Traveling to Utah
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Traveling to Utah

Utah Geography

Located at the crossroads of the western United States, Utah is easy to reach whether flying into Salt Lake City or a regional airport, arriving by bus or rail or driving in from neighboring states. Interstate 15 runs north to south creating major intersections with the western terminus of Interstate 70 in Central Utah and Interstates 80 and 84 in the north.

The northern area of the state is part of the Great Basin and Middle Rocky Mountains, cradle to 12 of Utah’s 14 ski resorts. Ten of those resorts are within an hour of Salt Lake City international airport and some are roughly 30 minutes from downtown, which is the real story of Northern Utah's incredible geography: the mountains are virtually in the backyard.

Expect warm, often sunny weather through three seasons with cooler temperatures in the higher elevations, especially at night. The winter in the north reserves most of its snow for the ski resorts leaving pleasantly crisp days and cold nights in the valley. The warm climate and red rock landscape of the desert southwest and Colorado Plateau define Southern Utah, the home of The Mighty Five national parks and several national monuments, scenic byways and state parks.

Air Travel: Airlines & Non-stop Flights

Utah is accessible to the world via Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Located just 5 miles northwest of downtown Salt Lake City, it is a primary gateway for your Utah adventure and has extensive rental car services. International nonstop flights include Paris, Amsterdam and multiple cities in Mexico and Canada. Learn more about SLC International Airport

Additional connection flights from SLC or other airports in the region serve Ogden (OGD) and Provo (PVU) on the Wasatch Front in the Northern Utah region, St. George (SGU) and Moab/Canyonlands (CNY) in the south. Some Mighty Five itineraries in Southern Utah may opt for flights through Las Vegas, which is about a 2.5-hour drive from Zion National Park and other top southwest Utah destinations.

Travel by Bus and Rail

Experienced travelers say Amtrak's California Zephyr is one of the most beautiful train trips in North America. The Zephyr runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco. Utah stops include a staffed station in Salt Lake City and unstaffed stops in Provo, Helper and Green River. Amtrak bus service connects to Ogden.

If you prefer to go by bus, Greyhound Bus Lines offer frequent service to and throughout Utah on its transcontinental routes along all interstates (I-15, I-84, I-80 and I-70) as well as to Denver along U.S. 40 and Moab along U.S. 191. Greyhound provides the primary means of public transportation to Southern Utah. Another affordable option to consider when planning your Utah trip is Salt Lake Express.  Check for current specials and shuttle services between St George and Springdale hotels as well (~$78) — and keep in mind that Springdale hotels have easy access to the free Zion National Park multi-passenger shuttle system during the warmer months.