Touring one of the national parks in Utah is definitely a great idea for a memorable vacation. Many tourists actually want to visit all 5. The problem is that there is so much to see that it is really easy to forget about some things or just make some planning mistakes. Visiting the parks is not as easy as finding cabin rentals in Utah. You need to do more research and you want to be sure that you plan the trip in a way that is going to actually offer the experience you are interested in.
If you want to have the best possible experience as you visit Utah’s national parks, seriously consider the following expert tips. They will just make it a lot easier to plan.
Be Aware Of Essential Items
When you visit Utah’s national parks there are items that are much more important than others. It is always a very good idea to have much water with you, a minimum of two quarts for every single day you will stay. You will find water refilling stations in Zion so you just have to carry the water that you consume in one day. The only situation when you want more is when you travel to the remote areas.
In Arches water is available at the entrance and the Devil Garden Campground. In Bryce Canyon you can refill water bottles at the visitor center. In the other national parks you will have more limited access to water. This is especially the case when visiting Canyonlands National Park.
Besides water, be sure you have good hiking shoots with you. They are a big part of the best possible experience you can have. Also, think about what hiking and camping tools you may need, based on personal preferences.
Understand Challenging Conditions
It is really important that you are prepared with the things that you are going to wear and what has to be brought along but it is equally important to understand challenges you might encounter. For instance, if you come from lower elevations, it is a good idea to take your time as you hike. This is because it is harder to hike when elevations are higher. Ease yourself into a smart hiking experience by simply taking it slow.
Also, you do want to know what to expect while at the park. As an example, in Zion there is not much shade so you will need salty snacks, water, hats and sunscreen.
Do Not Overreach
It is very important to always go at the pace you are used to. When not much hiking experience is present, do not start the 40 mile hikes. Many of the trails in Utah national parks have really steep drop-offs and climbs. These are not great if you are afraid of heights or when you have some heart issues.
When traveling with family or friends, talk about available skill sets and preferences before even choosing a trail. The visitor center at every single park is going to offer the information you are looking for. The skilled staff present there is going to help you out a lot since they can make well-informed recommendations. There are usually some trails that are family-friendly and that should be considered when there is not much hiking experience available.
Carefully Pick Your Companions
It is always a very good idea to travel with those that are not going to push you way out of a personal comfort zone. Being challenged is definitely something that makes the trip more memorable but if someone says that it is time to rest, this should be respected. Peer pressure is often a problem when there are visitors that are traveling with larger groups. Friendships are important but safety is much more valuable. It is really important to be up-front and honest so that the entire experience will be perfect.
Be Aware Of Expected Crowds
As more and more people learn about the natural beauty present in Utah’s top 5 national parks, the number of visitors keeps going up. You want to avoid crowds so it is a very good idea to arrive in the morning or after the clock shows 2 PM.
Utah’s very best sights are simply better at sunset and sunrise. This is also when many of the long trails show low traffic. Even so, if you hike at such times you want to be more careful. It is always recommended to have a flashlight or a headlamp with you. Also, temperatures will be cooler so you have to get ready.
If you do not have a problem with the crowds, you can go in the morning and enjoy the sunrise with potential new friends. As a special tip, if you are interested in seeing an incredible sunrise, consider Canyonlands National Park’s Mesa Arch. Much traffic is present there and the hike is short. You can easily haul even heavier photographic equipment here for those perfect shots.
When you visit Utah’s national parks you can expect something special. You never know what would be available so you should take your time to understand everything that is available. For instance, you can always enjoy some mountain biking as you visit the parks. It is actually cheaper for the cyclist to visit the park in most cases. Many other interesting options are available so do be aware of them in order to have the best possible experience.
Ryan Tyson is a travel writer and mother. She enjoys spending time with her family, going to the movies, and outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking.