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Are you planning a road trip through Utah National Parks? It is one of the most epic road trips in the United States! Here is a 7-day road trip itinerary through Utah National Parks.

  • The best option for this 7-day road trip through Utah is to start it in Salt Lake City, UT, and end it in Las Vegas, NV (it can easily be reversed). This option involves the least amount of driving and gives you more time to explore the parks. However, it is might be more expensive to fly one-way and then drop the car rental at a different location.
  • If you do not mind extra driving time, then this 7-day road trip itinerary through Utah National Parks can start and end at the same location (Las Vegas or Salt Lake City). You will avoid extra costs associated with one-way flights and dropping the car rental at another location.

Before we dive in, here are a couple of things that you need to know before you embark on a 7-day road trip through Utah’s Mighty 5:

  • There is a lot to see at Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks, if you have more than 7 days for this road trip through Utah National Parks, then it is great! To be honest, you will be able to just barely cover some highlights of each park in 7 days. All in all, I made a couple of suggestions of where to stay longer and what to explore, if you have more time for this trip.
  • The best time to plan this road trip through Utah’s Mighty 5 is spring or fall (April, May, and October). The temperatures are mild, the crowds are low, and you can find some solitude in the parks. Early spring (March), or late fall (November) are not bad either, although, be prepared for some chilly conditions (wear lots of layers) and maybe even some snow. Summers are hot with temperatures well into the 100’s F making it rather uncomfortable to explore the parks. Not only the temperatures are high, but the crowds are at their highest levels as well. Expect long lines everywhere, a lack of parking spaces, and lots of companionship on hiking trails. Just have lots of patience if you are visiting in the summer. Winters can be cold with freezing temperatures and snow, However, I visited these parks in winter, and hands down, they all look spectacular with a little snow cover.
  • Make sure to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass, if you are visiting Utah’s Mighty 5, you will save $70 with the pass. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites!

Click here to buy America the Beautiful National Park Pass.

Map of 7 Day Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Day 1 - Arrive in Salt Lake City, UT, Drive to Moab, UT and Sleep in Moab

Fly to Salt Lake City, UT, and pick up your car rental. Then drive to Moab, UT. It will take you about 3 hours and 45 minutes (239 miles) before you reach Moab, UT.

Moab, UT is a perfect location for exploring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

You will stay 3 nights in Moab, UT.

Where to Sleep and Eat in Moab, UT

  • Where to Sleep in Moab, UT

Here are some places that I stay at whenever I am in Moab, UT, and visiting Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. They are not anything fancy, but all of them have clean rooms and comfortable beds.

My first choice is La Quinta by Wyndham Moab. I stayed at this place a few times and I have no complaints. It is clean, and well managed, and it is conveniently located. If La Quinta is all booked, then my recommendation is to try Mainstay Suites Moab.

The last time that I visited Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, I stayed at Element Moab, and I liked it a lot. It is modern, yet simple, and it has a full kitchen, which is very convenient.

  • Where to Eat in Moab, UT

There are lots of dining options in Moab, UT.

If you like pasta or pizza then head to Pasta Jay’s. It is a busy place, however, service is fast. Their pasta and all the sauces are very good. However, my vote is for the thin crust pizza.

Moab Diner is nothing fancy or gourmet, however, it is just good comfort food at a very reasonable price. Don’t miss their milkshakes. They know what they are doing!

I like good pizza, so Antica Forma is my place to go to. Their pizza menu is extensive! Plus, if you like Italian food, then there are lots of choices. What you simply cannot miss is their homemade mozzarella. It is delicious. For dessert try their tiramisu.

Day 2 - Visit Arches National Park

Today, you will visit Arches National Park. The entrance to the park is located no more than 15 minutes (5.2 miles) from Moab, UT. Before we dive in, here are some things you need to know about Arches:

Arches National Park At-A-Glance

Before we get started with your day at Arches, here are a few highlights to help you prepare for your visit and navigate through the park:

  • What is Arches National Park Famous For

Arches National Park is of course famous for its arches. It has the densest concentration of natural stone arches in the world. There are over 2,000 documented arches in the park, plus pinnacles, balanced rocks, fins, and other geologic formations.

  • What Are Some Cool Facts About Arches National Park

The entire park used to be underwater! What is now a dry seabed was once a shallow inland sea. When the seawater retreated, it left behind sand that the wind formed into dunes. Those dunes were petrified or turned into the rock that forms the park we know today.

Delicate Arch is the most famous arch in the park and the world. It is a 60-foot-tall freestanding natural arch. The arch is depicted on Utah license plates and a postage stamp commemorating Utah’s centennial anniversary of admission to the Union in 1996. The Olympic torch relay for the 2002 Winter Olympics passed through the arch.

  • How to Get Around in Arches National Park 

There is no shuttle service at Arches National Park. The only way to get around the park is by having your vehicle.

  • How Much Does It Cost to Visit Arches National Park

It costs $30 per vehicle, to enter Arches National Park. The entrance pass is good for 7 consecutive days. However, since you will be visiting Utah’s Mighty 5, then my recommendation is to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass.

  • How to Reserve Timed-Entry Ticket for Arches National Park

Ok, this is important! From April 3 to October 3 Arches National Park implements a timed-entry system to help manage traffic and improve visitor experiences.

You must reserve your timed-entry ticket as soon as it becomes available!

The park releases tickets first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov three (3) months in advance in monthly blocks.

A limited number of tickets is available for purchase one day before entry at 6 pm MDT through Recreation.gov.

Once you get your ticket print it, download it, or take a screenshot of it (cell phone service is limited inside the park). Your Timed-Entry Ticket ($2 processing fee), photo ID, and park entrance pass or America the Beautiful Pass are required to enter the park.

Top Experiences in Arches National Park

Arches National Park is relatively small compared to other national parks and it is super easy to visit. There is one main road called Arches Scenic Drive that runs through the heart of the park and all the viewpoints, overlooks, and trailheads leading to the hikes are located along this road.

So, with one day in Arches, here are 8 top experiences that you can’t miss on your first visit to Arches National Park:

  • Stop at Park Avenue Viewpoint and (optional) hike Park Avenue Trail
  • See the Balanced Rock
  • Stop at Garden of Eden Viewpoint
  • Visit Double Arch
  • Visit the Windows and Turrets Arches 
  • Hike Devils Garden Trail (see Landscape and Double O Arches)
  • See Dune Arch and Broken Arch
  • Hike Delicate Arch (sunset)
Park Avenue Viewpoint in Arches

Park Avenue Viewpoint is the first stop that can’t be missed on Arches Scenic Drive. The view is breathtaking. Here, you can gaze down a grand boulevard of rock and let your imagination loose. Previous visitors named some of the rock features here “Queen Nefertiti,” “Queen Victoria,” and “Sausage Rock” (also known as “The Corndog”). What names does your imagination suggest? Park Avenue Trail descends into a spectacular canyon and continues to Courthouse Towers. 

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Turret Arch as seen through the North Window in Arches National Park

The Windows section in Arches National Park is one of the most popular areas in the park. Don’t expect any solitude here at any time of day. There will be plenty of night photographers here as well. Now, what you want to capture is the  Turret Arch through the North Window. 

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Double O Arch in Arches National Park

Double O Arch is the second largest arch within the Devils Garden area (after Landscape Arch). There are two arches, one large, with a span of 71 feet, stacked atop a much smaller arch with a 21-foot span. Both are part of the same sandstone fin. 

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Day 3 - Visit Canyonlands National Park

Today is day 3 of the road trip through Utah National Parks and today, you will visit Canyonlands National Park. Specifically, you will explore the Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands National Park. It is the most accessible area of Canyonlands and can be easily explored within one day.

The entrance to the Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands is about 35 minutes (30 miles) from Moab, UT.

Canyonlands National Park At-A-Glance

If you thought that Arches National Park was spectacular, wait till you see Canyonlands National Park! It is absolutely breathtaking! You will see views of mesas, buttes, spires, and fins carved out by Colorado and Green Rivers that are simply off the charts. Hiking, stargazing, camping, and rock climbing are just a few of the activities, that you can enjoy at the park.

  • What You Need to Know About Canyonlands National Park

Established in 1964, Canyonlands National Park preserves 527 square feet of land in southern Utah. Needless to say, Canyonlands National Park is vast!

There are four districts within Canyonlands National Park. And, even though, they are all in Canyonlands National Park, they all look completely different from each other as if they are separate national parks. Island in the Sky District is the most visited section of Canyonlands National Park. It is conveniently located no more than a 40-minute drive from Moab, UT making it the most easily accessible district in Canyonlands.

  • How to Get Around in the Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands National Park 

There is no shuttle service at Canyonlands National Park. The only way to get around the park is by having your own vehicle.

  • How Much Does It Cost to Visit Canyonlands National Park

It costs $30 per vehicle, to enter Canyonlands National Park. The entrance pass is good for 7 consecutive days. Make sure to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass. It costs $80, is valid for 12 months, and gets you into all 400+ national park sites!

Top Experiences at Canyonlands National Park

Island in the Sky District in Canyonlands National Park is located no more than a 40-minute drive from Moab, UT. Since you only have one day in Canyonlands, then my recommendation is to spend all your time in Island in the Sky District in Canyonlands.

What you need to know is that Island in the Sky is a mesa with 1,000-foot sandstone cliffs. It sits between Colorado and Green River, giving it its name ‘island in the sky’.

Here are the 8 best places you can’t miss on your visit to Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands:

  • Hike to Mesa Arch Viewpoint (sunrise)
  • Stop at Grand View Point Overlook and Hike Grand View Point Trail
  • Visit White Rim Overlook and Hike White Rim Overlook Trail
  • Stop at Buck Canyon Overlook
  • Hike Murphy Point Trail
  • Stop at Green River Overlook
  • Visit Upheaval Dome Overlook
  • Stop at Shafer Canyon Viewpoint and at Visitor Center Viewpoint
Mesa Arch at Canyonlands National Park

Hands down, Mesa Arch is a spectacular natural stone arch perched at the edge of a cliff with vast views of canyons, Monster TowerWasher Woman ArchAirport Tower, and the La Sal Mountains in the distance. There is no doubt that you need to get there at sunrise to capture the most stunning views!

Road Trip Itinerary Utah National Parks

Grand View Point Overlook in Canyonlands

Grand View Point offers a spectacular view of the Canyonlands area. From the viewpoint at 6,080 feet elevation, you can see distant mountains, canyons, basins, and the White Rim Road.

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Road Trip through Utah National Parks

Upheaval Dome can’t be missed on your visit to Canyonlands. It is quite a mystery. What you can see are rocks pushed up into a circular structure called a dome. What caused these folds at Upheaval Dome? Geologists do not know for sure, but two main theories are hotly debated. One is the Salt Dome Theory and the other is Impact Crater Theory. 

Road Trip Through Utah National Park

Shafer Canyon

The Shafer Trail at the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park is an iconic road that descends 1,500 feet (457 m) through a colorful, massive sandstone cliff. Its function has changed through the years; from a route made by Native Americans to access resources on the mesa top, to a trail for sheepherders moving flocks to better foraging in wintertime, and then a road for trucks moving loads of uranium from the backcountry to market. Today, the Shafer Trail is a challenging, unpaved back-country road for recreational users seeking the experience of a lifetime.

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Intrepid’s Tip:

Right in-between Arches and Canyonlands National Park is Dead Horse Point State Park. The park sits on top of a narrow mesa with Colorado and Green Rivers 2,000 feet below. The views in this place are off the charts! Check out How to Spend One Day in Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah.

Dead Horse Point State Park

The view of the Colorado River from Dead Horse State Park. 

Day 4 - Drive to Capitol Reef National Park, Visit Capitol Reef, and Sleep in Torrey, UT

Today is day 4 of the road trip through Utah National Parks. You will drive from Moab, UT to Capitol Reef National Park. It will take you about 2 hours (137 miles) before you reach Capitol Reef National Park. Next, you will visit Capitol Reef National Park and sleep in Torrey, UT.

Intrepid’s Tip:

When you drive from Moab, UT to Capitol Reef National Park make sure to take Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway (UT-24). If you have more time, then on the way make a stop and hike Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons. It is a great hike through some spectacular canyons. Another stop that I am highly recommending is Little Goblin Valley with intricate rock formations resembling goblins.

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Little Goblin Valley State Park is a great stop on the way from Moab to Capitol Reef to see intricate rock formations that resemble goblins. 

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Where to Sleep and Eat in Torrey, UT

  • Where to Sleep in Torrey, UT

There are two places that I always stay at whenever I am visiting Capitol Reef National Park.

My first choice is Capitol Reef Resort. I stayed at this place a few times and I have no complaints. The rooms are clean and the beds are comfortable. The location is excellent, right at the entrance to the park. Plus, they have an on-site restaurant, which makes it very convenient after a full day of exploring Capitol Reef.

Another relatively comparable place is Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse. Again, good location, right at the entrance to the park. They also have a restaurant on-site and breakfast is included with your stay. The rooms are clean and the beds are comfortable.

  • Where to Eat in Torrey, UT

There is not a ton of places to eat around Torrey. My first choice is The Rim Rock Restaurant. I like it because of the view and they serve good comfort food which is much needed after a long hike. Another place, that you might check out is Slackers Burger Joint. It is nothing to rave about, but it is convenient and quick and the food is decent.

Capitol Reef National Park At-A-Glance

  • What Are Some Cool Facts About Capitol Reef National Park

The name Capitol Reef comes from two things. First, the white stone dunes in the park reminded the settlers of the dome of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Second, the Waterpocket Fold resembled a massive barrier and was often referred to as a reef.

The Waterpocket Fold is the defining geologic feature of Capitol Reef National Park. This fold or wrinkle in the earth’s surface runs north-south for almost 100 miles creating the most dramatic landscapes.

Fruit orchards, planted by Mormon settlers in the late 1800s are one of the attractions in Capitol Reef National Park. Orchards are open to the public and you can pick fruit and take it home for a small fee.

Capitol Reef was designated a national park in 1971.

  • How to Get Around in Capitol Reef National Park

There are two paved roads run through the park: Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway UT-24, and Capitol Reef Scenic Drive: 

Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway UT-24 runs from Moab, UT to Torrey, UT (east to west, or vice versa) and a section of this road goes through the park. There is no fee to drive UT-24. Make sure to check out some awesome stops, viewpoints, and hikes along Capitol Reef Scenic Byway!

Capitol Reef Scenic Drive is an out and back road that runs north to south through the length of the park. It starts at Fruita District and ends at Capitol Gorge Road. There is an entrance fee of $20. It is valid for 7 consecutive days.

So, because we just have one day for Capitol Reef National Park, we will focus on Capitol Reef Scenic Drive!

Top Experiences at Capitol Reef National Park

My recommendation is to take the Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef National Park. It is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Capitol Reef. There are 8 stops on Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef that I am highly recommending and I listed all of them right below. However, with just one day in Capitol Reef, you should visit Fruita District, then, hands down, hike to Cassidy Arch. Next, make sure to hike the Grand Wash Trail and finish off your day with a hike on Capitol Gorge Trail.

  • Visit Fruita District
  • Hike Cassidy Arch Trail
  • Hike the Grand Wash Trail
  • Stop at Slick Rock Divide Turn-Out (optional)
  • Hike Capitol Gorge Trail 
Grand Wash Trail in Capitol Reef

Grand Wash Trail in Capitol Reef National Park resembles Zion Narrows (minus the water). 

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Grand Wash Trail in Capitol Reef National Park is an excellent hike with little elevation change, perfect for every fitness level. 

Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park

Cassidy Arch sits 400 feet above the Scenic Drive and the Grand Wash Trail. The hike to the arch is a strenuous one, however, you will be rewarded with some spectacular views. 

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Capitol Gorge Trail

Capitol Gorge Trail in Capitol Reef National Park s a fun trail with little elevation change, a sandy path, and towering canyon walls. 

Capitol Gorge Trail

The scenery on Grand Wash Trail in Capitol Reef National Park is constantly changing with a new view after every turn.

Pioneer Register on Capitol Gorge Trail

On Capitol Gorge Trail, you will pass by the Pioneer Register, named after the Mormon pioneers and early settlers who carved their names and initials on the rock as they passed through this canyon.

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Day 5 - Drive to Bryce Canyon, Visit Bryce Canyon, Drive to Zion, and Sleep in Springdale, UT

Day 5 of the road trip through Utah National Parks is packed with activities and some driving. Get up and get going as early as possible.

Today, you will drive from Torrey, Utah to Bryce Canyon National Park. It will take you about 2 hours (108 miles) to get to the entrance to Bryce Canyon. Next, you will visit Bryce Canyon National Park.

After visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, you will head in the direction of Zion National Park. You will stay and sleep in Springdale, Utah. It takes about 2 hours (86 miles) to get to Springdale from Bryce Canyon National Park.

Where to Sleep and Eat in Springdale, UT

Springdale, Utah is conveniently located about a 2-hour drive from Bryce and right at the entrance to Zion making it a perfect getaway to both national parks. There are many options of where you can stay in Springdale and several good places where to can grab a bite to eat.

  • Where to Sleep in Springdale, UT

I stayed in Springdale several times and my two top choices are Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale/Zion National Park, and SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park. Both places are clean and comfortable, and the location is perfect.

  • Where to Eat in Springdale, UT

Hands down, if you are in Springdale, UT then head to Oscar’s Cafe. Everything on the menu is simply delicious! However, make sure to try the murder burger or the pork burrito.  Another place you should check out is Spotted Dog. My recommendation is to try the Southwest Chicken with wild rice and fresh mango avocado salsa.

Bryce Canyon National Park At-A-Glance

Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its unique geology. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped Bryce into distinctive hoodoos, spires, and towers that appear as forests of rock. The hoodoos at Bryce range from 5 feet to 150 feet tall.

  • What Are Some Cool Facts About Bryce Canyon National Park 

The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874.

The area around Bryce Canyon became a National Monument in 1923 and was designated as a National Park in 1928.

Bryce Canyon is a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The amphitheaters extend more than 20 miles north-to-south within the park. The largest is Bryce Amphitheater, which is 12 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 800 feet deep.

Bryce Canyon offers world-class stargazing due to its exceptionally high air quality and long-distance from sources of light pollution.

  • How to Get Around in Bryce Canyon National Park 

The best way to get around in Bryce Canyon National Park is either by shuttle or by car, or you can walk/hike.

Shuttle Service is offered in the Bryce Canyon. You can hop on (with proof of park admission) and hop off at any of the shuttle stops. The shuttle is not mandatory, however, it is highly recommended especially during the summer months, since finding a parking spot could be very challenging.

In the spring and fall, the shuttle runs from 8 am till 6 pm. During the summer months (May through September), shuttle service is available from 8 am till 8 pm. Buses typically come by each stop every 15 minutes. You can time the next bus with Shuttle Tracker.

  • How Much Does It Cost to Visit Bryce Canyon National Park

It costs $35 to enter the park. The entrance pass is good for 7 consecutive days.

Make sure to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass, if you are visiting Utah’s Mighty 5. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites!

Top Experiences at Bryce Canyon National Park

Whenever I visit Bryce Canyon National Park, I start off my day at the Rim Trail. The Rim Trail goes along the edge of the canyon and you get to see the jaw-dropping Bryce Canyon Main Amphitheatre from above. My recommendation is to start at Sunrise Point and walk to Sunset Point. The distance is no more than 0.5 miles from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point with very little elevation change making it a perfect starting point for one day in Bryce Canyon. 

Next, hike below the rim to see the famous hoodoos up close! Needless to say, you cannot leave Bryce Canyon National Park unless you see hoodoos up close! Navajo and Queens Garden Trail is my favorite hike in Bryce Canyon! These connecting trails will take you about 550 feet below the rim and along some of the most famous hoodoo formations in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Finally, finish off your day with the famous Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon National Park. Scenic Drive in Bryce Canyon is an out-and-back drive that spans the length of the Bryce Canyon National Park and hits all the park highlights.

  • Hike the Rim Trail 
  • Hike Navajo Loop Trail and Queens Garden Trail 
  • Take Bryce Canyon National Park Scenic Drive and stop at breathtaking viewpoints
  • Watch the sunset in Bryce Canyon 
Bryce Amphitheater

The view of Bryce Amphitheater from Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Thor's Hammer in Bryce Canyon

Thor’s Hammer, a famous hoodoo formation, seen from Navajo Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. 

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Navajo Trailhead in Bryce Canyon National Park. 

Natural Bridge in Bryce Canyon

Natural Bridge Viewpoint on Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive. 

Intrepid’s Tip:

Make sure to stay and watch a sunset at Bryce Canyon National Park. Sunsets can be quite spectacular at Bryce. During the famous Golden Hour, the hoodoos are all lit up by the setting sun and start to glow.

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Sunset in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Day 6 - Visit Zion National Park

Zion National Park is Utah’s oldest and most visited national park, annually hosting an average of 4.5 million visitors. Zion offers 229 miles of towering cliffs, narrow canyons, and unbelievably beautiful scenery. Hands down, Zion is one of my favorites!

Zion National Park At-A-Glance

  • What Are Some Cool Facts About Zion National Park

The first Anglo-European settlers, Mormon pioneers, arrived in the area in the late 1800s. They named the area Zion, which is ancient Hebrew for sanctuary or refuge.

The Anasazi were the original occupants of Zion Canyon, a civilization that thrived around 1,500 B.C. You can find traces of their magnificent sandstone villages, a network of roads, and rock art throughout the park today

The Zion Canyon was carved over millions of years by the Virgin River and is approximately 2,000 feet deep.

The California Condor is the largest flying bird in North America and can be found in the wild in Zion National Park.

  • How to Get Around in Zion National Park

Zion National Park has two shuttle routes that operate from March to November: the Zion Canyon Line which runs through the length of the park and stops at all the viewpoints and trailheads, as well as the Springdale Line, which provides service in the Town of Springdale and picks up and drops off visitors at the park’s pedestrian/bike entrance at Zion Canyon Village.

When the shuttle is in operation the Zion Scenic Drive is closed to all private vehicles. You do not need a permit or reservation to ride a park shuttle. The cost of the shuttle is included in your entrance ticket. You can hop on and hop off at any of the shuttle stops.

  • How to Obtain Angels Landing Trail Hiking Permit

Angels Landing Trail, known as America’s scariest hiking trail, is one of the most popular hikes in Zion. In response to concerns about crowding and congestion on the trail, on and after April 1, 2022, everyone who hikes Angels Landing needs to have a permit. You can obtain the permit either through a seasonal lottery or the day-before lottery.

  • How Much Does it Cost to Visit Zion National Park

It costs $35 to enter Zion National Park. The entrance ticket is valid for 7 consecutive days.

Top Experiences in Zion National Park

One of the best ways to see the beauty of Zion National Park is to take Zion Scenic Drive. Zion National Park Scenic Drive runs through the Zion Canyon along the Floor of the Valley Road. It is approximately 8 miles long one-way. Along the way, are spectacular viewpoints and trailheads to awesome hikes.

Following are my recommendations for top experiences in Zion National Park:

  • Take Zion Scenic Drive (stop at the Court of the Patriarchs, then take a short and easy trail to Lower Emerald Pools, next stop at Weeping Rock, and finally follow Riverside Walk).
  • Hike Angels Landing Trail
  • Stop at Canyon Junction Bridge (sunset)
  • Hike Canyon Overlook Trail 
Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

The view of Watchman from Canyon Junction Bridge on Scenic Drive in Zion National Park. 

Emerald Pools Trail in Zion

The hike to Lower Emerald Pools is one of the most beautiful hikes in Zion. It is an easy hike that is perfect for the entire family. 

Emerald Pools Trail in Zion

Emerald Pools Trail will take you to an alcove with waterfalls (depending on the season) cascading over it. 

Angels Landing Trail

The view of Zion Canyon from Angels Landing Trail. 

Day 7 - Hike Zion Narrows, Drive to Las Vegas, and Fly back Home

Today is the last day of your road trip through Utah National Parks. My recommendation is that you finish off your trip with one of the most spectacular hikes in Zion National Park, namely Zion Narrows!

Simply put, Zion Narrows Trail is a legendary hike!

Notably, you are hiking the Virgin River upstream. The river is your trail. Moreover, you are hiking in the canyon where in some areas the walls rise to more than 1,000 feet, however, they are only 20 feet apart. Conversely, the rewards are great! You will see waterfalls, huge boulders, hidden canyons, hanging gardens, and so much more.

Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

Zion Narrows Trail in Zion National Park is a legendary hike where you hike the Virgin River upstream. 

Zion Narrows

Zion Narrows Trail will take you through the canyon where in some areas the walls rise to more than 1,000 feet, however, they are only 20 feet apart.

This concludes your road trip through Utah National Park and it is time to head back home.

If you are finishing your trip in Las Vegas, then it will take you about 3 hours (167 miles) before you reach Las Vegas International Airport.

If you decided to head back to Salt Lake City, then you are looking at about 4 hours and 40 minutes (312 miles) before you reach the airport in SLC.

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Road Trip Through Utah National Parks

  • Get America the Beautiful National Park Pass. This covers your admission to all 5 parks (as well as the rest of the National Park Service) for a full year for only $80. If you don’t go with the national park pass, you’ll need to pay admission at each park totaling $150 (so the pass saves you $70!).

Click here to buy your America the Beautiful Pass now.

  • Reserve Timed Entry Ticket to Arches National Park. If you are visiting Arches National Park between April and October, then you will need to reserve Timed Entry Ticket. Visit recreation.gov to make the reservations.
  • Reserve Timed Entry Ticket to hike Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park. Visit recreation.gov to make reservations.
  • Download maps and trip details offline. There is no cellular service inside Utah National Parks. Make sure to download Offline Google Maps for all of Utah.
  • Stock up on groceries and fill up the gas tank. Get all your groceries (water, snacks, lunch) and fill up the gas tank before entering the parks. You can get snacks and lunch at Zion and Bryce, however, there are no stores or restaurants inside Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef.

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning a road trip through Utah National Parks?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process for your road trip through Utah!

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