Utah Summer Activities + Travel Tips

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!

Utah summer activities

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!

utah bucket list - grab the free packet
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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 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!

Thors Hammer Bryce Canyon sunrise spot
Thor’s Hammer at Bryce Canyon

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.

Utah Lake at sunset
Utah Lake State Park at sunset

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:

Angel's Landing Trail at Zion
Angel’s Landing Trail at Zion

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:

Scenic Byway 12
Scenic Byway 12

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

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. 

Bryce Canyon sunrise photography
Bryce Canyon sunrise photography

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:

Balanced Rock with the milky way at Arches
Balanced Rock with the milky way

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:

Southern Utah Stargazing Locations:

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
SUP on Bear Lake
SUP on Bear Lake

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!

Boating, kayaking and SUP are fun summer activities at the various State Parks in Utah: Bear Lake, Flaming Gorge, Lake Powell, Sand Hollow, and Utah Lake State Park to name just a few.

Summer camping in Utah
Summer camping 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!

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Where to Stay 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!

Utah packing lists for spring summer fall and winter

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