National Park Service Sites in Utah

  • Bear Lake
  • Settler's cabin: Bull Creek Pass Back Country Byway
  • A view along the Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway
  • In the Dinosaur Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument
  • Along the Energy Loop National Scenic Byway
  • A view in the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park
  • Sheep Creek Bay, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
Petroglyphs on the rock in Canyonlands National Park
Petroglyphs, Canyonlands National Park

Utah is known around the world for the geological wonders that are spread across the state. Thankfully, our Federal Government has seen fit over the years to set aside millions of acres of this incredible countryside and preserve and protect it for us and for future generations. In addition to the geological wonders are thousands of petroglyphs, pictographs, lithic scatters, potshards and masonry ruins left behind by thousands of years of pre-Columbian human habitation. A lot of that has been preserved and protected, too.

Update 2017: With the new Republican-controlled Federal government, significant changes may be coming down the pike. Donald Trump has issued an executive order directing that the Department of the Interior investigate some of the National Monuments that were designated by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama with an eye to perhaps reduce or eliminate them entirely. The Utah state government and Congressional delegation have been working for many years to reduce the Federal government's use (and control) of Federally-owned property in the state to allow unfettered conscription of the land by cattle and sheep ranchers, mining companies and OHV enthusiasts. Designation of the monuments allowed the continuation of grazing leases that were already in place at the time but it stopped the mining and worked to reduce the impact of OHVs on the land. The two big ones under the gun in Utah are Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument. Both are primarily BLM properties but Bears Ears does contain portions of Manti-La Sal National Forest and completely surrounds Natural Bridges National Monument. Both monuments have been a major boost to the tourism industry in Utah but in the heart of Grand Staircase-Escalante is what is touted as "the largest coal deposit in Utah." The Utah government is apparently set on reversing whatever gains the Federal EPA has made in their efforts to stop air pollution and reduce the greenhouse effect that is already under way on our world...

Update 2018: Zinke rubberstamped Trump's dream and Trump signed off on removing much of both Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments from Federal protection.

Utah National Parks map

National Park Service Sites

Capitol Reef National Park
Along the Scenic Drive at Capitol Reef National Park
Photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 International License
Map courtesy of Cartesia MapArt US Terrain