Parks & Outdoors
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Mountains

Utah mountain ranges for your “must explore” list

Utah is known as the home to Life Elevated®, and the abundance and proximity of incredible mountain ranges is at the heart of Utah's identity. Mountains tower over our capitol city's skyline, and across the state, these ranges are our locals playgrounds and escapes. 

Northern Utah (Rocky Mountains)

Wasatch Mountains

Eighty-five percent of the state’s residents live within 15 miles of the Wasatch Mountains, so they can definitely be considered “Utah’s mountains”. Here you’ll find a vast amount of beautiful green and rocky ridges.

Top basecamps: Salt Lake City, Park City, Provo, Heber Valley

Top activities: Hiking, Biking, Rock Climbing, Camping, Skiing

Favorite peaks:

  • Mt. Nebo (the highest peak in the Wasatch with absolutely stunning views)
  • Mt. Timpanogos (the second highest mountain in the Wasatch and probably the most popular since it’s home to a real glacier and awesome cave tours)
  • Mt. Ogden (home of the 2002 Winter Olympic Downhill Ski Races and also a beaut for hiking and technical rock climbing).

The Wasatch Mountains feature twelve ski resorts, Wasatch Mountain State Park and are home to The Greatest Snow on Earth®

Uinta Mountains

The Uinta Mountains are one of the few ranges in North America that run east to west, and these happen to be the highest mountain range in Utah. They are scattered with about 2,000 lakes that are gorgeous and amazing for fishing for trout.

Top basecamps: Salt Lake City, Park City

Top activities: FishingHiking, Backpacking

Favorite peaks:

  • Kings Peak (the highest peak in Utah and the seventh highest of U.S. State Highpoints)
  • Bald Mountain (definitely the most popular peak in the Uintas and one of the easiest ascents of its elevation, which is 11,947 feet).

The Uintas' High, Lonesome Wilderness

by Andrew Dash Gillman

Cindi and Zach Grant are making a life and a living out of the backcountry. Follow the author, who loads up his backpack and join the Grants and their Norweigan elkhound in the Uinta Mountains to pursue solitude, extended moments of introspection, cutthroat trout and the Milky Way.

Read More

Wellsville Mountains

Only 14 miles long and five miles wide and lacking any substantial foothills, the Wellsville Mountains are definitely considered one of the steepest in the Rocky Mountains. But don’t let that deter you. The beauty and solitude found in these mountains is waiting.

Top basecamps: Brigham City, Logan

Top activities: Hiking

Favorite peaks:

  • Wellsville Cone
  • Box Elder Peak

 

Wah Wah Mountains

The Wah Wah Mountains, a mountain range on the western edge of Utah, are perfect for those who want to explore unique geologic wonders in the solitude of the desert. The Wah Wah Mountains Wilderness Study Area, which extends 55 miles from south to north over 42,240 acres in Millard and Beaver counties, is among the most remote areas in Utah.

Top basecamps: Beaver, Milford

Top activities: Horseback riding, geology, ecology, ATV, hiking (no establish trails)

Favorite peak:

  • Crystal Peak 

Southern Utah

La Sal Mountains

Rising over 8,500 feet above its surrounding desert valley in southwestern Utah, this beautifully snowcapped La Sal Mountains stands as a striking contrast to the red rock Canylonlands and Arches National Parks below. are the second highest mountain range in Utah and include the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

Top basecamp: Moab

Top activities: Mountain biking, hiking, fishing

Favorite peak:

  • Mt. Peale (the highest peak in the La Sal range, making for a beautiful overlook across the phenomenal red rock landscape below).

Mineral Mountains

The Mineral Mountains are a mountain range extending 28 miles long and they have a plethora of minerals and stones to keep any rock or gem hound busy. These mineral dense mountains are Utah’s largest exposed mass of solidified molten rock and they are quite the sight to behold.

Top basecamp: Beaver

Top activities: Rockhounding

Favorite peak:

  • Granite Peak (Tucked away in Milford, Utah, this peak is part of the Mineral Mountains and isn’t well known, but it’s beautiful and perfect for hiking, rock climbing and mountaineering).

 

Markagunt Plateau

The Markagunt Plateau is a forested highland that’s absolutely awe-inspiring. Named after the Paiute word meaning “highland of trees”, it also has a volcanic field. It is home to Cedar Breaks National Monument

Top basecamps: Cedar City, Brian Head, Panguitch

Top activities: Mountain biking, hiking, skiing and snowmobiling

Favorite peak:

  • Brian Head Peak (super popular for mountain biking and bird watching as it is perfectly situated above Cedar Breaks National Park in the Markagunt Plateau and offers amazing views that expand into Arizona and Nevada)