Utah Travel Guide

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Mount Holmes in the Henry Mountains, south of Hanksville, Utah

Mount Holmes in the Henry Mountains, south of Hanksville, Utah

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Utah is a landlocked state that borders on Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and Wyoming. The capital of the state, Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Olympics. It is most famous for being the state where the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has its world headquarters, as well as the location of many gorgeous places.

The Wasatch Mountains run north-south next to Provo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, and are home to seven ski resorts. Summertime brings excellent hiking opportunities; over 5 million hikers visit these mountains yearly. For less crowded alpine scenery, go east to Kamas, Utah, the gateway to the Mirror Lake Highway and the Uinta Mountains, one of only two east-west mountain ranges in the USA. Teeming with many small lakes, the rugged Uinta range is home to Utah's biggest wilderness area and its highest peak. King's Peak is over 13,000 feet in elevation.

For real solitude, head for the mostly undiscovered Great Basin and West Desert. Try Notch Peak in the House Range, or the ghost town of Frisco, or the Pony Express Trail. You won't find crowds out here. The northern reaches of the Great Salt Lake can be accessed via roads and trails from Golden Spike National Historic Site, where the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869.  

In the south of the state Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell) offers unparalleled opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, backcountry hiking and four-wheel drive trips. Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Park are close by and offer more excellent outdoor opportunities. The hip city of Moab has become a mecca for the mountain bike and jeep crowd, with nearby Arches National Park drawing many visitors for a taste of the red rock southwest. River rafting can also be enjoyed from Vernal, Green River, and Moab. You should know the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park is named Cataract Canyon. Cataract Canyon is on par with Grand Canyon's rapids.

Cataract Canyon presents 28 world class rapids in 14.5 miles of this one hundred mile river trip. Moab outfitters offer one day to four day motorized raft trips or five to six day row trips from Moab to conclude on the north end of Lake Powell. Right out of Moab, the Colorado River is appropriate for 40 pound children in the Professor Valley stretch or toddlers can experience the Colorado River downstream of Moab toward Canyonlands National Park via a four hour jet boat excursion.

Near Springdale you find Zion National Park with the world's largest natural arch, the Kolob Arch. North along US-89 you'll encounter Utah State Highway 12, one of the nation's most scenic highways. It passes Bryce Canyon National Park, another spectacular collection of red rock canyons and rock formations, and climbs to 9000 feet above sea level on the shoulders of Boulder Mountain.


December 29, 2008 change by utah mentor

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