The landlocked state of Utah is famous as being one of the Four Corner, where it meets with Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Utah isn’t just a corner though; the entire state is bursting with incredible things to see and do. Utah is home to 43 state parks but here is a list of the best 20 parks! From forts to valleys and lakes and creeks there’s plenty to see in the Beehive State!
- Utah State Parks
- Top Tours
- 20 State Parks In Utah
- 1- Dead Horse Point State Park
- 2- Wasatch Mountain State Park
- 3- Huntington State Park
- 4- Antelope Island State Park
- 5- Steinaker State Park
- 6- Lost Creek State Park
- 7- Willard Bay State Park
- 8- Snow Canyon State Park
- 9- Goblin Valley State Park
- 10- Bear Lake State Park
- 11- Kodachrome Basin State Park
- 12- Camp Floyd State Park
- 13- Sand Hollow State Park
- 14- Scofield Reservoir State Park
- 15- Deer Creek State Park
- 16- Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation
- 17- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
- 18- Otter Creek State Park
- 19- Utah Lake State Park
- 20- Goosenecks State Park
Utah State Parks
If you’re looking for the best nature experiences in Utah, besides amazing state parks, Utah is home to iconic national parks. Check these out:
20 State Parks In Utah
1- Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point State has got to be one of the most recognisable natural landmarks in the U.S.
It is often surprising to some that Dead Horse Point is a state park rather than a national park!
Either way, the park is stunning and well worth a visit.
The overlook allows you to stand at 2,000 feet above the Colorado River overlooking a spectacular geological landscape.
As well as taking in the Grand Canyon-esque views there are miles of hiking trails you can enjoy.
There’s also the Intrepid Trail System which is super fun for mountain bikers.
The best time to visit the park is in spring and autumn because the summer months are extremely hot.
In winter you can sometimes experience snowfall in the park.
You will find Dead Horse Point State Park in eastern Utah around 40 minutes’ drive from Moab. Dead Horse Point State Park is at UT-313, Moab, UT 84532.
- Canyonlands National Park Half-Day Tour from Moab
- Dead Horse Point Half-Day Guided Mountain Biking Tour in Moab
2- Wasatch Mountain State Park
Wasatch Mountain State Park is around 50 minutes’ drive southeast of Salt Lake City.
The trails and their views are the main attraction at the park.
You can head out with your backpack on foot, or on a bike or ATV.
The park is particularly impressive in autumn when the leaves turn orange and magenta.
If you fancy staying in the park there are 122 camping spots with modern restrooms, hot showers and utility hook-ups.
The park is also home to the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, which was the Nordic skiing venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Y
ou too can enjoy the facilities and experience the longest snow tubing lanes in the state.
Wasatch Mountain State Park is at 1281 Warm Springs Rd, Midway, UT 84049.
- Dine at 11,000 ft in the Wasatch Mountains
- Half-Day Driven Tour from Salt Lake to Wasatch Mountain Range
3- Huntington State Park
Huntington State Park is under two hours’ drive from Provo. The reservoir, buttes, and juniper trees make for a lovely setting for a day trip with family or friends.
The park sits between the Wasatch Plateau mountains and the San Rafael Swell.
Activities at the park include watersport, fishing, camping and hiking.
If you only hike one trail it should be the Outback Nature Trail.
It’s a 2.7-mile stroll around the reservoir and the walk will provide you with plenty of chances to see wildlife and enjoy nature.
While the reservoir is good for fishing in the hot summer months it’s also a refreshing place for swimming and water skiing.
Huntington State Park is at Mohrland Rd, Huntington, UT 84528.
4- Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island State Park isn’t exactly an island, it’s more like a peninsula on Great Salt Lake. This state park is just under an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City.
The views from Antelope Island are top notch.
The island at first appears to be barren but upon further inspection it’s a place where diverse flora and fauna flourish.
Top activities in the park include camping, hiking, biking and horse riding. You can also go swimming in the salty lake and launch powerboats, sailboats and kayaks. There’s also a historic ranch house that features a number of exhibits.
This is the perfect state park to connect with nature and take some amazing photos.
Antelope Island State Park is at 4528 West 1700 South, I-15 exit #335, Syracuse, UT 84075.
Recommended tour: Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island Day Tour
5- Steinaker State Park
Steinaker State Park is in eastern Utah and around 2 hours 45 minutes from Provo and three hours from Salt Lake City.
There’s something to do for everyone at this state park.
Anglers will always be happy at Steinaker State Park as they can fish until their heart’s content.
Rainbow trout are the main catches to be had at the lake but during the hotter months you might be able to catch bass.
The 850-acre lake has a boat launch so you can enjoy water-skiing, wakeboarding and jet skiing.
The great thing about this park is it doesn’t get too busy so there will always be plenty of space to move around on the water.
During winter you can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the two-mile loop trail that the locals make.
The locals also clear snow off the lake to create a space for ice skating on the 20 inch thick ice.
Steinaker State Park is at 4335 N Hwy 191, Vernal, UT 84078.
6- Lost Creek State Park
Lost Creek State Park is 1 hour 15 minutes’ drive north east of Salt Lake City.
This place is relatively quiet but is popular among locals and people who heard about its beauty.
If you want to find an outdoor space that focuses more on tranquillity than anything flashy or fancy then this is the park for you.
There’s a boat ramp and toilets and that’s about it. So, you will need to plan ahead of time and bring all the food and water you will need for the day.
If you plan on exploring more of this part of Utah there is also a modern campground at the park where you can stay overnight.
Lost Creek State Park is at Croydon, UT 84018.
7- Willard Bay State Park
Willard Bay State Park is 50 minutes’ drive north of Salt Lake City on the shores of Willard Bay Reservoir.
Willard Bay is a go to destination for watersport for Utah citizens and out of staters.
The attraction of Pelican Beach and the spacious lake for jet skiing, paddleboarding and wakeboarding make it a great place for outdoor fun.
You can also fish at Willard Bay and try and catch bluegill, catfish, bass, crappie, and wiper.
There are two marinas with two campgrounds, picnic areas, and boat launches.
At the north marina there is a sandy beach that has cabanas, it’s the perfect way to spend a relaxing day.
Willard Bay State Park is at 900 W 650 N, Willard, UT 84340.
8- Snow Canyon State Park
Snow Canyon State Park is in red-rock country near St George in southwest Utah.
If it wasn’t for the vast quantity of beautiful places in Utah, Snow Canyon State Park would probably be a national park!
The incredible red rock scenery draws the crowds and the relatively mild weather is a welcome change to much of the rest of the state.
Hiking, biking and camping are popular year-round activities in the park.
It’s certainly an excellent spot for camping as the scenery is spectacular.
There is both tented and RV camping and some spots have electric and water hook-ups.
Snow Canyon State Park is at 1002 Snow Canyon Dr, Ivins, UT 84738.
Recommended tour: Snow Canyon Tour with Lava Tube Cave that descends 150ft
9- Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park is close to the town of Hanksville which is around 216 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
The park features thousands of hoodoos which the locals refer to as goblins, hence the name of the park.
These hoodoos are fun for all ages to enjoy, especially if you take a long walk around the funny rock formations.
There are no designated trails in this section so you are free to wander and explore.
There are actually three valleys to explore, named valley 1, 2 and 3.
While all three valleys offer great excitement and the feeling that you are on another planet, valley three is probably the best because there are more hoodoos in this part of the park.
From little goblins to towering goblins there are so many fun photo opportunities to enjoy.
Goblin Valley State Park is at 18630 Goblin, Valley Road, Green River, UT 84525.
Recommended tour: Goblin Valley State Park Canyoneering Adventure
10- Bear Lake State Park
Bear Lake State Park is close to the border with Idaho in northern Utah. From Salt Lake City it takes around two hours to drive to this lakeside state park.
Some people refer to Bear Lake as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” because of the stunning turquoise water.
The enticing water makes for a wonderful spot for sailing, fishing, swimming and water skiing.
Other activities include golfing at Bear Lake Golf Course, or their West location. Both courses are 9 holes.
Bear Lake State Park is at 940 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028.
11- Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park is another of Utah’s red stone parks. You will find this park in southern Utah close to the town of Cannonville and around 300 miles from Salt Lake City.
The best times of year to head to the park are spring and autumn when the temperatures are more bearable.
The park is defined by its 67 monolithic stones.
The park’s multi-toned sandstone layers showcase a 180-million-year-old geological history.
The park was actually called Kodachrome after a 1948 National Geographic Society expedition and the areas likeness to the colour film.
You can hit the hiking trails, head out on bikes or on horseback.
There is also a 47-pitch campground that can accommodate RV’s up to 45 feet.
Kodachrome Basin State Park is at Cannonville, UT 84718.
12- Camp Floyd State Park
You will find Camp Floyd State Park close to Flat Top Mountain and around 40 minutes’ drive from Provo and 50 minutes from Salt Lake City.
Camp Floyd used to be an army outpost. Between 1851 and 1861 this post had the largest concentration of troops in the entire United States.
Troops were originally sent to the area to quash the Mormon Rebellion. When the Civil War began troops were ordered east.
They destroyed the camp leaving only the cemetery and commissary building.
Today you can see some of the remains from the military out posting.
You can visit the restored inn that was a stop for people on the Pony Express.
There is also a museum that features a number of exhibits about the area.
Camp Floyd State Park is at 69 W Main St, Fairfield, UT 84013.
13- Sand Hollow State Park
Sand Hollow State Park is on a reservoir by the same name.
You will find this park in the southwest corner of the state only two hours’ drive from Las Vegas.
The warm water at this reservoir makes for a great place for water-skiing, paddleboarding and wakeboarding.
It is also a lovely destination for fishing, where anglers can expect to catch bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill.
There is also a welcome sandy beach at the park.
Where the red rock meets the blue water it’s a pleasing contrast.
There are two campgrounds, Sandpit Campground and Westside Campground.
Sand Hollow State Park is at 3351 Sand Hollow Rd, Hurricane, UT 84737.
14- Scofield Reservoir State Park
This park is just over an hour’s drive from Provo.
The rolling hilly landscape is a beautiful stage for enjoying the park’s activities.
The reservoir is one of the most important fisheries in Utah. Anglers can fish and expect to catch cutthroat and rainbow trout.
If you are searching for a base to explore the nearby mountains then this is a peaceful spot.
You can also stay at either Madsen Bay Campground or Mountain View Campground and explore the natural attractions along the neighbouring Skyline Drive.
Scofield Reservoir State Park is at 5 W 1000 N, Helper, UT 84526.
15- Deer Creek State Park
If you are visiting either Provo or Salt Lake City then Deer Creek State Park is an excellent place to visit.
It’s just 20 minutes northeast of Provo and an hour drive southeast of Salt Lake City.
in the Heber Valley the reservoir is flanked by picturesque hills.
The reservoir is popular for boating, fishing and other water sports.
Depending when you visit there is also an inflatable water park that you can enjoy too. You can find a spot on the beach and head out for a refreshing swim in the water.
There’s Chokecherry Campground for full hookups and Great Horned Owl Campground for no hookups.
Other facilities at the park include day use pavilion, food services, restrooms, showers and boat rentals.
Deer Creek State Park is at 5566 UT-314, Wallsburg, UT 84082.
16- Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation
Fred Hayes State Park is around 4 miles northwest of Duchesne in eastern Utah and around 118 miles from Salt Lake City.
This is another epic state park if you love spending countless hours on or near the water.
There’s a wonderful sandy beach so you can lay down your towel and sunbath for an hour or so before jumping into the refreshing water.
The Starvation Reservoir is also an excellent sport for trout and perch fishing.
If you fancy camping and spending a few days at the park or exploring nearby attractions then stay at one of their four campgrounds.
There’s Beach Campground, Mountain View Campground, Indian Bay Campground and Rabbit, Juniper and Knight Hollow Campground.
Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation is at 24220 W 7655 S State Park Rd, Duchesne, UT 84021.
17- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is in southern Utah close to the border with Arizona.
The erosion of the local Navajo sandstone has caused the pink hues and tones you see at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
If you plan on visiting the famous and beautiful Zion National Park then you can also head to Coral Pink Sand Dunes as it’s only an hour away.
Many people heading to the park enjoy riding ATV’s, horse riding, hiking and camping. There are two campgrounds at the park, one with hook-up and one without.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is at Kanab, UT 84741, United States.
18- Otter Creek State Park
Otter Creek State Park is on the southern shores of the Otter Creek Reservoir.
The park is close to the small town of Antimony and around 220 miles from Salt Lake City.
This park is primarily used by two groups of people, anglers and ATV enthusiasts.
There are also camping facilities for those wanting to stay a couple of nights and explore the surrounding area.
A series of ATV trails run close to the reservoir whereas other trails head up into the mountains. From all of the trails you can explore some wonderful views.
Otter Creek State Park is at 22 UT-22, Antimony, UT 84712.
19- Utah Lake State Park
Utah Lake State Park is west of Provo and just under 50 miles from Salt Lake City.
This large freshwater lake offers the perfect reprieve from the hot Utah climate.
On the lake you will find sailboats, water-skiers and those enjoying a relaxing boat ride with some drinks.
The Provo River enters the lake and this is a popular spot for canoers and kayakers.
There is also a campground that welcomes tent campers and RV’s.
Other facilities at the park include pavilions, picnic areas, boat rentals, boat ramps and docks and a visitor centre.
Utah Lake State Park is at 4400 W Center St, Provo, UT 84601.
20- Goosenecks State Park
Goosenecks State Park provides excellent views of the San Juan River.
The park can be found in south east Utah around two hours’ drive south of Canyonlands National Park.
This is a mighty impressive geographical site. It’s one of those places, much like the Grand Canyon, where you will just sit there wondering how it possibly formed!
The natural formation is called an “entrenched river meander” and the steep sided canyon is awe-inspiring.
From the top of the goosenecks to the river the canyon is around 1000 feet deep.
While there aren’t any designated and maintained trails you can wander around and see the meandering river from different angles.
But if you leave the designated areas you should proceed with caution.
Goosenecks State Park UT-316, Mexican Hat, UT 84531, United States.
For more amazing US state parks to visit, read:
- 13 North Dakota State Parks
- 7 South Dakota State Parks
- 20 Illinois State Parks
- 20 Texas State Parks
- 20 Colorado State Parks
- 20 Florida State Parks
- 20 Florida Keys State Parks
- 20 Arizona State Parks
- 20 Indiana State Parks
- 20 Minnesota State Parks
- 20 Connecticut State Parks
- 20 Washington State Parks
- 20 West Virginia State Parks
- 20 Michigan State Parks
- 20 Ohio State Parks
- 20 Oregon State Parks
- 20 New Mexico State Parks
- 20 Kentucky State Parks
- 17 Nebraska State Parks
- 20 Montana State Parks
- 20 Mississippi State Parks
- 21 Massachusetts State Parks
- 20 New Hampshire State Parks
- 20 New Jersey State Parks
- 20 Iowa State Parks
- 20 NC State Parks
- 20 Maryland State Parks
- 20 Nevada State Parks
- 20 Kansas State Parks
- 20 Arkansas State Parks
- 20 Wisconsin State Parks
- 20 South Carolina State Parks
- 20 Tennessee State Parks
- 20 Georgia State Parks
- 20 Hawaii State Parks
- 20 Virginia State Parks
- 20 Missouri State Parks
- 20 Oklahoma State Parks
- 20 Utah State Parks
- 20 Idaho State Parks
- 20 Louisiana State Parks
- 20 Vermont State Parks
- 20 Wyoming State Parks