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.
Many beginning hikers and newcomers to Utah are awed — indeed, perplexed — by the prospects of hiking the “desert,” a diverse country of deep canyons, shady, often lush river bottoms, high plateaus, bizarre rock formations, and rich archaeological history. Conditions can be harsh, but the desert does not have to be an inhospitable place to travel. Follow this general advice below and you can have a safe and enjoyable trip.
In many areas in Canyonlands National Park, the NPS allows what is called “at-large” backpacking or at-large camping, provided you have a permit and the right skills and preparation for the experience.