The majority of visitors to southern Utah focus their efforts on the Mighty 5 national parks. And, for good reason, these parks are spectacular. However, seasoned travelers and savvy locals know that fun southern Utah activities, remarkable scenery, and memorable adventures aren’t limited to National Park boundaries. In fact, by stepping off the beaten path, many travelers have found their favorite memories were created in these hidden gems, parks that may leave you breathless, but certainly won’t leave you standing in line.
Here are a few highlights to whet your appetite:
See the stars like you’ve never seen them before at the world’s first internationally certified Dark Sky Park. The night sky is among the clearest anywhere in the world and the rangers at Natural Bridges go out of their way to make sure you have a great visit, day or night.
San Juan county in southeastern Utah was home to a multitude of ancestral Puebloan settlements, satellite villages, if you will, to the well-known Mesa Verde city to the east. Edge of the Cedars State Park and nearby Hovenweep National Monument help you connect with the native american civilizations that once ruled this remarkably diverse corner of the state and see the land with through new eyes.
If you like vast, sweeping views, grab your camera and head to Dead Horse Point State Park. Tucked onto a narrow peninsula of this airy plateau 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the views from the park are unlike any you’ve ever experienced before. Add in a growing network newly built singletrack trails that are very accessible by Moab standards and you have a full day’s adventure in store.
We hope you find some new southern Utah activities in these great parks off the beaten path!
Note: If you are looking for information about the proposed new national monuments, Indian Creek and Shash Jaa, please see the Bears Ears page, or find information about Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits and Escalante Canyons national monuments on the Grand Staircase–Escalante page.