Top Ten Summer Road Trip Destinations from Salt Lake City, Utah
As cramped as it can often feel in Utah Valley, and even Salt Lake County, Utah has so many wide, open spaces that are just begging to be visited.
In fact, in a recent study by WalletHub, Utah was rated as the third-best state for road trips, right behind Nevada and Oregon. WalletHub cited Utah’s affordability for lodging and gas and scenic attractions as the main reasons for the earned accolades. Summer is perfect for road trips, and here are 10 awesome places to visit on your road trip across Utah.
White sand, blue waves—didn’t I say this list wouldn’t include California? Well, it’s not the coast, it’s Bear Lake, about 160 miles north of Provo. Just about everything you’d want to do on a lake, whether that’s jet ski, kayak, paddleboard, or tube, is there, and available for rental. Lodging is available near the lake, but Logan, just 30 miles away, is more affordable.
If you’re a hiker or outdoorsmen, you already know Moab is your paradise. But in case you haven’t truly experienced that famous red rock scenery, take a trip down and take a few days to explore Utah’s big backyard. About 190 miles southeast from Provo, Moab offers plenty of lodging and dining and acts as a base camp for the nearby Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
Though it’s not a road trip to a specific destination, the Alpine Loop connecting Provo Canyon to American Fork Canyon is, in a word, spectacular. Stunning mountain meadows and wondrous views of (still) snowcapped peaks will dazzle you as you weave through the mountain passes.
Park City is, obviously, a hit for winter, considering the abundance of winter sports opportunities. Though the summer is just as fun, especially if you’re seeking some reprieve from the relentless heat. Park City has scenic gondola rides, ziplining, fishing and almost anything you could ask for. Plus, the drive to Park City is spectacular if you cut through Provo Canyon to U.S. Highway 40. The views of the Jordanelle Reservoir and the miles of forests are phenomenal.
If you prefer a little soaking in your summer, head to Lake Powell. Whether you want to boat, fish, hike or camp, you can do it all with a swimsuit on. But set aside a day for travel, as it’s about 350 miles south of Provo.
Zions National Park
You knew this would be on here, huh? How can you make summer plans without at least considering going to Zion National Park? Hiking, camping, climbing and horseback riding is all available, just 260 miles away.
Salt Lake City
If you’re more of a metropolitan soul, or if you just don’t feel like being too far from home, Salt Lake City is less than an hour away. Stroll through City Creek Center, visit the Hogle Zoo, grab a bite at the Lion House Pantry and keep it all under budget by staying at one of many hotel or bed and breakfast locations.
Heber Valley has so much to offer, and it’s only 40 minutes up Provo Canyon. The Homestead Crater Resort is not only a great place to stay, but a great place to soak with its beautiful natural hot springs. Take a ride on the Heber Creeper for a fun, new way to see Provo Canyon. And when you’re done, indulge in some gourmet cheese during the Artisan Cheese tasting on April. 8 in Midway.
Do you love the heat, and just want more? St. George’s forecast for next week is right around 105, which if you’re a desert flower, is simply perfect.
Yes, hiking is big in Utah, and Goblin Valley is no exception to that mantra. The state park just under 200 miles from Provo truly has to be seen to be believed with its oddly shaped rock pillars, giving name to the “goblins” of Goblin Valley. Be warned, it can get blisteringly hot early in the day. Start your fun early or late to keep cool.