Are We There Yet?
Are This phrase is immortalized as coming from the backseat on any family road trip, but it also doubles as an expression of our collective feelings as we contemplate the end of the pandemic. For now, start planning and mapping out your ultimate 2022 Utah road trip to take once borders re-open.
The Utah Office of Tourism has developed a number of suggested itineraries for future visitors of every interest to follow here. Travellers can plan to explore Utah’s Mighty 5® national parks, 46 state parks, 27 scenic byways and 58 US scenic backways as well as discover “What Lies Between.”
New National Scenic Byway
The road to Utah’s famed Zion National Park has been designated the state’s newest National Scenic Byway. Officially named the Zion Scenic Byway, State Route 9 between La Verkin and Zion’s east entrance is Utah’s sixth National Scenic Byway; one of 184 in the US National Scenic Byways, or All-American Roads, recognize US roads or routes based on their archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least one of the six intrinsic qualities and be regionally significant. It’s safe to say the Zion Scenic Byway checks all of these boxes and is another must-visit for Aussies and Kiwis planning a future “Road to Mighty” road trip through Utah.
Milestone for National Monument
Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September 2021. The newest location from Under Canvas® (and third in Utah!), Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase, opened in April 2021 and provides the perfect base-camp from which to experience Grand Staircase-Escalante’s nearly one million acres. With 60 safari-style tents, the camp boasts views of both Lake Powell and Grand Staircase-Escalante, with its own slot canyon on-site and easy access to popular nearby attractions, including Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
Utah Reaches for the Stars & Shoots Beyond 21 in ’21
Utah is home to more internationally accredited dark sky parks and communities than any other place on Earth, and set a goal to reach 21 in the year 2021. Not only did the state achieve this number just after the new year but this month Zion National Park announced it has received the Dark Sky designation making it #24 in the state and becoming #5 of five Mighty 5® to be designated! Utah is your ideal location to pull off the road and explore the night sky. A detailed list of Utah’s designated dark skies can be found here.
New Native American Experiences
Utah is home to eight Native American Nations, each with their own contemporary and traditional lifestyles, as well as the history found among the state’s many dwelling sites, petroglyph and pictographs, and museum exhibits. Ancient Wayves Adventures is a new Navajo-owned and operated company offering guided hiking and photography tours in and around Bears Ears National Monument. Another is Simpson’s Trailhandler Tours which offer unique tours, including an overnight stay in an authentic Hogan and their Dreamcatcher tour where native dances are performed at a campfire dinner. The Navajo Taco, made with homemade frybread, is as common in Utah as the hamburger is in America, and can be enjoyed at Navajo Hogan in Salt Lake City and in countless restaurants across the state. More Native American history and experiences in Utah are available here.