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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12225 South Yuba Dam Road, Levan, UT
Camping, beaches, and warm waters lure visitors to Yuba Reservoir. Developed and primitive camping is available at Oasis and Painted Rocks campgrou... Read More
4400 W. Center Street, Provo, UT
Known as Utah’s largest freshwater lake at roughly 148 sq. miles, Utah Lake provides a variety of recreation activities. Utah Lake State Park... Read More
18035 W. 1540 N., Fairfield, UT
Believing Mormons were rebelling against the laws of the United States, President James Buchanan dispatched 3,500 troops, nearly one-third of the e... Read More
1550 North 100 East, Pleasant Grove, UT
The role of Discovery Park is to provide an open space of quiet and tranquility away from the stress and activity of the city, a sanctuary for wild... Read More
9800 West 8570 North, Lehi, UT
Willow Park has a lot to offer with over 50 acres designed for individual, family, or group activities. This park is developed around a large group... Read More
9508 North Timpanogos Cove, Cedar Mills, UT
This five-acre park complex contains five picnic pavilions: one large, one medium, and three small. Reservations are taken for use of the large pav... 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
Utah 314, Wallsburg, UT
Windsurf, boat, zip line, swim and fish on the cool waters of Deer Creek Reservoir.  After a day on the water, camp under the night sky at one... Read More
10400 South 1300 East, Sandy, UT
644 acres of natural area with multiple trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, natural history study areas, interpretive sites, ponds and... 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
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
S.R. 319 #515 Box 4, Heber City, UT
Welcome to Jordanelle State Park. Located above the beautiful Heber Valley in Wasatch County and along the shores of the Jordanelle Reservoir are t... Read More
2760 South (Heritage Way) 2695 East, Salt Lake City, UT
Pavilion AmenitiesPavilion (Reservable) - West end: 12-8' tables clustered very close together-1 cover for each 2 tables- seats 100. East end: smal... Read More
2531 S 400 E, Salt Lake City, UT
As a part of AARP's 60th Anniversary, AARP launched an ambitious effort in 2019 to create 53 fitness parks – one each in all 50 states, the D... Read More
13312 West 1075 South, Magna, UT
Great Salt Lake State Marina is home the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club, which boasts the saltiest sailors on earth. Visitors will enjoy the beautiful ... Read More
1371 South 700 East, Salt Lake City, UT
AmenitiesBaseball FieldSoftball FieldRestroomPlaygroundOff Leash Area Read More
600 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT
Liberty Park, located between 9th and 13th South and 5th and 7th East in Salt Lake City, is the oldest and most prominent park in Utah. Since its b... Read More
2601 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT
About Us :Heritage Village is a living history site within the 450-acre This Is The Place Heritage Park. In more than 40 original and replica homes... 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
1060 South 900 West, Salt Lake City, UT
Amenities(2) PavilionsTablesFireplacesSand VolleyballPlaygroundsTennisHorseshoesSoftball fieldsInternational Peace GardensRestroomsOff leash areaNO... Read More
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