The Top 33 Bucket List Destinations in Utah

Published on November 9th, 2021

Utah is easily one of the most magical states in the country. This is especially true if you’re an outdoorsy person or if you’re traveling by RV, but honestly, anyone could have an amazing time in this gorgeous state.

From incredible national parks to super cool museums, there are all kinds of things to see and do here. In fact, there are so many options that we recommend making a Utah bucket list before you take a trip to the state. This will help you keep track of the things you want to do most so you can be sure you have a trip full of amazing experiences.

Not sure where to begin creating your Utah travel list? Not to worry! Below, we’ve provided you with our Utah travel bucket list. This is sure to provide you with plenty of ideas for places to visit and things to do. 

Let’s get started!

Utah Bucket List

What is a Bucket List?

First, we need to address something for those who may be wondering: What exactly is a bucket list? Essentially, a bucket list is a to-do list. It’s a collection of experiences you hope to have before you die, or “kick the bucket.”

Some people keep a single bucket list for everything they wish to accomplish in their life. This is fine, but there are so many things we want to do that we often find such a list to be overwhelming. For this reason, we choose to keep a bucket list for each location we plan to spend time in. 

Today, we’re going to share our Utah bucket list. This is a great example of a state-specific bucket list that is sure to help you get started making travel bucket lists of your own.

Arches National Park

— Bucket List Vacations: Utah’s National Parks —

Utah is home to the “Mighty Five,” some of the most fantastic national parks in the US. For this reason, national parks absolutely must be on your Utah bucket list. In addition to the most popular parks, consider adding some of the smaller NPS sites as well. They are all worth seeing. 

#1. Arches National Park

An absolutely stunning park full of gorgeous desert colors and bizarre rock formations, Arches National Park is a must-do when in Utah. Go on a hike or drive through the park. Either way, you’re sure to be astounded by the beauty of the place. 

#2. Bryce Canyon National Park

Another stunning spot is Bryce Canyon National Park. Here, you can walk around the rim of a colorful canyon that is chock-full of rich history. Hike down into the canyon to get up close and personal with some of the local wildlife, and be sure to snap plenty of photos. 

#3. Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park features four areas: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the Rivers. Each district is unique from the last, and each one deserves plenty of exploration. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the canyons, buttes, and rock formations found here. 

#4. Capitol Reef National Park

Cliffs, canyons, domes, and natural bridges are scattered throughout the amazing Canyonlands National Park, which sits in the Waterpocket Fold, a literal wrinkle in the earth. The gorgeous red rock of these rock features is striking against the green grass and blue skies, and amazing views are around every corner. 

#5. Cedar Breaks National Monument

A hikers’ dream, Cedar Breaks National Monument features amazing views into a canyon, lovely little bodies of water that are hiding in the woods, and plenty of bristlecone pines to get lost in. For an extra special experience, head into the wildflower-laden meadow and stay until the sun goes down for some incredibly dark night skies. 

#6. Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur fanatics absolutely must visit Dinosaur National Monument. Here, guests can see the remains of these incredible creatures still embedded in rocks. Not only that, but those who look closely might even see petroglyphs, offering another amazing peek into the past. 

#7. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Hoping to get in some outdoor recreation during your time in Utah? Lucky for you, there are tons of places to do just that, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one of our favorites. Here you can hike, camp, fish, or go boating, all while enjoying some amazing scenery. 

#8. Golden Spike National Historical Park

The perfect place to learn about history, Golden Spike National Historical Park tells the story of the creation of the first transcontinental railroad built across the US. See where the last spike was placed, walk along the original railroad grade, and see replicas of Victorian-era locomotives up close. 

#9. Hovenweep National Monument

Another great place to learn about a completely different part of history is Hovenweep National Monument. Long ago, this spot was once home to over 2,500 people. The park includes six prehistoric villages, all built between 1200 and 1300 A.D. Explore the structures and learn more about how people lived day-to-day life in these homes.

#10. Natural Bridges National Monument

At this site, guests can view three incredible natural bridges. These bridges were formed by water and time and now stand as a reminder of the power of water. Visit Natural Bridges National Monument and admire the beauty of these rock formations. 

#11. Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Another gorgeous natural bridge found in the state of Utah, Rainbow Bridge is located in the Rainbow Bridge National Monument and is well worth seeing. This amazing rock formation is one of the largest natural bridges in the world and is considered sacred by many Native American tribes. 

#12. Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Caves are always amazing and mysterious places to visit, and Timpanogos Cave National Monument is no exception. You will have to twist, bend, and duck to see the beautifully decorated rooms of this amazing cave, but the discoveries to be had are well worth the extra effort. 

#13. Zion National Park

Finally, there is Zion National Park. This one must not be missed. Its colorful sandstone cliffs are absolutely brilliant and stand in stark contrast to the blue skies. Here, you can hike a narrow slot canyon, see amazing animals, and connect with Utah’s amazing natural environment in a way you never have before. 

#14. National Trails

Utah also plays host to a number of national trails. These trails all have a story to tell, and a stop at any visitor center will help you better understand these stories. 

Utah’s national trails include:

  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • California National Historic Trail
Monument Valley

— More Utah Bucket List Experiences —

Once you’ve decided which of those amazing NPS sites above to add to your list (we recommend adding all of them, of course) the next step is figuring out what other places you’d like to see. The following are awesome Utah bucket list additions. 

#15. Cool Off in Lake Powell

A man-made reservoir, Lake Powell is an absolutely enormous body of water that is welcome relief for those in the dry desert of southern Utah. It offers opportunities to swim, boat, and more, and because the surrounding area is so pretty to look at, the views from the lake are incredible. 

#16. Explore Monument Valley

Some people are surprised to learn that Monument Valley isn’t a national park. Instead, it is a Navajo Tribal Park, and it is absolutely breathtaking. Drive along the 17-mile dirt road, admire the amazing rock formations and views, and be sure to stop for photos along the way. 

#17. Try Skiing at Park City Mountain Resort

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at skiing? If so, Utah has an awesome spot for you. Park City Mountain Resort is a beautiful place for skiing. It is the second largest ski resort in the US and is a destination for skiers of all ages and abilities. Ski lessons and trails are available for all levels, making this a great place to try skiing for the first time. 

#18. Spend Some Time in Moab

Located just outside of Arches National Park, Moab is an absolutely adorable town that attracts outdoors enthusiasts from all over the country. We love the local eateries found here, and really appreciated the free live music performances that took place while we were there. We also enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and being surrounded by like-minded people. 

#19. See the Homestead Crater

A strange and unique place, the Homestead Crater is a geothermal spring that is hidden away within a 55-foot-tall limestone rock. The hole at the top of the rock allows sunlight and fresh air into the rock, but because it’s so well insulated, the water stays heated to around 90–96 degrees (°F) all the time. Guests can swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in the spring, or they can choose to stay dry and take a crater tour. 

#20. Check Out the Great Salt Lake

Another odd natural feature in Utah is the Great Salt Lake. This is the largest saltwater lake in the world, and it even features a number of islands. The scenery here is outstanding and is definitely a major draw. 

#21. …and Visit Salt Lake City

Of course, if you’re going to see the Great Salt Lake, you have to take the time to see Salt Lake City as well. This amazing city is chock-full of things to see and do. Check out the old Mormon Temple and learn a bit about the history of the area, spend some time exploring the state capitol building, or seek out one of the city’s many tourist attractions. 

#22. Be Awed at Moqui Cave

Moqui Cave is a sandstone erosion cave located in southeastern Utah. The interior of the cave is a natural history museum that features Native American artifacts as well as some fluorescent rocks and minerals. The temperature inside the cave never exceeds 65 degrees (°F) , so be sure to take a jacket when you go. 

#23. Attend the Utah Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Utah, but the state’s Shakespeare festival is actually one of the best in the country. During this event, you can see nine Shakespeare plays performed live, attend seminars and talks, and take tours of the backstage area. 

#24. Learn at the Natural History Museum of Utah

Want more info on natural history than the Moqui Cave above can offer? The Natural History Museum of Utah might be your place. This awesome museum is home to more than 1.5 million artifacts, and discusses a huge variety of natural history topics and time periods.

#25. Marvel at the Valley of the Gods

Hoping to see even more of those amazing rock formations Utah likes to show off? Valley of the Gods has quite the collection for you. Here, you can drive over a dusty trail to see mushroom rocks, sandstone towers, and more. You can even stay overnight in one of the onsite campgrounds if you like. 

#26. Take Off to the Hill Aerospace Museum

Visitors who love all things flight-related will adore the Hill Aerospace Museum. This amazing attraction is run by the US Air Force and allows guests to check out some seriously cool aircraft. Additionally, the museum has some beautiful artwork on display and plays host to lectures as well as the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame. 

#27. Stand in Four States at Four Corners

Ever wondered what it would be like to be in multiple places at once? At Four Corners Monument you can be in four places by staying in one place. By placing your hands and feet just right, you’ll be in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado all at the same time!

#28. Drive the Alpine Loop

Those who enjoy a peaceful drive will adore the Alpine Loop. This amazing road takes you through a 20-mile stretch of gorgeous alpine canyons. You can choose to stop and enjoy sights along the way, or drive straight through, enjoying the views from your windows. Either way, we’re betting you’ll have a good time. 

#29. Step Back in Time at Fort Bluff Historic Site

Ever wanted to step back in time? If so, Fort Bluff Historic Site is a must-see. This awesome place was once a military fort and was constructed in a very practical but interesting manner, with the doors and windows facing inward. At this site, you can explore many old structures to learn more about life at the fort. 

#30. Adventure through Dead Horse Point State Park

Those who love outdoor adventures shouldn’t miss Dead Horse Point State Park. Although its name doesn’t sound all that pretty, this park is a stunning one, with some of the best views in the state (and that’s saying something). We highly recommend walking the rim of the canyon for some seriously awesome scenery. 

#31. Head to the Sundance Film Festival

Fans of films and entertainment should plan to visit Utah during the famed Sundance Film Festival. This super fun event is two weeks long and packed with amazing independent films. Who knows? You might even find a new favorite film while you’re there. 

#32. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

An odd and magical sight, the sand dunes at this park are a soft and lovely pink. Like other dunes, these shift in the wind, creating an even more mystical feel. For an extra fun time, try sandboarding or riding an ATV while you’re there. 

#33. Relax at Mystic Hot Springs

Relaxing in Mystic Hot Springs is the perfect way to wind down after a long and eventful vacation. Be sure to stop by this wonderfully relaxing spot to enjoy the two concrete soaking pools, as well as the vintage soaking tubs filled with mineral-rich water. 

Clearly, Utah is an amazing place to visit, and creating a Utah bucket list should be a fairly simple task. That said, checking all of the items off that bucket list might be a little bit harder. After all, you will need to hop around to different parts of the state to see it all. This is where a Utah RV rental comes into play.

By renting an RV, you make fulfilling every item on your Utah bucket list a whole lot easier. Additionally, you’ll have the freedom to stay in some of the state’s most beautiful spots, and we all know Utah has a lot of those. 

Why not book your RV today? The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be checking items off that Utah bucket list!

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