When it comes to Utah's desert southwest, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park get a lot of attention. That's with good reason: the stunning monoliths, awesome slot canyons, singular hoodoos and sweeping vistas are bucket-list destinations.

But oh, there's so much more.

Photographer James Glover has discovered some of the unique ways of experiencing the world-class outdoor landscape of Southwest Utah, including some you may not have thought of in and around Utah's Mighty 5® national parks.

Scenic Byway 12

Drive Utah's All-American Road, Scenic Byway 12, or follow in the bike path of legends: America's Toughest Stage Rage, the Tour of Utah, includes this 112-mile "journey through time." Are you up for the challenge?

Aerial of Cyclist Taking on Scenic Byway 12

 

Beyond The Mighty 5®

Utah's desert southwest combines Utah's iconic red rock formations of the Colorado Plateau with the dramatic ecosystem of the Mojave Desert and Great Basin. At this incredible junction lies one of America's best national park experiences, Zion National Park.

While Zion's accommodations and range of experiences could make up a trip all by itself, build in extra days to explore Snow Canyon State Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park and gateway communities like Springdale, St. George and all the unique and surprising stops along Utah's All-American Road, the nationally renowned Scenic Byway 12. You'll find everything from Zagat-rated organic cuisine in Boulder to the dramatic geology of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, where previously unknown dinosaur species and ancient ecosystems are being uncovered.

Whether by horseback, motorcycle, bicycle, RV, rope or foot, the opportunities for off-the-beaten path exploration in southwest Utah are virtually endless. 

This is truly epic territory. 

The Undiscovered Desert Southwest Slideshow

All Photos by James Glover 

Snow Canyon State Park

Utah's dramatic Snow Canyon is a must-see destination on any visit to Zion, Bryce Canyon and the desert southwest.... see more »

Desert Southwest by Horseback

Horseback riding tours of Snow Canyon State Park tap into Utah's Old West heritage.... see more »

Big Wall Climbing in Utah Dreamscapes

A climber carefully scales a large cliff in Snow Canyon State Park in Utah. For climbers, Snow Canyon boasts a little bit of everything.... see more »

Legendary Cycling

A cyclist takes on Utah's stunning desert southwest on a bike path near Snow Canyon State Park....

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Tour leader unloading ATVs for off-road adventure at Coral Pink Sand Dunes where Piston the dog patiently waits.... see more »

A Family Scramble

Ashton Brown opts to relax while (L–R) Lauren Becht, Elina Brown, Hannah Becht, Abby Becht, and Emma Brown climb at Kodachrome Basin State Park ....

Homesteading the Promised Land

Just off Scenic Byway 12 in Cannonville, a cow grazes near an old cabin on the way to Kodachrome Basin State Park...

Raven Rap Session

Marek Krimendahl of Michigan tries to get a closer look at a raven while viewing the Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon National Park... see more »

Motorcycle Tour of Utah's Desert Southwest

Steve Jones and a group his friends from North Carolina enjoyed a ride through Zion National Park in October, 2013.... see more »

Zion Serenade

The band Dolce rocks Springdale at the Zion Canyon Farmers Market, near the mouth of Zion National Park....