On March 6, 2007, Natural Bridges National Monument became the first International Dark Sky Park certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. More than 100,000 people visit Natural Bridges each year to check out the stunning bridges and hike in cool canyons, but only a handful of them stay through the night to see the area’s most amazing and unique feature: dark skies and glistening, bright stars.
Utah’s natural beauty extends well beyond the borders of the Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks — and in many directions it is seemingly without any end in sight. Some of Utah’s best state parks dot the landscape of Mighty Five country, swaddled by adventurous national forest or the rugged Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Vernal, Utah, is an adventure base camp to the best of eastern Utah. Uintah County around Vernal — called Dinosaurland — is home to diverse outdoor recreation and natural history at three state parks, Dinosaur National Monument and countless trailheads to the Ashley National Forest.
The Green’s A section is without a doubt its most renowned and frequented water. However, those willing to put in a little effort can find fewer people and bigger fish downstream of Little Hole in the river’s B and C sections.
Tucked away in the rugged San Rafael Swell, Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry is an opportunity to learn about prehistoric animals as well as witness a working dig.
When you first enter the monument's Quarry Exhibit Hall and look at the 1,500 displayed fossils, you can’t help but ask yourself: Did paleontologists really discover the bones like this or artfully place them here for effect? The answer is the bones are just as nature arranged them more than 150 million years ago, deposited by an ancient stream.
Circle back to the San Rafael Swell, a gem of public lands in Central Utah you may have missed on your last visit through some of Southern Utah's Mighty 5® national parks. The Little Grand Canyon of the San Rafael Swell is a stunning panorama from above, and an incredible adventure within.
Between the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park and Four Corners, discover vast lands of incredible beauty in national forest, the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, remote wilderness and the beautiful rivers that converge at Lake Powell.