Utah. A name that evokes images of giant red cliffs, deep mysterious canyons and wild flowing rivers.
It is home to some of the most desolate wilderness in the western United States. And some of the most beautiful natural beauty in the world. So, the best part? Many of its hidden gems are accessible by a short drive to the campground or trailhead!
For any adventurer, a trip to Southeastern Utah is an absolute must. Access to many national and state parks and the ability to get the hell out of there. So, For some of the most spectacular views of the stars. You’ll ever see make for a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime.
If you need some fun road trip games, this post has 52 to get you started!
Whether you’re trying to figure out where to go on your next epic road trip or you’re all set to explore the wonders of southeastern Utah, you’ll learn about must-see spots. a geologically and historically diverse country. Let’s get started!
If you want to drive Zion and Bryce, we also have an Ultimate Southwestern Utah travel tips guide.
National Parks in Southeastern Utah
Southeastern Utah is home to three Mighty Five National Parks: Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef.
The other two, Zion and Bryce Canyon, are covered in my Ultimate Southwestern Utah Guide.
Bring your camera because all of these parks offer some of the most spectacular rock formations that you can view from the road in the comfort of your car or up close and personal with your own feet!
Moab is a great destination to fill up on gas and food as there are tons of easily accessible gas stations as well as some amazing restaurants.
Once you’re done filling up in Moab, your first stop will be at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as they are located minutes from downtown.
After you’ve had your fill of wonders in both parks, your next stop should be Capitol Reef. It’s a bit of a drive from Moab at about two hours, but you’ll be driving through some of the most beautiful red rock deserts in the state when you head southwest from Moab on State Highway 149.
Arches National Park
That’s filling magazine covers and postcards! One of Utah’s most famous features is the impressive red sandstone arches that draw crowds from around the world from sunrise to sunset.
The most famous and impressive of all these arches resides in the aptly named Arches National Park!
A timed entry permit is currently required to enter the Arches, which you can pick up here.
Some of the arches not to be missed here include:
- Delicate Arch
- Double arch
- North window arch
- South window arch
- Landscape Arch
Each of these arches requires a bit of walking to get to, but it’s worth it!
The biggest tip to seeing each of these amazing geological wonders is to get there early! At Delicate Arch, in particular, you want to be in the parking lot before sunrise because the lot fills up quickly.
While you can cover a lot of Arches National Park in a day, there are plenty of campgrounds where you can extend your stay as long as you want. There are a total of 51 campsites in Arches National Park.
Just remember to travel these areas responsibly and only set them up in places that have been used before to minimize your impact on the earth. We want these places to remain pristine for years and years of use in the future!
Where to stay in Moab
Under Canvas Moab is a luxury tented resort open March through October just seven miles north of Moab near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. It’s desert glamping for those who want to be close. So, to nature and enjoy local mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking – or just relaxing by the pool!
The Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn features a pool, hot tub, gym, in-room coffee maker and refrigerator for a bottle of wine (ok, or milk for breakfast!). So, You are about a 40-minute drive from Dead Horse Point State Park. Moab Adventure Center is 5 minutes walking distance also, from this hotel and Millers Shopping Center is 1 mile away.
So, Red Cliffs Lodge has rooms overlooking the Colorado River and is surrounded by majestic 2,000-foot red cliffs. Also, Rustic, comfortable suites and cabins with modern comforts and spectacular water views. So, Dine at The Cowboy Grill or request a boxed lunch to take with you on the go.
Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa is an adventure river ranch nestled among 240 acres of Utah’s iconic arches, canyons and red rocks overlooking the Colorado River. Also, they have an on-site adventure team that makes reservations for you within the resort and with other operators.
Big Horn Lodge, Moab, is located in the heart of the Canyonlands and four miles from Arches National Park. You can store your mountain bike in your room at this lodge and there are also pet-friendly rooms available. Dine next door at Moab Grill.
Canyonlands National Park in Utah
So, Canyonlands is one of the most fascinating places in all of southeastern Utah. It is home to one of the most extensive and desolate canyon systems in the entire state!
Also, Its depths were formed over millions of years by erosion from the two main rivers that flow through it. Colorado and the Green River.
Canyonlands is one of the most historic parks in southeastern Utah. The confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers, located inside the Canyonlands, is where famous explorer John Wesley Powell joined Colorado after he began his expedition to explore the Colorado River to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in 1869.
From the main paved path that runs the length of the top of the park. You can easily see the confluence and see the same rock formations. So, what Powell and his team did all those years ago.
Some amazing vantage points can be accessed from the main entrance to Island of the Sky Park at the top of the canyons. Not-to-be-missed sights include:
- Grand Viewpoint Overlook
- View of the green river
- Dome of coups
- Druid Arch
- Big Spring Canyon Overlook
But if you want to get the most out of your trip to Canyonlands, you need to bring an all-terrain vehicle!
Inside the canyons are tons of adventure miles of trails to explore. Including the most famous trail in all of Canyonlands: The White Rim Trail. Also, check out more blogs in the fashion and health section. Gather more information at budgetyourtrip.