There are so many unique things to do in Utah! I haven’t been to all of them yet, but we are working our way through this list so I wanted to share it with you so you could start your own adventures to discover this beautiful state!
Spending time as a family is so important, and it is even better in the summertime when you don’t have to worry about school, sports, music, lessons, and all of the other craziness that happens mostly during the school year.
I have created a printable list of all of the unique things to do in Utah (you can see it above). That way you can quickly see what there is.
I have also added all of these to a GOOGLE MAPS list so you can see where everything is and easily get directions for all of the things on our Unique things to do in Utah list! (it may work best in an incognito window). I hope this makes things easier for you to find your next adventure.
Feel free to ask questions about anything and I will do my best to answer. And if you know of something I missed, please leave a comment and I will try to get it added to our list of unique things to do in Utah!
I live in Utah (and have lived here all my life) and still haven’t explored everything my beautiful state has to offer. If you are looking to take a road trip in Utah or if you are visiting Utah, here is a whole list of breathtaking, unusual, and unique things to do in Utah. How many have you done?
One of the most iconic landmarks and unique things to do in Utah is Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. Hike to Delicate Arch (and check out the rest of Arches National Park while you are there.
PHOTO: Coralie Seright (Delicate Arch)
Narrows in Zion National Park
Hike the Narrows in Zion National Park and explore the unique formations and water features.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
You could get lost in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for days. There is so much to do and see there. Take in all of the views, hike the slot canyons, find Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch (pictured) and more!
PHOTO: KOJI HIRANO / GETTY IMAGES
Dinosaur National Monument
Visit the Dinosaur National Monument and hike the area. See over 1,500 dinosaur fossils exposed on the cliff face inside the Quarry Exhibit Hall. Also, be on the lookout for petroglyphs.
Goblin Valley State Park
Hike around the formations in Goblin Valley State Park. You will feel like you are on another planet.
Dead Horse Point
Take in all the views at Dead Horse Point State Park. This horseshoe shaped bend easy to hike to. (located by Canyonlands National Park)
PHOTO: Coralie Seright
Goosenecks State Park
On the edge of a deep canyon above the sinuous river meander known as a gooseneck, this small park affords impressive views of one of the most striking examples of an entrenched river meander on the North American continent.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Venture onto a shifting sea of red sand. Changed by winds, these mountains and hills of sand can move as much as 50 feet per year. With areas for off-highway vehicle enthusiasts and those with non-motorized pursuits, the dunes offer adventures for all.
Bonneville Salt Flats
Drive out to the Bonneville Salt Flats and play in the water. Be sure to wear water shoes and take your camera. It can be windy/breezy. Also – sunset is a great time for pictures.
PHOTO: Coralie Seright
Flaming Gorge & Red Canyon
Visit Flaming Gorge and Red Canyon. The 91-mile long Flaming Gorge reservoir offers the chance to catch record-breaking trout and kokanee salmon. It is also great for hiking, boating, fly-fishing and more.
Dugway Geode Beds
Drive out to the Dugway Geode Beds and dig for geodes. It is a long drive with not much around (maybe plan on camping) but so much fun for the whole family. Take a lot of water, shovels, buckets, and gloves.
PHOTO: Coralie Seright (Dugway Geode Beds)
Take in the sites at Monument Valley with the towering red buttes and rock formations.
Stop at the Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center for info, guides and permits, then hike, ride or drive between East and West Mittens, Elephant Butte, The Three Sisters and Rain God Mesa. While you are there, also be sure to check out Hunt’s Mesa (located just over the border in AZ). This is one of the most iconic and unique things to do in Utah. Don’t miss it.
PHOTO CREDIT (Monument Valley)
Crystal Geyser & Tufa Deposits
Located just outside of Green River, Utah is the Crystal Geyser. This is the largest
cold-water eruption in Utah.
Tufa deposits at Crystal Geyser created by the deposition of dissolved calcium carbonate carried by the geyser water are also worth the drive.
PHOTO CREDIT (Crystal Geyser)
Raft the Colorado River
Go rafting down the Colorado River (in Moab, Utah). Known for it’s river rafting, you will ride the rapids and explore beautiful uniqe country.
PHOTO: Coralie Seright (Colorado River in Moab)
Hole N” The Rock
Visit Hole N” The Rock in Moab.
A most unique home, carved out of a huge rock in Utah’s Canyonlands Country, complete with gift shop and petting zoo.
PHOTO CREDIT (Hole N” The Rock)
Play on the beach at Bear Lake, hike the Minnetonka Cave (though located just over the border in Idaho) and get ice cream at Le Beau’s
PHOTO CREDIT (Bear Lake State Park)
Once home to over 2,500 people, Hovenweep includes six prehistoric villages built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. Explore a variety of structures, including multistory towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders.
PHOTO CREDIT (Cutthroat Unit)
Valley of the Gods
Valley of the Gods is a scenic backcountry area is southeastern Utah, near Mexican Hat. It is a hidden gem with scenery similar to that of nearby Monument Valley. Valley of the Gods offers isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.
The Cosmic Navel
Located in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Cosmic Navel is one of the biggest potholes on earth! It is a rock form inside a bowl of sand atop a slick rock peak in southern Utah. (a.k.a. Cosmic Ashtray, Red Breaks Volcano, or Islomania Dome). This is one of the more unique things to do in Utah that you will find. And it isn’t very common knowledge, so enjoy the view.
Cedar Mesa and Grand Gulch Plateau include some of the best backcountry spots to find and learn about rock art and ancient ruins left by the Ancestral Puebloans (also known as the Anasazi culture), which thrived in the Four Corners area about a thousand years ago.
Swim in Homestead Crater in Midway. The Crater is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock located on the Homestead property.
Over 10,000 years in the making, The Crater formed when melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep within the earth.
Naturally weathered sandstone rises dramatically from clay beds, exposing fantastically colored and shaped formations 40 miles south of Vernal.
Dig for Trilobites
Experience the thrill of finding your own fossil Trilobites. Located one hour west of Delta, Utah, U-DIG contains one of the world’s richest deposits of trilobites.
Natural Bridges National Monument
Three majestic natural bridges invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. Declared a National Monument in 1908, the bridges are named “Kachina,” “Owachomo” and “Sipapu” in honor of the ancestral Puebloans who once made this place their home.
PHOTO CREDIT (Owachomo Bridge)
Visit Lake Powell (and drive around to visit Natural Bridges). Lake Powell’s placid blue water runs right into sandy beaches, adding swimming and boating to the hiking, camping and sandstone dynamism you’ve come to expect from southern Utah.
Great Salt Lake/Saltair
Play in the water in the Great Salt Lake and explore Saltair. You will float on the water because of the salt. You can walk out for miles because it is so shallow.
PHOTO CREDIT: Coralie Seright
Sitting outside of the Red Iguana restaurant in Salt Lake City is a 33-Foot-Long Iguana sculpture.
PHOTO CREDIT: Stephen Kesler
Antelope Island is home to free-ranging bison, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn (antelope), and many other desert animals. Millions of birds congregate along the shores surrounding the island, offering unparalleled opportunities for birding.
PHOTO CREDIT (Bison on Antelope Island)
Raft the Green River
Do some white water rafting down the Green River. Desolation Canyon is a popular destination for many river rafters.
PHOTO CREDIT: Coralie Seright
Nine Mile Canyon
Drive Nine Mile Canyon to see an amazing collection of Petroglyphs and Pictographs (near Wellington, Utah).
Large panels of rock art can be found just a few feet from the road. Travelers can wonder at the meaning of the carvings.
PHOTO CREDIT (The Owl Panel)
Groves of capped white columns are located near Big Water at the edge of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The cap of the hoodoo is Dakota Sandstone which was a beach of an incoming seaway. It is 100 million years old, and the post of the hoodoos is Entrada Sandstone that is 160 million years old.
PHOTO CREDITBo Beck
Soak in a natural hot spring. There are many in Utah and most of them are free. (some you have to hike to, others are easy to access).
PHOTO CREDIT: Coralie Seright (Fifth Water Hot Springs)
Star Noodle Dragon
Located in Ogden, Utah, this iconic neon dragon sign is a beloved local icon.
PHOTO CREDIT: Leah Hogsten
Burr Trail Switchbacks
Drive the Burr Trail Switchbacks in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
The Burr Trail takes the adventurous traveler into some of Utah’s most beautiful and extraordinary country. Views of the Henry Mountains, the colorfully contorted Waterpocket Fold, red Circle Cliffs, and Long Canyon all await the traveler who wishes to drive this interesting back road.
Four Corners Monument
Drive to the Four Corners Monument (step on Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico all at the same time)
Mexican Hat Rock
Located in Mexican Hat, Utah, the 60-ft hat is a unique rock formation. There are also two rock climbing routes ascending it.
Photo by Averette at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0
Gilgal Sculpture Garden
Walk through the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. It contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and literary texts.
International Peace Gardens
The International Peace Gardens is a botanical garden located in Jordan Park in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Peace Gardens currently represents the cultural diversity of 28 gardens and encourages pleasant wandering and meditation by visitors.
Delta Solar Ruins
Located just outside Hinckley, Utah are the skeletal remains of a failed solar project. The strong desert winds were too much for the collectors.
Walk through Memory Grove.
This park features memorials to Utah’s veterans and a replica of the Liberty Bell. City Creek Canyon road is a walking, jogging, and bicycling route extending into the mountains to the northeast.
Experience the peace and tranquility of beautiful Temple Square with a complimentary tour of Utah’s most visited attraction. Tours of the beautifully landscaped 10-acre property are available in 40 languages.
PHOTO CREDIT: Coralie Seright
Meadow Lava Tubes
Camp in the Meadow Lava Tubes at Tabernacle Hill and visit the Meadow Hot Springs. Some of the tubes are enclosed and some of them have collapsed but you will have fun exploring all of it!
Walk around the Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake. Using over six thousand tons of black basalt rocks and earth from the site, Smithson formed a coil 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide that winds counterclockwise off the shore into the water.
PHOTO CREDIT George Steinmetz
The Traffic Circle Mustangs
“The Mustangs,” is situated in a traffic circle (roundabout) in Ivans, Utah. It depicts five wild horses, one mounted by an American Indian, in a constructed sandstone rock pass The dramatic rocks are part of the art work, and are manufactured faux-natural formations
Visit Promontory Point.
The workers that built the First Transcontinental Railroad and the politicians, businessmen, and others associated with this project left left a legacy that formed a nation. Discover the history of the project they completed and the impact this made on the world .
Dig for Topaz
Dig for Topaz in Topaz Mountain. The crystals formed within cavities of the Topaz Mountain Rhyolite, a volcanic rock which erupted approximately six to seven million years ago (Tertiary Period) from volcanic vents along faults in the area. Other minerals that can be found at Topaz Mountain are red beryl, amethyst, garnet, pseudobrookite, bixbyite, opal, and hematite.
Furniture Draw Slot Canyon Hike
Hike through Furniture Draw slot canyon. It is in an unmarked area in San Rafael Swell’s Buckhorn Wash area
Millions of years ago the San Rafael Swell was part of a tropical climate filled with all sorts of creatures. Some of those creatures were the dinosaurs. There have been numerous dinosaur bones, and foot prints found in the rocks in the San Rafael Swell.
Little Grand Canyon (Wedge Overlook)
Visit the Little Grand Canyon (a.k.a. The Wedge) in the San Rafael Swell. The Wedge is a vast desert canyon gorge overlooking the San Rafael River.
See the Escalante Petrified Forest. You can camp, hike, boat and fish. The Petrified Forest Trail is a one-mile loop, winding through lava flows and thousands of pieces of petrified wood.
Camp at the Kodachrome Basin State Park. 67 monolithic stone spires, called sedimentary pipes, accentuate multihued sandstone layers that reveal 180 million years of geologic time.
Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile
Find Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile.
Born from volcanic activity approximately 30 million years ago, Paul Bunyans Woodpile is a unique geologic feature in Juab County, central Utah. Looking like a series of colossal woodpiles stacked up neatly by a giant (in this case Paul Bunyan), this site is a relic of Utah’s volcanic past.
Petroglyphs in the Parowan Gap
Hike to the Petroglyphs in the Parowan Gap. You approach the petroglyphs at Parowan Gap along an ancient trail.
The huge pillars on the north and south jut upward into the vast expanse of the sky bringing the blue of the heavens down into the bowels of the earth while the pillars connect the earth to the limitless.
Visit a Ghost Town
Visit one of the many Ghost Towns in Utah. (Not all are on public land, so be sure to check before you head out.)
Anasazi Ruin in Montezuma Creek
Visit the 16 room ruin in Montezuma Creek close to Bluff and Mexican Hat (located near the San Juan River. The bridge to get across is now gone, but you can drive fairly close.
Explore the State Capitol. Beautiful architecture, designs, fruit trees, and more! Today’s Capitol Hill Complex is the result of more than a century of hard work, visionary design, and careful renovation.
See the Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands National Park (thought to be the crash site of a meteor). It is a colorful circular “belly button,” unique among the broad mesas and deep canyons of the Colorado Plateau. The rim of Upheaval Dome is 3 miles across and over 1000 feet above the core floor. The central peak in the core is 3000 feet in diameter and rises 750 feet from the floor.
Petroglyphs around Black Dragon Canyon
The style of rock art here is characterized as Barrier Canyon, older than that made by the Fremont people. This painted art is about 1,500 years old and is the same style found in Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park to the southeast.
Sand Caves near Kanab
These caves are located between Moqui Cave and Best Friends Sanctuary.
A (lottery) permit is required to hike this. It is also recommended to have a guide. This is quite possible one of the most amazing and unique hikes you can go on in Utah/Arizona.
This narrows hike is not only unique because of the landscape, but also because it is part of Paria Canyon. Paria is the longest slot canyon in the world. This is usually done over multiple days. You can do the Wire Pass trail which is a shorter hike that joins Buckskin Gulch.
Mars Desert Research Station
Located by Hanksville, Utah.
The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), owned and operated by the Mars Society, is a space analog facility in Utah that supports Earth-based research in pursuit of the technology, operations, and science required for human space exploration.
Pando Aspen Grove
Located in Fishlake National Forest. Pando is believed to be the largest, most dense organism ever found at nearly 13 million pounds. The clone spreads over 106 acres, consisting of over 40,000 individual trees. The exact age of the clone and its root system is difficult to calculate, but it is estimated to have started at the end of the last ice age. Some of the trees are over 130 years old
This is the Place Monument
Located up in north-eastern Salt Lake City, you will get a close up look at Pioneer life. You can attend different events (including a free day) every year.
The Devil’s Slide
Located up Weber canyon, you will see an amazing rock structure.
The sides of the slide are hard, weather-resistant limestone layers about 40 feet high, 25 feet apart, and several hundred feet in length. In between these two hard layers is a shaly limestone that is slightly different in composition from the outer limestone layers. This middle layer is softer, which makes it more susceptible to weathering and erosion, thus forming the chute of the slide.
The Sun Tunnels
Created by Nancy Holt, these are a large-scale installation in Utah’s Great Basin Desert, a four-hour drive from the UMFA. It consists of four large concrete cylinders, arranged on the desert floor in a cross pattern, that align with the sunrise and sunset on the summer and winter solstices.
With majestic Colorado and Green River canyons, Canyonlands, this 200 foot roadside oddity ear Monticello is called Church Rock. It seldom attracts more than a casual glance as visitors head oward Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument and the Needles district or drive between Moab and Monticello.
The tallest mountain in Utah is at 13,528 feet above sea level. The crown of the Uinta mountain range, Kings Peak offers some extraordinary summiting opportunities to those willing to endure the long hike and steep climb required to get there.
The Cassidy Trail
Located near Panguitch, Utah you can explore Red Canyon’s sandstone hoodoos. Sections of the Cassidy Trail are believed to have been used by Butch Cassidy, the notorious outlaw.
Factory Butte is the most recognizable feature of a large area of stark, barren land either side of the Fremont River known as the Upper Blue Hills, bordered by Capitol Reef to the west, the Henry Mountains to the south, San Rafael Swell to the north and the San Rafael Desert to the east.
Hike up to Timpanogos Cave and go exploring inside.
Hike your way past stunning vistas to explore a hidden underground world. Taste the thrill of caving as you twist and bend to enter beautifully decorated rooms.
Mammoth Cave, at 8050 feet in elevation, opens to one of the largest lava tubes in Utah, with over 2200 feet of passages. Formed by cooling lava and flowing water, Mammoth Cave is part of the Markagunt Plateau. This is fun hike to do with the family.
Snow Canyon State Park
Go mountain climbing in Snow Canyon State Park. Explore the trails and dunes of beautiful Snow Canyon on foot, bike, and horseback. There are Lava Tubes, red Navajo sandstone and more!
PHOTO CREDIT (Pioneer Names)
Snow Canyon Lava Tubes
Exploring Lava tubes is a lot of fun! This is a 2.5 miles. Moderate trail. Hike through a jumbled lava field, the vivid remains of a long-ago volcanic eruption.
PHOTO CREDIT (Snow Canyon Lava Tubes)
Utah Olympic Park
Head up to Park City, Utah and explore the Utah Olympic Park. You can do many of the winter Olympic activities like Bobsled, Skiing, and more. Take a bus tour and/or visit the free museum.
Native American Indians have been engraving and drawing on Newspaper Rock in Utah for more than 2,000 years. Their markings in these ruins tell the stories, hunting patterns, crop cycles, and mythologies of their lives. But what exactly these Utah petroglyphs are communicating, we’ll never know for there is no actual translation available at this remarkable Utah attraction.
The unusual crack pattern in the sandstone hills resemble a grid much like you would see on a checkerboard. There are several pull outs along the highway and trailheads into some of the Zion backcountry.
PHOTO CREDIT: Coralie Seright
I hope this list gets you excited to explore more of Utah! This extensive list of unique things to do in Utah is a great start. Please let us know if you know of any unique places you know about that are not on here. I would love to add them.
Be sure to pick one (or both) of the images below to save to Pinterest. That way you can easily reference this list for later.