Utah has some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the United States. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled weekend or just a relaxing day out in nature, there are plenty of Utah summer activities: things to do, see and photograph!
Use this list of places to visit in Utah to plan an amazing itinerary full of fun summer activities! We also share tips for things to pack, where to stay and more!
From hiking through Zion National Park to kayaking on Lake Powell to exploring Bryce Canyon National Park—the possibilities are endless. So grab your sunscreen and water bottle and get ready for a fun-filled Utah summer!
Be sure to grab your free download of our Utah bucket list with even more ideas for things to do!
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A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks
Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
Northern and Southern Utah in the Summer
Northern Utah: Salt Lake City, Park City, and Provo are the three main cities in this part of the state. You’ll find main streets with shopping, restaurants, nightlife, festivals, historic buildings and performing arts.
Central and Southern Utah: All 5 Utah National Parks are located in this part of the state.
Check to see where the Utah vacation spots are located around the state because a drive from Salt Lake City to any of the National Parks in the south can take 4 to 5 hours. Keep in mind that the drive from Northern to Southern Utah means passing through rural areas with small towns with limited services.
Utah Summer Weather
The Utah weather in the summer will vary between Northern and Southern Utah. The higher elevation temperatures will be cooler than the lower elevations by 10 to 20 degrees.
We’ve written detailed guides for the weather and temperatures you can expect each month during the summer in Utah:
Utah NP Mighty 5 AUDIO TOUR
“It’s just like having a tour guide along for the ride. You’ll hear stories, local tips & navigation play automatically, all based on your location. Best of all it doesn’t need cell signal, the tour works offline with GPS.”
Utah Summer Activities
With its towering mountains, lush forests, crystal clear lakes, and arid deserts, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to Utah for a summer vacation.
Here’s a list of the many activities you can do during the summer months in Utah!
Summer Activities at Utah National Parks
Expect crowds and HOT temperatures at all five Utah National Parks in the summer!
Beat the heat and crowds by getting out early to enjoy the beautiful views and outdoor activities in Utah’s National Parks like hiking, biking, scenic drives, off-roading, and photography.
- Arches National Park Summer Activities
- Bryce Canyon National Park Summer Activities
- Canyonlands National Park Summer Activities
- Capitol Reef National Park Summer Activities
- Zion National Park Summer Activities
Summer Activities at Utah 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!
Outdoor summer activities at various State Parks in Utah include: boating, kayaking, hiking, biking, scenic drives, off-roading, and photography.
Here are the parks we recommend you visit that are close to the National Parks, and those that have fun summer activities:
- Dead Horse Point State Park – near Arches and Canyonlands
- Goblin Valley State Park – near Capitol Reef
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – near Zion
- Kodachrome Basin State Park – near Bryce Canyon
- Things to do at Utah Lake State Park
- Things to do at Bear Lake State Park
- Things to do at Antelope Island State Park
Summer Hiking in Utah
Hiking in the summer in Utah means HOT temperatures, sometimes exceeding 100 degrees F! And late summer monsoons can cause flash floods in Southern Utah.
It’s important to stay hydrated, use sun protection, and get the latest weather information before hitting the trails in the summer!
Check out these fun Utah summer hiking ideas:
- Utah National Parks Summer Hikes
- Arches National Park Summer Hikes
- Bryce Canyon National Park Summer Hikes
- Canyonlands National Park Summer Hikes
- Capitol Reef National Park Summer Hikes
- Zion National Park Summer Hikes
- Moab Summer Hikes
Summer Scenic Drives in Utah
If you’re looking for a great way to explore the beauty of the state, we recommend a Utah scenic drive! From winding mountain roads to beautiful desert landscapes, you’ll see some of the most stunning views in the United States.
Northern Utah Scenic Drives
Southern Utah Scenic Drives
- Arches National Park Scenic Drive
- Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive
- Island in the Sky Scenic Drive
- Capitol Reef Scenic Drive
- Zion National Park Scenic Drives
- Best Stops Along Scenic Byway 12
- Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway
- Needles Overlook Scenic Drive
- Anticline Overlook Scenic Drive
We highly recommend getting the Utah Mighty 5 GuideAlong Audio Tour: use the suggested itineraries in the app tour plan, or divide the commentary to create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips.
Summer Photography in Utah
Sunrise and sunset photography is a must when visiting Utah. You’ll enjoy warm early morning and late evening temperatures in the summer!
Check out all these amazing photography spots in Utah:
- Arches National Park Photo Spots
- Bryce Canyon Photo Spots
- Best Photo Spots at Canyonlands Island in the Sky
- Capitol Reef National Park Photography
- Zion National Park Photo Spots
- Guide to Moab Photography
- Guide to Kanab Photography
Summer Stargazing in Utah
If you’re looking for a truly memorable and awe-inspiring experience, look no further than summer stargazing in Utah. With its pristine night sky, clear air quality and some of the darkest skies in the United States, Utah is one of the best places to observe stars during the summer months.
We definitely recommend you take time to view the night skies during your vacation. And better yet, photograph the milky way at these Utah locations!
Northern Utah Stargazing Locations:
- Antelope Island State Park
- Dinosaur National Monument
- East Canyon State Park
- Jordanelle State Park
- North Fork Park
Southern Utah Stargazing Locations:
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Goblin Valley State Park
- Goosenecks State Park
- Hovenweep National Monument
- Natural Bridges National Monument
In the summer, the Milky Way is visible at these times:
- June – 10:30 pm to 3:30 am
- July – 10:30 pm to 3:45 am
- August – 9:30 pm to 1:30 am
Summer Water Sports in Utah
The Colorado and Green Rivers offer miles and miles of flatwater for canoes, sea kayaks and shallow-water boats. There are also sections for whitewater river rafting!
In early summer the water might still feel a bit cold, especially in the morning. But the water flow is high so it’s the perfect time to enjoy river rafting in Utah!
Summer Camping in Utah
Summer camping in Utah is an incredible experience. With its majestic mountains, vast canyons, and breathtaking deserts, the state has something for everyone.
From family-friendly campgrounds along scenic riversides to challenging trails through rugged backcountry terrain, there are endless options for summer camping fun in Utah!
- Arches National Park Camping
- Bryce Canyon National Park Camping
- Island in the Sky Campgrounds
- Needles Canyonlands Camping
- Capitol Reef National Park Camping
- Camping in Zion National Park
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 Summer Packing List
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!