Farther Away From It All
Searching for solitude? Follow this six-day itinerary to find unspoiled wild places, hidden trails, open spaces and perfect peace. It's a great escape from the hustle and bustle.
Utah writer Edward Abbey famously referred to wild places as “not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” This six-day itinerary will provide you with plenty of wild spaces to soothe your soul and boost your spirits along your journey.
For well-prepared backpackers with a permit and a shuttle, you could use this time to spend five spectacular days backpacking the 48-mile Trans Zion Trek with its deep canyons, high ridgelines, and all the striking views of Zion National Park you could imagine.
Or you can split up your Utah trip across several wild spaces. Start with the rugged scenery of Joshua Tree Scenic Backway or the Mars-like landscape of Gooseberry Mesa and then add the expansive views and natural quiet of Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.
You’ll find full solitude in Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area, where only 10 miles of trail sprinkle the 7,000-acre expanse. Later, you can drop deep into Bryce Canyon National Park’s spire-filled backcountry, where few tourists ever venture.
Capitol Reef National Park will provide you with a national park experience without the usual crowds. After a spectacular sunset, you can gaze at the Milky Way in one of Utah’s internationally-certified Dark Sky Parks.
Towering sandstone buttes stand as silent sentinels over the spirit of the desert at Monument Valley and ancestral cliff dwellings hide in the canyons of Bears Ears National Monument. Soak up the vast expanses and cloistered spaces of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, where you can you feel like the only person in the world.
Spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle and gain a new appreciation for the peace you’ll find in wild places.
Read these resources to learn how to travel thoughtfully and experience Utah most fully on your journey.
Cottonwood Canyon Narrows
This fine short hike leads through the final narrow gorge of Cottonwood Creek before the canyon opens up and begins its long, straight journey to the confluence with the Paria River.
Greater Cedar Mesa
The Cedar Mesa area encompasses up to 1.9 million acres and is home to more than 100,000 archaeological sites. For adventurers with a love of solitude, archaeology and geographic beauty, this area has it all.
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin covers 2,240 acres of canyon country and is surrounded by Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument on three sides.
Kolob Canyons Visitor Guide
sometimes it’s nice to enjoy America’s Best Idea in solitude. Utah’s got you covered there, too. For that, look no further than the Kolob Canyons corridor of Zion National Park.
The 250-acre Kolob Reservoir sits above 8,000 feet and is surrounded by aspens and evergreens. It is about as close as you can get to a real fishing experience at one of Utah’s Mighty 5® national park destinations.