Utah Spring Break Ideas and Travel Tips

Here’s a list of fun Utah spring break ideas: things to do, see and photograph!

Use our list of places to visit in Utah, what to pack, where to stay and more to create your spring vacation itinerary!

utah spring break ideas and tips

We’ve asked fellow travelers to share their favorite Utah spring break destinations, activities and tips to help you plan your trip.

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Utah Packing Lists

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Utah Spring Break Destinations Map

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Utah Spring Break Ideas

There are so many ways to enjoy spring break in Utah! Keep in mind that spring is a busy time of year with visitors taking advantage of time off for spring break. If you can… avoid the holidays around Easter, spring break and Memorial Day. Those times are especially busy!

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!

Here’s our list of Utah vacation spots and things to do for spring break:

Thors Hammer Bryce Canyon sunrise spot

Visit Utah’s 5 National Parks

Visiting Utah National Parks in the spring is one of the best times to go because the weather is “just right”.

There are 5 National Parks in Utah to enjoy beautiful views and outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, climbing, and off-roading. Check out our Utah National Park road trip itinerary to plan the most amazing spring break trip!

Dead Horse Point

Explore Utah’s State Parks

In any other state, many of the Utah State Parks would be considered National Parks. There are a total of 43 State Parks where you can explore the history and beauty of the area.

Check out this List of Utah State Parks that are near the National Parks in Utah that are perfect for a side-trip stop!

take jaw-dropping photos at Utah National Parks
View of Salt Lake City photo credit csginger

Tour Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a great place to visit over spring break in Utah. It is a vibrant city with lots of fun things to do and really yummy restaurants. The weather is starting to warm up making it easier to go hiking and enjoy the outdoor downtown scene. A great hike close to downtown is Ensign Peak.

A great way to get a quick highlight of the city and learn more about the history of Salt Lake City is a tour with Salt Lake Trolley Tours. The historic district is really pretty. If you want to do some shopping, be sure to check out City Creek.

The Grand America Hotel is a great place to stay in downtown Salt Lake City. It is a convenient location making it easy to explore all of the fun things to do in Salt Lake City. It is a very elegant hotel with an on-site spa and restaurant. (Recommended by Candice from csginger)

ski utah cottonwood canyon

If you ski, then Utah’s Cottonwood Canyon is your spring break destination. When most people hear “ski Utah,” they think Park City. And they are not wrong. Park City is world-class skiing. But because Cottonwood Canyon is slightly less known, the resorts offer the same amazing skiing, but are often less crowded and cost less, which is ideal for any spring break ski trip.

Despite its name, Little Cottonwood Canyon houses the larger ski resorts of the Canyon: Snowbird and Alta. At 2,500 skiable acres, both of these resorts are impressive. In Big Cottonwood, Solitude and Brighton, slightly smaller, are great resorts for skiing families

The beauty of Cottonwood Canyon is that the resorts are only 40 minutes from Salt Lake City. The resorts’ proximity to Salt Lake means less expensive accommodations in the city. You can even use public transportation to easily reach all the resorts. If skiing is in your spring break plans, don’t miss the resorts of Cottonwood Canyon. (Recommended by Faith from 3 Tickets Please)

Where To Stay In Salt Lake City

Meadow hot springs in Utah

Enjoy Meadow Hot Springs

If you are looking for a great and unique place to visit in Utah this spring, Meadows Hot Springs is the place to try. Located halfway between Salt Lake City and Zion National Park, Meadows Hot Springs are natural hot water sources. The ambiance over there is perfect to relax after a few days of hiking. Plus, nothing can beat soaking in hot springs when temperatures are still chilly outside.

The Meadows Hot Springs are 3 naturally hot pools, each at a different temperature. If you follow the road, you’ll start with the coldest one and end with the warmest one. You’ll be surrounded by farm fields with a view of the mountains at far. It’s magical.

It’s on private land which the owner kindly let the public access. It’s important to respect the rules and use the “pack out, pack in” principle and leave no litter behind. There are no access fees, but it’s recommended to give a small donation. There’s a donation box by the parking spots of the first pool. It’s also possible to stay overnight and do some camping there. (Recommended by Emilie from Love Life Abroad)

ATV at Sand Hollow

Visit St. George

Spring comes early in St. George, meaning the days will be 70 degrees and sunny in mid-March. The perfect weather allows you to enjoy the diverse outdoor activities St. George is known for, such as renting a boat to soak up the sun at Sand Hollow or Quail Creek Reservoirs.

If you want an adrenaline rush, rent a side by side (think ATV but better) and cruise the sand dunes at Sand Hollow State Park. 

St. George is also a great hub for day trips to Zion National Park 60 minutes away and Las Vegas 90 minutes away, both within an easy drive. Check out this Zion hiker’s guide!

After a long day of adventures in St. George, stop by George’s Corner in downtown for some classic diner food and delicious cocktails. (Recommended by Taylor at Nomads in Nature)

Where to Stay Near St. George

Hiking the Narrows at Zion National Park

Hike the Narrows

Spring Break is a beautiful time of year to hit the Narrows – depending on recent snow melt and rain bringing the potential for a high river, but it’s breathtakingly beautiful year round.  

When I hiked the Narrows it was summer and this majestic slot canyon with its mile-high walls blew me away. 

Check in with Zion Outfitter at the entrance to the park, where you can rent boots and poles. These guys know the Narrows like the back of their rugged hands and keep one eye on the weather and the other on the shop. 

This is also where you’ll take the bus from to the entrance to Zion National Park where you’ll find an easy path (even buggy and wheelchair friendly) down to the river. For some people, this is far as they want to go. Happy to swim (water temps in Spring range from a chilly 45-50˚F) and take in the beauty with their camera and their eyes.  

If you’re going to do any of the Zion National Park hikes, pack snacks, water, hat, and sunscreen. (Recommended by Megan from Blogger at Large)

Where to Stay Near Zion

Moqui Caverns near Kanab

Explore the Moqui Caverns

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track attraction in Southern Utah, check out the unique Moqui Caverns sand caves. Take a short but steep hike to these unique sand caves carved into the cliff wall. There are no obvious signs or markings advertising this spot, so make sure to save or write down the trailhead location. The parking lot for this trail is a wide shoulder spot off US-89 about 6 miles north of Kanab, Utah. This hike is just 30 miles from Zion, making it a great day trip or stop on a longer Utah road trip.

The actual hike is only half a mile, but it does require a bit of scrambling to get to the sand caves, which may be difficult for small kids. The views from and of the cave are amazing though and worth the effort. In the Spring the weather is usually mild, and perfect for hiking! Make sure to leave no trace in the caves! Do not carve in the stone, and take out any trash you bring in.

Wahweap-Hoodoos

Hike to the Wahweap Hoodoos

If you’re looking for a great place to visit in Utah this spring, you can’t miss the Wahweap Hoodoos in Grand Staircase-Escalante. These tall ethereal spires surrounded by eerie sandstone mounds can only be reached via a 9-mile (roundtrip) trail.

Less of a trail and more of a ramble, the Wahweap Hoodoos Trail follows a dry creek bed for over 4 miles until reaching the formations. The route is fairly flat but it is not marked. A map and basic route-finding skills are required.

Spring is the perfect time to visit these distinctive formations when temperatures are mild – not too hot or too cold. The closest town to the trailhead is Bad Water, but it doesn’t have much in the way of accommodations or facilities. Consider basing your stay in Kanab, Utah or Page, Arizona instead. (Recommended by Katy from A Rambling Unicorn)

Where to Stay in Kanab

Where to Stay in Page, Arizona

The Wave hiking trail

Hike to the Wave

Hiking the Wave is one of the most exciting things to do in Utah for Spring Break. This bucket list adventure is located in Coyote Buttes North of the Paria Canyon – Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area. Spring is the perfect time to visit because the weather is ideal. In a place where temperatures can soar above 90 degrees and flash floods are possible, good weather makes all the difference. 

The 6 mile round trip hike starts in Utah and crosses the border into Arizona over stark desert landscapes. Eventually you will reach the most stunning red sandstone wavelike formation that is completely unique on this planet. Those that are in great shape and craving more interesting things to see, can hike beyond the wave as long as you make it back by the end of the day. No overnight camping is allowed. (Recommended by Jenifer from The Evolista)

Lake Powell marina

Boat or Kayak at Lake Powell

Lake Powell, part of the massive Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, straddles both Utah and Arizona. The lake is famous for its unique rock formations, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and wide range of water activities. 

Boating is the most popular activity on Lake Powell, whether kayaking or houseboating. For spring break in particular, renting a houseboat is highly recommended. 

Peak season doesn’t start until Memorial Day, so you’ll enjoy off-peak rates, no crowds, and pleasant weather for spring break. The marina in Utah where you rent boats is Bullfrog; the one on the Arizona side is called Wahweap.

In addition to boating, you can also hike around Lake Powell or take a variety of guided tours in the area. On the Arizona side is Page, home to Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and many other natural attractions. On the Utah side, Zion National Park is only 1.5 hours away! Check out the famous Angels Landing hike. (Recommended by Taryn from Chasing Trail)

druid-arch-canyonlands-national-park-utah

Hike to Druid Arch

There are places in the Utah desert one can hike to that will take your breath away. The hike to Druid Arch is one of those places. Druid Arch is a magnificent sandstone arch tucked deep into the backcountry of Needles Canyonlands.

The Druid Arch trailhead (also called Elephant Hill trailhead) is roughly 2 ½ hours from Moab near Monticello in Chesler Park. The hike is roughly 11 miles out and back. It takes anywhere from 5-7 hours to trek and is considered a moderately difficult hike. There is some rock scrambling and a ladder climb to get to the arch.

Be sure to bring plenty of food and water for the hiking adventure.

Spring is an excellent time to hike in the desert. The mornings are cool, the gnats haven’t come out, and the desert is alive from the spring snow and rain. You’ll love hiking to this backcountry treasure during a spring break adventure. (Recommended by Ashlee at The Happiness Function)

Where to Stay Near Canyonlands Needles

There are no lodging facilities in the park, but there is one campground → Needles Canyonlands Camping

You can visit Needles and stay in Moab, and most people do that. → Where to stay in Moab.

You’ll find lodging in Monticello near Needles Canyonlands, but the hotel options, food, and shopping and aren’t as good. It’s a much smaller town than Moab.

Goblin Valley

Hike Goblin Valley

If you are looking for a unique thing to do in Utah for spring break, then visiting Goblin Valley State Park should be at the top of your list!

Goblin Valley is famous for its other-worldly rock formations that make the valley look as if it is an alien planet. The rock formations that are located all over the valley look like mushrooms or like a giant troll decided to take up rock balancing. 

Spring is the perfect time to visit because the weather is absolutely beautiful. Goblin Valley is located in an International Dark Sky Reserve which means that on a clear night the Milky Way can be even be seen!

There are so many amazing hikes in Goblin Valley that include the cool rock formations and slot canyons. Visiting this unique park is a must-do on your Utah trip. (Recommended by Shannon from Adventuring With Shannon)

Little Wild Horse canyon

Hike Little Wild Horse Canyon

When visiting Goblin Valley State Park, check out Little Wild Horse Canyon just outside the park. It’s an exciting and picturesque slot canyon, ranking right up there with the popular Delicate Arch sunset hike at Arches National Park.

This rocky, narrow trail is a popular Utah spring break activity, especially with the mild temperatures during the spring.

Little Wild Horse is a roughly 5-mile out-and-back trail winding through striking red rock walls. If you’re up for a longer hike, Little Wild Horse is connected to Bell Canyon by an 8-mile looped trail. Either way, you’ll have fun climbing up and over rocks and squeezing through narrow rocky passageways. As always with slot canyons, avoid the trail if there is rain in the forecast.

Conveniently located just a little over an hour from Capitol Reef National Park and 2.5 hours from Arches and Canyonlands, plan this slight detour into your Utah itinerary for an exciting spring break excursion. (Recommended by Deanne at Scenic and Savvy)

Where to Stay Near Goblin Valley

Bentonite Hills Utah

Photograph the Bentonite Hills

The Bentonite Hills in Utah is one of the best things to do in Utah for Spring Break. Located just outside of Capitol Reef National Park, plan to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance to get here.

Try to visit the Bentonite Hills near sunrise or sunset if at all possible. This may mean driving the bumpy roads in the dark, but seeing the hills change colors makes it worth it. When the sun is higher in the sky, the hills are shades of orange and red, but during the hours when the sun is rising or setting, you’ll watch the hills turn blue and purple to go with the reds and oranges.

If you get out to hike, watch where you walk as the soil is fragile and easily damaged. Follow foot paths that are already there or walk along the washes.

Spring is a great time to visit Utah in general, but especially the Bentonite Hills. Sunrise and sunset are not as early then, so you won’t have to wake up super early to drive back to your hotel super late. It will be chilly in the morning and evening hours, so take some layers if you plan to stay for a while. Winter weather makes the roads too wet to get there sometimes, and the summer is so hot that it can be miserable hiking around, so spring is the perfect time to visit.

As far as accommodations, this area is pretty remote. Camping is also available in the area or you can stay in the nearby town of Hanksville. Hanksville also has the nearest restaurants (Duke’s Slickrock Grill was our favorite), so take food and water with you when you go if you will be there for long. (Recommended by Christine from Live Love Run Travel)

Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef

Monument Valley

Visit Monument Valley

One of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, Monument Valley is located in the Four Corner region on the border of Utah and Arizona. 

Spring is a perfect time to visit Monument Valley thanks to mild temperatures and fewer visitors compared to the busy summer season.

Monument Valley is a remote area that requires hours of driving from nearest major airports such as Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or Phoenix. That’s why a trip to Monument Valley is best combined with Utah National Parks

To enter Monument Valley, you will need to pay for the entrance in cash, as credit cards are not accepted. Accommodations and restaurants are limited in the area, with several hotels right outside the Monument Valley. 

If you want to spend some time hiking in the area, make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no stores inside Monument Valley. (Recommended by Daria at The Discovery Nut)

Where to Stay Near Monument Valley

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