Away from it All
Stay up late for the dark skies.
If you’ve read and admired Western writers Wallace Stegner and Edward Abbey, this is the itinerary for you. Though Stegner says, “We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in,” this ambitious two-day itinerary will soothe your soul and boost your spirits as you do more than just look in. Welcome to the wild country.
Many stop by Cedar Breaks National Monument to peer into its colorful amphitheater. Separate yourself from the crowd by arriving early and racing the sunrise to the Ramparts. Later, drop deep into the backcountry of Bryce Canyon’s spire-filled basin, where few tourists ever venture — an amphitheater of peace. Then, at night, admire the stars in the pristine darkness of Bryce Canyon’s 9,000-foot elevation.
In Capitol Reef, day two will provide you with a national park experience without the usual crowds. Head out into nature’s place of worship in Cathedral Valley and breathe in the dry, juniper-scented air as you marvel at the massive monoliths. Wander through narrow, hidden passages on the Grand Wash and Cohab Trail. Capitol Reef is a certified International Dark Sky Park. Return home if you must, or plan an early departure tomorrow morning so you can renew yourself again under the pitch black night sky and the billions of stars it reveals.
Spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle and gain a new appreciation for the peace you’ll find in wild places.
A Winter’s Desert: Visiting Southern Utah in the Slow Months
Experiencing the peace of canyon country in the winter is an attraction of its own.
Backpacking in Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park offers a spectrum of backpacking opportunities — from short trips at designated backcountry campsites to longer, adventurous trips that require extensive planning and desert canyon navigational knowledge.
Capturing the Milky Way: Kodachrome Basin by Night
Need tips on how to take pictures of stars? Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park is the perfect location to put the tips from an award-winning photographer into action.
Desert Shutter Speed
After lunch isn't the prime time to head to the desert. Come early or late, and Utah's deserts will reward you with their isolated landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, and stargazing opportunities.
Elevate Your Hiking with Mindfulness
Incorporating simple mindfulness techniques into your next hike can take the edge off anxiety and enhance your overall well being.
Exploring Mule Canyon: House on Fire and Cave Tower
Driving the up the dusty, terracotta-colored road toward Mule Canyon in Cedar Mesa, you get a sense that this is a special place, though you might not be able to put a finger on why.
Find a Winter Refresh in a Utah State Park
The best Utah state parks will entice you with ice fishing, white sand and snow-dusted scenery. Take a winter break to refresh with a visit to a few of these places.
Finding Strength and Inspiration Deep in the Utah Desert
How a series of hiking and camping trips in Utah’s parks and wilderness put Elisabeth Brentano on a transformative journey from urbanite to nature lover.
Gravity and Water: Mark Making in a Winter’s Desert with Anne Kaferle
Finding Helper at a time when she “needed it the most,” landscape artist Anne Kaferle has put down roots in Utah, thanks to plein-air painting and the healing power of time alone in the landscape.
Ice and rock, snow and splendor: Winter in Southern Utah
For an extraordinary adventure, plan winter hikes in Utah’s Zion National Park. Winter rewards hikers with stunning sights of stalactites and snow covered mountains.
In Search of Robbers Roost
Robbers Roost Utah, one of the infamous hideouts of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, is not easy to find even with directions from the locals. Explore Utah.
It’s About Time We All Unplugged
After months of being at home, we’ve all been disconnected from each other but connected permanently to our screens. It’s time to pull the plug—literally. In Utah, you can find far-flung places to reset, wellness resorts that promote digital detox, and destinations where you can swap screen time for much-needed adventure time.
Knobby Tired Nomads: Bikepacking the Utah High Country
If you’re into bikepacking, Utah is a place you’ll want to check out. Read about a self-supported tour of Utah’s backcountry here, and start planning your trip.
Lost and Found in Desolation Canyon
Fully unplug on a return trip down the Green River through the remote Desolation Canyon. Along the way, read as the author navigates a few friends through tricky rapids and pauses on stillwater and at night to appreciate the beauty, stillness and solitude of desert wilderness. It's a 100-mile journey for dedicated adventurers, but it comes with real healing power.
Paddling the Escalante River: Surfing Spring’s Runoff Through the Grand Staircase
Four friends embark on an otherworldly standup paddle journey through the heart of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, assisted by a local guide and his team of llamas.
Permit of Solitude
Watch this video of a guided experience canyoneering in the remote Robbers Roost. Find a guide to take you canyoneering in Utah.
Reclaiming the Stars
Utah’s public lands are beautiful and dramatic during the day, but they might well become famous for how awe-inspiring they are during the night.
San Rafael Swell Throughout the Seasons: 4 Reasons to Visit
From narrow slot canyons to grand sweeping vistas, sandstone plateaus to meandering rivers, San Rafael Country and the San Rafael Swell are home to some of the most spectacular scenery in Utah.
Stay Warm in Southern Utah: How to Pack for a Winter Trip
For most travelers, Southern Utah winters prevent comfortable camping, and occasional snowfall can make outdoor adventure a little more challenging. With a little extra planning, good layers, and the right equipment, however, you can enjoy Utah's national parks in the solitude of winter.
Wandering: Between the Contours
Wandering pathless ways in the desert, everything I need strapped to my back, is, I believe is as close as most of us get these days, to the life evolution prepared us for.
Winter Wonders in Greater Zion
As you’re mapping out your winter trip through southeastern Utah, consider adding the following parks and natural wonders to your itinerary.