Utah National Monuments & Recreational Areas

Utah has seven scenic national monuments, two national recreation areas, and one national historic site. These areas, some of America's most beautiful playgrounds, range from unique geologic landscapes, to ecologically or culturally significant sites and preserves.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Glen Canyon Dam transformed a tranquil section of the Colorado River into the stunning blue waters of Lake Powell. Named for explorer John Wesley Powell, the lake is the second-largest reservoir in North America with more than 1,800 miles of total shoreline. Hundreds of colorful sandstone side canyons, coves and natural wonders make Lake Powell a paradise for bass fishing, house boating, kayaking, and photography.

Vehicle-accessible marinas like Bullfrog and Wahweap feature overnight accommodations. Additional marinas offer watercraft and boat rentals, RV accommodations and/or camping. Cahrles Hall Ferry operates almost year round.

Call (435) 684-7423 for full schedules, accommodations and pricing. Always check current marina conditions before visiting.
Location: Box 1507 Page, AZ 80604
Phone: (928) 608-6200
Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Rainbow Bridge is considered the largest natural bridge in the world. Carved from red Navajo sandstone, the bridge is 290 feet tall and 270 feet across, which is higher than the United States Capitol Building and nearly as long as a football field! Rainbow Bridge is sacred in Navajo culture, a symbol of deities responsible for creating rain, the essence of life in the desert. Rising up the mouth of Bridge Canyon in a cove on Lake Powell, the bridge can be reached by personal boats and watercraft or daily boat cruises from Halls Crossing, Bullfrog or Wahweap Marinas. Rainbow Bridge can be reached on foot or horseback from the Navajo Nation; a permit is required for either of these options. Depending on the lake`s current level, getting to the bridge may involve a hike.
Location: PO Box 1507 Page, AZ 86040
Phone: (928) 608-6200
Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Timpanogos Cave sits high on the northern slope of Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Mountains. The cave system was discovered in 1887 by Mormon settler Martin Hansen while following mountain lion tracks. Consisting of three linked and spectacularly decorated caverns, the cave tour includes unique colors and formations. Helictites, stalactites, stalagmites and calcite crusts, draperies and frostwork are just a few of the many dazzling formations found in the chambers. Visitors hike to the cave entrance on a wide, paved trail, gaining over 1,000 feet in elevation. The visitor center and trailhead are in American Fork Canyon, accessed east of I-15 on Highway 92. The cave is open May-October.
Location: R.R. 3, Box 200 American Fork, UT 84003
Phone: (801) 756-5238
Golden Spike National Historic Site

Golden Spike National Historic Site

1869 saw America`s historic meeting of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads to mark the nation`s first transcontinental railroad. Each May, Golden Spike reenacts the original ceremony. Working replicas of the 1869 steam locomotives, Jupiter and 119, are in operation from May-October and an annual Railroader`s Festival is also held each August. There are two auto tours and an easy 1.5 mile (2.4 km) trail called the Big Fill Walk. The visitor center is open year round with slide programs, films and museum exhibits. The historic site is located 32 miles northwest of Brigham City via Highways 13 and 83.
Location: Box 897 Brigham City, UT 84302
Phone: (435) 471-2209
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Explorer John Wesley Powell named Flaming Gorge in 1846, after he and his men saw the sun reflecting off the canyon`s red rock walls during their historic float trip down the Green River. With more than 200,000 acres of land and water, Flaming Gorge is a scenic playground for boating, waterskiing, camping and rafting.

Trophy trout can be caught from boat or shore. Rock art and artifacts suggest members of the ancient Fremont Culture and later, Ute, Comanche and Shoshone tribes hunted game in the gorge. Below Flaming Gorge Dam, the Green River is renowned for its Blue Ribbon trout fishing and rafting. The recreation area offers a variety of campgrounds, lodging facilities, hiking, and backcountry experiences.
Location: Box 279 Manila, UT 84046
Phone: (435) 784-3445
Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument

This stunning park is located 42 miles west of Blanding in southwestern Utah. Here stream action has cut three spectacular natural bridges in the sandstone of White Canyon. The bridges in the sandstone of White Canyon. The bridges have Hopi Indian names: delicate Owachomo means "rock mounds", massive Kachina means "dancer", while Sipapu, the second-largest natural bridge in the world, means "place of emergence." A 9 mile scenic drive has overlooks of the bridges, canyons, and ancient Puebloan ruins. Moderate to difficult trails, some with metal stairs, lead down to each bridge. A longer trail follows the stream bed beneath all three bridges. The park became the first international Dark Sky Park due to minimal light pollution and fantastic stargazing. The visitor center, exhibits and campground are open year round.
Location: HC-60 Box 1 Lake Powell, UT 84533
Phone: (435) 692-1234
Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep, the Ute Indian word meaning "deserted valley", stands as a sentinel of Ancestral Puebloan ruins in a landscape of sage and juniper. Abondoned around the late 1200s, most of the ancient buildings are situated on teh edges of shallow cliffs, balanced over boulder heaps, or guarding seeps.
A short loop hike winds around the Square Tower House and Hovenweep Castle. Portals in the castle appear to align sunlight each seasonal solstice and equinox. Hovenweep is both a mystical pilgrimage and a fascinating study in ancient culture. Located 39 miles northeast of Bluff on US 191 and Hwy 262, there is a campground and visitor center with campfire talks and ranger-guided hikes.
Location: McElmo Route Cortez, CO 81321
Phone: (970) 562-4282
Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks is a fairyland amphitheater of multicolored limestone strata plunging 2,000 feet deep into the Markagunt Plateau. Inside the scenic bowl are hundreds of geologic oddities and hoodoos surrounded by lush, green alpine vegetation, Situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet and surrounded by the Dixie National Forest, Cedar Breaks is located 23 miles east of Cedar City and 3 miles south of the resort town of Brian Head on Highway 143. Easy hiking can be found on the Spectra Point/Wasatch Rampart and Alpine Pond Trails with more extreme hiking on the Rattlesnake Creek Trail. In winter, Cedar Breaks is a premier cross-country skiing and snowboarding destination with access from Brian Head Ski Resort. The national monument is open from late May to mid-October, with camping available from mid-June to mid-September.
Location: 2390 W. Hwy 56 Suite 11 Cedar City, UT 84720
Phone: (435) 586-9451
Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument

This monument includes the largest quarry of Jurassic Period dinosaur bones ever discovered. About 350 tons of fossils and rocks, including full skeletons, have been excavated from the site. In October 2011, the ribbon was cut on the new Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall buildings. A great wall of dinosaur bones and interactive exhibits are featured in these modern facilities. The monument, which stretches east into Colorado, is full of mapped hikes, backcountry adventures, scenic drives, and the whitewater thrills of the Green and Yampa Rivers.
Location: Box 128 Jensen, UT 84035
Phone: (435) 781-7700
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

This massive national monument is vast and rugged, yet easily accessible. Divided into three regions: Canyons of the Escalante, Grand Staircase and the Kaiparowits Plateau, scenic and recreational opportunities abound within the monument. Two incredible highways provide easy access to the graded dirt roads that crisscross the monument: Scenc Byway 12, the federally designated All-American Road connecting Boulder and Bryce, and U.S. Highway 89, between Kanab and Big Water. Enjoy an easy hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls, or a more intense exploration of the slot canyons off the Hole in the Rock Road (dirt road, check for current conditions). Visitor centers are located in Kanab, Escalante, Cannonville, and Big Water.
Location: 745 E. Hwy 89 Kanab, UT 84741
Phone: (435) 644-4680