and taste all around the state! Grab the free download by clicking the graphic below!