Salt Lake City is surrounded by some of the most spectacular natural sites in the country, many just a short distance away from the city. From Golden Spike to Flaming Gorge, our local insiders have rounded up the best national parks near the capital of Utah.
For lovers of history and trains, this is a perfect half-day excursion from Salt Lake City. Visit the site where the transcontinental railroad was completed, the tracks that changed American history forever. Immerse yourself in history at the museum, take a tour out to the engine house to see the remarkable engines and see the 1869 railroad construction features. Our local insider recommends the auto tour to get a true understanding of what an incredible feat the construction of the railway was. Recommended by local insiders David Smurthwaite and Whitney Brown
One of Utah’s lesser-known national parks. Flaming Gorge is an impressive location for hiking, camping and exploring, dominated by a huge reservoir that spans miles of the beautiful recreation area. There are countless campgrounds and mountain retreats scattered across the diverse topography, so there’s something for everyone no matter the preference. With over 360mi (580km) of shoreline and a diversity of terrain, it’s a fascinating visit for anyone interested in geology. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite
Beautiful canyons, second-to-none mountain views, lakes and wetland swamps. Uinta-Wasatch National Forest is crammed with trails winding through its valleys, differing in length and difficulty, so you can pick what suits you best. Quiet hikers may get the chance to spot moose and deer in their habitat. Winter months herald ski season when the resorts open up and welcome skiers to the beautiful forest. Recommended by local insider Whitney Brown
Think Utah, think stunning mountain views. The Wasatch-Cache National Forest doesn’t disappoint, with awe-inspiring landscapes and mountain scenery. Outdoor activities are in abundance here, including horseback riding along mountain trails, camping at Pine Creek campground and practicing your swing at one of the golf courses. During the winter months, the alpine terrain is the perfect playground for skis, snowmobiles or snowshoes. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite
In this unique corner of Utah, find glimpses of an ancient time. Visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall to see 1,500 dinosaur fossils exposed on the cliff face before discovering the different examples of petroglyphs in the area. The area is rich in history and you can learn all about the outlaws and homesteaders that sought refuge here. Camp, hike or river-raft through the beautiful, rugged landscape of Dinosaur. Recommended by local insider David Smurthwaite
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.