10 Best State Parks in Utah

From the rainbow-striped petrified wood of Escalante to the monolithic stone spires of Kodachrome Basin, Utah plays host to some of the most magical state parks in the country. Whether you’re looking to go for a hike, go birdwatching or camp out, these Utah state parks will not disappoint. Here are our favorites. 

Goblin Valley State Park, Green River, UT

Goblin Valley State Park looks like something you would find on the planet Mars. The result of millions of years of strange sandstone weathering, the so-called “hoodoos” or “goblins” that make up this surreal, red-rock valley are as cute as button mushrooms. In Goblin Valley State Park, you can explore, hike, take in the park’s one-of-a-kind views, or even play a friendly game of disc-golf. 

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Bear Lake State Park, Garden City, UT

Utahans travel far and wide to visit Bear Lake State Park in Northern Utah, and after a few hours on Bear Lake’s shores, you’ll understand why. Probably the closest thing Utah has to a proper beach, Bear Lake State Park is a great place to cool off in the summer with jet skis and a thick, fresh raspberry milkshake. 

This is the Place Heritage Monument State Park, Salt Lake City, UT

If you are less interested in Utah’s nature and more interested in its history, This is the Place Heritage Monument State Park is a great option for an entertaining day trip. Located a few minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, the park is a collection of more than 50 historic buildings from Salt Lake’s first Mormon pioneer settlements. Actors, historians, and activities bring the village to life. 

Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, UT

Utah’s newest state park, Sand Hollow is popular with water-lovers, who thrive boating, fishing, and diving in the crystal clear, blue waters of Sand Hollow Reservoir. Less crowded than Bear Lake State Park, Sand Hollow is arguably both more scenic and more unique.  

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Snow Canyon State Park, Ivins, UT

A hiker’s paradise, Snow Canyon State Park is filled with exciting trails and towering dunes. Covering 7,400 acres, the state park is famous for its beautiful Navajo sandstone canyons. If you’re a sucker for sunsets, you’ll love the way light and shadow add to the vibrancy of Snow Canyon’s geologic formations.   

Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab, UT

Dead Horse Point State Park is famous for its views and extreme conditions. Opened to the public as a state park in 1959, Dead Horse Point is still one of Southern Utah’s best kept secrets. You’ll be impressed by the amazing landscapes this spot (which is technically a peninsula of rock perched atop sandstone cliffs) brings to life. Not far from Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point is the perfect, quick stop over. 

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Escalante, UT

A visit to Southern Utah is a reminder of the world’s distant past, when dinosaurs roamed and a massive lake covered most of the state of Utah. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is an especially stark reminder of this past. Perfect territory for casual exploration, the park is home to an astounding amount of rainbow-striped petrified wood, from which it gets its enchanting name. 

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Kodachrome Basin State Park, Cannonville, UT

Kodachrome Basin State Park is another out-of-this-world, desert destination. Rather than “goblins,” this park is home to 67 monolithic stone spires made up of kaleidoscopic layers of sandstone. This state park is popular for its hiking and biking trails, as well as for its camping facilities and brand new laundromat. 

Antelope Island State Park, Antelope Island, UT

Spanning 42 square miles, this park is a one-of-a-kind island situated on an extremely salty body of water. And while the Great Salt Lake may not sound like the island vacay of your dreams, it is spectacular in its own right. Antelope Island, in particular, is popular with campers, hikers and bikers, as well as with free-ranging bison, mule deer, antelope, and bighorn sheep, all of which call the island home. 

Anasazi Museum State Park, Boulder, UT

If you thought This is the Place State Park was the extent of Utah’s history, think again. Native American tribes have called Utah home for centuries. And the Anasazi Museum State Park is a great place to learn more about one of the tribes that called Utah home centuries ago. At the park, you can explore an impressive Anasazi village that was likely occupied from 1050 to 1200 A.D. 

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1544 East Park Boulevard, Ogden, UT
About Us: Dinosaur Park is an exciting collection of creatures from prehistoric crawlers,to predator, to marine animals , and even flying reptiles.... Read More
4528 West 1700 South, Syracuse, UT
Elevation 4,200 feet at the shore. Frary Peak is the island's highest point at 6,596 feet. History John C. Fremont and Kit Carson made the first... Read More
460 North Highway 12, Boulder, UT
Explore an Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) village that was likely occupied from A.D. 1050 to 1200, and one of the largest communities west of the Col... Read More
660 West 400 North, Blanding, UT
Visit Edge of the Cedars Pueblo, a village inhabited by the ancestors of contemporary Puebloan peoples from AD 825 to 1125, and climb down a ladder... Read More
3820 W. Clear Creek Canyon Rd., Sevier, UT
Discover artifacts, petroglyphs, and pictographs left behind by the Fremont Indians. During construction of Interstate 70, the largest known Fremon... Read More
Green River Blvd, Green River, UT
About Us The Green River originates in Wyoming, where it flows 291 miles before entering the state of Utah. It runs for 42 miles in Colorado, and t... Read More
12500 Sand Dune Road, Kanab, UT
Venture onto a shifting sea of red sand. Changed by winds, these mountains and hills of sand can move as much as 50 feet per year. With areas for o... Read More
1281 Warm Springs Road, Midway, UT
Enjoy Wasatch Mountain State Park year-round. Camp in the Pine Creek Campground, reserve a tee time at one of the four popular 18-hole golf courses... Read More
Highway 24, Green River, UT
Cowboys searching for cattle first discovered secluded Goblin Valley. Then in the late 1920s, Arthur Chaffin, owner/operator of the Hite ferry, and... Read More
Resting on cliffs of the Sevier Plateau, Piute Reservoir attracts anglers who enjoy trophy fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout as well ... Read More
1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT
Hailstone Recreation Area is the premier development of Jordanelle State Park, and is designed to accommodate active recreational pursuits. Camp, f... Read More
100 North State Street, Salt Lake City, UT
History :Brigham Young Historic Park is a beautiful, green area just east of Temple Square featuring statue memorials and a pioneer feel with a wat... Read More
2200 E Palisade Dr., Sterling, UT
Play 18-holes of golf, paddle or troll on Palisade Reservoir, then set up the perfect campsite. This park offers something for everyone, from its d... Read More
3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City, UT
About us :Utah Olympic Park is cradled by the Wasatch Mountains, adjacent to Canyons Resort.  Venue for 2002 Winter Olympic bobsled, skeleton,... Read More
Ferron Canyon Road, Huntington, UT
Camp in the quiet campground, and boat and fish on the blue waters of Millsite Reservoir.  Golf on a nearby golf course or bring off-highway v... Read More
24220 W 7655 S, Duchesne, UT
The sprawling waters of Starvation Reservoir offer great fishing and boating.Find a secluded campsite at one of four primitive and two developed ca... Read More
121100 North East Frontage Road, Lehi, UT
Utah State Parks and Recreation and the Utah Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (UHGPGA) are partnering to preserve this unique recreation ar... Read More
2800 N. Rose Park Lane, Salt Lake City, UT
Open from early spring to late fall, this area provides opportunities for riders of all abilities. Facilities include advanced and novice motocross... Read More
900 W. 650 N. #A, Willard, UT
Boat, swim, water ski, and fish on the warm waters of Willard Bay.  Camp under tall cottonwood trees that frame the night sky. During winter m... Read More
2450 A Avenue, Ogden, UT
About :Fort Buenaventura was the first permanent Anglo settlement in the Great Basin. It marked the close of the exploration, trapping and trading ... Read More
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