The confluence of the lofty Rocky Mountains, the fascinating Basin and Range and the colorful Colorado Plateau in Utah creates a diverse setting for endless outdoor recreation. While The Mighty 5® national parks of Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion may anchor your first visit, Utah’s eight national monuments, segments of three national historic trails, two national recreation areas, and a national historic site — before even mentioning millions of acres of stunning national forest and wild landscapes — all ensure you’ll discover ample reason to extend your stay or hold promise for a return trip.
And we’re just getting started. Utah is home to 44 state parks, some of which could easily be national parks in other states. Twenty-eight designated scenic byways and countless additional scenic backways connect it all, part of the great American road trip on Utah’s Road to Mighty®. You’ll also find ample big-city amenities at base camp destinations ranging from the metropolitan Wasatch Front to the adventurous towns and rugged outposts of Southern Utah. Come winter, many of these same cities and towns — Logan, Ogden, Park City, Salt Lake City, Provo and Cedar City — are also gateways to Utah’s 14 world-class ski resorts. And when the sun sets, the show continues, as half of the accredited parks in the Great Western Starry Way are in Utah. These parks are simply the best spots for stargazing in the developed world.
Utah is a global tourism destination. The Michelin travel guide named Utah a 3-star destination, making us the first state to be recognized by this prestigious organization and with the highest possible score. Our Mighty 5® national parks, 44 state parks, 14 world-class ski resorts, wide-open landscapes and vibrant metropolitan areas continue to attract more than 19 million visitors to our state each year. More noteworthy is that this number, along with statistics on visitor spending, continue to increase year-over-year. 2016 saw $8.4 billion in visitor spending and $1.23 billion in tax revenue.
Tourism drives significant economic activity in our state which benefits households and businesses. Many travel for the great outdoors, urban lifestyle and unparalleled access to diverse recreation while others visit marquee filming locations of renowned movies and TV series such as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “Footloose,” “The Sandlot,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” “Westworld” and so many more.
Whatever your reason may be for visiting Utah, we are confident that you’ll make your way back.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are some of Utah’s main attractions?
A: Utah is a global tourism destination. Our Mighty 5® national parks, 14 world-class ski resorts, 44 state parks and metropolitan areas attract more than 19 million visitors to our state each year. From Zion National Park to Solitude Mountain Resort, and from a Utah Jazz basketball game to the Sundance Film Festival, not only is it too much to see in a single visit, but each destination or experience is connected to countless lesser known, but equally memorable places. And Utah’s Road to Mighty® is the great American road trip inclusive of 28 designated scenic byways that connects it all.
Q: Has tourism in Utah been impacted by the law that altered the blood alcohol content for DUI issuances to .05?
A: No, Utah is actually right in line with the world standards. More than 100 countries have a BAC limit of .05, including premier international destinations like Rome and Paris. The standard is not a deterrent to tourism, it is an enhancement to safety. It is part of Utah’s reputation for being hospitable and safe.