Over the summer, Utah offers families, outdoor adventurers, and “set jetters” a bevy of options to elevate their travel. Whether flying into Utah or taking a unique road trip on one of Utah’s scenic byways, we’ve rounded up some of the top summer experiences in the state. Go to visitutah.com to learn about more adventures that await this summer.
Most scenic destinations to ATV (and sand board)
Travelers will understand the magic of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Kanab, which offers an exotic landscape for ATVing and sand boarding. One of the most scenic sand dunes in the country, guests can visit the State Park at dawn or sunset for a true Instagram-worthy experience when the dunes reflect a bright coral pink color. Visitors can rent a special sand board from a local outfitter, or book a guided ATV excursion to carve throughout 3,730 acres of rolling sand dunes, Navajo sandstone cliffs and more.
Local guided experiences and indigenous travel
Visitors looking for an off-the-beaten-path, cultural experience this summer, can find just that exploring Southern Utah’s Olijato-Monument Valley with a local, 3rd-generation Navajo guide. One of the most special guided experiences —’Hike the Way to Navajo Culture’ and explore the untouched landscapes of Navajo land with native, Carol, who has passionately lead tours across her homeland for over 20 years. Throughout her immersive hike, Carol invites guests to experience the traditional lifestyle at her grandparents’ sheep camp, first leading them on a 2.5 mile hike across the canyon floor accompanied by her sheep, followed by storytelling, traditional games, and a delicious Navajo taco meal prepared at her home. Guests looking to feed their soul leave with a greater understanding of the ancient sites, local geology, and history of the Navajo people.
Hot spring hopping
At Fifth Water Hot Springs in Springville, visitors can enjoy a scenic 2.5 mile hike encompassed by red rock cliffs before reaching the soaking pool oasis. Homestead Crater in Midway is a beautiful limestone dome that withholds a 65-foot-deep geothermal pool that reaches up to 90-96 degrees. This hot spring offers activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling and SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga.
Visitors can also plan a day trip to Crystal Hot Spring in Honeyville, one of the best therapeutic hot springs of Northern Utah. This hot spring ranges in temperature from 120-134 degrees and holds the highest mineral content found in the United States. Additional hot springs include Meadow Hot Springs, Mystic Hot Springs and Baker Hot Springs.
Road-trip along Utah’s Famous Fruit Way
Utah is synonymous for road trips. Visitors can find limitless scenic highways throughout the state but from July through October, find more than just stunning views on Old Highway 89. Each year, on Old Highway 89, outside of Northern Utah’s Brigham City, find dozens of fresh fruit stands from several local farms situated along the highway. A unique and community-focused project, now coined Utah’s Famous Fruit Way, has grown year over year offering fresh produce such as cherries, peaches, raspberries, tomatoes and more.
Road-trip along Utah’s Pie Trail
A longer trip, but a mouthwatering journey tasting some of Southern Utah’s most unique pies in the state. Just south of Salt Lake City sits the Sunglow Cafe in Bicknell home to the famous pickle pie and pinto bean pie.
Straight down the 15 South toward St. George Utah, stop in Veyo, Utah at Veyo Pies and choose from 24 flavors! From fruit pies to cream pies and specialty flavors, a must try is the Veyo Volcano with famous graham cracker crust, sweet cream cheese, butterscotch, chocolate and whipped cream topping. From there travel East toward Hurricane and Springdale, Utah and make a stop at Thunderbird Restaurant to try out their iconic “Ho-Made Pies,” served since 1931. Menu options include hot apple pie, chocolate cream, Thunderberry, coconut cream and more.
Next stop, go Northbound toward Bryce to taste Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant’s delicious strawberry banana, blueberry banana, unique sour cream with raisin pie and more. Lastly, head toward Capitol Reef National Park to find classic pies at the Gifford House, a renovated historic building built by an early Mormon settlement, and now maintained by the National Park Service. The Gifford House has been serving traditional pies since the 1900s.
Summer activities at ski resorts
Just North of Salt Lake City, find Snowbasin Resort and enjoy Blues, Brews & BBQ every Sunday from mid-June through mid-October offering a free concert series at the base of the resort. Additional activities include gondola rides, hiking, biking, mountain-top dining, a beer garden and more. Stop in Ogden, on the way and visit historic Union Station, home of the Golden Spike which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year!
At Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort, visitors can find guided experiences including stargazing and fly fishing to live music at Deer Valley Concerts Series at Snow Park Amphitheater, lift-served biking and hiking, Park City Mountain Alpine Coasters, local farmer’s market offerings at Park Silly Sunday Market and more.
For adrenaline junkies
Sundance Mountain Resort offers the Sundance Zip-line, holding the record for the most vertical drop zip-line in the U.S., dropping 2,100 feet. Also find outdoor live music at Bluebird Cafe Concert Series, fly fishing on Provo River and more.