Utah has five amazing national parks, seven national monuments and numerous state parks. But in addition to its impressive array of public lands, Utah is also a gateway for several national parks in the surrounding states. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch thought we’d provide some information on these parks in case you want to include them in your Utah national park vacation.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada – located only an hour from the Utah/Nevada border, Great Basin offers a new take on desert scenery. The park is famous for its Lehman Cave system, which contains rare geological formations. Guided tours through the caves give visitors a chance to experience spelunking in a secure manner. In addition to the cave system, you can hike in Wheeler Basin, or see the Bristle Cone Pine Forest.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado – Mesa Verde is one of the premier locations to explore American Indian architecture. The park boasts several ancient settlements (built into the cliff sides), as well as a collection of artifacts from as early as 1000 BC. The park has a distinct educational feel to it, but it also gives tourists plenty of outdoor experience. Mesa Verde is located about three hours from the border.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona – The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular, and iconic, national parks in the country. The depth and breath of the canyon, as well as its role in history, have cemented this site as a true American destination. Some people include the Grand Canyon in their Grand Tour – the ultimate Utah national park road trip – as it is located only a couple of hours south of Zion National Park.
We at the Lodge encourage you to take the chance to visit any, or all, of these national parks if you’re in Utah.