things to see in utah road trip itinerary


When planning our road trip, I was super excited to visit Utah. I had seen so many amazing pictures, so I knew I wanted to dedicate some time to that state. However, I never realized just how much time I needed to really see Utah. Let’s just put it this way, we would have needed to spend the whole 2 months in Utah if we actually wanted to see all of it. Instead we did what I call the highlights tour. We spent a day (max 2) in each place and only saw the best of the best and then on to the next location. Since we were traveling with a 2 year old, we couldn’t do most of the amazing hikes, so if you’re planning to visit Utah and want to do some incredible hikes, you’re going to need to factor in quite some time for it. 

Here’s a quick preview of some of Utah’s highlights.

Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats are the remnants of a now dried up lake in Utah. The endless views of white are just breathtaking and can easily be confused for snow on the ground in a picture. It is home of the famous Bonneville Speedway, where races are held. Some of my favorite pictures are from there, but beware there’s nothing around it for hours, so it’s a long drive to see it, no matter where you’re coming from.

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Bonneville Salt Flats in our Skoolie

Moab & Arches National Park

Probably my favorite part of Utah is Moab and Arches National Park. We spent a couple nights at the Sand Flats where we rented side by sides and really got to enjoy the beautiful views. Then we headed to Arches National Park. This park is huge and has so much to see! I was most excited to check out Delicate Arch, but then I found out that it was a long, strenuous hike, so that wasn’t happening with a 2 year old. Instead we visited an area called The Windows. We still got to see beautiful arches and they’re just 5 minutes from the parking lot. It’s a pretty good compromise. 

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The Window at Arches National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon, which is actually not a canyon, is another national park definitely worth visiting. Parking is limited, so we were unable to get the bus to the spots we wanted to visit. Luckily they have plenty of parking by the visitor center, so we parked there and hopped on their shuttle. We wanted to do the Navajo Trail Loop but the little one wasn’t in the mood, so instead we opted for the short 1 mile trail from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point. We got to see beautiful views of the amphitheaters, all while on a relatively flat and downhill hike. It’s a great way to get amazing views without having to do a strenuous hike. 

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Bryce Canyon

Zion National Park

I was so excited to visit Zion. I always see amazing pictures from there and it’s the first national park I ever visited. Like 5 years ago, during a trip to Vegas, we rented a car and drove out to Zion to explore. It was so beautiful, but it had been snowing (we were not expecting snow and we were definitely not dressed appropriately), so we had always dreamed of returning. Earlier this year, they closed off the scenic route and the only way to get to those areas is on the shuttle bus. Well, after 2 days of trying to find parking for our school bus and failing, we decided to skip Zion and head elsewhere. This photo is from the first time we visited many years ago.

Zion National Park in December - things to see and do in utah
Zion National Park in December

Mystic Hot Springs

I saw a picture on Instagram of some really cool bathtubs built into the side of rocks in Utah and I had to look it up. To my surprise, we were less than 30 minutes away, so we had to head that way. Mystic Hot Springs is located in a small town, but if you’re in that area, it’s quite a cool place. They have 2 pools and 6 bathtubs, along with vintage school buses throughout the property that are definitely worth checking out. 

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Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, UT

Antelope Island State Park

We were near Great Salt Lake and I had read that Antelope Island State Park was a great spot to view wildlife, particularly Bison. Unfortunately, we only saw some super far away. However, many people wrote me that they had much better luck, so maybe we just went on a bad day. 

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Antelope Island State Park

Pando Aspen Colony

Pando, a colony of Aspen trees filling 106 acres in Utah, is the largest living organism in the world. It has been determined that the trees have identical genetic markers, meaning that they must share one massive underground root system, making it the largest living organism in the world. The root system is estimated to be about 80,000 years old, also making it one of the oldest living organisms in the world. The trees were nearly as yellow as I had hoped when I visited, but it is still such a beautiful spot.

Pando Aspen Colony school bus conversion skoolie travel itinerary utah things to see
Pando Aspen Colony

Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley is a small state park that is great to visit with children. It looks like you’re on Mars and it’s super easy to access. From the parking lot, you go down a flight of stairs to the rock formations. There’s no trails to follow, so you can just go explore. There isn’t much of an elevation change either, so it was perfect to do with a toddler. We roamed around the maze-like park for a couple hours and loved seeing the goblin-like sandstone formations. On a side note, we spent the night nearby and noticed that the stars were so bright! Turns out that its actually one of the best places to view stars, so if you stay nearby, make sure to get outside at night. 

Goblin Valley State Park school bus conversion skoolie travel itinerary utah things to see
Goblin Valley State Park

Monument Valley

We had actually planned to skip Monument Valley, but when Zion didn’t work out, we headed that way instead. Boy am I glad that we ended up there! Some of my favorite memories and photos are from Monument Valley. I’m not going to lie, we never actually went into the park, we just enjoyed the views from outside. We found a great scenic overlook where you can spend the night. We were all alone there with the most incredible view of the monuments. Sitting outside around our Solo Stove with that view will always be one of my fondest memories from this trip. And we obviously had to get the famous Forrest Gump photo in the middle of the street. 

Monument Valley view with our Solo Stove school bus conversion skoolie travel itinerary utah things to see
Watching sunset around our Solo Stove with a view of Monument Valley

Deadhorse State Park

Near Moab is Deadhorse State Park. This place is less popular, but so beautiful. It looks like a small Horseshoe Bend. There were incredible views at the lookout points right next to the parking lots. It’s worth a quick visit when you’re in Moab. You won’t regret it. 

deadhorse state park view with our Solo Stove school bus conversion skoolie travel itinerary utah things to see
The amazing view at Deadhorse State Park

We really wish we had more time to explore Utah… there’s so many places we didn’t make it to. I would have loved to have spent time in Zion, Escalante (I hear it’s a beautiful drive), and Capitol Reef National Park. We will definitely be back in Utah in the future. I’m looking forward to all the places we missed and so many beautiful hikes since our daughter will be older.

utah road trip places to visit itinerary
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