25 Famous Landmarks in Utah You Shouldn't Miss

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A city with tall buildings, a temple structure, and green and orange trees
Utah has many natural and historical landmarks, like the Salt Lake Temple

Utah is a geological masterpiece and an ode to outdoor adventure! This state is known for having some of the most extraordinary landscapes. Utah has so much to explore, from towering red rock cliffs, desert valleys, canyons, caves, and salt flats.

The state is also home to some of the most famous National Parks on the West Coast, like Zion, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and more! You can easily spend a few days (or weeks!) experiencing just these parks. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, and rafting are popular activities throughout the parks.

Beyond the National Parks, Utah has many other iconic places to visit. Discover dinosaur bones at Dinosaur National Monument, learn about ancient cultures at Hovenweep, or stargaze at one of many Dark Sky Parks. Keep reading to learn more about the many famous landmarks in Utah!

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25 Famous Utah Landmarks

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A road through a red dessert leading to sandstone rock formations
The spectacular Monument Valley is located within Navajo Tribal Park

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is one of the most iconic Utah landmarks. Towering sandstone buttes, some as tall as 1000 feet, are dotted along the red desert valley skyline. A 17-mile loop road winds through the valley, offering one of Utah's most spectacular scenic drives.

Monument Valley is part of a Navajo Tribal Park. The Navajo have lived in and around Monument Valley for hundreds of years, and it is considered a sacred place.

☂️ Join a tour to see Monument Valley

A view of a canyon valley and the sunset through a rock arch
Mesa Arch is one of the amazing geological formations at Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park

A land as old as time itself, the geological formations at Canyonlands National Park formed over 150 million years ago. Hundreds of miles of trails lead to colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, and rivers for hiking, biking, and rafting.

Canyonlands is Utah's largest National Park at over 500 miles. It often takes several days to see all of the park's most famous features like Island in the Sky and Horseshoe Canyon.

☂️ Visit Canyonlands National Park on a tour

One of many famous landmarks in Utah is Bears Ears National Monument
Bears Ears National Monument is one of many famous landmarks in Utah

Bears Ears National Monument

Just a few hours South of Canyonlands, Bears Ears National Monument is another of Utah's striking landmarks. The monument was named for the two large buttes tower over the valley, resembling a bear's ears.

Bears Ears National Monument has many archaeological sites to explore. Visitors can find ruins of ancestral pueblos and ancient petroglyphs throughout the park. The unique rock formations and canyons make this area a popular destination for rock climbing and canyoneering.

A vast red rock canyon with natural rock towers under a blue sky with some clouds
Bryce Canyon National Park features the largest collection of "hoodoos" in the world

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is another one of Utah's famous sprawling canyonlands. Spanning over 35,000 acres of red rock formations, it is one of the most famous sites in Utah for its extraordinary geology.

Bryce Canyon has the most extensive collection of "hoodoos" (very tall yet thin rock spires) anywhere in the world. There are numerous trails and scenic drives to explore these one-of-a-kind features throughout the park.

Three orange rock cliffs with greenery under a blue sky with a few clouds
Zion National Park is one of the most well-known National Parks in the US

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is the most visited of all Utah's National Parks. It is also often regarded as the most scenic with its giant red cliffs, lush green forest valleys, and emerald pools.

Zion National Park has hiking trails like no other! You can wade through the water at The Narrows, climb up the sheer rock wall at Angel's Landing, or squeeze through slot canyons at The Subway.

A red rock arch on a red rock cliff and snow-capped mountains in the distance
Delicate Arch is the most famous rock formation in Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Often compared to being "Mars-like," Arches National Park has over 2000 red rock formations protruding from its landscape. This includes many of the signature arches the park is named for.

The park has 16 hiking trails that lead to various natural arches like the famous Delicate Arch. Delicate Arch is prominently featured on the Utah State License Plate and is one of the most famous landmarks in the world!

☂️ Explore Arches National Park with a tour

A road with greenery and red rock cliffs next to it under a clear blue sky
Capitol Dome is one of many stunning rock formations in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is another famous landmark in Utah known for its unique geological features. Stunning red rocks, cliffs, canyons, and arches line the trails of this park. The remote Cathedral Valley is a popular area of the park for overnight backpacking and stargazing.

The dramatic rock formations named for their cathedral-like appearance make excellent backdrops for night sky photography. Capitol Reef National Park is a designated Dark Sky Park.

☂️ Visit Capitol Reef National Park with an excursion

Orange dunes with some greenery on them under a blue sky with clouds
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park has beautiful and unique coral sand dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

While Utah may be known for its National Parks, Utah State Parks are as equally impressive. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is no exception! This 3700-acre park is covered in gorgeous coral-colored sand, unique rock formations, and slot canyons.

While there are plenty of hiking trails, a favorite local way to traverse the dunes is via ATV. Several local companies offer ATV tours and rentals in and around the park.

A red sandstone cliff with jagged rock formations under a clear blue sky
Goblin Valley State Park has geological features that resemble goblins

Goblin Valley State Park

Another gem of Utah's State Parks is Goblin Valley. Goblin Valley State Park was named for the thousands of "goblin-like" sandstone formations that make up the park's landscape.

In addition to the "goblins," this park has other interesting geological features like slot canyons, buttes, and caves. Several hiking trails within Goblin Valley explore the distinct rock formations.

☂️ Join a tour to see Goblin Valley State Park

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

One of the most unique monuments in Utah, Timpanogos Cave National Monument, is mostly underground. The monument is made up of 3 limestone caves. You can explore the caves on one of their guided walking tours.

For the more adventurous, a caving tour is available. You will climb, crawl, and rappel through several of the more rugged cave areas. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of one of the cave's most famous inhabitants, the Townsend's Big-Eared Bat!

A view across a rock canyon with a river meandering through it
You can hike or bike in the 5,000-acre Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park covers over 5000 acres of high desert overlooking the Colorado River. It was named for the legends of wild horses that perished there.

About 7 miles of hiking trails outline the canyon rim offering scenic views into the canyon and the Colorado River. The park's terrain is also perfect for mountain biking. Over 16 miles of mountain biking trails wind through the park.

☂️ Visit Dead Horse Point State Park with a tour

A rock cliff with a horseshoe-shaped river around it and red rock cliffs surrounding
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area features the renowned Horseshoe Bend

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encompasses over a million acres of preserved land surrounding Lake Powell. An abundance of activities from hiking, rafting, camping, and scenic drives are available throughout the preserve.

Glen Canyon is home to perhaps the most famous place in Utah, Horseshoe Bend. This viewpoint into a horseshoe-shaped area of the Colorado River has become one of the most photographed places in the Southwest.

A white salt flat with hills in the distance under a blue sky with a large cloud
Bonneville Salt Flats comprise white salt flats created by the evaporation of lakes

Bonneville Salt Flats

In contrast to the bright red rocks of the Utah desert, the Bonneville Salt Flats are a vast area of white salt formed by ancient lakes. It is a major photography destination.

Although there are no official trails, people enjoy hiking, biking, and running on the salt flats. They have also become a popular motor racing destination. Racing events are held throughout the year on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Green shrubbery on the sand next to the water with a mountain in the distance
Antelope Island State Park is the longest of Utah's Salt Lake Islands

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park is located on the Great Salt Lake of Northern Utah. It is the largest of the Salt Lake Islands at 42 square miles.

Visitors come to Antelope Island for its beaches, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing opportunities. The island is known for having abundant wildlife, including bison, bighorn sheep, bobcats, mule deer, and many species of birds.

☂️ Experience Antelope Island State Park with a tour

A red rock cliff with a road and yellow-green bushes in front of it
Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument has cliffs, slot canyons, and waterfalls

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante is one of the most remote monuments in Utah. Although harder to access, it is still a popular destination due to the beauty and uniqueness of the area. It was named for its large ascending cliffs that resemble a staircase from afar.

Visitors come to hike and explore the many slot canyons, cliffs, arches, and waterfalls. Rock climbing and bouldering are also permitted in certain areas.

☂️ Visit the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with a tour

A red sandstone arch surrounded by rocky cliffs
Rainbow Bridge National Monument is one of the largest natural arches in the world

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Rainbow Bridge is a large sandstone arch known as one of the largest natural bridges in the world. It is 290 feet tall and 275 feet wide.

The Rainbow Bridge is regarded as sacred by the Navajo Nation in which their land the bridge resides. Visitors are asked to treat the bridge and surrounding area with the utmost respect and practice "leave no trace" principles.

A red sandstone rock formation with cliffs and yellow-green grass around it
Driving through Valley of the Gods is the best way to see all the park has to offer

Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods is a large sandstone valley filled with geological formations. It is often referred to as a smaller version of the famous Monument Valley. Valley of the Gods is still filled with breathtaking buttes, mesas, and bluffs on a slightly smaller scale.

Driving the 17-mile loop road through the valley is the best way to see all the significant features. You can also camp in Valley of the Gods for impeccable night sky views.

A dinosaur skull imprint embedded in rock
Dinosaur National Monument has amazing embedded dinosaur fossils and reconstructions

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument is one of the most fascinating monuments in Utah, with over 1500 dinosaur fossils on display. Visitors can tour the quarry to see these embedded fossils as well as reconstructions of dinosaur bones. This quarry of fossils is a National Historic Landmark.

The park also has several miles of hiking trails, remote canyons, and river rafting. Camping and stargazing are also popular as Dinosaur National Monument is one of Utah's famous Dark Sky Parks.

Red rock cliffs covered in greenery under a purple-blue sky
Cedar Breaks National Monument is breathtaking and has a 2000-foot canyon drop

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Considered a "natural amphitheater," Cedar Breaks National Monument has a 10,000-foot rim and breathtaking 2000-foot canyon drop. A favorite amongst photographers, the rock walls are variegated in shades of red and orange and create a stunning backdrop.

The rim trail offers many scenic viewpoints into the canyon. There are also forest and meadow trails. Keep an eye out for the adorable chipmunks often seen scurrying around the wildflower meadows!

Golden Spike National Historical Park

The Golden Spike National Historical Park commemorates the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. It is one of the most celebrated historical landmarks in Utah.

The Golden Spike refers to the last spike laid to connect the railroads in 1869. It is now on display in the park's museum. The park also has trails that follow some of the original tracks and replicas of the trains that traveled them.

Historic South Temple Street

Historic South Temple Street encompasses 106 historic homes and buildings in Salt Lake City. It is one of Utah's oldest National Historic Landmarks and includes sites like the Governor's Mansion and Cathedral of the Madeleine.

Guided walking tours are the best way to see all of the sites and learn their history. Some of the homes and buildings on the tour are over 150 years old.

Utah Lake State Park

Utah Lake State Park has the largest freshwater lake in Utah. It's located in Provo, just outside of the densely populated areas of Salt Lake and Park City. Visiting Utah Lake State Park is one of the top things to do in Provo and is very popular for water recreation.

Visitors come to spend a day on the lake, soaking in the views of the clear blue waters surrounded by rugged mountains. Along the lake's shores are hiking trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds.

Red sandstone rocks and ruins surrounded by greenery under a blue sky with clouds
Hovenweep National Monument features the ruins of Native American villages

Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument is an area of protected lands that spans the border of Utah and Colorado. It consists of several historical Native American villages believed to be hundreds of years old.

The ruins of these villages are spread across a rocky canyon landscape and can be reached by hiking. Hiking trails run throughout the park leading to viewpoints of these historic structures.

A large Neo-classical building with columns and a domed roof next to grass and paths
The Utah State Capitol has been in Salt Lake City since 1916

Utah State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol is one of the most famous historical landmarks in Utah. Built in 1916, this impressive Neoclassical-style building is now on the National Historic Register.

People come to admire the architecture of the building as well as the many historical exhibits on display. The grounds of the Capitol have several walking paths with gardens, fountains, statues, and monuments.

☂️ Experience the Utah State Capitol with a tour

A Gothic-style temple with spires in a square with trees
Salt Lake Temple is one of the most famous landmarks in Temple Square

Temple Square

Temple Square is an area of historical buildings in the heart of Salt Lake City. As the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is one of Utah's most visited historical places.

Most of the temples were constructed during the 1800s and are a blend of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The crown jewel of Temple Square is the Salt Lake Temple. It towers over the square at 220 feet with grand spires and intricate stone carvings.

In Summary

Whether visiting the red rock canyons or one of the many historical sites in Utah, there's no shortage of things to do! From the deserts to the cities and the big parks to the hidden gems, every part of the state has something unique to explore.

At the end of the day, don't forget to catch the stunning desert sunsets and gaze up at the stars. Utah has the most certified Dark Sky Parks in the United States!

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Written by Lauren Rey

L_Rey FORMER WRITER Lauren might be based in Florida, but she is always plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime, Pickles. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks as much as her mom does!


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