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.
Standing at 11,943 feet above sea level, Bald Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the western Uinta Mountains. Happily, the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway gets you within a couple 1,500 feet of the summit.
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.
Curious about those local favorites après-ski spots, those tucked away gems to which the locals have flocked for generations? Read on.
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.
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.
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.
In the heart of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, the Swett Ranch is a testament to the self-sufficiency and ingenuity of Utah pioneers, representing the bygone homestead era, and it’s a historic site not to be missed by those interested in pioneer life.