Take Your Pick
Aneth, UT
The Ruins of Hovenweep
Hovenweep National Monument - The Hovenweep National Monument contains the remnants of six groups of structures built by Pueblo Indians around 1200 AD. The Puebloans were an agricultural people and it is thought that this area was much more conducive to farming during that time. The structures they built were used as living quarters, storage areas, and defense towers. One of the best archeological viewing trails at the monument is the two mile path around the Square Tower Group. Getting to and from the monument involves traversing some very dusty and long dirt roads, but that just means you'll have the park to yourself.
Bryce, UT
Home of Hoodoos
Bryce Canyon National Park - Bryce Canyon National Park contains a collection of deep amphitheaters filled with multi-colored spires called hoodoos. There are thousands of these orange, pink, white and red hoodoos for nearly as far as the eye can see. A couple of the more popular ones are The Sentinel and Thor's Hammer at Sunset Point. There are a few ways to enjoy park; hike the more than 50 miles of trails including the Rim Trail; drive the 18 mile park road along the plateau rim and be sure to stop at every point along the way because the each one is marvelous; or by air from a hot air balloon, private airplane or helicopter.
Lake Powell, UT
Beautiful Day and Night
Natural Bridges National Monument - Bridge View Drive loops its way around Natural Bridges National Monument with overlooks at the parks three main attractions, Owachomo Bridge, Sipapu Bridge and Kachina Bridge. Take in these natural bridges from a distance or put on your hiking shoes and see them up close. The parks saves the best for last, Owachomo Bridge is a slender bridge spanning 180 feet and is an easy hike from the road. Of course you'll want to see these structures during the day, but if you stay the night you'll be rewarded with a sky like you've never seen before. Trust me, I'm a sock monkey.
Magna, UT
Great Salt Lake and Saltair III
Great Salt Lake - The Great Salt Lake is the largest salt lake in the USA, ranging in size from 1,000 square miles to 3,000 square miles. This huge range in size develops from the shallowness of the lake and the varying amounts of rainfall/snowfall in the area. But the Great Salt Lake is just a fraction of its former self. At one time nearly 1/3 of Utah was covered by Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric lake that broke free from its natural dam, and headed for Idaho. After arriving in Idaho, it mostly dried up. You can easily walk out to the water near the Saltair III pavilion.
Manila, UT
The Valley of Flaming Gorge
Flaming Gorge - Straddling the borders of Utah and Wyoming is the gorgeous Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The gorge was named by explorer John Wesley Powell, in 1869 during the Powell Geographic Expedition, for its fantastic red flamed colored canyon walls. In addition to the stunning views, here sportsmen will enjoy fly fishing for trout and big game hunting for deer and elk. The reservoir is also a great place for water skiing, jet skiing and swimming.
Moab, UT
Delicate Arch and Monkey
Arches National Park - One of this monkey's favorite parks in the entire USA is Arches National Park. From the moment you enter and see the Courthouse Towers and Tower of Babel, which are enormous red-hued sandstone fins, you'll love this place too. But that's just the beginning; there are Petrified Dunes, a Balanced Rock, and of course all of the arches. The most famous arch in the park is world renowned Delicate Arch, an impressive 52 foot tall free standing sandstone arch which is gorgeous at sunset. To get to Delicate Arch requires a three mile round-trip strenuous walk, but don't miss it. In fact to get to most of the arches requires some hiking. And you may want to get to this park as soon as possible; dozens of arches have collapsed due to erosion in the past few decades, including Wall Arch which fell in August of 2008.
Moab, UT
A House Carved in the Cliff
Hole N" the Rock - Hole N" the Rock is a unique 14 room, 5,000 square foot, fully decorated home, carved into a huge sandstone cliff-side near Moab. Started in 1940 by Albert Christensen, it took him 12 years of hard labor moving 50,000 cubic feet of rock to finish. After it was complete, Albert and his wife Gladys moved in and operated a small diner. The house is complete with a fireplace, an enormous bathroom and even a deep fryer. Tours of the house are available year-round and the site includes a gift shop, trading post, cactus garden and petting zoo.
Moab, UT
Colorful Canyonlands
Canyonlands National Park - Canyonlands National Park is an expansive 527 square miles of isolated, rugged and colorful beauty. There are three districts in the park, the southern Needles district containing the Tower Ruins; the western Maze district with the Horseshoe Canyon pictographs; and the northern Island in the Sky district featuring the impressive Mesa Arch. This entire area was carved out by the Colorado and Green Rivers which converge and form Lake Powell. Activities in the park include sightseeing, backpacking, rock climbing and all types of water sports.
Monticello, UT
Reading the Morning Newspaper
Newspaper Rock - Newspaper Rock contains hundreds of Native American petroglyphs created between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago which are etched into a 200 square foot area. The Navajo Indians call these carvings "Tse' Hane'" meaning "a rock that tells a story". It is unclear who created the petroglyphs or what story they were telling, but most of the etchings depict horses, deer, sheep, and hunting activities. Of course there is the occasional six toed foot or ancient symbol which kind of makes you scratch your monkey head.
Monument Valley Tribal Park, UT
Images of the Old West
Monument Valley - Monument Valley offers some of the best views of rock buttes, mesas and canyons in the USA. With each movement of the sun and clouds the light on the valley affects your perception making you see it differently each time you look. One of the best views of the park is from the restaurant of The View Hotel overlooking the east and west mittens, and Merrick Butte. Monument Valley was made famous by John Ford, the director of the John Wayne Western classics, "Stage Coach", "The Searchers", and "Cheyenne Autumn". The park is run by the Navajo Nation which allows access to its 17 mile scenic road or you can opt for a private tour to some of the more remote areas.
Park City, UT
Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival - Every year in January the Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the USA, rolls into town. Founded by Robert Redford and named after his character in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", the world-famous festival premiers roughly 200 independent and documentary films. Spend a night or the whole week taking in these innovative films. In addition to the film festival, Park City features a turn-of-the-century Main Street and some of the finest skiing in Utah at the Alta Ski Area. If you're here during the summer, check out the Park Silly Sunday Market, a fun and eco-friendly market and festival.
Price, UT
Prehistoric Museum - Established in 1961, the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum contains nearly three-quarters of a million archeological artifacts in its expansive two story museum. The unique thing about this museum is that most of the artifacts were discovered in Utah, near the museum. Inside you'll find Utah's very own Utahraptor, with its "killing claw", a fantastic Ice Age Colombian mammouth and the old museum favorite Al the Allosaurus.
Promontory, UT
Gold Spike
Golden Spike National Historic Site - The Golden Spike National Historic Site commemorates the May 10, 1869 meeting of the Union Pacific Railroad's Jupiter and Central Pacific Railroad's 119 locomotives. The two brightly colored trains met in Promonotory and signified the completion of the nation's first transcontinental railroad. On that day two symbolic golden spikes, one silver spike, and one iron spike were used to celebrate the event (and they put in an actual iron spike). At the site today, visitors can enjoy a short film in the Visitor Center and colorful reenactments of the historic event outside.
Salt Lake City, UT
Jes and Socko at the Capitol Building
Capitol Building - The magnificent Utah State Capitol Building overlooking downtown Salt Lake City was designed by Richard K A Kletting and completed in 1916. The interior features a variety of fine artwork, sculptures and detailed ornamental work. Included in this list is the rotunda dome displaying seagulls flying east across the beehive state's blue sky. For the young monkeys, they offer "Utah State Capitol Bingo" where you look for unique objects in the building that are contained on the bingo card - it's even fun for older monkeys.
Salt Lake City, UT
Temple Square
Temple Square and Family History Museum - Temple Square is a gorgeous and popular 10 acre area in downtown Salt Lake City owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Contained on the site are the Mormon Temple, the Assembly Hall and the Mormon Tabernacle. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which plays in the Mormon Tabernacle, is a 360 male and female choir backed by a 1,200 pipe organ, who sound incredible. You can't come all the way to Utah and miss this. Just across the street is the Family History Museum which contains an enormous collection of genealogy records, which is open to the public to search family history.
Spanish Fork, UT
Stop in for Some Yoga and a Buffet
Krishna Temple - In the center of the state and in the middle of Mormon country is a surprising sight, a Krishna Temple. The temple is a fantastic gleaming white onion domed structure that stands atop of a hill in Spanish Fork. Here they host festivals, weddings, practice yoga, worship and even have a llama farm. The gift store has an assortment of authentic East Indian items and the restaurant serves a delicious vegetarian buffet.
Springdale, UT
The First National Park of Utah
Zion National Park - Zion National Park's towering cliffs and rugged canyons are as inspirational as they are beautiful. At the heart of the park is Zion Canyon where the Virgin River carved out a majestic 3,000 foot gorge. Wildflowers, wildlife, cottonwoods, willow, aspen, juniper and pine trees combine with a deep blue sky to make this one of the most picturesque canyons in Utah. The best way to see the park is by one of its many hiking trails ranging in length from half a mile to 14 miles round trip. Don't get me wrong the drive is fantastic too, combining everything the nature has to offer with some really cool tunnels.
Vernal, UT
Dinosaur National Monument - Roughly 200 million years ago dinosaurs such as the Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus gathered in this area to drink water from the flowing rivers. As the years went on and the dinosaurs died off, the same river they once drank from deposited their bones in one location. In 1909 paleontologist Earl Douglas discovered this location and today his find is called the Dinosaur National Monument. The main attraction of the site is the Dinosaur Quarry building which houses over 1,500 bones which are still imbedded in the rock. There are also some remarkable petroglyphs at the site (created by early man, not dinosaurs).
Veyo, UT
Monument to the Arkansas Victims
Mountain Meadow Massacre Site - On September 11, 1857 during the Utah War (a dispute between members of the Church of Latter Day Saints and the US government) more than 120 men, women and children were executed here. The victims were a wagon train of Arkansas emigrants called the Fancher-Baker party heading for California and the attackers were a combination of Mormons and Paiute Indians. There are two memorials at the Mountain Meadow Massacre Site, a Grave Site Memorial built in 1999 and a Mountain Meadows Monument built in 1990.
Wendover, UT
Salt Flats and Blue Skies
Bonneville Speedway - Every year the salt flats near Wendover flood during the winter and then dry up during the Spring. This leaves a magnificently smooth 30,000 acre piece of earth that is perfect for setting land speed records. The Bonneville Speedway first became a prominent racing venue in the 1930s when Ab Jenkins and Sir Macomb Campbell attempted to set land speed records. Since then the salt flats have witnessed speed records from cars, jet cars, and motorcycles. The 2005 film "The World's Fastest Indian" was based on the true story of New Zealander Burt Munro who set the world record of 201.8 mph on his 1920 Indian motorcycle in 1967 at the flats.