Utah: The Greatest Show On Earth

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Utah truly puts on a great show. When it comes to spectacular nature it's one of the leading states and with good reason. National Parks, State Parks, National Monuments, they have it all. Nature-lovers do not miss out on Utah!

Arches National Park
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah, USA
First up, we got Arches National Park. A unique preserved area with over 2000 natural sandstone arches. Some of the more famous ones includes; Delicate Arch (above), Landscape Arch and Double-O Arch. All three requires some hiking to reach, which gives them so much more value once you reach them.

Bryce National Park
"Thor's Hammer" in Bryce National Park, Utah, USA
Bryce National Park is among the most popular spots in Utah. There are several view points are reachable by car, but I'd recommend to hike the Navajo Loop leading past Thor's Hammer, one of the many odd-shaped pillars called Hoodoos.

Monument Valley
Monument Valley, Utah, USA
Monument Valley was one of my favorite places in Utah. The unique rock structures can be spotted from miles away and the drive there is one of the most beautiful roads in the US. North of the valley is the exact spot where Forrest Gump finally stopped running (it's even marked on Google Maps), a great places to take one of those "endless-road"-photos.

Mexican Hat
Mexican Hat rock formation, Utah, USA
Very close to Monument Valley lies a small town of the name Mexican Hat. No, it's not an Aprils Fool, this town actually got it's name from a rock formation just outside the town limit, which resembles a Mexican sombrero. San Juan Inn is one of the cozier places I've stayed overnight in the US.

The Wave Lottery
The Wave Lottery in Kanab, Utah, USA
The Wave is an exclusive hike with only 20 permits per day. 10 are issued online and applying a year in advance in not uncommon. The other 10 permit are drawn by lottery the day before at 9 am in the city of Kanab at BLM Kanab Visitor Center. It's not unusual that more than up to 200 people try there luck at the lottery, so chances are quite slim. You can sign up as a group or as a solo hiker. Either way, you only get one number in the bowl. Unfortunately, I haven't been lucky enough to win a hiking permit for the wave yet.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
"The Toadstools" in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, USA
If you miss out on The Wave, Grand Staircase-Escalante Natioanl Monument is right around the corner of Kanab. Well, some of it at least. The national monument stretches quite far and wide, but one of the cooler places named "The Toadstooles" are easily accessed by a small hike from the main road towards Arizona.

Dead Horse State Park
Dead Horse State Park, Utah, USA
For decades stories about ghost horses, cruel cowboys and leaps of fate have surrounded Dead Horse State Park and hereby named it so. According to legend, wranglers in the 1800's often drove herds of feral horses across the narrow bottleneck leaving some of the horses trapped behind, with no chance of survival. Can you spot the "ghost horse" in the photo above?

Zion National Park
Checkerboard Mesa in Zion National Park, Utah, USA
Unlike Bryce and Arches, Zion National Park hasn't been the center of attention in Utah. Zion is often overshadowed by other more commercialized and famous national parks in both Utah and the US in general. But among the locals Zion is the next big thing and visitor numbers are growing rapidly. The drive through the park is amazing, but take some time off to hike a few places.

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