Travel Tips

Top Tips: Visiting Utah’s Mighty Five

Kirsti Kuszmider

31st May 2024

Canyonlands

From red rock pillars and sandstone arches to towering cliffs and winding canyons – Utah’s National Parks hold some of the world’s most impressive natural wonders. Affectionately known as “The Mighty 5”, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion are some of the finest national parks in the whole of the United States, and are well worth a trip in and of themselves. We offer various holidays to the Great West which feature these incredible natural wonders from self-drive holidays to motorhome experiences and even a few guided tours. But no matter how you choose to visit, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to get the most out of your time in this magnificent part of the United States. Here are our top tips for visiting Utah’s National Parks:

what time of year to visit utah’s national parks

Summer is the main tourist season for Utah’s National Parks, and you’ll find the parks crowded and hot between June and August. For a more pleasant visit, we highly recommend travelling in spring or autumn. The shoulder months of March to May and September to October have fewer people and weather conditions will be just right for hiking and exploring all day long.

the best time of day to visit utah’s national parks

If you really want to avoid crowds on your national park visit, then you’ll have to get an early start or plan on staying out late. Peak time is usually between 10am and 4pm, so come from 7am to 10am or 4pm to 7pm to get the park at its best. You’ll also get the sunrise and sunset – neither of which are to be missed!

how to prepare for utah’s national parks

Like with any outdoor excursion, water, sun protection, snacks and comfortable sturdy shoes are a must. We can all forget essentials in the excitement of a holiday, so this is a gentle reminder to always remember to come prepared.

an America the Beautiful Pass 

There is a fee to enter each national park – and it’s good for 7 days from the point of entry – but it can add up quickly if you want to visit multiple locations during your stay. That’s where the America the Beautiful Pass comes in handy. If you plan on visiting three or more national parks, monuments or trailheads during your time in the United States, this pass covers entry to all national parks across the country for a period of 12 months.

plan your time in utah

As tempting as it can be to fit all of the Mighty Five into one visit, we’d recommend against rushing your time in these incredible natural wonders. We get it, you’ve travelled all the way to Utah, and you want to make the most of your time there while you have it – but keep in mind each park is between 2 to 6 hours away from each other in distance and if you try to see them all you’ll spend more time in the car than out in nature. Each park also offers its own unique character and adventures, so select the parks that interest you the most and accept that sometimes it’s okay not to see everything.

Want to explore further? Browse Journeyscape’s range of holidays to Utah’s National Parks.

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